Word Spelunking

False Memory - Dan Krokos I was hesitant to read Dan Krokos' False Memory because I'm not a huge fan of the whole "MC with amnesia must put the pieces of their life puzzle back together" thang. BUT, I'm so glad I didn't let that premise stop me from reading this book because as it turns out, Krokos does this premise well...in fact, Krokos does this premise very, very well.Miranda North wakes up with no memory of where she came from or where she belongs. She knows her name and she knows what a mall cop is, but everything else is just missing. In her confused state, she panics, releasing an energy with her brain that causes those around her to experience a heightened sense of pure terror. Everyone except a boy named Peter, who claims he and Miranda are friends and come from the same place- a mysterious underground facility where Miranda, Peter and two others, Noah (Miranda's boyfriend who she, of course, can't remember loving) and Olive, have been trained to be deadly weapons. And when this group discovers the dark truth of their existence and purpose, they flee, but encounter equally deadly enemies. Suddenly, Miranda and her friends are fighting for their lives and the lives of countless innocents.False Memory is a refreshing non-stop thrill ride full of intrigue, exhilarating twists and action, smart writing, compelling characters and suspense...oh! the suspense is addicting. Krokos is a captivating and effective storyteller who weaves together a very complex and well-developed story.The story begins with Miranda in a mall with no memories of where she comes from or who she is, beyond knowing her name, and Miranda's narration is a bit jarring in the first couple of chapters, but the story quickly finds its flow and consistent tone. The sci-fi elements that Krokos includes in this book are by no means new or original, but the way he presents them is highly refreshing and excellently imagined and I was completely fascinated by them. I like that, since Miranda has no memory of being what she is, we, the reader, and she, the MC and narrator, discover everything together. Because of this, I really felt like I was experiencing the story or like I was truly immersed in it, rather than simply just reading about it.And Miranda is a great heroine! Even without her memories, she's still a very strong, capable and likable character. I really like that not a great deal of time was spent on lamenting who she used to be in the eyes of her friends, and instead readers are given the chance to simply get to know who she is in the present. And who she is in the present, and in the face of impossible situations and truths, is one badass chick. When your characters are introduced as highly trained and potentionally deadly individuals then you BETTER follow through with this characterization, and Krokos definitely does...think action-packed and bloody fight scenes with swords, guns, staves and things that go KABOOM.There is a bit of a love triangle between Miranda, Noah and Peter that I could have done without (Go Team Peter!), but the romantic aspects are not the main focus of the overall story (thank goodness), so it honestly didn't bother me too much. The main focus is on the origins and purpose of Miranda and her friends and the mind-boggling unexpected revelations and truths she uncovers.A lot happens and is revealed in the last quarter of the book and things can be a bit overwhelming at times, but, for the most part, the story is breathlessly suspensful and thought-provokingly smart. Krokos concludes book one with the kind of ending I love- an ending that wraps up one mystery and storyline, then introduces something on the last page that leaves me all "OMG! dafuq! Book two now, please!".MY FINAL THOUGHTS: Dan Krokos has crafted a superbly and smartly executed sci-fi story that left me breathless, thoughtful and so ready for more. False Memory is a wonderful and worthwhile read!

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