At his new job at the memory storage facility Darien Mamon is stunned to discover that he is the intended storage device and has been all along. Darien thought MemorSingular hired him for his brain. They did. They just don't need what's in it. Darien's old classmate, Nancy, could be his only chance to escape MemorSingular before his mind is overwritten. Unfortunately, Nancy hates his guts, and if she doesn't change her mind, the company will change his.
Nancy has her own reasons for helping someone she despises. With the information she provides, Darien must reexamine his past and ultimately decide whether or not to gamble his future in order to help Nancy achieve her end goal.
Plot: The techno-futurist novel is paced and plotted well and features a fine balance of thrills and thematics, with a clever ending that opens itself to interpretation.
Prose: While there is little in the syntax and prose that will truly wow readers, its consistency in voice and clarity allows for the characters and story to shine through.
Originality: The cyberpunk conceit--clones being raised for memory transfers to effectively allow the powerful to live indefinitely, technocratic rule with corporations so powerful even the CEOs are indentured--will be familiar and welcome to readers, while the specifics of the story remain new and fresh.
Character/Execution: The characters are a strength of the book, and the reader will find it hard not to root for them. Time is taken to develop characters and establish their motivations, while engaging complications are effectively folded into the plot and conflict .
Date Submitted: July 01, 2021
While the meat of the action stays firmly grounded in the novel’s near-future present, the timeline jumps into the past, touching on Darien’s memories of his early life and college years, with the main story only picking up its pace late in the book. Readers will be rewarded with explosive action scenes in the late chapters, though some may find anti-hero Darien challenging to connect with due to his arrogance and crass nature, while others will be engaged by his desire to become a better man. Nedeau delivers other challenging characters, such as Lawrence Enderby, who works security at MemorSingular and oozes toxic masculinity. Though these qualities match his brass personality and increase his villainy, his excessive demeaning comments toward women will alienate some readers.
The technology, though, will fascinate all who find memory harvest, transfer, and manipulation interesting sci-fi elements. The tech is explained in clear detail, so readers can quickly grasp the rules and possibilities of Darien’s world. At the heart of Nedeau’s thriller is a man whose loyalties are put to the test when he becomes wrapped up as a guinea pig in a secret experiment, centered around a deeply disturbing conspiracy. Those looking for a technology rich sci-fi experience will enjoy this mind-bending read.
Takeaway: A thought-provoking sci-fi mind-bender with unforgettable tech and fully loaded action.
Great for fans of: A.J. Steiger, Earik Beann’s Killing Adam.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: B+
"This thought-provoking SF novel by author Nedeau painstakingly details the fragility of identity." -- Kirkus Reviews
" Nedeau also accomplishes the surprising feat of making the unpleasant protagonist likable by novel’s end." -- Kirkus Reviews
"A tense read with an impressive reveal and an unpredictable conclusion." -- Kirkus Reviews