Prepare yourself: This book review contains glowing praise that may only be suitable for avid readers.
If Jordan Castillo Price wasn’t already one of my favorite gay fantasy/paranormal authors, she would have cemented her place in the list with her Mnevermind trilogy. I spent the weekend reading the third book, “Life is Awesome,” and it was, well, awesome.
While I enjoyed the “Psycop” series for which Jordan Castillo Price is best known, the Mnevermind series has a depth that you won’t find in her other books. Part of that is probably her main character’s emotional baggage. Protagonist Daniel Schroeder is carrying a boatload of guilt and responsibility on his shoulders, and he’s continually inches from his breaking point.
The series in built on the fascinating premise that people can pay a price to experience memories while in a dreamlike state. Daniel trained as a memorysmith — someone who can create memory programs — and he and his father were on the fast track to success with their own memory palace when something went drastically wrong. A mnem Daniel smithed, “Life is Awesome,” created a persistent false memory that has wreaked havoc in his father’s life.
Daniel struggles day by day, as he works overtime to keep his struggling memory palace open and drowns in guilt over what happened to his father. Only with the introduction of Elijah Crowe, a mnem tech enthusiast, can Daniel begin confronting all the emotional baggage he’s carried and find some happiness for himself.
Learning to understand and love Elijah is tricky, because as someone on the autism spectrum he doesn’t quite see the world like other people do. Elijah is an intriguing character, and his autism just adds another level of depth to the story. But while autistic characters are beginning to show up in more novels, this just may be the first one I found to be entirely believable. As the mother of an autistic child, I was fascinated with Elijah and impressed with how real he seemed.
With complex characters and impressive world-building, you can’t go wrong with the Mnevermind trilogy. If you haven’t read any of these books and you enjoy fantasy, then I definitely recommend you check them out.