Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Book Review: The Recall Paradox

Happy... May? I don't know, it feels like winter here and I'm over it. I'm desperate for sunshine and warm days. I refuse to listen to anyone complain about summer this year, I'll tell you that much. 

The Recall Paradox - Julian R. Vaca

What if everything you remember is a lie? Freya Izquierdo and Fletcher Cohen believe they’re done with top-secret memory knifing. After successfully hacking a terrorist’s memories and foiling the Memory Ghosts’ next attack, they spend their school break intending to clear Fletcher’s dad of being accused of colluding with the radical group. Exposing the truth should be straightforward, if not easy. But Fletcher’s house is robbed, and Freya makes a shocking discovery about her flawed recall. When they return to Foxtail Academy, no one but the dean and Dr. Sanders seems to remember Freya, Fletcher, and their friends Chase and Ollie. Then the Memory Ghosts make contact, and everything the four students thought was true proves false. As they struggle to shine light on the shadowy battlefield between Memory Frontier and the Memory Ghosts, their only option is to undertake the most difficult and risky knifing mission of their lives. But this time, more than their lives are at stake. In this heart-stopping and gripping conclusion to the critically acclaimed Memory Index duology , the only way out is in, and the only way to safety is through reckless danger that could wipe Freya and Fletcher from everyone’s minds . . . forever.

I really wish I had read the first book, The Memory Index, first. In fact, I'm going to tell you to absolutely read the first one first because this is a duology and I think you'll get into this a lot more. There are a lot of secondary characters in this one and I'm not sure if they were in book one and there wasn't a whole lot from the first book mentioned here so you could kind of get the idea of that so there were times I was confused and not sure why these characters were there. 

The story was a bit slow, and felt like a continuation of book one but a good bulk of it didn't really feel worth it, if that makes sense. I almost wondered if a good bulk of this could have been tossed and the rest just added to the first book. I have a hard time with duologies because I always feel like it really could be done in one book, just edited down. Not everything is worth being a duology, you know? 

Things I did like about this book, the overwhelming theme of grief and memory. I'm in a unique place because I have memory issues and it's a weird place to be in. It's really strange to look at photos and see yourself and have zero memory of it, but having people tell stories about it. It feels like someone else, it is truly bizarre. That aspect of this book is what kept me hooked, for sure. I was explaining the book to someone and she said it sounded like a cross between The Matrix and Inception, which I guess it kind of is. If you're a fan of dystopian and either of those movies, this duo is right up your alley. I will also mention the Memory Ghosts kind of freaked me out, I'm not a fan of them. Haha! 

Thank you to TLC Book Tours and Thomas Nelson Publishing for sending me a copy for review!