Monday, December 11, 2017

ARC Review: The Knowing by Sharon Cameron

Title: The Knowing
Series: The Forgetting #2
Written by: Sharon Cameron
Published: October 10, 2017 by Scholastic

(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: Samara doesn't forget. And she isn't the only one. Safe underground in the city of New Canaan, she lives in a privileged world free from the Forgetting. Yet she wonders if she really is free, with the memories that plague her and secrets that surround her. Samara is determined to unearth the answers, even if she must escape to the old, cursed city of Canaan to find them.

Someone else is on their way to Canaan too . . . a spaceship from Earth is heading toward the planet, like a figment of the city's forgotten past. Beck is traveling with his parents, researchers tasked with finding the abandoned settlement effort. When Beck is stranded without communication, he will find more in Canaan than he was ever trained for. What will happen when worlds and memories, beliefs -- and truths -- collide?

**** I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher at ALA in exchange for an honest review. This fact has not changed my opinion. ****

I loved The Forgetting. It was on of my favorite books of 2015. Therefore I was super excited when I heard it was going to have a companion novel where we find out what happens after the events of the first novel. And it was just as interesting a science fiction novel.

I want to start by talking about the world. Because I really loved the world in The Forgetting and I liked it even more here. Now that we know that this is a science fiction series, all pretense are put aside and we can dive into exploring that aspect of the world. You would think that there wouldn’t be many surprises when it comes to the world after the revelations of the first book but there totally were. Here we explore what Canaan is like now that people don’t have to Forget. And of course that had backfired and made it so the people can’t forget. It once again explored ideas of memory and whether or not that is a good then. Then there was the societies that were created. Yes, multiple societies. It very much had a dystopian vibe still as we delve into those societies and the haves vs. have nots aspect of the way things have become. There was a lot of really interesting stuff in that respect which made for a totally interesting world.

The characters however were not as interesting. Now don’t get me wrong, Samara and Beckett were fine. On their own they were interesting and complex characters. They both had engaging motivations and backgrounds that made them compelling protagonists. I enjoyed watching both of them interact with the world and felt invested in them when trouble arose. But I never completely connected with them. Maybe because there was two of them. From a narrative standpoint it made sense to have multiple perspectives, but I do feel like it maybe stopped me from getting attached to one or both of them. But I also really hated the romance. Oh man, I hated it so much. I’m so picky about romantic relationships and this one did nothing for me. If fact it had the opposite effect on me. Instead of making me engage more, it made me pull away. Unfortunately, the characters just didn’t work for me here.

But the plot did work. There’s a lot here. This is on the longer side of some YA reads but no part of if was boring of slow. Everything really built to an exciting conclusion, plus there is tons of action and adventure along the way that it kept me guessing and engaged. And I have to be honest, there was so much drama, and so many different threads here, that I couldn’t see how they were all going to connect in the climax but they absolutely did. They connected in a big way and made for a thrilling ending that had me wanting to turn pages faster than my brain would allow. I have this thing where I don’t finish books before I go to bed but this one really had me considering breaking that. I wanted to stay up to read the last 30 pages, it was that good.

However, much like The Knowing, I feel like there is just too much unresolved in this book, which is honestly just annoying especially considering this is a surprise companion novel to what I thought was a standalone. The way this book ended did not leave me feeling content and like everything is all wrapped up. It left things wide open and that had me wanting more. I want to know what happens next. I feel like there are two possible directions the story can go in and I want both. Sharon Cameron, please write more. If you need ideas for a premise let me know. I can totally help.

All in all, this was a really great read. A fantastic companion to a book that I loved. It further explores the world and gives us a thrilling plot the had me totally hooked from beginning to end. It wasn’t perfect but it was great.

I give The Forgetting by Sharon Carter 9 out of 10 stars

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Buy. If you liked The Forgetting, definitely check out this book. It’s super interesting to see how the events of the first novel affected things. And if you haven’t read it and you want a dystopia with an interesting sci-fi world you NEED to read this series.

Have you read The Forgetting? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!

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