My only real expectation was lots of action, because of the male author. Honestly, I probably didn't expect there to be much more than that, but, actually False Memory deals with identity, individuality and how our memories affect our personalities. Krokos' new series brims over with action scenes, badass characters and clever world building.
For the first few chapters of False Memory, I was pretty bored. Miranda's in this mall without a memory, and weird things are happening. Enter mysterious hottie to say enigmatic things and tell her to follow him. Sigh, I thought, another one of these?, but, thankfully, Miranda, despite her initial behavior, is NOT the kind of girl to take someone else's word just because they say so. If you struggle with the opening section, do push on, because once some of the questions were answered, I got all kinds of sucked into this book.
Miranda learns that she is a member of a group of four teens, The Roses, imbued with mind control powers. Two of the others escaped at the same time as she disappeared, memory gone. The team leader, Peter, found her and brought her back to their home. The Doctor in charge sends them to find the other two. When they do, they discover that their might be more to their powers (they can make people feel fear with their brains) than they ever expected. The world building was so cool, and I really hope to learn more about the scope of their power in the next book. Also, I would like to know why their power smells like roses...
There seems to be a new trend in dystopian fiction: male authors writing powerful heroines. I am seriously loving this; False Memory is at least the fifth book that fits that description I've read so far this month. Miranda really appealed to me. I love the logical way she focuses on what's important and practical, rather than letting the eerieness of her situation keep her from doing anything. Plus, she has crazy awesome fighting skills.
Oh yeah, those of you who love action scenes in your books will definitely want be all over False Memory. It is readily apparent that Krokos loves him some fight scenes. Honestly, I'm not that huge of a fight scene person, but his were really well done. I pretty much always had a very clear image in my head of what was going on at any given time, though not so detailed as to bore me. He kept up a quick pace throughout.
Love triangles are totally played out and awful, right? Well, not really, no. They can be THE WORST, when done incorrectly, but the reason people keep writing them is that they can be realistic and powerful. Krokos' love triangle (errr...square? pentagon? hexagon?...I can't keep track by the end) totally worked for me. Miranda, before her memory loss episode, was dating Noah, but, now, she feels much more pull towards Peter. Olive, the fourth member of the group also has a really obvious (to me from the first scene she was in) crush on Noah. What made the hackneyed and predictable relationships more interesting was the fact that Miranda was new. She was in a love triangle without any intention to be. As she is now, she would choose Peter without any difficulty, but flashes of memory and the knowledge of the others push her towards Noah. Without her memories, is she the same person? Will she recall everything and fall for Noah again? These dynamics kept me rapt.
After a skeptical start, Dan Krokos held me in his thrall. False Memory is a fast-moving book that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Also, if you like twists, get excited.