Persistence of Vision (Interchron #1) by Liesel K. Hill
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Dystopian Fantasy
Release Date: January 29th, 2013
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In a world where collective hives are enslaving the population and individuals have been hunted to the verge of extinction, Maggie Harper, and independent 21st Century woman, must find the strength to preserve the freedom of the future, but without the aid of her memories.
After experiencing a traumatic time loss, Maggie is plagued by a barrage of images she can't explain. When she's attacked by a creep with a spider's web tattoo, she is saved by Marcus, a man she's never met, but somehow remembers. He tells her that both he and her creepy attacker are from a future in which individuals are being murdered by collectives, and Marcus is part of the rebellion. The collectives have acquired time travel and they plan to enslave the human race throughout all of history. The flashes Maggie has been seeing are echoes of lost memories, and the information buried deep within them is instrumental in defeating the collective hives.
In order to preserve the individuality of mankind, Maggie must try to re-discover stolen memories, re-kindle friendships she has no recollection of, and wade through her feelings for the mysterious Marcus, all while dodging the tattooed assassins the collectives keep sending her way.
If Maggie can't fill the holes in her memory and find the answers to stop the collectives, the world both in her time and in all ages past and future will be doomed to enslavement in the grey, mediocre collectives. As the danger swirls around her and the collectives close in, Maggie realizes she must make a choice: stand out or fade away...
You know how they say that people only use a small portion of their brain? Ever wonder what that unused portion is for? In "Persistence of Vision" by Liesel K. Hill, we find out.
Hill creates a futuristic world where the entire brain has been mapped out and is now used to complete extraordinary tasks. People can now time travel, use their brain to heal others, recognize others by their specific brain chemistry, make ordinary rocks glow like powerful flashlights, and also be able to use the energy of nature as offensive or defensive weapons.
What I liked about the whole "mapping the brain chemistry" thing was that everyone was still very individualized. Not all brains are the same, and each person's specific chemistry is what leads them to have different abilities whether they're a Traveler, who can go through time, a Healer, who can mend almost any injury, a Protector, who can throw up powerful shields to deflect offensive energy, a Concealer, who can hide others' brain signatures so they won't be detected by the enemy, or any number of other talents.
I know all of this sounds all science fiction and complicated like, but it's not hard to understand while reading. Hill explains everything in a way that even an art student like me, who did anything but well in math and sciences, could fully understand.
It also helped that our main character, Maggie, is relearning all of this brain stuff along with us. Although she had been to the future where this is all taking place, and stayed for about a year at Interchron (the underground hideout for the Individualists who are fighting against the evil collectives who want to suck everyone's brains up into this weird collective mind blob thing), she had lost her memories and has to be retaught to use her whole brain to manipulate energy. By having the main character go through all of this, it gives the reader the opportunity to see how it all works, and understand it more fully than if it was just information dumped on us in expository prose.
This was also a story that had a defined cast of characters. While for most of the book, we're in Maggie's perspective, the supporting characters are still very well fleshed out and have distinct personalities of their own. I got the sense that the Team (which is what the main group of the rebel fighters call themselves) is a cohesive family, who genuinely care about one another and not just completing their missions.
I especially love Karl who, at one point when Maggie was living at Interchron the first time, was one of her good friends. The two of them bond right away when she comes back without her memories, because even though everything that happened the first time she was there is gone from her head, she still feels safe at Interchron and certain camaraderie with its residents.
Then there's Marcus. My heart breaks a little for this guy. When Maggie was first at Interchron, these two fell in love and had a relationship. However, Maggie doesn't remember any of this now, but Marcus is still left with all the same memories and feelings. Awkward, right?
While this book started a little slow for me, it eventually picked up to a point where it was hard for me to put down. The beginning is bogged down a bit with everyone explaining to Maggie what is going on and how her brain really works, but once she understands and starts practicing her abilities, things move more fluidly.
Would I recommend this book? Yes is definitely the answer. It's an interesting story with great characters, and makes you think about brain chemistry, the future, and wonder if you can turn on a light without getting up if you really concentrated hard enough.
Her scifi, fantasy and dystopian are written under Liesel K. Hill and her crime drama and historical fiction are written under L.K. Hill. She lives in northern Utah and comes from a large, tight-knit family. Loves to bake, read, and watch plenty of T.V. And plans to keep writing until they nail her coffin shut. Or the Second Coming happens. You know, whichever happens first. ;D