The clock activates so suddenly in my mind, my head involuntarily jerks a bit to the side. The fog vanishes, dissipated in an instant as though it never was. Memories come slotting into place, their edges sharp enough to leave furrows, and suddenly I know. Read more...
The clock activates so suddenly in my mind, my head involuntarily jerks a bit to the side. The fog vanishes, dissipated in an instant as though it never was. Memories come slotting into place, their edges sharp enough to leave furrows, and suddenly I know. I know exactly who I am.
My name is Lia Johansen, and I was named for a prisoner of war. She lived in the Tiersten Internment Colony for two years, and when they negotiated the return of the prisoners, I was given her memories and sent back in her place.
And I am a genetically engineered human bomb.
Lia Johansen was created for only one purpose: to slip onto the strategically placed New Sol Space Station and explode.
But her mission goes to hell when her clock malfunctions, freezing her countdown with just two minutes to go. With no Plan B, no memories of her past, and no identity besides a name stolen from a dead POW, Lia has no idea what to do next. Her life gets even more complicated when she meets Michael Sorenson, the real Lia's childhood best friend.
Drawn to Michael and his family against her better judgment, Lia starts learning what it means to live and love, and to be human. It is only when her countdown clock begins sporadically losing time that she realizes even duds can still blow up.
If she wants any chance at a future, she must find a way to unlock the secrets of her past and stop her clock. But as Lia digs into her origins, she begins to suspect there's far more to her mission and to this war, than meets the eye. With the fate of not just a space station but an entire empire hanging in the balance, Lia races to find the truth before her time--literally--runs out.
- ISBN-13: 9780756410810
- ISBN-10: 0756410819
- Publisher: Daw Books
- Publish Date: June 2015
- Page Count: 320
- Reading Level: Ages 18-UP
Series: Spectre War #1
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-05-11
- Reviewer: Staff
This YA-flavored debut lacks the complexity to do its themes justice. Sixteen-year-old Lia Johansen, if that’s who she really is, contains an implanted time bomb set to detonate on a populated space station within hours of her arrival there. When the mechanism malfunctions, she is left to contend with questions about her identity and her mission. With no instructions on how to proceed in the event of failure, she wanders aimlessly as she struggles to reconstruct her forgotten past—until she meets a boy who triggers deep memories within her, as well as an onrushing feeling of young love. But is she remembering her own actual past, or that of the Lia of whom she suspects she might be a clone? Or are both she and her memories nothing more than laboratory-created constructs? Johansen’s existential angst over her humanity is mildly compelling, and the novel’s resolution is neat and satisfying, but the book resembles nothing so much as a toned-down version of Total Recall. Agent: Lindsay Ribar, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (June)