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Good storyline, great characters, fascinating and slightly creepy. As with her Psycop series, Jordan has managed to find a narrator who fits the MCs perfectly.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
This is another great story from Jordan Castillo Price. Her writing, as always, is compelling. I love the fascinating and perfectly believable world she creates here. It’s urban fantasy; the events could almost be happening in our world today. Apart from the mnem experiences for leisure, everything else seems the same. It’s Total Recall with a difference. A world where people experience mnems—a temporary yet artificially induced memory under a controlled environment, with guides to safely lead them in and out of the experience. For many, it’s a way to get your rocks off in virtual reality and not be accused of cheating on your girlfriend. There are other experiences, but this seems to be the most popular. It’s as if the experience has happened without even leaving the comfort of the couch. Although the memory fades, the joyful, sexy, and confident feelings of the experience remain. Wow! It’s a perfectly feasible use of leisure time to provide temporary memories.
Daniel runs the mnem business his father created, but all the equipment is now in a poor state of repair and Daniel doesn’t have the cash to upgrade or fix it. He’s struggling to manage the venture efficiently or even afford to give his employees a Christmas bonus. He works another job for one of their competitors in the evenings just to make ends meet. His life is pretty dire. He broke up with his boyfriend months ago and his only friend appears to be the goofy guy he works with in the evenings. He comes across as sad and lonely. “My heartbeat stuttered. It’d been a long time since anyone touched me.”
Daniel lives with his father, Big Dan, who suffers from persistent memory—he thinks his wife is still around, even though she divorced him five years ago, and Daniel has to break the heart-wrenching news to him every day. What makes the situation worse is that Daniel designed the mnem that led to his father’s permanent delusional state and Daniel's fearful this might happen to his customers if he botches any fixes he makes to his out-of-date equipment.
It’s not all gloom and doom, though. While pegging someone out of a mnem, Daniel meets an intriguing and rather gorgeous man all dressed in black. And he keeps seeing him in other people's mnems, which shouldn’t have been possible. Both Daniel and the reader wonder if he is experiencing a mnem rather than what’s happening in real life. Is he losing his grip on reality like his father?
Although there is a romantic connection between Daniel and the mysterious man in black, it takes time for this to occur. Much of the story is setting up the unusual world, along with Daniel and his father’s rather sad life. The story may seem melancholic, yet it is enthralling and the dialogue is superbly written as Daniel tries to improve his business as well as find the intriguing man in black.
I love JCP’s older, slightly flawed yet wonderfully constructed characters. Daniel had my sympathy from the start. The workers at Adventuretech and the rival company add some humour. Larry, although annoying and goofy at times, turns out to be a great support for Daniel and some of his lines made me chuckle. Elijah was not what I was expecting and he certainly is a man of mystery and hidden depths. I can’t wait to see how his character develops.
This is the first book in the trilogy. The ending of this story is rather abrupt, and although it’s not really a cliffhanger, it does at least hint at a HFN. There’s still more in store for these guys. I’m definitely looking forward to listening to part two and three and hoping they finally get their HEA.
I usually associate the superb Gomez Pugh with JCP’s audiobooks. Choosing a different narrator for this series has certainly paid off. I’ve enjoyed Seth Clayton’s other works and his narration of this story is fabulous. He has a young voice, but it suits the forty-five year old character of Daniel. Seth skilfully brings all the characters and their conversations to life, giving each their own distinct personality. He also composed the introductory music to each part of the book. Great job!
Okay, so you’d probably figure since I’d already read this trilogy, why would I be so eager to listen to it also. Well, for one thing, the narrator. Seth Clayton. He’s newer, but everything I’ve listened to that he’s narrated has been awesome! And he does a great job emoting and using just the right pacing and various tones for each individual character he narrates, so it’s almost like a full cast audio!
Anyway, with that in mind, I was curious if I would get a different feel for the story, and if it would change my previous thoughts when I finished. The first go round, after reading each book one at a time, I recall feeling almost like the end of each story (except the last, of course) was just barely starting, almost like a cliffhanger.
