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Defekt

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Derek is LitenVärld's most loyal employee. He lives and breathes the job, from the moment he wakes up in a converted shipping container at the edge of the parking lot to the second he clocks out of work 18 hours later. But after taking his first ever sick day, his manager calls that loyalty into question. An excellent employee like Derek, an employee made to work at LitenV Derek is LitenVärld's most loyal employee. He lives and breathes the job, from the moment he wakes up in a converted shipping container at the edge of the parking lot to the second he clocks out of work 18 hours later. But after taking his first ever sick day, his manager calls that loyalty into question. An excellent employee like Derek, an employee made to work at LitenVärld, shouldn't need time off. To test his commitment to the job, Derek is assigned to a special inventory shift, hunting through the store to find defective products. Toy chests with pincers and eye stalks, ambulatory sleeper sofas, killer mutant toilets, that kind of thing. Helping him is the inventory team — four strangers who look and sound almost exactly like him. Are five Dereks better than one?


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Derek is LitenVärld's most loyal employee. He lives and breathes the job, from the moment he wakes up in a converted shipping container at the edge of the parking lot to the second he clocks out of work 18 hours later. But after taking his first ever sick day, his manager calls that loyalty into question. An excellent employee like Derek, an employee made to work at LitenV Derek is LitenVärld's most loyal employee. He lives and breathes the job, from the moment he wakes up in a converted shipping container at the edge of the parking lot to the second he clocks out of work 18 hours later. But after taking his first ever sick day, his manager calls that loyalty into question. An excellent employee like Derek, an employee made to work at LitenVärld, shouldn't need time off. To test his commitment to the job, Derek is assigned to a special inventory shift, hunting through the store to find defective products. Toy chests with pincers and eye stalks, ambulatory sleeper sofas, killer mutant toilets, that kind of thing. Helping him is the inventory team — four strangers who look and sound almost exactly like him. Are five Dereks better than one?

30 review for Defekt

  1. 5 out of 5

    Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)

    4.0 Stars I loved Finna so much last year so I was excited for the opportunity to read and review this companion novella. While this is technically the sequel to Finna, this could be read first or as a standalone since it is more of a loose follow up novella set at the same store.  This novella takes a different scifi spin on Scandinavian furniture store with a focus on clones. I really enjoyed the interactions between the various copies of Derek. There was a lot of humour this story, which made f 4.0 Stars I loved Finna so much last year so I was excited for the opportunity to read and review this companion novella. While this is technically the sequel to Finna, this could be read first or as a standalone since it is more of a loose follow up novella set at the same store.  This novella takes a different scifi spin on Scandinavian furniture store with a focus on clones. I really enjoyed the interactions between the various copies of Derek. There was a lot of humour this story, which made for a lighthearted and entertaining read. I might have liked Finna slightly more because the narrative had a serious tone, but this was still a worthy follow up.  I liked that the chapters were structured around an employee handbook. Like the first book, this one does a fantastic job of providing funny commentary on retail employment. Needless to say, if you loved Finna as much I did then you will definitely want to read this one. If you have not read Finna  then you should go do that and then also read this one. Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Tor.com.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sana

    'Eldritch corporate overlords, Karen from HR is not on your side, evil luxury toilets, carnivorous furniture, cute monsters, class solidarity, clone solidarity, selfcest???, body horror. Yes, this is Finna’s sequel.' I WANT THIS SO BAD Source 'Eldritch corporate overlords, Karen from HR is not on your side, evil luxury toilets, carnivorous furniture, cute monsters, class solidarity, clone solidarity, selfcest???, body horror. Yes, this is Finna’s sequel.' I WANT THIS SO BAD Source

  3. 4 out of 5

    Dom

    Nino Cipri is quickly becoming one of my favourite authors, especially of short fiction, and their novella Defekt has only further cemented that space. Defekt is set in the same universe as their 2020 novella Finna; the events occur simultaneously and features different characters so it isn’t a sequel, though there are minor plot spoilers for Finna within, so I’d recommend reading it first (plus, it’s fantastic as well). Defekt follows the journey of Derek, a model employee of Not-Ikea furniture Nino Cipri is quickly becoming one of my favourite authors, especially of short fiction, and their novella Defekt has only further cemented that space. Defekt is set in the same universe as their 2020 novella Finna; the events occur simultaneously and features different characters so it isn’t a sequel, though there are minor plot spoilers for Finna within, so I’d recommend reading it first (plus, it’s fantastic as well). Defekt follows the journey of Derek, a model employee of Not-Ikea furniture company LitenVärld—for those who read Finna, he is the character whose sick day served as catalyst for the events of that novella. From the jump, there’s something weird and off about Derek’s sick day, and the novella takes very little time at all to introduce us to the primary plot point of the novel: a ‘special’ inventory shift where the team is composed of Derek and four other individuals who bear a startling resemblance to him. If you’ve ever worked retail or experienced the capitalist grindstone, you’ll find something to relate to in this novella, from the treatment of Derek’s sick day to the dynamics of the team he gets assigned to the special inventory with. In weird, wonderful, horrifying, and precise fashion, Nino Cipri crafts for the reader a journey of self-discovery and the perils of being a cog in the machine. Given Cipri’s other publications, I wasn’t surprised by the inclusion of transgender and nonbinary side characters, but I was delighted; between this and another development I will redact due to spoilers, it’s safe to say this can be considered an LGBTQIA+ work. I can’t recommend this novella and it’s predecessor, Finna, enough. Both stories take all too relatable scenarios and three dimensional characters and inject them with the perfect amount of surrealism and horror. Defekt in particular will speak to anyone who has come to the stark realization the job they’ve devoted their life to may not care about them at all, and it explores the aftermath of that realization beautifully. Thank you to Tor.com and NetGalley for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

  4. 5 out of 5

    laurel [the suspected bibliophile]

