The Many Lives of Inez Wick is a collection of short stories surrounding Inez Wick. A self-appointed eco-terrorist who plots to save the world while trying not to get herself killed.
In the story of “The Bike Mechanic”, Inez shows up at Seward’s Custom Repair shop with her bike in tow and looking to go underground. Homeland Security is on the hunt and Inez is their only suspect in a water bottling company explosion. Inez turns to Dan Seward, a one time eco-terrorist himself, to get herself out of town and into a new identity. However, it doesn’t go as she intends.
With “Lady Aqua”, we learn how the water bottling company is stealing all the fresh water and replacing it with bio-hazard waste. We hear her thoughts as she sets the explosives and the aftermath of her choices.
“Beyond Peaking”, Inez isn’t overly concerned about the environment, other than what her boyfriend shares. Upon hearing some terrible news on the television, she stuffs her attic full of gasoline before the wells go dry. The consequences of those actions are not exactly what one would have hoped for.
In the book entitled “Dog Fight”, Inez keeps her wits about her as she struggles with sex slave traders and folks who would kill her just so they can stay alive.
“No Compromise” has her in China, getting set up to destroy a coal burning plant that is destroying the ecology that surrounds the area.
In “Apophis” she’s an assistant to a physics professor, who is also her lover. After asking for her hand in marriage, Inez scoffs at him as she realizes that they don’t quite add up and the collision course of the asteroid that is to pass between the earth and the moon may be too close to bargain for.
“Spilling Sunlight” shares Inez’s back story and her struggle with her father, who works an oil rig until the day when the well cannot be capped. The anger of the townspeople and especially that of her boyfriend proves that even events out of one’s control still have dire consequences.
I found the story to be a bit confusing, with all the back and forth and the different outcomes that involves Inez’s life. I couldn’t relate to the story as there was no real plot and the characters weren’t endearing to the reader. Even though we’re reading about Inez, we don’t really get to know her except in snips and quips.
I found “The Bike Mechanic” to be an exceptional short story and was looking for more like it. It is the only story in the book that gives you enough back story to make sense and purpose out of the book. Though Inez’s plight is commendable, I lost the point and fell out of touch with her sense and sensibility.
Though the prose is great and the author writes in an intelligent manner, the plot was lacking in many areas, leaving you with an hodge-podge of words with no real emphasis on the outcome. The alternate path endings of one person’s life is a different approach to the story. However, I need more back story to make it work for me!
If you have an interest in environmental issues or if you’re a fan of alternate endings, then this book will be an enjoyment to read.