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Winner of the 2013 Thriller Award for Best Young Adult Novel
Posted April 17, 2015
Miranda wakes up on a park bench with no memory of how she got there. While some details--like her name--are perfectly clear, Miranda's own reflection is a mystery. Worse, she soon realizes her amnesia is far from normal.
Panicked and alone, Miranda releases an energy that creates pure panic in almost everyone around her. One boy named Peter is immune. He also has answers.
Trusting Peter, Miranda soon learns she is part of an elite force--genetically engineered and trained to be a weapon. While her combat skills feel natural as they return to her, real memories are slower to come. Back home in her supposedly real life, Miranda feels like a stranger as she meets a boyfriend who did the unthinkable to "protect" her and handlers who seem to have even more unthinkable plans in store for Miranda and her friends in False Memory (2012) by Dan Krokos.
False Memory is the first in a series and also Krokos' first novel.
If the summary didn't make it clear enough, let me say right up front: False Memory is an action packed adventure filled with chases, fights and more twists than a stick of licorice.*
Krokos has created an interesting premise--teenagers with genetically altered brains able to induce fear--and works with it very successfully for the most part. Some of the science starts to seem more like pseudo-science but since False Memory is a work of fiction, that's easy to forgive.
Problems with the plot and characters are harder to ignore.
While Krokos works well with Miranda's checkered memories of her past, not to mention her growing understanding of her present and possible future, she often comes across as one-dimensional as she fails to venture far from the "amnesiac girl" identifier she receives in the beginning of the story.
The circumstances surrounding Miranda's memory loss are also impossible to ignore. Or accept given the premise of the story.** (Follow the stars for a spoiler discussion.)
Readers looking for something beyond non-stop action and twists will be better served by another book. While Miranda is likable and more than capable, she always manages to come across as secondary to Noah and Peter--despite literally being the narrator of her own story--illustrating that it takes more than showing a female character doing kickass things and being tough/smart to make a strong female character. It takes depth too. Hopefully readers will get more of that in book two.
Regardless of who is taking the lead in the story, readers hoping to find an exciting read that is heavy on action and plot twists will not be disappointed here. Plus, the ending of False Memory points to even more shocks and adventure to be had in the sequel False Sight due out in 2013.
*Seriously, it's twisty and turny fun from start to finish!
**SPOILERS AHEAD: We learn fairly early on that Miranda's memory loss is a direct consequence of not getting her proper memory shots. The shots were altered. By her boyfriend. I kept reading the story waiting for some big reveal when I could say to myself, "Ah, I finally understand! That right there is why he changed Miranda's shots. All is clear now." But things never got clearer. Instead we learn that Noah absconded with Olive***, who stayed in possession of her memories, while he left Miranda stranded in a city with no memories of her life. Why? For her protection. To keep her safe. Miranda, even without any memory of her past, can induce heart-stopping panic, wield a combat staff and identify countless guns. She is great with a sword and hand-to-hand combat situations. So, let me ask you, dear readers, does this sound like a girl who needed anything done for her protection? That Noah has no other justification, no other logic is vaguely ridiculous and systematic of poor plotting. Miranda needed amnesia and this slap-dash logic on Noah's part was somehow the best way to make that happen.
***Don't even get me started on Olive. I'm assuming she is an Asian character between her long dark hair and almond eyes which are usually shorthand for minority character. Which is fine. Let's talk about why the only secondary female character (who wasn't evil) and the only minority character that I spotted (did you see others) was so quickly dispatched at the end of the story. It could easily have happened to a different character. It could easily have been skipped all together. So why, exactly, did it have to be Olive?
*This book was acquired for review from the publisher at BEA 2012*
Posted August 14, 2014
Posted October 22, 2013
Posted August 26, 2013
False Memory by author Dan Krokos is an exciting read. I honestly didn’t expect to have as much fun reading it as I did and am so glad that I fell in love with this read. False Memory is an action packed sci-fi read that kept me on my toes and kept me hooked until the very end. By the time I was finished I was so excited to find out what would happen to main character Miranda and her teammates.
In False Memory Miranda has no memory of who she is. When she accidentally ends up murdering most of the people in a single mall she ends up leaving with Peter. An attractive, tough guy who claims to know who Miranda used to be. Miranda discovers that she is a part of a group of genetically altered teens who have combative skills and abilities that can bring whole cities to their knees.
Peter and Miranda are sent out to find and retrieve their two missing teammates Olive and Miranda’s boyfriend who she can’t remember, Noah. When the four teens learn that about a plan involving them and the true nature of their abilities they find themselves with no other options but to run for their lives. However they are being hunted and learn that everything they ever knew might be a complete lie and that there are secrets about Miranda’s past that none of them know.
False Memory is probably one of the best sci-fi reads I’ve gotten to read. It’s action packed, exciting and has a kickass heroine who I cheered for until the very last page. There are plot twists I didn’t see coming, emotional scenes that had left me with many outbursts and (yay!) romance. This read has definitely got a little something for everybody. Author Dan Krokos writing really brings the story to life. I could easily see the novel playing out in my mind like a movie with every action scene being very fast paced and thrilling.