    When "Don't Be Evil" Fails, Try "Don't Be Boring": It's worked for us since 1958. Derek is LitenVärld's most loyal employee—he lives and breathes the store. He practices customer service mantras in the mirror. He even lives in a shipping container graciously provided by the company in the back lot. So what if the other employees think he's weird. He only cares what his boss Trisha thinks—until he disappoints her by calling in sick after the the wormhole opens up. Suddenly, something weird is grow When "Don't Be Evil" Fails, Try "Don't Be Boring": It's worked for us since 1958. Derek is LitenVärld's most loyal employee—he lives and breathes the store. He practices customer service mantras in the mirror. He even lives in a shipping container graciously provided by the company in the back lot. So what if the other employees think he's weird. He only cares what his boss Trisha thinks—until he disappoints her by calling in sick after the the wormhole opens up. Suddenly, something weird is growing in Derek's throat, and higher management wants to talk to him... Anytime there's a problem, throw the least convenient people overboard. I really, really enjoyed this! I don't really want to spoil too much of it, although the blurb does mention that he's assigned to the special inventory team to hunt down defective toys, and he meets four strangers who look exactly like him. However, the main plotline is the Island of Misfit Toys meets Send in the Clones meets hyper-capitalism. Derek was a fascinating main character, and I want to say autistic-coded? From his stimming to hyperfocusing to his struggles on social cues (hard same dude, I mean, how do people just inherently get social cues and shit), it seemed that way? Although he never outright says it, but I really, really enjoyed the representation. He's always felt distant and different because he is different, and while there are reasons for that that he can't control, he also discovers there are other things he can control—and influence. And that family and friends can be found in many different places. I really wish that it was longer, but what I got was pleasant, incredibly queer, and so much fun—while also being an insightful take-down of capitalistic, dehumanizing big box stores and upper management and hyper masculinity, and in a way, while also being a beautiful response to everything that happened in 2020? By that I mean—how when the pandemic first started (and to today, over a year later), non-disabled or immunocompromised people basically threw every vulnerable person under the bus and blatantly disregarded or callously swept-aside marginalized, vulnerable communities because those communities weren't convenient to the Greater Society. In a sense, this feels like a love letter to those who have disabilities, visible or invisible, or those who are neurodiverse or just don't fit in to whatever MainStream (*ahem* whyte, cisallohet society) deems acceptable. And it is fantastic. From the author's note, which seems like a perfect ending for this review: If you're reading this book, and have gotten this far down in the acknowledgments, I'm grateful for you too. It means that we survived 2020, despite its best efforts. Fuck yeah. I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review

  5. 5 out of 5

    Emma Cathryne

    Nino Cipri's follow up to FINNA is a delightful spiritual sequel that can still stand on its own while still calling back to some of the best things about its predecessor. You really don't need to have read FINNA to enjoy this novel, but it was fun to return to this world after reading Cipri's debut. Defekt tackles the horrors of late-stage capitalism, clone ethics, identity politics, and the power of human connection all in a neat 144 pages. Oh, and did I mention that it's uproariously funny, Nino Cipri's follow up to FINNA is a delightful spiritual sequel that can still stand on its own while still calling back to some of the best things about its predecessor. You really don't need to have read FINNA to enjoy this novel, but it was fun to return to this world after reading Cipri's debut. Defekt tackles the horrors of late-stage capitalism, clone ethics, identity politics, and the power of human connection all in a neat 144 pages. Oh, and did I mention that it's uproariously funny, too? Defekt follows Derek, a minor character from FINNA and a highly enthusiastic employee of the insidious LitenVärld home furnishing company (think an evil IKEA) that is normal store that just happens to have wormholes to parallel universes occasionally breaking through. Through these come a variety of sentient, otherworldly pieces of furniture. When Derek accidentally stumbles upon one of these creatures, he inadvertently finds himself reassigned to an inventory division made up of none other than a crack-team of alternate universe Dereks assigned to find and exterminate these anomalies. Derek himself if a wonderful, if self-depreciating narrator, whose journey to create an identify for himself beyond the company line becomes (literally) a reflective experience, as he learns more about himself through the lives and voices of the people he could have been. Each of the Derek's has a unique identity and Cipri has taken care to give each of them their own personality while emphasizing the underlying threads that bind them as one. The tension between what is comforting and safe versus what is right is beautifully explored, as is the difficulty of accepting change as a positive experience. Overall this was a charming novella and a humorous take on the horrors of retail management.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Books That Burn

    *I received a free review copy in exchange for an honest review of this book. Defekt follows an employee trying to keep doing his best as his world cracks and gets stranger despite his efforts to fit in and follow the manual. I love the chapter openers from the employee manual. The overly cheery corporate-speak helps to establish the tone of the book, especially when the MC is very familiar with this document (or with others like it). It’s informing the world and the characters’ inner lives at t *I received a free review copy in exchange for an honest review of this book. Defekt follows an employee trying to keep doing his best as his world cracks and gets stranger despite his efforts to fit in and follow the manual. I love the chapter openers from the employee manual. The overly cheery corporate-speak helps to establish the tone of the book, especially when the MC is very familiar with this document (or with others like it). It’s informing the world and the characters’ inner lives at the same time, and it’s very funny on top of all that. The MC is in the perfect middle zone between technically being an unreliable narrator and also never actually lying to the reader (and not trying to either). The book is so observant and the MC is so clueless, and it was so wonderful to view this strange hyper-corporate world through the eyes of someone who loves it because it's the only thing they know. The secondary characters were great counterpoints to the MC's perspective while also feeling like full people separate from his conception of them, it's great world-building (especially for such a short story). This is a sequel to FINNA (and contains a minor spoiler for it), but DEFEKT can completely stand alone. I'll do my normal sequel check but some of the answers might feel wonky because the author has said FINNA was intended to be stand-alone (and therefore wasn't trying to leave hanging threads for a sequel to grab on to). This doesn't wrap up anything left hanging from the previous book, but it does temporally situate the books in relation to each other very succinctly and I appreciated that touch. The whole story starts in this book and wasn't present in the first one, and it is its own story in a connected universe. I don't think it left anything in particular for additional sequels to pick up, but I would be very interested in more stories based in this location, especially given how DEFEKT ends. While I don't think anything was left open on purpose, the world is open enough to give room for more stories told here while being specific enough to be interesting. The MC is different from the first book and his voice feels distinct from the previous book's MC. Finally, this would absolutely make sense if you hadn't read the first one, but, again, it does open with a minor spoiler from FINNA so I do recommend reading FINNA first if you're planning on eventually having read both books. CW for bullying, transphobia, blood, violence, death.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Stoolfire