But, having already read the complete series, this time around, since I knew what was coming, I felt like I could just lean back and enjoy. And chuckle. And outright laugh! Its amazing how listening with my ears instead of just absorbing words with my eyes gave me a whole new sensory experience. Gave me a whole new level of enjoyment.
There were just so many little things I’d missed the first go round. Like Larry. And his ideas about people paying to do interesting things to pigs in Mnems. Okaaaay…Or the specific details within each Mnem. Like the quality of the packet determines if things are window dressing, or if they have little or no smell or taste. And many more little things caught my attention that somehow I seemed to miss the first time I read this book.
And the narrator? He was spot on! I’m SO looking forward to the rest of the audios!! JCP picked another winner like she’d done with Gomez Pugh.
I feel spoiled, and tend to always have high expectations from this author. JCP books are the bomb. Full package deal. Icing on the cake..and I could go on *smiles*
Cover Art? Awesome. Check.
Narrator choice? Awesome. Check.
World Building? Awesome. Check.
Quality All Around Product? Awesome. Check.
You just CAN’T go wrong with a JCP story. Grabbed me with PsyCop. Kept me with Mnevermind. And keeping my interest peaked with all the standalones and shorts for the various series already published.
If you haven’t checked them out yet, please consider grabbing up these stories. The audios do nothing but complement the books. And with the quality covers, do yourself a favor, and get a print copy too! You’ll be glad you did. Highly, highly recommended.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
So, I admit. I was absolutely NOT attracted to this series when I read the blurbs on the books. I’m not into dystopian stuff and though I can appreciate a good mind fuck, that’s not generally what I look for in a romance. It sounded like there was going to be some sort of robot or electrically created person… yeah. Not my thing. But… I like Seth Clayton as a narrator and I ADORE all the stuff I’ve ever read by Jordan Castillo Price so… I said – I’ll give it a try!
It both is and isn’t what I expected. But it is friggin’ awesome!
So, yeah. It’s a bit dark. (Not nearly as dark as the Mary series or Meatworks, though.) Daniel is up against a wall both emotionally and financially, so he’s not super cheery and he’s really not even looking for a hook up much less a relationship.
I’m not going to go into much detail about the story – because what’s the fun in that? You’ll have to figure things out along with Daniel as far as what’s what. But… I will tell you that I was very surprised by the turn of events – pleasantly.
Besides a fascinating bit of science and philosophy (what is memory, experience, reality, etcetera) there is some moral dilemma thrown in here, a bit of hurt/comfort and disability type stuff as well.
The stuff about reality is really compelling. Everyone’s had that sensation of trying to figure out “am I dreaming” or waking up from a dream KNOWING it was real, but then eventually figuring out that it wasn’t. Sometimes that’s good, sometimes that’s disappointing. With this “technology” that sense of memory goes one step further and blurs the definition of “reality”. Add to that when things go wrong… it makes for a very compelling story.
I found “the man in black” to be fascinating and I can’t wait to learn more about him. Which leads me to how this is both awesome and sucky at the same time. On the one hand I’m psyched because I can at least read the next two books in the series – but I’m bummed because only one (so far) in audio format and the audio is awesome!
Seth Clayton did a lovely job with Lane Hayes’ books as well as Raine O’Tierney’s book, so I knew he would at least be acceptable. Well, he really seemed to fit this genre/story to a “T”. He adds in some “special effects” with his voice, he does the dry humor perfectly, and manages to give everyone a unique voice without making anyone (including aunt Pipsie) sound ridiculous. He definitely added to my overall enjoyment of the story and really brought this to life. I loved how he handled “the man in black’s” character in addition to (of course) Daniel and Larry and his Dad.
(I can’t wait for the audio – I’m gonna read the next two books – but I’m gonna be excited for the audios when they come, too!)
Highly recommended. 5 of 5 stars
4 of 4 people found this review helpful