If someone told you they could take away your most painful memories, would you let them?
For Senna, Zurri, and Han, the choice is clear. Senna is running from a traumatizing shuttle craft at the hands of a cult leader; Zurri witnessed the death of her former manager—and stalker; and Han seeks to escape the guilt that comes from hearing his deceased mother’s voice every day. But as the three undergo the memory-erasing procedure, they begin to lose more than just their tragic moments. Is it a side effect of the technology? Or is there a more deliberate, and sinister, hand at play?
This book was so, so stressful. I’m going to go right ahead and say that I’m not usually upset by content warning topics in books, but this one was super intense in a way I can’t even really articulate. So if you are sensitive to themes of sexual assault or manipulation, definitely stay clear!
I very much got the sense that this book was a metaphor for the ways that women’s voices are frequently erased by powerful men and their vast resources. In that capacity, I really appreciated its message. The combination of a sci-fi world with such a feminist and relevant take is something I haven’t seen done before.
As for characters, for the first half I disliked pretty much all of them. Except for Senna who was just kind of ~there~ (which made me feel for her given her background). Zurri just came off as a diva, Han was SO cocky, and I could tell pretty much from page one what was going on with our tech overlord Paxton. However as the story progressed, I think most of them got nicely developed, and appeared much more human. I do wish we got some of that complexity earlier on though.
I also need to thank this book for making me realize that futuristic super techy utopian sci-fi worlds just aren’t for me. Unlike in other books, this one had a world and technology that didn’t confuse or overwhelm me. It seemed throughly explored, well written, and had good background. But at the same time, it didn’t wow me, and I think that’s a me problem. Therefore, I would recommend reading some reviews from other people who DO typically enjoy this specific brand of world building in order to fully get a sense for how it was done.
For my own personal enjoyment I would give this book a solid 3.5, but if any of what I described above is in your wheelhouse, for sure check it out!
happy reading (:
Intended audience: Adult
Content warnings: sexual assault, assault, death of a loved one, cults, stalking, manipulation