    I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Defekt (LitenVerse #2) by Nino Cipri is the perfect sequel/ companion novel to Finna which was one of my favorite novellas of 2020. My expectations for this were needless to say sky high and I'm so pleased to say this one totally delivers. I've only read two of Cipri's books, but they're quickly becoming a favorite. At this point, I'm pretty sure I'll read whatever they care to write from here on out. It was so much fun to be bac I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Defekt (LitenVerse #2) by Nino Cipri is the perfect sequel/ companion novel to Finna which was one of my favorite novellas of 2020. My expectations for this were needless to say sky high and I'm so pleased to say this one totally delivers. I've only read two of Cipri's books, but they're quickly becoming a favorite. At this point, I'm pretty sure I'll read whatever they care to write from here on out. It was so much fun to be back in the mysterious and weird world of LitenVärld, an IKEA-like store where portals to various dimensions of the multiverse sometimes appear, and sometimes things from the other side come through. There's so much to love about this, but I can't resist the brand of humor in this story. In this installment of the series, my favorite aspect were all of the Dereks from across the multiverse - they were so cool to get to know. Overall, I think this is going to be one of my favorite reads of 2021. If you haven't started in on this series, what are you waiting for?

  8. 5 out of 5

    William Brownridge

    ARC provided for review. Nino Cipri once again explores the horrors of capitalism and the retail experience with the follow up to Finna and I feel like this book is witnessing my experiences in ways nothing else can. This time around we follow Derek, the dedicated LitenVärld employee whose sick day kicked off the previous story. Once he returns from his day off, he's asked to take part in an overnight inventory shift. What he doesn't realize is that his team is actually made up of other Dereks, an ARC provided for review. Nino Cipri once again explores the horrors of capitalism and the retail experience with the follow up to Finna and I feel like this book is witnessing my experiences in ways nothing else can. This time around we follow Derek, the dedicated LitenVärld employee whose sick day kicked off the previous story. Once he returns from his day off, he's asked to take part in an overnight inventory shift. What he doesn't realize is that his team is actually made up of other Dereks, and inventory means eliminating defective products that are more than happy to eat anybody that crosses their path. Fantastic characters, a wild universe of outrageous creatures, and an all too truthful look at the real motivations of capitalism they try to hide make this an absolute joy. If you've worked in retail, you'll feel the pain of every interaction and long shift Derek goes through. If you've ever managed to be on the receiving end of some kind of disciplinary action, you're really going to sympathize with Derek. His struggle with his love for the company and the growing realization that the feeling is not mutual is too real. He just wants a place to be welcomed into, and it might be in a room filled with himself where he finds it. It's a fantastic look at how we can find a way to embrace the varying aspects of our personality, make choices when we feel we have none, and truly make a way forward in our lives. It's also an hilarious and moving look at the retail world.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Nicky

    Received to review via Netgalley; publication date 20th April 2021 I didn't love Finna, though I liked it; it felt it leaned a bit too much on being angry about soul-sucking capitalism (which, same, but the choir can get tired of being preached to). Defekt is set in the same world, and briefly crosses over with Finna (we see Jules right before the events of that book), but for whatever reason it worked a bit better for me -- it felt a little less preachy, and I loved the idea of all those sentien Received to review via Netgalley; publication date 20th April 2021 I didn't love Finna, though I liked it; it felt it leaned a bit too much on being angry about soul-sucking capitalism (which, same, but the choir can get tired of being preached to). Defekt is set in the same world, and briefly crosses over with Finna (we see Jules right before the events of that book), but for whatever reason it worked a bit better for me -- it felt a little less preachy, and I loved the idea of all those sentient furnishings. The toilet is a highlight (seriously). I was a little bit put off by the "self-cest" thing, though: Derek is the main character, and after he takes an uncharacteristic sick day, he has to do a special inventory shift. During the shift, he meets four of his clones, and finds himself particularly drawn to one of them. Sure, that one is quite different to him in many ways, but the potential romance between them was a bit of an odd note for me. Still, a fun novella, and I suspect those who already enjoyed Finna will enjoy this at least as much.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Liz (Quirky Cat)

    Defekt is the second novella in Nino Cipri's Finna series, and it was such a delight to read! If you're a fan of fast-paced and humorous science fiction, then this is absolutely a series that you need to check out. When it comes to loyal employees, you won't find anyone better than Derek. His entire life is LitenVärld. No, really – he even lives in a shipping container set up in one of the back parking lots. His dedication can not be questioned. Or rather, once upon a time, it could never have Defekt is the second novella in Nino Cipri's Finna series, and it was such a delight to read! If you're a fan of fast-paced and humorous science fiction, then this is absolutely a series that you need to check out. When it comes to loyal employees, you won't find anyone better than Derek. His entire life is LitenVärld. No, really – he even lives in a shipping container set up in one of the back parking lots. His dedication can not be questioned. Or rather, once upon a time, it could never have been questioned. Then Derek dared to take a sick day – he really did need one. Suddenly, the management and company started seeing Derek through new eyes. Who would have thought that this would be enough to throw him into a world where furniture comes to life and tries to eat him? “When “Don't Be Evil” Fails, Try “Don't Be Boring”: It's worked for us since 1958.” As a huge fan of Finna, I just knew that the sequel was going to be amazing. I went into this novella with high expectations – and was blown away. What I got was SO much better than I expected. Defekt may just be my favorite of the series (so far – please let there be more). Where Finna is an entertaining novella full of portal jumping pirates, Defekt is more of a Cronenberg/science fiction horror tale with a humorous undertone (and overtones, for that matter). I love both novellas, but for completely different reasons. The series is centered on a science fiction version of a Scandinavian superstore (go ahead and guess which one). The company has found lots of neat hacks to get the job done fast and quickly, including other dimensions and their resources. That sometimes results in...let's say, oddities. Having all of that introduced in Finna allowed for Defekt to dive right into the world. As well as all of its glorious chaos. I really enjoyed that we kind of got to see a different side of things, though management, HR, and corporate BS is still a major factor (and it is perfect). “Derek looked back at the table only to see it staring up at him.” I can't even begin to tell you the number of times this novella got me to burst out laughing. The quote above had me crying; I was laughing so hard. Nino Cipri and I are on the same wavelength when it comes to humor, I think. And I love it. If you don't believe me, here's a testimonial for you: My husband is not much of a reader (I know, I know), but even he wants to read both Finna and Defekt after seeing how much enjoyment I've gotten out of them. Okay, the fact that I read a few key quotes didn't hurt any. Thanks to Tor.com and #NetGalley for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own. Check out more reviews over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jae

