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.
Tessa Talks Book rating: Mention
Imagine a world with no bad memories – no memories of violence, illness, anything that would be considered distasteful or tragic. It sounds like it would be an ideal existence, but is it? This is the question that iRemember poses and answers through a jaw-dropping tale of greedy, power-hungry people who will stop at nothing to take over the city of iRemember for their selfish desires.
What I Liked
The story is masterfully crafted with small details that enable you to imagine its world with all of your senses. It follows a logical chronology that remained tight and focused. Until the very end, that is. The two plotlines became confusing for me at the very end, though this did not impact my overall enjoyment. It is also a story that could be read multiple times and some new insightful notes obtained each time – there are that many beautiful nuances.
I enjoyed the different take on the dystopian story. It is not a world where you have to fight for survival or one that is so tightly managed that there is no room for color. Instead, it is a satisfying world where a government-sanctioned drug mutes emotions, and a purging of all bad memories takes place regularly. It is a world where color is essential and denotes things like jobs and ranks.
The characters are also well-developed with a considerable more showing than telling. You get to know the characters deeply enough to dislike the whole lot of them. I wish that there was a character who showed more heroic qualities or at least sympathetic ones, but I didn’t find these qualities in any of them. It is a world where no one seems to be working for the good of the many – just the good of the one and whoever else benefits as a consequence.
To Read or Not to Read
If you’d love to read a new take on a dystopian story, iRemember is a story you won’t soon forget.
I was provided with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author
SV Bekvalac was born in 1987 in Croatia, in what was then Yugoslavia, but grew up in London.
She studied German and Russian at Oxford, and went to film school in Prague. After almost becoming a film-maker and then an academic, researching cities and films, she found herself writing fiction about cities instead. She started off with screenplays and short stories, but they got longer and longer. iRremember is her first novel.
She has lived in cities all over Europe. Now she lives in London, or in one of her own imaginary cities.