by Liesel K. Hill
Plot Summary:In a world where collective hives are enslaving the population and individuals have been hunted to the verge of extinction, Maggie Harper, and independent 21st Century woman, must find the strength to preserve the freedom of the future, but without the aid of her memories.
After experiencing a traumatic time loss, Maggie is plagued by a barrage of images she can't explain. When she's attacked by a creep with a spider's web tattoo, she is saved by Marcus, a man she's never met, but somehow remembers. He tells her that both he and her creepy attacker are from a future in which individuals are being murdered by collectives, and Marcus is part of the rebellion. The collectives have acquired time travel and they plan to enslave the human race throughout all of history. The flashes Maggie has been seeing are echoes of lost memories, and the information buried deep within them is instrumental in defeating the collective hives.
In order to preserve the individuality of mankind, Maggie must try to re-discover stolen memories, re-kindle friendships she has no recollection of, and wade through her feelings for the mysterious Marcus, all while dodging the tattooed assassins the collectives keep sending her way.
If Maggie can't fill the holes in her memory and find the answers to stop the collectives, the world both in her time and in all ages past and future will be doomed to enslavement in the grey, mediocre collectives. As the danger swirls around her and the collectives close in, Maggie realizes she must make a choice: stand out or fade away...
Review:This is such an interesting high concept dystopian novel. The discoveries that have occurred in this author's vision of the future is backed by some very convincing science that is very well explained and adds depth to the world-building. It is very detailed though, so the reader must really pay attention to take it all in. The mystery of Maggie's past is maintained throughout as pieces of the puzzle are gradually revealed. It's a very intriguing way to develop a story that keeps you turning pages, eager to know the what and why behind Maggie's past. The cast of characters that make up Maggie's team are wonderfully varied and bring an X-Men vibe to the story.
Because there is so much world-building to establish, I felt the pace slows down in the middle, but the tension and surprising revelations made towards the end makes up for the uneven pace. With the interesting ideas the author brings to the hidden power of the mind, she also takes a compelling look at the power of individualism and the comfort in mediocrity. It seems like an easy choice, if one had to choose between them, but the book does make you think and that's always a good thing.
The story does switch perspectives between key characters which I'm not always a fan of when done inconsistently, and I found it sometimes jarring in this story. But this is a great beginning to a series with a strong heroine just realizing her inner strength, a lovely romance with just a hint of a love triangle, and fascinating, complex world-building.
a review copy was kindly provided by the author
This book is released January 29, 2013