Review: False Sight

I received this book for free from BEA in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: False SightFalse Sight by Dan Krokos
Series: False Memory #2
Published by Disney Hyperion on August 13, 2013
Genres: Alternate Universe, Science Fiction
Pages: 336
Format: ARC
Source: BEA

All Miranda wants is a normal life. She's determined to move past the horrible truth of her origin as a clone so she can enjoy time with her boyfriend, Peter, and the rest of her friends at school. But Miranda quickly learns that there's no such thing as normal - not for a girl who was raised to be a weapon. When one of her teammates turns rogue, it begins a war that puts the world in jeopardy. Now Miranda must follow her instincts - not her heart - in order to save everything she's fought so hard to keep. with the image of a terrible future seared into her mind, what will she have to sacrifice to protect the people she loves?

Dan Krokos's sequel to the tour de force False Memory is a mind-blowing thriller with high-octane action that will leave readers begging for the final book in this bold and powerful trilogy.

First Sentence: “Thomas David asks me about my eyes.”

*sighs heavily*

Well, this is one of those times. Ever since I read False Memory, I have been SO READY for the sequel. When I read and enjoyed Krokos’ second novel to be released, the middle grade The Planet Thieves, I was even more sure that I would love this book. Would that that were the case. Sadly, False Sight took the series in a wholly different direction, and these changes just did not work for me one bit. Though I would not call False Sight a bad book, I urge those of you who loved False Memory to expect something rather different from the sequel.

False Memory did action really well, but what really rang true for me were the emotions and the voice, made all the more impressive by the fact that Krokos is a male author writing a female heroine. To give props where they are due, I still got a female vibe from the narration. At no point was I thrown out of the story thinking that something was gendered incorrectly. He put a lot of work into the narrative voice and it definitely continues to pay off.

Unfortunately, for me, I’m all about emotions and really getting into the characters heads and motivations. In False Memory, I was especially captivated by the disconnect between Miranda’s memories and Miranda’s present. The way she struggled with being two different people with different desires all at once was captivating and emotionally resonant. The resulting love triangle, the emotions of the past warring with the current ones, made it onto my mental list of love triangles I actually approve of. Needless to say, I hoped for more of such dynamics, thought-provoking and philosophical. I did not get them.

False Sight is all about twists, action, and world building, in roughly that order, with characterization almost entirely left out to pasture. For the sort of reader that I am, this was a disastrous change, because I didn’t have enough emotional investment after the gap of a year since I read the prior book to be able to care about the crazy twists and deaths. My main reaction to False Sight was one of intense boredom, despite the back to back fight scenes and huge surprises.

Aside from that style just not being my personal preference, I just generally found the sheer amount of information overwhelming. Krokos adds so much to the world building, and, as such, there are a bunch of infodumps. Also, with that many twists, things basically go batshit. I really don’t know what to say about everything that happens other than just going “WHUH?” and staring at the book in befuddlement. Basically, when it comes to the large twist, I think you’re either going to be really into it or you’re going to be frustrated all the way through.

Now, I don’t know for certain that this is true, but I gather that Dan Krokos is a Joss Whedon fan, and maybe also a Mira Grant fan. There were some definite shades of Serenity and some of the events from Mira Grant’s Newsflesh trilogy in there. This means I should have been all over this, but I was just so disconnected and more bored than I’ve been in a long time.

Honestly, I’m not sure what else to say about what happened here. Maybe I was just not in the mood. Maybe the direction just was not what I was expecting or what works for me as reader. Either way, I’m bidding adieu to this series. I still really like the first book, but I’m leaving it at that and pretending it stands alone.

Favorite Quote: Didn’t have one.

12 responses to “Review: False Sight”

  1. Hmmm. I wonder if maybe Dan Krokos is taking the book in a more guy-book way. Like, you know how a lot of commercial books written by guys for guys are really plot-driven, as opposed to character-driven? Maybe that just happened here? I don’t know. I still haven’t read FALSE MEMORY, even though I’ve had it for ages. I find Dan absolutely hysterical, and I tend to approve of his rants on Twitter, so at some point, I’m going to need to read this series. 😉

    • Christina says:

      That would be my guess, though I really try to resist using the phrase “boy book,” I think he is taking it in a direction with more traditional male appeal. From what I’ve heard from people who have talked to Dan, writing in a female voice was harder than he expected, and getting rid of a lot of the emotional stuff may have made book two go by more quickly. Plus, it may be that the actiony stuff is where his passion is. I really don’t know. I do think Dan’s hilarious and nice on Twitter, and I like the other two, but it went in a very not me direction.

  2. Lili says:

    I understand why you struggled with this one! The dynamic and overall writing did change greatly between book one and book two. Book two was very plot orientated and focused on insane world-building. Some will really enjoy it, some won’t. It’s understandable.

    There will not be ARCs of book three. Krokos told me, which bums me out after that ending! I’m sorry to see you bid adieu, but at least you know you don’t have to deal with it coming back to haunt you. I, on the other hand, welcome it to haunt me 😮

    • Christina says:

      Yup, that’s pretty much it. I looked at some other reviews this morning, and that struck a lot of people. Of course, I’m more character-driven than most, maybe, so it was a larger impact. Plus, I sometimes really resent twists. That had an impact on my enjoyment of Ultraviolet too. I really liked what was going on before, and then there’s a twist and what was going on didn’t really matter and I’m like ugghhhhh

      Huh. I guess because he’s a big enough author now that they don’t need buzz?

  3. Alessandra says:

    Eh, too bad this one was a disappointment for you. On the plus side: no need to wait another year for the next book in the series…

  4. Oh no. No favorite quote even?

    I remember reading the review for this one from Giselle of Xpresso Reads, and she’d said a lot of the same things you did – that the sequel took the series in a completely different direction, that the focus was more on the plot than the characterization. And shame for that to happen in a series that *actually* had a love triangle you approve of! (I’m now really curious to know which LTs you do approve of, and whether I’ve read any of the books in question…). I’ve heard he writes good action, but too much and without about the characters… *sigh* Here’s to hoping you have a better read soon.

    • Christina says:

      Well, I make note of page numbers when a quote jumped out at me. It doesn’t mean the writing was awful, but nothing was like YEAH THAT.

      Yup, I read that review this morning after I’d posted mine. Wendy said some similar things too. The action was really good in the other two, but here I didn’t care enough to appreciate it.

  5. Kat Kennedy says:

    This review worries me as I have the ARC sitting in the cue to read. Hmmmm. Don’t know how I will go with that…

  6. I haven’t read False Memory yet but it’s still disappointing to see that the sequel was letdown for you. I’m all for characters and emotions too, and it doesn’t sound as though the twists, action, and world building make up for the lack of character development. Now I’m wondering if I should even start the series, but thanks for an honest review, Christina.

  7. Hmm… interesting. I’ve actually been thinking of giving my ARC away since I haven’t read the first book. And since you mentioned there not being much characterization, that worries me a bit.

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