Monday, July 14, 2014

Review: False Memory - Dan Krokos

False Memory
Dan Krokos
Series: False Memory, # 1
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Word Rating: Breakneck
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

For those of you who follow my twitter, you may have gleaned that I received a copy of False Future from Disney Hyperion. At that moment, my reading list was burned, the lights were dimmed, and I gathered the rest of the False Memory books to thank Disney for this wonderful opportunity. Thanks!

Let's get to it.

False Memory, you may be told, is an action-oriented thriller with guns and secrets that twist and turn the plot into a brain-exploding drug. But this, like our protag Miranda would say, is only a "half-truth" (Krokos, 2 (mobi)).

False Memory begins with an exchange between a confused Miranda and a brusque, annoying mall cop. Miranda seems to have a mixture of Post-traumatic and a slew of other amnesias -- you know, the type that action readers are familiar with and psychologists are generally confused about. Though this beginning (I can't remember who I am!) has been used before as a kickstarter to the plot, Krokos lingers for a moment, sifting through the things that make Miranda uncomfortable, like the crowd pushing up against her, and simple facts, such as having four hundred dollars in her pocket.

This moment, though you might not realize it's depth until later on, pulls you in because Krokos writes so genuinely from Miranda's POV. The beginning felt confusing, hesitant, as if it were on the tip of something but you couldn't place just what and you hope your "fingers remember what [your] brain can't" (2). Such wonderful writing.

Of course, this would be worthless if the same sincere (but at the same time, unreliable, because of Miranda's amnesia) narration didn't carry through to the rawer, harsher parts of the book where Miranda is constantly in danger. Thankfully it does, which is why so much of this book feels like it is a thriller, Miranda is like a convalescent, she is coming out of some kind of sickness and the world is all too real to her, she is bombarded with having to run and the frustration of barely knowing why. In reality, much of the book only deals with Miranda's conflictions and her trying to figure out her place in the world, even when Peter, Dr. Tycast, Olive, and especially Noah, the forgotten love-interest, try giving her maps to where she might find herself: a weapon? A savoir?

But even during one the deeper moments, when Noah reveals something quite horrible to her, does she realize that "It's tiring to attempt understanding" the "empty anger" that she feels (Krokos, 49). Through the eyes of Miranda, the reader is limited to the experience of a lost and troubled teen with a startlingly violent past. These intimate moments are lost on her but for the ghosts of feelings, and in the same vein, Miranda's frustration carries up from the words. Krokos has this wonderful effect on his characters in that I want to care about them.

This is done because the characters are engaging, three-dimensional, and their interactions are realistic. The romance, for example, is entirely believable, brutally honest, and balanced. None of that insta-love, forever-and-always nonsense. Furthermore, the dialogue isn't cookie-cutter humor, the fight scenes aren't hilariously explosive, the plot has enough tension to make this a page-turner. There is hardly any exposition, even when explaining the grittier Sci-Fi side: the genetics and brain manipulation are all explained with ease, without need for massive info-dumps.

Gosh there's so much more. This book is just freaking fantastic and I would have to write way too much to get all the way there. In any case, the book's only failing is that the action is sometimes a bit heavy and the writing quite simple. But that's it.

A great start to a trilogy, I can't wait to start the second one!

- Marlon

Are action-oriented books a waste of time?
Let us know in the comments!

No comments:

Post a Comment