Déjà Vu


I should probably start by confessing that I picked this up for free due to a generous promotion by the author.

The story follows a kommissarin (detective) from a European police agency as she tracks down an English professor who is on the run, suspected of blowing up a research facility (for the second time) and killing an ex-colleague.

The book contains lots of future tech, including submersive realities, decanted minds, the sort of personal digital assistants we all dream of and time travel.

All good stuff, but I found the opening chapters were written in a very staccato style–short sentences that didn’t seem to flow together–making it hard to get into a rhythm. After a few chapters it found its feet and the story began to draw me in.

The characters were good, they’re well-rounded and believable, and the story is packed with action and rarely dawdles.

The problem was that I got to the end and thought I had missed the point, that I had somehow blundered past the big reveal where we find out the Earth-shattering reason for everything and learn where our protagonist comes from and why she’s chasing the man she is.

I was so convinced I missed it that I went back ten chapters (or so) and read it again, only to conclude I hadn’t missed it, it just wasn’t there.

I didn’t see any reason not to let the antagonist do what he was trying to do, which took away the reason for all the rushing around (I’m still half-wondering if I’ve missed something). It was as if the backbone of the story, its very heart, was missing.

I didn’t find it a particularly easy book to read, it makes you work to keep up with what’s going on, some of which comes down to the breakneck pace.

The ideas were intriguing enough that I’ll probably give the second book, Flashback, a try (which I also managed to download for free), but I’m not sure I’d recommend it.

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Reviewed: 8th May 2013