    “Lonely, Derek thought. Loneliness so sharp that it felt like his throat would split from swallowing it.” Defekt is in one word, brilliant. I did not know anything about the book while i started and honestly it was such a pleasant surprise for me! I love, LOVE the writing style. Its so sombre and atmospheric, focussing on character voices that made me really invested with Derek right from the very beginning. All i have for the author regarding the writing is praise, because its so beautiful. I was “Lonely, Derek thought. Loneliness so sharp that it felt like his throat would split from swallowing it.” Defekt is in one word, brilliant. I did not know anything about the book while i started and honestly it was such a pleasant surprise for me! I love, LOVE the writing style. Its so sombre and atmospheric, focussing on character voices that made me really invested with Derek right from the very beginning. All i have for the author regarding the writing is praise, because its so beautiful. I was in awe reading the prose and me, being a reader who values beautiful writing a lot, I enjoyed this book a lot. The next great thing the author has done here is character work! A LOT OF THE ASPECTS ARE SO FUCKING RELATABLE IM SORRY DHDHDH. But EVEN at the start you get a glimpse of how monotone, mechanical work on the daily could exhaust people. The book does a fantastic job in portraying daily struggles just to make ends meet and how that takes a toll on people and just yes i love the characterization and personalities within this book and the author has done a very obvious and magnificent job in having distinct, different voices and personalities which truly adds to the entire reading experience. I’ll also say that the world building here is phenomenal. One of the things i look the most in sci-fi stories; is world building and its safe to say that Defekt DELIVERED!!!. Despite a very pleasant reading experience i think i should point out that recently I haven’t been enjoying much of this genre, and this reading mood definitely held a firm grip while i read Defekt as well, which made me not enjoy this book as much as i normally would have. While a lot of the plot was intriguing, i kept wanting more but thinking back it could very well have been me wanting something ‘other’ instead of ‘more’. This said the plot itself wasn’t a very well detailed, filled with sequences and sequences of events kinda plot; rather this was a fairly slower paced, a bit minimal, but to the point plot. The sci-fi trope wasn’t something unique or never seen before, but the details and world building adds more layers to it, making Defekt a fairly well written and a good short read! All in all, i think sci-fi readers would enjoy this a lot! Thank you to Tor for granting me an eARC in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    In Defekt, we return to the mysterious world of LitenVärld and it’s eclectic group of employees. Derek is a proud employee of LitenVärld, spending his days stocking merchandise and creating beautiful displays in the many showrooms. Derek appreciates the company’s devotion to it’s employees as LitenVärld provides housing in the extra cargo containers at the end of the parking lot and drafts detailed employee handbooks, answering any and all questions that employees may have. Derek is always recep In Defekt, we return to the mysterious world of LitenVärld and it’s eclectic group of employees. Derek is a proud employee of LitenVärld, spending his days stocking merchandise and creating beautiful displays in the many showrooms. Derek appreciates the company’s devotion to it’s employees as LitenVärld provides housing in the extra cargo containers at the end of the parking lot and drafts detailed employee handbooks, answering any and all questions that employees may have. Derek is always receptive to feedback on his performance and routinely practices smiling at customers in the mirror while getting ready for work. When Derek becomes unexpectedly ill, the first illness he can ever remember, a call to the employee helpline and a chat with his manager leave him with more questions than answers. When a high-up human resources official makes Derek the point person for a special inventory team, Derek realizes that everything he has ever known about the world, and his very existence, is a lie. Because truly, isn’t life better with more Derek’s? This is a smart, snarky, and witty novella that is brimming with humor and insight into the human experience. Nino Cipri crafts these darkly hilarious novellas that break down the horrors of capitalism and it’s effects on people in such a way that you are laughing when you really should be enraged and crying. If you’ve ever been inside an extremely large department store, like an Ikea, you can imagine how massive the place would seem without any people in it. Now, add in an overnight shift and furniture that comes to life. It sounds like the start of a horror novel. But what if we didn’t immediately believe that everything that is different is inherently evil? What if we initiated contact with the hopes of understanding and creating a new friendship? This was a fascinating take on a “first contact” story. I also really enjoyed how the team of “Dereks” were not only different in personalities and temperaments, but also genders and identities. While it’s not necessary to have read Finna before Defekt, the two genuinely compliment each other and I highly recommend both. If you like witty and snarky takes on current events, this is definitely up your alley. Thank you to Netgalley and Tor for the opportunity to read and review this title. All opinions and mistakes are my own.

