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Publisher's Summary

When artificial memories are everywhere, how can you tell what’s real?

Daniel was a hotshot memorysmith, a major innovator in the field of recreational memories - until his father, Big Dan, suffered a freak persistent memory that sent their business into a tailspin. Now Daniel labors behind the scenes, seeking only to cure the persistent false memory and salvage their failing shop.

Elijah is the most talented mind in the memory industry, but because that mind is far from neurotypical, his potential is wasted teaching beginners at the mall. When his cobbled-together gear projects him into one of Daniel’s memory programs, a colorful but challenging relationship sparks to life.

The two men are an unlikely pair, but they have so much in common. Each is fiercely driven. Each is stunningly creative. And when Daniel and Elijah finally connect, each one realizes just how desperately he’s been searching for someone who truly understands him. 

Most of all, they’re utterly committed to curing the persistent false memory. Daniel finally gives up his workaholic smokescreen. Elijah fends off the advice of everyone he trusts and joins forces with Daniel. Even Big Dan says he’s on board with their plan...but will he remember tomorrow?

This collection contains the novels The Persistence of Memory, Forget Me Not, and Life Is Awesome.
 

©2018 Jordan Castillo Price (P)2018 Jordan Castillo Price

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    4 out of 5 stars
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An Enjoyable Audiobook

I never read these books separately while they were being released, so this review is going to be about all three novels that make up this collection. As a whole, I really liked the characters and I found the story intriguing and kept me hooked. The story is heart-wrenching and makes you feel like you want to wrap these characters in a soft blanket and give them hot chocolate.

However, I wasn’t a big fan of the ending. It seemed more like an afterthought cobbled together to give a resolution. It’s pretty disjointed from the rest of the story and feels incredibly rushed. Does the ending ruin the books for me? I would say, no. But, it does leave a lot to be desired.

I probably missed a few things since I listened to this on audio as opposed to reading this as text, but trigger warnings for this book include ableism, fat-shaming, homomisa, and harassment.

The first story, The Persistence of Memory, is told from Daniel Schroeder’s POV. Daniel is 45, owns and works at a store he opened with his father, works nights at a rival corporation, and lives with his father. Daniel’s store – AdventureTech is a small company that specializes in providing fabricated memories to buyers. The customers are put into a sort of dream state for a few hours doing whatever their heart desires (within the limits of these mnems) and while they won’t be able to remember the exact details of their dream, it’ll leave the customer feeling happy and satisfied. Like dreams, these fabricated dreams, too, should fade. Otherwise, it would be a havoc among society for people believing the things they’ve dreamed up were real.

Daniel is smart. He has the ability and the talent to construct the mnems, the program for which these dreams run. However, when one of his programs – Life is Awesome – winds up accidentally altering his father’s memories into a “persisted” memory, Daniel keeps his head down and no longer builds his own mnems.

Daniel’s father, Big Dan, believes that his wife never left him and that they’re still together. And this leaves Daniel breaking the news to his dad every single day that the reality his father thinks he knows is not real. It’s absolutely heart-breaking to see the anguish Daniel has to go through every day, breaking both his father’s heart and his.

While Daniel struggles to keep his store open, he happens across a man dressed in black who keeps appearing in his mnems. It shouldn’t be possible, and yet, this man manages to follow him anywhere in his mnems. We eventually learn that this man’s name is Elijah Crowe, and he actually winds up being my favorite character from this series.

The novels were originally published in 2012, 2014, and 2015, so while I understand that there might be some…problematic things in them, I would have expected some editing in the bind-up and re-released audiobook edition and for the more offensive things said in this book to be removed? And I suppose that’s really my main issue with JCP’s books – super interesting characters and story, but there’s also some really unnecessary problematic content that tends to drag the book down. One especially is that there is ONE POC character in this book (that I can tell, at least) and it’s your stereotypical sassy-black-woman-who-works-as-an-assistant-to-the-white-male-main-character. Daniel treats her well, but it would be nice to have a non-white character in JCP’s books who isn’t a stereotype? Is that too much to ask?

The first and third books are told from Daniel’s perspective, and the second book is told from Elijah’s perspective. Daniel is flawed. His point-of-view is blunt and he comes across as being a judgmental person. Elijah is autistic. It’s constantly mentioned that Elijah isn’t “normal” and that Elijah is “weird”. And that’s coming from Daniel and that doesn’t sit well with me at all. There are instances towards other characters that make me uncomfortable as well. There’s fat-shaming other characters, making fun of a perfectly harmless character (Larry), and calling some characters the “r” word. These are particularly uncomfortable to read from Daniel’s POV when it shows that he has the hots for Elijah while they’re in mnem, but not so much in the real world after he meets Elijah.

Elijah is a precious cinnamon roll who is highly intelligent and does his best, even when the world tries beating him down for being autistic. He’s an expert when it comes to memories and teaches about mnems at the mall. However, there are people in his life who treat him like he’s not smart or harass him for being himself. Elijah is blunt and says what he means, and takes everything at face value. His book is probably one of the most difficult to read, because the world keeps trying to demean him and he just wants live his life. Even his therapist is awful and refuses to believe him when he wants to make a complaint against one of his co-workers. It just breaks my heart. ELIJAH IS SO PRECIOUS AND AN ABSOLUTE SWEETHEART. ❤

The sex scenes in this series are a little…different than your usual m/m romance book? Elijah has never been with a man before Daniel, so they take things slow. BUT. That doesn't mean their scenes together in bed aren't scorching hot. I think I prefer reading sex scenes like what happened in this series. It seems more grounded in reality this way.

Seth Clayton’s narration is fantastic and I liked the voices used for all the characters. There’s special effects added for the book transitions that scared me half to death while listening to the audiobook in the middle of the night with my headphones in. They’re brilliant, but they will never NOT scare me on re-listens.

My one issue with the narration is that it seems really slowed down compared to other audiobooks I’ve listened to? The easy fix is to speed it up on the audiobook app, but the narration is oddly slow. With new books with more complex storylines, I tend to listen at about 1.5x speed. But, for this book I winded up listening to the book at 2x. It’s no big deal, really, and I look forward to seeing what other books he’s narrated!

This audiobook is a long one and absolutely worth a credit. I feel like this story felt like the movie Inception. This story is pretty trippy and sometimes you don’t know if you’re in a dream or settled back in reality. This is an enjoyable series, overall, and I would recommend this book to m/m romance readers who like a slice of sci-fi in your books.

My rating for each separate book in the series:

Book #1, The Persistence of Memory: 4 stars
Book #2, Forget Me Not: 5 stars
Book #3, Life is Awesome: 3 stars

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

compelling story

The plot was interesting, the characters were well developed, the narration added nuance to the book. I am glad the trilogy is offered as a single audio book since there is single plot that really does arc across the three books. Elija's portrayal is fantastic. Strikes a good balance between romance and the well thought out sci fi elements.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Small acceptable flaws

Good, but left some unresolved plot points by the end. I went in not knowing it was a romance novel, beware explicit scenes.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Good narrator - very very bad story

Not sure how I missed the synopsis of this book - I wasn't looking for a soft-porn story with a sci-fi twist. Too much of the same thing, and really not a universe I can identity with. If you're trying to understand what it means to be gay, and like SCIFI - this is probably the book for you.

1 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

explicit sex scenes.

I'm not a fan of explicit descriptions of sex in the book I'm reading. it's so overdone and not necessary. if I wanted porn, I'd buy porn. I wish there was a way to know before you buy. that would save many credit refunds.

3 of 18 people found this review helpful