Friday, September 6, 2013

Review: False Memory

False Memory
False Memory by Dan Krokos

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I don’t really have much to say about False Memory. It was a fun, action-packed, fast-paced read that got you from Point A to Point B without hesitation. There didn’t seem to be any dull moments, because things just kept happening. And I’m fine with that.

This book just wasn't for me.

One of the problems was that by the time I’d gotten to the midpoint of the book, I had already forgotten what was going on at quarter-point. At 80%, I wouldn’t be able to recall what was going on at 50%. And then, by the end of the book, I’m not sure I knew what I was expecting anymore. False Memory was a fun read, but it’s not entirely memorable or relatable. I recall the main storyline of the book (pretty much what’s written in the summary blurb). But if you asked me to pick out a detail that stands out about False Memory that had me excited or squealing-due-to-awesome, I’m not sure I can pull anything off the top of my head at all.

I’m not at all disappointed though -- maybe it has to do with the fact that I went into it not really expecting anything exciting (not like those highly anticipated books that have me jumping for joy when I finally get my hands on them). So I hadn’t actually set up a standard for what I had expected from False Memory. Not that the book wasn’t exciting since it was a big, ongoing plot of action. But it just didn’t really do anything for me, personally.

And now that I’ve gone off on another tangent, I’ve totally forgotten the few thoughts I had had initially when I started writing this review. So we’ll try this again.

In a nutshell, False Memory, now that I think about it, is a nice break from the typical post-apocalyptic YA dystopian storylines that have been trending lately. A bunch of kids with mysterious superpowers are caught up in a conspiracy involving government, power, money… the works. Honestly, I’d been a little conflicted on whether or not to like this book when the first few actions occurring during Miranda’s initial “I’ve lost my memories” segments made me think of The Bourne Identity... (not knowing who you are, but still able to know those natural instincts instilled into your subconscious from years of training) and then I started questioning Miranda’s memory loss because it seemed so random and convenient, the things she remembered and the things she didn’t remember. And then when the ball got rolling, It’s not like her memory loss meant anything to me anyway.

And then after the initial memory loss segue passed and we jumped right into the main conflict of the book, things just kind of… went… and I followed. The conspiratorial idea of these children being altered and created as weapons to be sold off was pretty interesting. I mean, there are so many other ways to make money and so many other “super soldier” ideas that could have taken off better (such as in The Bourne Identity), but I’m cool with the superpower to strike fear into people and cause chaos. It’s not perfection, but for this story, it will do.

And that was pretty much it for me. More conflicts started surfacing, more reveals started happening, and then I just stopped thinking about the storyline and just kept reading so that I could get to the end to find out what was going on. The pacing of events flew by so quickly that you really didn’t have time to really think about any of it. But I’m not certain I knew what I was expecting. However, I am certain I had a vague idea of what was going to happen. In all honesty though, I couldn’t really keep up with all the new “surprise” reveals.

It didn’t help that a lot of those supposed emotional and surprising twists that were revealed didn’t feel at all that emotional or surprising. I’m not sure if this is the fault of the way those scenes were written, or just that the build up didn’t get me where I needed to be for those reveals. But while the characters are in there, drowning on their devastations of such-and-such occurring, I really just couldn’t understand or feel what the big deal was. The tone was so flat that, even though I knew what I was supposed to be feeling, I was really just in a cloud of indifference.

And now this brings me to the characters. I honestly have no complaints about the four kids, called Roses: Miranda, Peter, Noah and Olive. But I have no praises for them either. I appreciate that they’re pretty damn kickass when it comes to this whole “saving the world” stuff. I like that they can handle all these stressful situations pretty well. And that they each seem to have their own personalities. And that they all like and care for one another. On paper, it’s all pretty awesome. But in action, narration, in this story alone, all four of them seem pretty flat and boring. I didn’t really care about them or what happened to them. Maybe a little bit about what was going on with Miranda, cause her voice wasn’t too bad -- it’s easier to relate to a flat character when she’s the one narrating.

But otherwise, the rest… meh. I might like Peter a bit more than I liked Noah or Olive. But that’s because there’s that OTP spark between Peter and Miranda… while she still had SOMETHING going on with Noah… and things just get complicated on the romance angle. And I stress, I really, really do NOT like love triangles -- they are the bane of my existence. (Maybe it’s just envy talking since those triangles seem so arrogant when I think about my own polygon-less love life; I don’t even have a single -gle, no less an -angle… Go ahead guys. Mope about your inability to choose between two people you love while some of us don’t even have the luxury of choices...)
But, y’know, triangles are fine when they’re written tastefully -- I don’t hate all of them, really… I swear…

I caught the sample preview of the next book and it seems pretty agreeable. I did enjoy Miranda’s narration, even if I didn’t really care for the book as a whole. So I will probably end up getting the next book, although I won’t be certain when that’ll happen.

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