  13. 4 out of 5

    ollie

    Thanks, Netgalley, for giving me this free eARC in exchange for a review! Defekt is a follow-up novella to Finna, about Derek the Model Employee of this weird, multi-dimensional company, and about what makes him that like That. It follows him from the day before the events of Finna, through his first ever sick day taken at the company, and then to his punishment Special Inventory shift where he learns even more about the Secrets of fantasy IKEA. I was very excited for Finna to come out last year-- Thanks, Netgalley, for giving me this free eARC in exchange for a review! Defekt is a follow-up novella to Finna, about Derek the Model Employee of this weird, multi-dimensional company, and about what makes him that like That. It follows him from the day before the events of Finna, through his first ever sick day taken at the company, and then to his punishment Special Inventory shift where he learns even more about the Secrets of fantasy IKEA. I was very excited for Finna to come out last year-- the description of a kind of, comedy-of-customer-service meeting an IKEA parody seemed like it could be very cute. I did LIKE Finna, and I liked Defekt in a similar way, although I thought both books were a little, lacking in some areas. Finna, I thought, was cute in the characters and relationships zone, kind of eye-rollingly heavy-handed with the "this is what your bosses at your minimum wage job want you to do" typed stuff, and I thought, disappointingly far from the concept of "IKEA maze" when it started going into like full portal fantasy worlds. Defekt, IMO, improves on this in a few ways-- I think the IKEA setting is more, featured, here, I think this book retains some nice character moments, and I thought that the first 25%, when we are learning What is Going On with Derek, was a very good part. The interactions with the Special Inv team were sometimes cute and sometimes a little flat- they were very, I think, one-note characters except for Derek. They get to have some nice IKEA maze moments, which mostly are fun and Night-at-the-Museum in tone, but in some fight scenes can get a little confused. I think that Defekt takes a lighter hand with a more sinister tone on some of the Evil Minimum Wage Job stuff-- I liked the aggressive personality tests of the woman from Corporate much more than just like, the "some of you MAY die" attitude of the middle manager in Finna. For some reason it just strikes me different to have the company like, "we are providing employee apartments :)" and they're shipping containers. it's very current-era cyberpunk. In general I'd recommend! It's a cute book, not too deep, but a fun episodic adventure novella.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Molly

    If you read Hugo-nominated Finna, you'll recall that the only reason Ava was working when a wormhole opened up in their LitenVärld furniture store was because she was covering for "fucking Derek," who had called out sick. Well folks, I'm pleased to introduce you to Fucking Derek: the model employee who practices his customer service voice in front of a mirror, struggles to interact with coworkers, and isn't entirely sure of his place in the LitenVärld ecosystem. When he's called in to do a speci If you read Hugo-nominated Finna, you'll recall that the only reason Ava was working when a wormhole opened up in their LitenVärld furniture store was because she was covering for "fucking Derek," who had called out sick. Well folks, I'm pleased to introduce you to Fucking Derek: the model employee who practices his customer service voice in front of a mirror, struggles to interact with coworkers, and isn't entirely sure of his place in the LitenVärld ecosystem. When he's called in to do a special inventory one night, he meets four other people who look just like him—who are here to track down rogue furniture pieces. Defekt is perhaps not as ambitious as Finna, but I think this really works for the novella format. We have all of the puzzle pieces that made Finna good, but refined to the point that they fit the novella format really well and turn Defekt into a stand-out story. And although it does spoil the plot of Finna, Defekt is more of a companion novella and can be read as a standalone without having read the previous LitenVerse novella. I really loved this book and it was the perfect palate cleanser in between my horror reads. It's funny and heart-warming, but Cipri doesn't slack on the antagonist and the high stakes. If you're looking for a fun little story where someone who's not so sure of himself and doesn't have any friends finds a found family and understands himself a little better, this is it. Defekt is a short little adventure that's sure to please readers of all sorts. -- Many thanks to Tordotcom and Nino Cipri for the advance e-copy via Netgalley. This is an all-the-good-bits abbreviated review; my full review can be found on my blog, The Library Cryptid.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jo Ladzinski

    Read a NetGalley eARC Content warning: bleeding (mild), doppelgangers This unexpected sequel to Finna starts off with the backstory of why Derek couldn’t come into that fateful work day when Jules and Ava fall into a wormhole. What continues is an unexpected shift to tame homicidal toilets with a team of Derek’s own doppelgangers. With fantastic dynamics, characters that leap off the page, and the cost of company loyalty, Defekt is a wonderfully weird sequel which leaves the reader wide-eyed at the Read a NetGalley eARC Content warning: bleeding (mild), doppelgangers This unexpected sequel to Finna starts off with the backstory of why Derek couldn’t come into that fateful work day when Jules and Ava fall into a wormhole. What continues is an unexpected shift to tame homicidal toilets with a team of Derek’s own doppelgangers. With fantastic dynamics, characters that leap off the page, and the cost of company loyalty, Defekt is a wonderfully weird sequel which leaves the reader wide-eyed at the strangeness and grinning with delight. This book was a ton of fun. I feel like the tone went from scary-weird to funny-weird with clever uses of character introductions. Derek, as a person, is relatively harmless, albeit annoying as far as coworkers go. He’s senselessly loyal to LitenVäld, including details like how he lives in a cargo trailer near the store and seems to not know how to interact with other humans. He feels suddenly ill one day and takes a sick day, leading him to sleep for 30 hours which accidentally causes the relationship tension in Finna. To make up for his absence, Derek gets assigned to a special inventory unit to deal with defekta, or mutant furniture. In true LitenVäld form, however, his coworkers are also his clones. I enjoyed how Cipri pulled this off. Each doppelganger definitely feels like they’re cut from the same cloth as Derek. It was also super exciting to see him interact with being that aren’t all LitenVäld all the time. It’s really funny from the end, and the inclusion of company handbook advice between the chapters to remind the reader of the capitalist horror that is this future brand.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Follow the rules, make the customers happy, and report any signs of hemorrhaging to corporate. To Derek, the job is easy enough. It's almost as if he was made to do it. He doesn't remember anything before November, doesn't really have any friends, and lives in a shipping container behind the store. The store is like an upscale IKEA, selling $3000 egg chair toilets that, coincidentally, later becomes a character in the story. Yes, the furniture comes alive and rearranges itself in LitenVärld. The Follow the rules, make the customers happy, and report any signs of hemorrhaging to corporate. To Derek, the job is easy enough. It's almost as if he was made to do it. He doesn't remember anything before November, doesn't really have any friends, and lives in a shipping container behind the store. The store is like an upscale IKEA, selling $3000 egg chair toilets that, coincidentally, later becomes a character in the story. Yes, the furniture comes alive and rearranges itself in LitenVärld. The store keeps losing customers through wormholes. And it turns out that the members of the night crew are all variations on Derek. This book definitely reminds me of Horrorstör. I think it would certainly suit fans of Horrorstör. I think perhaps I wasn't in the mood for a bizarre, absurdist book when I dug into this one. I also didn't realize it was #2 in a series when I agreed to review it for Netgalley. However, it does stand alone pretty well. It just wasn't my full cup of tea. However, I did appreciate the message of not being willing to sacrifice your all for a crappy job that really doesn't care about you.

