Release Day Review: False Sight by Dan Krokos

False Sight
Dan Krokos
Series: False Memory, #2
Release Date: August 13th, 2013
Publisher: Hyperion
Rating: 4 stars
Word Rating: Intense
Reviewed by: Kate

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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?

...I'm stuck on this one idea.  I'm thinking that if this is all there is, this endless journey of fighting and insane revelations, I'm in trouble.  If the rest of my life is going to be devoted to fighting, I'm not sure I want that.  No matter what I was made for.

Have you ever watched Alien and its sequel, Aliens, back-to-back?  I did that this past year, and it was jarring--in part because everything had to be escalated in the sequel.  The stakes were raised across the board.  In the first movie, Ripley risks her own life to save a cat; in the second one, it's a (really annoying) child.  In Alien, one alien attacks a ship full of humans; Aliens pits an entire planet full of families and a team of space marines against overwhelming numbers of the creatures, including the terrifying and gross queen.  The two movies almost fall into separate genres--but they're both very, very good.

False Sight, like its predecessor, opens with a crowd of preternaturally drugged, terrified humans stampeding like a herd of wildebeest through a normal suburban environment--in this case, a high school dance.  Shit gets real immediately as a beloved character from the first book dies horribly and with little warning, and from there it quickly splits off to be an extremely complicated, completely different science fiction book from False Memory.  There are terrifying, nearly indestructible, psychic, flesh-eating humanoid monsters from another world.  Earth will be utterly destroyed if Miranda and her dwindling team can't stop the bad guys.  It's a lot to take in, especially following the controlled, elegant action of that first book.

But one thing that hasn't changed is Miranda.  I love Miranda.  It's like she was grown from a cutting of my teenage brain that Krokos kept in a little jar on his windowsill for a few months until it blossomed.  And then he trained it to use weapons and fight like a badass but made sure it retained its vulnerable, empathetic core.  I really love Miranda.  I love her, and I love how she interacts with her team.  Their dry, intelligent humor is absolutely perfect for the realities of the world they inhabit, and they have the coolest uniforms in the world.

As in False Memory, there's some solid diversity here.  There are major characters of a variety of races, and the female characters are just as strong as the male ones.  At one point, Miranda is with two male soldiers, and she's the one who drives the car.  I know that seems like a little thing, and it probably is, but driving a car is the kind of subtle show of strength that most authors--regardless of gender--automatically toss to a male character.

This series is a proper serial, and the individual novels absolutely cannot stand alone.  You may be a little (or a lot) confused if it's been a while since you read the first book, especially when things that seemed to have been resolved by the end of that book--such as Miranda's love triangle--crop back up again.  And there's a danger in a story like this, in which all the major players are a very specific type of clone, that the deaths of characters will lose resonance.  I could feel that starting to happen for me a bit here.

I love hard science fiction.  I devour it like so much rice pudding.  So the sciency wiency, super-complicated plot of this book doesn't bother me.  I just hope that with False Sight Krokos has finished building the bulk of this world, and that this book will serve as a crazy, expansive bridge between two slightly more stable novels. 


  1. I don't know why I've put off reading this one so long. I was such a huge fan of False Memory and it sounds like I'll enjoy False Sight. I'm so glad Miranda is still such an awesome character and you're totally right about males usually driving. I think I may have to skim False Memory before starting False Sight though. I don't remember a whole lot.

    Great review!

    Katie @ Katie’s Book Blog

    1. Definitely either skim it or read a review with spoilers to refresh your memory. I wish I had done that.

  2. Ha, that comparison is hilarious, though I've only seen Alien and I slept through most of it. There was SUCH a change in pace from the first book. I'm glad that you liked this one too. It didn't really work for me. It sort of felt like Krokos had gotten the characterization out of the way so he could now cease with that and break out the awesome action sequences. It had been so long since I read the first book that I wasn't invested in the characters anymore and I needed some build up of character before I could care. SAD. I has a sad.

    So yeah, I suspect this one was totally me, but I just didn't like the direction the plot went in. Also, LOL at sciencey wiency.

    1. I think it'll be too much of a departure for a lot of people. It's a shame--I don't think this is a worse book; it's just probably too different tonally for most fans of the first one.

  3. I'm definitely reading this book soon. I read False Memory fairly recently, but I may skim it anyway, at least the end of it. I can't believe someone dies right in the beginning! Gah! ~Pam

    1. It's kind of a shock. Like, a big one.

      And I can't stress enough that this is a MUCH more complicated novel than the first one. Try to adjust your expectations, or the infodump of it all will throw you way off.

  4. I hope Krokos didn't store a section of your teenage brain. And if your brain bloomed on that windowsill, I might have to question the contents of it, Kate o.O. What superpower do you have?

    Anyway, Miranda sounds awesome. With the whole GR controversy that had originally happened with regard to False Memory, I'd kind of written off the series, but I've seen some pretty positive reviews of the first and some of the second. (A lot of the second though do stress how different it is - I haven't seen either of the Alien movies, but it seems like raising the stakes should be a good thing. And to take a risk by killing off an important character from start? Also good.) I have been searching for a good YA science fiction novel but but... Kate. We discussed the book buying ban just today :O.

    Also: you're right. I've never thought much about the driving the car aspect, mostly because I just... don't know. Even thinking of the assertiveness of that statement, I've never associated the same force behind it in a YA novel. I have seen it used as a sign of oh-alpha-manliness in some adult novels though.

    1. There are a lot of things like the car driving--there's just no question of the absolute, complete equality of male and female characters in these books. And it's not done pointedly or anything--it feels natural.

      I think the reason the differences are being highlighted so much is that the first book has really broad appeal. Pretty much anyone would love False Memory. False Sight will appeal to a pretty different audience. So none of us want to say it's a bad book, because it's really really good, but we don't want to mislead people who liked the first one.

  5. Miranda really is awesome. I liked this one too, although it threw me a bit because I agree, the two books do feel so different in some ways. I find it impossible to predict where the final book is going to go, but I kind of hope it doesn't feel like yet another rabbit hole to bolt into. I think the story is stronger when it's not so...big, if that makes sense. I appreciate that he expanded the universe, but in some ways I think the urgency of the personal stories got a little lost.

    Plus, you know how I feel about the two major punches that got pulled. *sigh*

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

    1. Yeah. It doesn't mean anything if you take it back.


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