Bekvalac bursts onto the scene with a deftly-written SF noir tale of memory, identity and self-awareness.
There were a couple of word misuses but given that I was unsure if this was an advance reader copy, I didn’t dwell on those. Besides, the plot is convincing and utterly compelling; the twists keep coming, the characterisation is great, and the world-building is pleasingly both whole and layered (literally).
I’ve previously written about how much I enjoy novels which question the protagonist’s reality, especially if they involve the illusory nature of memory, and Bekvalac’s somewhat psychedelic story shows the writer’s Philip K. Dick influences in style, nice little nods, and cult references. There is more than a hint of ‘A Scanner Darkly’ to it, a PKD novel which was turned into a pretty cool 2006 film of the same name (which features the rotoscope technique of animating over live footage, as seen in the 1978 animated ‘Lord of the Rings’), along with touches of ‘Equilibrium’ (a 2002 film starring Christian Bale) or ‘Fahrenheit 451’ (Ray Bradbury), but this is obviously done more through admiration than plagiarism, and it is no worse off for that.
I also love the fact that in the afterword, when Bekvalac mentions the 1990 film ‘Total Recall’, she does it with no mention of the abomination that was the later remake.
An upcoming author to watch.
The city of iRemember shimmers in the desert haze, watched over by the Bureau, a government agency that maintains control through memory surveillance and little pink pills made from the narcotic plant Tranquelle.
It looks like an oasis under its geodesic dome, but the city is under siege. ‘Off-Gridder’ insurgents are fighting to be forgotten.
Bureau Inspector Icara Swansong is on a mission to neutralise the threat. Her investigation leads her into iRemember’s secret underbelly, where she finds herself a fugitive from the very system she had vowed to protect. She has to learn new rules: trust no one. Behind every purple Tranquelle stalk lurk double-agents.
A sci-fi noir with a psychedelic twist, iRemember explores the power the past holds over us and the fragility of everything: what is, what once was, and what will be.
I do not get paid for blog tours or giving my opinion, and this is my honest review.