  17. 5 out of 5

    The Captain

    Ahoy there me mateys! I received this sci-fi eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. So here be me honest musings . . . "When "Don't Be Evil" Fails, Try "Don't Be Boring": It's worked for us since 1958." The first novella in this series answered the question about what would happen if a wormhole opened up in Ikea, I mean, LitenVärld. I thought it was fun even though I wanted more world building. I was so excited when I heard about this installment. Derek is the perfect employee and de Ahoy there me mateys! I received this sci-fi eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. So here be me honest musings . . . "When "Don't Be Evil" Fails, Try "Don't Be Boring": It's worked for us since 1958." The first novella in this series answered the question about what would happen if a wormhole opened up in Ikea, I mean, LitenVärld. I thought it was fun even though I wanted more world building. I was so excited when I heard about this installment. Derek is the perfect employee and dedicated to the company. But the one day he calls out sick, a wormhole attacks his store. Derek is assigned to help clean up the mess. He finds out his perfect company might have flaws after all. I adored this one and thought the length was perfect. I loved the nod to the prior book. I loved all the internal memos and policy manual tidbits. I loved the characters and the consequences of Derek's choices. I love the #ownvoices rep. I loved the ending I know the author didn't originally plan to write more set in LitenVärld but I am super happy to have gotten this one. I also know I didn't discuss the plot. That's cause ye should read the first book and this one too. Arrrrr! So lastly . . . Thank ye Tor.com!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Laura (crofteereader)

    One of the things I loved about Finna was that it was imminently familiar to anyone who's ever worked retail for a chain/corporation. Whether that particular chain was good or bad. Mostly because of the different people you encounter: those who are there because mom said they needed a part-time job, the people who accepted a job there as a last resort, people who love working there but know it's not their permanent goal, and the lifers. In the acknowledgments of Defekt, Cipri brings up the idea o One of the things I loved about Finna was that it was imminently familiar to anyone who's ever worked retail for a chain/corporation. Whether that particular chain was good or bad. Mostly because of the different people you encounter: those who are there because mom said they needed a part-time job, the people who accepted a job there as a last resort, people who love working there but know it's not their permanent goal, and the lifers. In the acknowledgments of Defekt, Cipri brings up the idea of a coworker who doesn't do anything wrong but somehow manages to irk you. And thus we have Derek's story. I loved getting to see Jules again, if only briefly, and the dynamics of the special inventory team made for a very interesting overall plot with some important self-reflecfion. However, we spent so much time locked in Derek's head that it felt like we didn't really give the rest of the team time to shine, which was something that Finna (with its main duo) was able to do a bit more effectively. That being said, it was still fun and I would absolutely visit LitenVärld again if given the opportunity. {Thank you Tor.com for the DRC via NetGalley; all thoughts are my own}

  19. 4 out of 5

    bee

    And Nino Cipri earns another 5/5 from me. I could honestly read 1000 novellas revolving around the concept of liminal spaces in fictional totally-not-Ikea with a healthy heaping of anti-capitalist messaging on top. I just wanted to pop in and say that I was absolutely stunned by the incredibly realistic autistic representation here. It's never explicitly stated, but it's pretty clear that the protagonist is written as autistic. As an autistic person who works in retail, the way that Derek was wri And Nino Cipri earns another 5/5 from me. I could honestly read 1000 novellas revolving around the concept of liminal spaces in fictional totally-not-Ikea with a healthy heaping of anti-capitalist messaging on top. I just wanted to pop in and say that I was absolutely stunned by the incredibly realistic autistic representation here. It's never explicitly stated, but it's pretty clear that the protagonist is written as autistic. As an autistic person who works in retail, the way that Derek was written was IMPRESSIVELY spot-on. Practicing customer service lines and facial expressions in the mirror? Yep. Being an overenthusiastic people pleaser so that your superiors will overlook all of your other "flaws"? Also yes. The crushing sense of loneliness because you can't be even a sliver of your authentic self at work or else you'll be seen as a liability? Absolutely. I can't even begin to explain how... seen? I felt with the representation here. I don't think I've ever read a portrayal of an autistic character that was this authentic and that didn't end up falling back on harmful stereotypes. VERY impressed!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Bookgrrl

    This has to be one of the weirdest books I have ever read in my life, and I enjoyed it immensely. For a novella it is simply astounding the amount of craziness and bonkers things that are packed into this book. Between the furniture wandering around on its own, the random wormholes opening, and the other Derek’s (in slightly different forms) this book really keeps you on your toes and you have to pay close attention to what’s going on. But it all works and it all makes sense (or as much sense as This has to be one of the weirdest books I have ever read in my life, and I enjoyed it immensely. For a novella it is simply astounding the amount of craziness and bonkers things that are packed into this book. Between the furniture wandering around on its own, the random wormholes opening, and the other Derek’s (in slightly different forms) this book really keeps you on your toes and you have to pay close attention to what’s going on. But it all works and it all makes sense (or as much sense as a speculative fiction can). Highly recommend! Thank you to NetGalley & Macmillan-Tor/Forge for this advanced reader copy. All opinions expressed in this review are my own. Side note: this store is obviously based on IKEA, and I find it really interesting how there have been multiple fictions depicting IKEA as a scary thing. There are both of Nino Cipri’s books, Grady Hendrix’s book Horrorstör (which is designed to look like a catalog), and of course Edward Norton‘s obsession with the IKEA furnishings in Fight Club.

