Friday, October 06, 2017

The Knowing a Surprising, Smashing Sequel

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Note:  Although this review will not contain spoilers for The Knowing, it may inadvertently reveal plot surprises from its predecessor, The Forgetting.  As always, I recommend reading books in a series in order.

As one of the Knowing—evolutionary wonders who possess perfect memories—Samara Archiva enjoys a privileged life underground.  Safe from the dangers of Outside, she's cloistered with others like her.  Focused on preserving and strengthening their special community, the Knowing learn to cache their memories, mastering the constant onslaught of emotions that comes with such a "gift" as theirs.  Cold, logical decisions rule underground.  Anyone who can't—or won't—comply leaves.  One way or another.

Sam has never been able to cache as well as the others.  Tortured by her memories, the 18-year-old wants only one thing—to Forget.  Barring that, she longs to be useful, to use what she Knows to Do something valuable.  As a physician-in-training, she has skills that can help the vulnerable people Outside.  Doing so, however, is strictly forbidden.  If the Council catches her sneaking off on her mercy missions—just one of her rebellions—Sam is as good as dead.  When she realizes exactly how much danger she's in, she knows she must flee, must find the Cursed City of Canaan and Forget everything.  It's the only way to save herself and those she loves.

On a long-term anthropological mission to find the lost civilization of Canaan, Beckett Rodriguez gets a whole lot more than he bargains for when he comes upon Samara Archiva in a dark cavern.  The 18-year-old Texan wants to help the desperate woman, but he has his own orders to obey.  Does Beck dare to risk both his life and mission to save a strange, intriguing girl he's just met?  Especially when his own worldview is being shattered with every second he spends in Sam's company?  With enemies on every side, the two must unite to piece together the truths of their very different worlds ...

For me, 2017 started off on a lovely reading high thanks to a gem of a book called The Forgetting.  The first in a YA trilogy by Sharon Cameron, it's a beautiful, compelling novel about the power of memory.  Its follow-up, The Knowing, takes the story in an unexpected direction, expanding the world Cameron introduced in The Forgetting.  With fresh characters, a unique setting, and a different (but complementary) plot, it rises above any second-book syndrome, taking the series in a compelling new direction.  Packed with action, it provides an exciting, engrossing reading experience.  Lest you think it's all adrenaline all the time, The Knowing also offers some fascinating explorations of pain, emotion, memory, all part of what makes us human.  In short, it's a great, clean read that will appeal to a variety of readers. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

(Readalikes:  The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for violence and scenes of peril

To the FTC, with love:  I received an e-ARC of The Knowing from the generous folks at Scholastic via those at Edelweiss.  Thank you!

3 comments:

  1. I really want to start this series. So glad this second book was good too!! Great review!

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  2. I keep seeing this series pop up. Looks like I need to try it.

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  3. A second book with its very own story line? What a nice surprise! ;D You make me want to check this series out.

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