It’s a short read, I blew through it in less than a morning – and it stayed with me for about as long. There’s a nugget of a neat idea here, but the execution was sorely lacking.
It’s an Art Deco-era science fiction world in which memories can be physically removed from the brain and housed in a copy. This copy perpetually relives that memory until it gradually fades and eventually expires. Most of these copies (memories – also called Mems) are housed in a facility called the Vault where they are more or less cared for. They are created, they exist, they expire. With one exception.
You see, every Mem knows only the memory it is created from. From the outset, it pales in comparison to its source (literally). But Dolores Extract Number One has been different her entire existence. She has the same color as her source. She has never faded. She even seems to properly live – to grow emotionally and to understand the world around her, beyond the single memory she is meant to inhabit. No one is quite sure how or why or for how long. It’s an interesting concept!
Unfortunately, Morrow kneecapped it by reducing so much of it to an utterly unnecessary love story. I would have liked to live in this world a little while longer and to get to know it better but instead she kept sending me down these side roads I just didn’t care about and on the whole, this book about memories is just unmemorable.