False Memory

False Memory - Dan Krokos See this review and more at Whitley ReadsThis book started out interesting enough, with Miranda waking up to no memory and confusing powers that she unleashes by accident. The writing right off struck me as bland, but it’s focused more on concepts than characters, so that was a minor annoyance.The first real hint of something wrong came when someone came by to collect Miranda, take her home, and tell her everything. So in the end, her memory got erased for the sake of an infodump. That’s it. That’s the whole narrative purpose of that event, because right after that, the plot chugs right along as if she’s always known everything. Just this way, there’s “handy” infodumps every few chapters.The plot held my interest through the book despite the iffy writing, though. It was full of action and movement and some pretty cool concepts. It felt like a summer blockbuster movie more than a book, since Rule of Cool ruled the day and there were more than a few points where the flashy action was supposed to distract us from the Fridge Logic.Sorry about that.Point being, everyone moved around a lot and did stuff, it was flashy, it was fun, and lots of stuff exploded. The main pitfall of the book was an issue I have with a lot of science fiction: I have no idea what the base technological level was. At first, the book seems like present day + heroes have a handful of extra advanced stuff. Okay, cool. It’s specified that the main kids have special genetic mutations, so it makes sense for them to have cool powers when no one else does. It’s new, it only applies to a few people, okie-dokie. And then more and more tech gets introduced, using concepts that are more and more outside our current level, and suddenly I’m going “what do you mean you can clone people in an artificial womb?” I get the feeling this book doesn’t realize that by throwing in ‘artificial womb,’ it just blew all the other tech out of the water, because that part is seriously a footnote in this book. A few other things did it, too. So…was this book set in the future? Are artificial human-growing vats a common thing now?Do the scientists just not realize how useful a kid-grower is?Another pitfall was the treatment of women in this book. There are exactly two ‘good’ females, and one of them is useless. Seriously. Why was Olive even in this book? Her only role was to follow Noah around, doing whatever he wanted because she was in love with him, and then at the end…well, let’s just say what happened to her was pretty much in line with how much actual presence she had throughout the book. So, basically, we have yet another book where there’s only one relevant female, and the book is all about how she and her male friends go do stuff, and also there’s an evil business woman running around and fucking stuff up with her evil businessman-ness.All in all, a pretty standard action movie— I mean, book.