Miranda is the type of female heroine that I’ve really liked getting to see lately in YA. Besides her being a very powerful female character Miranda also has perfect fighting skills and a superpower that scares me. But apart from all of that Miranda also has a personality that I think a lot of readers will like. She’s smart, brave and heroic. Even in the face of danger and when she discovers a lot of things about herself and her teammates and the people who made them, Miranda still remains fearless and badass. She is totally awesome. Plus she’s also stuck in a sort-of love triangle between two guys who are amazing and totally had me fangirling over them.
Peter and Noah are the two romantic interests that Miranda has in False Memory. One of them is her ex-boyfriend that she only remembers from brief flashes from her past life (Noah), the other is the guy who brought her back to the team and used to their leader (Peter). What I really liked about False Memory was that the romance didn’t become the main focus of the plot, the characters were focused on accomplishing their goal and the romance just came second. Personally I was cheering on Team Peter the whole read… but I’m sure that a lot of readers will find themselves crushing on Noah too.
I would recommend False Memory to readers who are looking for a read that are looking for a sci-fi read that will definitely have them addicted until the last page, readers who are looking for a fast paced read with tons of action and readers who are looking for an awesome female protagonist. Readers who want to check out a unique read should definitely look at False Memory.
Posted August 16, 2013
Wow. What an awesome read! I found myself hooked from the very first page! Seriously, I could not put this one down to save my life! From page one, we are thrown right into the middle of this action packed story and there is seriously no down time for our main character Miranda. We first meet her and she has no memory of her life. She knows her name and her age and that's it. After a very unsettling incident at the mall, Miranda finds a boy sitting calmly amidst the chaos and seeks him out for answers. He is Peter, a friend and a part of her team. Peter is very calm, controlled, and direct. He explains what Miranda needs to know and then continues on. He is the leader of the team and I found myself really liking him.
Miranda is such an awesome character. Not only can she kick serious butt, but despite losing her memory, she doesn't freak out over what's happening to her. She remains in control and even though she has no idea what is going on, decides to trust Peter and get some answers. After finding out she is part of a team whose brains have been engineered to affect other people's brains, she also learns that they have to be administered special shots in order to keep from losing their memory. Peter brings her back to headquarters where she finds out their team consisted of two others: Noah and Olive (both of whom are currently MIA). Miranda discovers that Noah was her boyfriend, yet she has no memory of being with him. This certainly makes things a bit awkward once her and Peter do find both Noah and Olive.
I didn't dislike Noah, but I didn't find myself rooting for him and Miranda to work out either. We find out that he made some pretty big decisions that really affected the whole team. You can tell he feels really guilty about them, though.
We don't get a whole lot of character development in this story. However, I still found myself liking them and enjoying reading about them, so the lack of depth didn't deter me from reading at all!
We do have somewhat of a love triangle, but considering Miranda doesn't even remember Noah, it's really a non-issue right now. I do think this will play a larger role in the next book, though. However, the romance is pretty low key and not the main focus of the story.
The story is fast moving, well paced, and full of surprising plot twists that I didn't even see coming. I love a good sci-fi story and I really feel like this one fit the bill perfectly. Memory loss, genetically altered people being used as weapons, clones, mass destruction and chaos... what's not to get excited about?!
Posted July 22, 2013
Posted January 15, 2013
This was a pretty good read, left me curious throughout most of it where the Alpha and Beta teams really came from until the end. I will look forward to reading the sequel.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 2, 2012
This book was amazing it would have me on the edge of my seat if i werent lying down while i was reading it! I absoluty loved the characters and was so sad to get to the end of the book but so happy to all my questions answered! You will LOVE this book!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 19, 2012
False Memory by Dan Krokos I must say, I was impressed. I went into the
book unaware but curious and came out anxious for the sequel. False
memory centers on Miranda, a teenage girl that wakes up alone with no
memory of who she is or how she came to be in Cleveland. Alone and
seeking help from a man in uniform, Miranda soon discovers that she is
more than just a girl with no memory. Unaware of her ability to
psychically project fear into the minds of those around her, Miranda in
a struggle to get help finds herself literally projecting her panic into
the minds of those around her. With the assistance of Peter, a boy of
her same age, Miranda sets out on a journey to rediscover who she was
and what she is. Together, Miranda and Peter team up with her past and
Peters present to take down an organization designed to forge terror
into the minds of the innocent and wreak havoc on the unsuspecting.
Along the way, Miranda and Peter along with Olive and Noah discover that
they are more and less than they originally thought. Fighting to both
remember and wanting to forget the four teens maintain friendship,
trust, respect and new love. False Memory was a fun and fast paced
read that kept my interest and kept me wanting to come back when I was
forced to put it down.
Posted December 27, 2012
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Posted December 12, 2013
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Posted December 8, 2014
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Posted November 25, 2012
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