4 stars for story, 3 stars for narration, overall rating 3.5 stars
JCP does it again. I love her PsyCop series, and Vic and Jacob are among my top fave m/m couples of all time. This doesn't really come anywhere close to that, but it proves what I discovered while reading PsyCop and the Turbulence collection: JCP can write real people. They're not caricatures or stereotypes or big walking metaphors for Life. They're just people. Screwed up, lovable, awesome, annoying, hilarious people.
I had no idea what to expect going into this and I continue to be impressed with JCP's imagination. This is Inception, but with memory instead of dreams and without the trick ending. I hope, anyway. I still have two more books to go. Oh, God, what if there's a trick ending?
I don't get the mnems. It's like drugs but without drugs? You're going to pay money for a bunch of fake memories you're going to forget, but you'll remember the feelings induced by the memories and that... does something? I guess? It's weird, but with all things sci-fi and weird, I just go with it. I've nearly made it through four Star Trek shows and am starting a fifth. I can do weird.
Daniel is down on his luck. His dad is convinced his mom is still in their lives, and their mnem shop is circling the drain. Daniel has to work a second gig at another mnem place just to make ends meet. His last boyfriend was a friends-with-benefits a couple of years ago, and he's lonely, stressed and reaching the end of his rope. Then the man in black enters a mnem he's trying to clock a client out of and things take off from there.
Elijah is great but we don't really get enough of him here to get a firm grip on him. I'm really interested to see where she goes with his character. He's autistic but he knows himself and what he wants and isn't afraid to ask for it, even if he misses a social cue or two.
The real star of this book though is Larry. I loved Larry. He was the one character that I thought the narrator did a bang up job with. He was hilarious, far more perceptive than his valley boy persona would lull you into believing and just the truest friend you could hope for.
This was a great first installment, and I'm eager for the others. I'll be reading them though, not waiting for the narrations. I found the narrator just wasn't to my liking most of the time. He did voices and emotions within the dialogue okay, but when he was just reading the narrative it felt like, well, narrative instead of a story if that makes sense. I did start to get used to him, but he's not someone I'll rush out to listen to again.