  21. 5 out of 5

    John Folk-Williams

    I wasn’t prepared for Finna and Defekt, the two novellas so far comprising Nino Cipri’s LitenVerse. It’s hard to find stories that effectively satirize consumer capitalism and combine that with penetrating portraits of relationships, but here they are! These are absorbing and insightful stories skillfully blending emotional realities of dealing with gender, love, and loneliness with wonderfully absurdist takes on commercial culture that remind me of the crazy capitalism in Philip K. Dick’s novel I wasn’t prepared for Finna and Defekt, the two novellas so far comprising Nino Cipri’s LitenVerse. It’s hard to find stories that effectively satirize consumer capitalism and combine that with penetrating portraits of relationships, but here they are! These are absorbing and insightful stories skillfully blending emotional realities of dealing with gender, love, and loneliness with wonderfully absurdist takes on commercial culture that remind me of the crazy capitalism in Philip K. Dick’s novels. Nino Cipri is a talent to watch. Both Finna and Defekt take place in what seems like the limited confines of the strange box store called LitenVärld. It’s one of a chain selling home furnishings arranged along vexing pathways of fully equipped showrooms that sit next to each “like habitats in a hyper-condensed zoo.” “Here was the habitat for the Pan-Asian Appropriating White Yoga Instructor, complete with tatami mats and a statue of Shiva; next to it huddled the Edgelord Rockabilly Dorm Room, with black leather futon and Quentin Tarantino posters. Finna, Kindle edition, Location 28 .............. Read the full review at SciFi Mind.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Olav

    A sadly unnecessary sequel to Finna, this novella lacks the charm of its predecessor. Following a hollow shell of a drone employee of a big-box furniture store, Defekt uses this Ikea analogue as a jumping off point to critique dehumanizing labour and cult-like corporate doublespeak. The problem is that most of these critiques were offered earlier — and better — in the author's preceding novella. The lifeless, listless protagonist of Defekt is hard to root for or to empathize with, even when he s A sadly unnecessary sequel to Finna, this novella lacks the charm of its predecessor. Following a hollow shell of a drone employee of a big-box furniture store, Defekt uses this Ikea analogue as a jumping off point to critique dehumanizing labour and cult-like corporate doublespeak. The problem is that most of these critiques were offered earlier — and better — in the author's preceding novella. The lifeless, listless protagonist of Defekt is hard to root for or to empathize with, even when he starts trying to break out of his mould. That being said, Nino Cipri is an excellent writer, and the prose they offer is as always first-rate and quite quotable. "You never know what new strangeness will be waiting for you on the other side of this moment," they write … I just wish that they'd followed their own advice and searched for new strangeness, rather than returning to the big box furniture chain Lindenvald.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Munjiru

    One of my most anticipated releases of 2021 and it did not disappoint. I loved this - a perfect follow up to Finna. I always enjoy the weird eldritch vibes of this world and was definitely glad to get new information about all the weirdness. I loved Derek and getting to follow him on his journey of self discovery... (view spoiler)[on the one hand finding out you're manufactured is a bummer but on the other hand, at least he has an answer now for why he is the way he is...unlike the rest of us poo One of my most anticipated releases of 2021 and it did not disappoint. I loved this - a perfect follow up to Finna. I always enjoy the weird eldritch vibes of this world and was definitely glad to get new information about all the weirdness. I loved Derek and getting to follow him on his journey of self discovery... (view spoiler)[on the one hand finding out you're manufactured is a bummer but on the other hand, at least he has an answer now for why he is the way he is...unlike the rest of us poor bastards that have to do the figuring out for ourselves. (hide spoiler)] I loved Darkness too and wouldn’t be mad at a follow up where they and Derek explore a thing (just saying 😏). The ever present commentary on capitalism was A1 as well. I won’t even try to discuss it (I do not have the range and won’t even pretend I do) and I definitely got flashbacks to my recent performance review when reading Dirk’s. Loved it. Would read again. Would recommend if you enjoyed Finna.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    Defekt was an interesting look at how capitalism impacts our perceptions of identity and belonging. As someone who struggles to remember that my identity is not my job, I resonated with Derek right from the get go. It was really interesting to come back to LitenVärld from the perspective of someone who deeply loves where they work after seeing it portrayed from the complete opposite lens in Finna. I was a bit frustrated that the summary events happened so late in the book since it just felt like Defekt was an interesting look at how capitalism impacts our perceptions of identity and belonging. As someone who struggles to remember that my identity is not my job, I resonated with Derek right from the get go. It was really interesting to come back to LitenVärld from the perspective of someone who deeply loves where they work after seeing it portrayed from the complete opposite lens in Finna. I was a bit frustrated that the summary events happened so late in the book since it just felt like it gave so of the plot away, particularly in a story that was already short. As always there were so many little details around LitenVärld that were excellent, like the employee handbook snippets and comments about working retail. Plus the anti-capitalist message in this book warmed my soul. C/W:(view spoiler)[body horror, harassment, queerphobia, violence (hide spoiler)]

