Bold ... Intriguing ... Harkin masterfully probes her characters, questioning whether deleted memories translate into altered narratives that fundamentally transform who a person is and their relationships with loved ones ... Dense and thrilling.
This high-concept debut asks an interesting question: What if we could edit our memories? ... As the focus shifts from one character to another, Harkin builds a picture of a world radically altered by a controversial technology and of people who are learning that you can’t change the past without impacting the present. An intellectually and emotionally satisfying thriller.
Richly imagined ... The author does a good job imagining the effects of Nepenthe’s work while characters weigh questions such as whether or not the self is inherently altered by memory loss. Some arcs feel more emotionally fleshed out than others, but Harkin keeps the plot tight and times her reveals effectively. It adds up to a smart speculative outing.
The premise is intriguing and becomes more compelling as it progresses...but the story takes a while to pick up steam. The present-tense narration drifts around in time, heavy on abstract questions and light on descriptive scenes, making it tough to stay grounded in the action. Harkin frequently describes each characters’ confusion...but struggles to differentiate their voices in other meaningful ways. References to philosophers like Sartre, Hume, and Locke aim for cleverness and depth, hitting the mark as often as not .. Interconnected storylines all arrive at the same conclusion: Messing with memory is messy business.