Tag Archive: Angie Simbert

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!

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.

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.

Computer is running slow at the moment.  I’ve finally gotten a summer job and can get a set schedule going here, break out of my do nothing slump.  I’m going to try once again to catch up on my backlog of review books before I get more behind than usual.  That said, on to the review.

Aiden Nomura uses his skills as a hacker to open doors, to see how the universe works.  His life is game, until a new Therapeutic Forgetting Clinic opens near his boarding school in Bern, Switzerland.  With the opening of the new TFC come sudden bombings and the news that Aiden’s cousin Winter has had a mental break down.    He returns to the US immediately to help her.   But the Hamilton he returns to is far different from the one he remembers.  Between a citywide crack down and the growing underground movement, will Aiden be able to rattle the right doors before someone gets hurt?

The Forgetting Curve is a solid sophomore entry in Angie Smibert’s dystopian young adult series.  I like that the focus was moved away from Micah and Nora, the main characters of the previous book, but stayed close with Micah’s best friend Winter and another of her friends Velvet.  The balance of focus between the three characters feels much better this time around with each character taking different approaches to the mystery of why Winter doesn’t remember anything about Memento.  That said, The Forgetting Curve feels a good deal slower than Memento Nora.  It digs a good deal more into the characters’ quiet drama, lots of introspective questioning of what’s the truth and what’s just another door that needs opening.

The TFCs were much less of a thing this time around, less of a looming presence in the background, the focus was much more on Nomura’s newest cell phone.  The Chipster is the newest part of the new government initiative requiring every citizen of Hamilton to get a microchip implanted at the base of their skull for identification.  For their own good of course.  I kind of liked the change of focus here, it shows how quickly the problem is growing as people trade freedoms and privacy for perceived safety.  This is actually one of the changes that made The Forgetting Curve feel like an improvement over Memento Nora.

I don’t know that The Forgetting Curve is as solid as it could be, there were a number of spots that were a bit slow for my taste.  Where it felt like the plot was getting a little bogged down in the details of Hamilton’s politics and the sudden return of Winter’s parents just as she’s had her apparent break down.  It was good though and I really look forward to reading the next one.  I give The Forgetting Curve a four out of five.

Memento Nora Winner!

It’s 3:30 on this lovely Friday, April 1st time to announce the winner of that signed copy of Memento Nora!

I forgot to mention this in the previous post, but the winner was selected with the http://www.random.org/ random number generator.

So without further ado, congratulations Latiffanie Preston!

Here it is, the third and final of the Marshall Cavendish books I was sent, also the one I originally requested.  I’m also going to be doing a give away of a signed copy of Memento Nora to celebrate its release, more on that after the review.

Angie Simbert’s Memento Nora isn’t the kind of thing I’d expect to find aimed at younger audiences.  Near daily attacks drive people to Therapeutic Forgetting Clinics where with one little white pill they can leave their fears behind.  Nora has her first visit after the bookstore she and her mother are about to visit blows up in front of them, dropping a dead body right at her feet.  So, off to forget she goes, at least until she sees mystery guy Micah spit out his pill.  At least until she hears what her mother is forgetting.   She decides to remember and, alongside Micah and his best friend Winter, share their memories through a comic, Memento.

As I said at the beginning, I hadn’t expected this to be aimed at younger teens when I first read the blurb on Goodreads.  It deals with some pretty heavy stuff from government conspiracies to issues at home, and does so without flinching away from the characters reactions.  The characters were well thought out, though they felt a little older than their listed ages.  The chapters for Micah and Winter were limited and scattered throughout the book, but did an excellent job of developing their characters and back grounds.  Memento Nora gets a bit scary when you pause to think about it, that world is something that I could see people letting happen.  It’s built on fears and worries that most people seem to either lack or be content to ignore, and on the idea that we as people will trade our very memories for an illusion of safety.  I give it a five out of five and look forward to seeing what Simbert does if she writes another novel.

On to the giveaway!  Because I enjoyed the book and because I feel like it, I’m going to giveaway one copy of Memento Nora signed by the author.  Interested?  Just post a comment below, something about the book or current world events, and your email address.  On April 1st I’ll announce the winner.  Winner will have three days to get back to me with a mailing address, if they don’t then I’ll choose another winner.  Thanks!

A quick edit, I’ll only be able to send to commenters from the Continental United States due to issues with shipping.