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ally

    Received an ARC from netgalley in exchange for a review! Y’all this was so much fun. I wasn’t sure I was going to love it as much as I loved FINNA, because one of the things I liked so much about FINNA was how it was perfectly normal until it wasnt, and this one started out on a distinctly weird note that had me iffy until I remembered this is a direct sequel, you already know about the weird shit, why not embrace it from the get go? And embrace its weirdness it did and I loved it for that. I didn’ Received an ARC from netgalley in exchange for a review! Y’all this was so much fun. I wasn’t sure I was going to love it as much as I loved FINNA, because one of the things I liked so much about FINNA was how it was perfectly normal until it wasnt, and this one started out on a distinctly weird note that had me iffy until I remembered this is a direct sequel, you already know about the weird shit, why not embrace it from the get go? And embrace its weirdness it did and I loved it for that. I didn’t know I could have so many emotions about not-quite clones and a pig shaped toy box wrapped up in a delightful commentary about individuality. I also cried laughing so hard at a toilet doing TikTok dances, so there you go.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    I really enjoyed this novella, I think even more than the first book in the LitenVerse. Finna was a very enjoyable novella, and I enjoyed reading it a lot. However, the characters in Defekt felt even more relatable to me. This sequel had the same fun blend of action and character development, the same realistic yet fantastical setting. (It even had some of the same characters, and that was a fun nod to book one.) This is a great read, and I'm really hoping that there will be more stories set in t I really enjoyed this novella, I think even more than the first book in the LitenVerse. Finna was a very enjoyable novella, and I enjoyed reading it a lot. However, the characters in Defekt felt even more relatable to me. This sequel had the same fun blend of action and character development, the same realistic yet fantastical setting. (It even had some of the same characters, and that was a fun nod to book one.) This is a great read, and I'm really hoping that there will be more stories set in the LitenVerse in the future. I know that Finna was supposed to be a standalone, but... then we got Defekt. And based on the ending, it's wide open for more stories, if Cipri decides to write them.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Annie

    Nino Cipri’s Finna introduced us to the bigger-on-the-inside shopping emporium LitenVärld, a store so large that it warps reality into occasionally opening wormholes to other, even stranger versions of the superstore. The adventures continue in Defekt. I’ve been waiting for a sequel ever since I finished Finna; I love Cipri’s imaginative, inclusive, satirical brain. This follow-up is absolutely perfect... Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type. I received a free copy of this book from the p Nino Cipri’s Finna introduced us to the bigger-on-the-inside shopping emporium LitenVärld, a store so large that it warps reality into occasionally opening wormholes to other, even stranger versions of the superstore. The adventures continue in Defekt. I’ve been waiting for a sequel ever since I finished Finna; I love Cipri’s imaginative, inclusive, satirical brain. This follow-up is absolutely perfect... Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, for review consideration.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    Thanks to tordotcom, Nino Cipri and Netgalley for the eARC in exchange for an honest review. This was so, so much fun.  Set in the same not-IKEA as the first in the series, we get to know the weirdo colleague that everyone kind of hates. Shit gets messy and tentacly and, eventually, heart warming.  I had so much fun romping around this world and want to strongly recommend it as a short, fun read. It was like singing into a hair brush. Delightful.  I read Finna and this on my lunch breaks at my cust Thanks to tordotcom, Nino Cipri and Netgalley for the eARC in exchange for an honest review. This was so, so much fun.  Set in the same not-IKEA as the first in the series, we get to know the weirdo colleague that everyone kind of hates. Shit gets messy and tentacly and, eventually, heart warming.  I had so much fun romping around this world and want to strongly recommend it as a short, fun read. It was like singing into a hair brush. Delightful.  I read Finna and this on my lunch breaks at my customer service job. Life saving. This book is for anyone who has been asked dumb questions and also for anyone who has been lost in an IKEA. 

  29. 5 out of 5

    Delara

    Defekt is the 2nd book in the delightful LitenVerse series, and now I need ALL THE BOOKS in this world. Please, and thank you. These books are so damn fun. No really, when is book 3. Defekt stars Derek, the most loyal employee at LitenVärld (think Ikea, but with wormholes). He’s a by-the-numbers guy. Reliable. Knows the rules, he’s even memorized the handbook, which kind of creeps people out (but seems real nice, to me). After taking a sick day (that sets off the events of book one), he’s put on Defekt is the 2nd book in the delightful LitenVerse series, and now I need ALL THE BOOKS in this world. Please, and thank you. These books are so damn fun. No really, when is book 3. Defekt stars Derek, the most loyal employee at LitenVärld (think Ikea, but with wormholes). He’s a by-the-numbers guy. Reliable. Knows the rules, he’s even memorized the handbook, which kind of creeps people out (but seems real nice, to me). After taking a sick day (that sets off the events of book one), he’s put on night inventory to hunt and find defective products. The next bit is directly from the synopsis bc they say it best: “Toy chests with pincers and eye stalks, ambulatory sleeper sofas, killer mutant toilets, that kind of thing. Helping him is the inventory team—four strangers who look and sound almost exactly like him. Are five Dereks better than one?” So yeah, Defekt is adventures in retail dialed up to eleven. Monsters are running amuck, and Derek must help exterminate them. Cue identity crisis, found family, and a really jerky villain that makes Derek take a good look at himself. As always, Nino Cipri has us covered with queer, trans, and nonbinary characters. Defekt is a morsel of awesome, at times both funny and frightening. Have I mentioned the killer mutant toilet? Thank you Tordotcom for sending me an advanced copy!

  30. 5 out of 5

    John Rennie

    This is the second of Cipri's novellas about the giant furniture store LitenVärld, which is of course a parody of IKEA with extra helpings of cosmic horror. Like its predecessor, this is not intended to be great literature. Instead it just tries to be a fun and enjoyable read, and in this it succeeds. I think you should read the first novella "Finna" before you read this as knowing the background will make "Defekt" more enjoyable. Anyhow, it only took me an hour to read this and it was a pleasant This is the second of Cipri's novellas about the giant furniture store LitenVärld, which is of course a parody of IKEA with extra helpings of cosmic horror. Like its predecessor, this is not intended to be great literature. Instead it just tries to be a fun and enjoyable read, and in this it succeeds. I think you should read the first novella "Finna" before you read this as knowing the background will make "Defekt" more enjoyable. Anyhow, it only took me an hour to read this and it was a pleasant hour. If you want a short fun read that has interesting ideas but isn't too deep then I can recommend this.

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