Plot: Miranda wakes up with no memories of her life. She remembers her name, her age and general information about the world but she has no idea where she should be. She wanders into a mall looking for answers but when she is threatened, her body responds immediately with martial arts training she didn’t know that she had. Worse, her fear seems to cause a general panic in the mall. In the midst of this chaos, Peter appears. He claims to know her, to be like her. She doesn’t know if she can trust him or the people he takes her to see: she fears that she was created for a sinister purpose.
This review is based on an ARC received at BEA 2012.
This is an exciting thriller with a fast pace and an interesting premise. Krokos starts us right in the middle of things and the action never lets up. Chapters are short and each one seems to bring new dangers and new revelations. Just when you think things can’t possibly get worse, they do. Many of the secrets are legitimately surprising and there are enough fighting scenes to satisfy any action buff. And the girls kick as much ass as the boys.
I found the narration is interesting because Miranda isn’t an unreliable narrator, exactly, but the information she is given is very unreliable. Everything we think she thinks she knows is constantly being turned on its head. She also gets glimpses of memories, flashbacks that may or may not be hers.
It is one of these memories that I consider the low point of the novel. We see a moment in the life of the renegade Rose, Rhys. It is supposed to explain his rebellion and his crimes but he goes so quickly from learning an unpleasant truth to turning on everyone he loved all his life. I found it completely unbelievable.
The novel also poses some interesting questions about memory and identity. Are you still friends with someone if you don’t remember the history you’ve shared? Are you even the same person? This seriously complicates the relationships in the novel. On the topic of relationships: I have to say that Noah is a terrible boyfriend. Causing amnesia in a loved one without their informed consent is unforgivable. A desire to protect someone does not give you the right to make that kind of decision for them. I like that the novel actually explores the horror and the consequences of what he has done. “He took away my choice,” (p. 77) as Miranda says and her identity as well.
A great debut and a truly promising beginning to a new series. I recommend it to all young thriller fans.
False Memory was released on August 14th 2012.
Title: False Memory
Series: False Memory (1)
Author: Dan Krokos (http://dankrokos.com/)