Angie Smibert’s latest distopian novel, The Meme Plague, takes up shortly after The Forgetting Curve with our intrepid team of heroes still scrambling to find a way to dodge the TFC chips and spread untampered information to the rest of the world. The TFC is also stepping up its game as well though with the new chips’ ability to remove and add memories without anyone being the wiser. It’s a race to see if normal people can stand in the face of a monster they set loose.
The Meme Plague
Someone said my name three times, drawing me back from where ever I’d dissapeared to. So in the immortal word of Beetlejuice, it’s show time!
So, is it any good? I’m actually kind of on the fence about this one. Memento Nora had me excited about a smart YA distopian novel and was enjoyable for its tension and well written side characters. The Forgetting Curve did a great job of introducing the next step in the TFC threat, interesting new characters, and built on everything that came before. This one kind of petered out for me. While it was great to see that the adults are also preparing for what happens next, and in more baseline sensible ways than the teen heroes are, it also felt like the second half of The Forgetting Curve being published as a separate book. I was really excited reading the blurb for this to be Micah’s book, but ultimately he got shuffled off to one of the many side stories while everyone else chased their story threads.
That said, I can’t knock The Meme Plague. It does a good job of upping the ante, making the problems that our teen aged heroes have been dealing with bigger by showing their parents and adult neighbors also preparing for them. It adds a couple of new levels to the mystery of just how the TFC got as huge as it is and what happened to other people who have tried to fight it, and it does an amazing job showing the effects of their new chip and how that stacks the deck even more against regular people. One last little thing that got me was all of the Matrix refferences, it was kind of cool at first but became almost overly self refferential pretty quickly.
So, final thoughts time, while I really enjoyed The Meme Plague it is probably my least favorite of the three books. I’d really like to see Smibert take a little more time with developing some of the characters that she’s introduced. I’m entirely confidant that she will, and that the next book will go deeper down the rabbit hole. I’m giving The Meme Plague a three out of five.