Saturday, February 21, 2015

ARC Review: Mnevermind Trilogy by Jordan Castillo Price

The Persistence of Memory (Mnevermind, #1)The Persistence of Memory by Jordan Castillo Price

From the blurb:
Every day, Daniel Schroeder breaks his father’s heart.

While forgetting your problems won’t solve them, it does seem like it would make life a heck of a lot easier. Daniel thought so once. Now he knows better. He and Big Dan have always been close, which makes it all the more difficult to break the daily news: the last five years were nothing like his father remembers.

They’re both professionals in the memory field—they even run their own memory palace. So shouldn’t they be able to figure out a way to overwrite the persistent false memory that’s wreaking havoc on both of their lives? Daniel thought he was holding it together, but the situation seems to be sliding out of control. Now even his own equipment has turned against him, reminding him he hasn’t had a date in ages by taunting him with flashes of an elusive man in black that only he can see.

Is it some quirk of the circuitry, or is Daniel headed down the same path to fantasy-land as his old man?

Heather's rating:

A new, awesome Jordan Castillo Price series has arrived!!<--- (Were sweeter words ever spoken?)

I adore JCP. Her Psycop series is a huge favorite of mine, and I've liked each of her stand-alones that I've read, so I had a pretty good feeling going into this one. I was not disappointed. JCP keeps delivering on these interesting, out of the box concepts in M/M, and she kills it every time.

Though this book was a little Total Recall meets Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, it was unlike anything that I've read in romance before. And though this book had almost no heat whatsoever (WHAT???), had a cliffhanger-esk ending, and felt like a truncation of a larger novel, I still really dug it.

I think these characters grew on me over time. I liked how the MC, Daniel, was 45 (love to see older MCs), and I connected more and more with him as the book progressed. I loved the relationship between Daniel and his dad, and it broke my heart a little, witnessing what both of these men have to go through every day. Larry also grew to be one of my favorite characters. He provided some nice comic relief when things got a little too intense. I also loved the character of Elijah. I like out-of-the-box characters, and Elijah really brought something different to the table. I'm also getting a GFY vibe that is leaving me positively HUMMING with excitement.

Can't wait to devour the other books in the series this weekend!

Buy this book:

JCP Books, Amazon, Kobo, Smashwords, iTunes

Forget Me Not (Mnevermind #2)Forget Me Not by Jordan Castillo Price

From the blurb:
No two people are exactly alike, but Elijah Crowe is very, very different.

Elijah is on the autism spectrum, so the tasks of day-to-day life most people breeze through are a challenge for him. His career suffered because he never got the hang of schmoozing, and now his talents are being wasted teaching classes at the mall. His social circle is limited to his ex, his therapist, and a structured inclusion group at the Rec Center. The one bright spot in his life is the memory science of Mnemography.

Although he loves nothing better than devouring the latest research and tinkering with all the specialized equipment, he never clicked with any other experts in the field until he met Daniel Schroeder. Daniel runs a memory palace—he even writes his own mnems—and that shared interest alone would make him fascinating. But Daniel and Elijah met under unusual circumstances, where the statement, “I like you, and I think you like me,” held some surprising nuances.

Now Elijah suspects he’s gay, but the few prominent people in his life are less than supportive. Some are downright hostile. Elijah might not be neurotypical, but he’s plenty smart. Surely there’s some way to get people to accept him for who he is. If only he could figure out how.

Heather's rating:

Loved it, loved it, loved it.

I freaking LOVED this one.

I was not prepared for a POV switch from book 1 to book 2, but I think it was an utterly brilliant move. I adored Elijah's voice, and I was almost brought to tears by the intensity of it all.

Book 2 in the Mnevermind trilogy continues the relationship between Elijah and Daniel, as fresh and tentative as it might be. Seeing things from Elijah's perspective really changed how I viewed Daniel and Elijah as a couple. I got a greater sense of NEED from Elijah, and a feeling of single-mindedness that I found both fascinating and erotic.

I am, admittedly, not very knowledgeable about Autism. However, I have a special, squishy soft spot for MC's on the spectrum. In romance, an Autistic MC is hard to come by (The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie, Valentine Shower, The Rosie Project), but I'm always on the look out for them. Combine an atypical MC with GFY... I'm SOLD, baby.

But it isn't just about a great concept, JCP executed. This book was crafted with feeling and care. Elijah wasn't someone that I pitied. The complexities of his life and his thought processes astounded me, but when it came down to it, he was a man, a man with feelings and needs and basic, human wants. JCP did a perfect job of showing ALL the sides of Elijah, which made me root for him even more.

I also found the chemistry between Elijah and Daniel to be off the charts. They were smoking hot together, and I can't wait to see what happens when they really have the time and space to devote to one another.

But this book is not just about sex or the relationship between the MCs. There is a really fascinating story to boot, with Daniel's father's storyline taking an emotional front seat.

I loved everything about this story, except, perhaps, the way the ending sort of drops off, leaving you positively CRAZED for book 3.

Buy this book:

JCP Books, Amazon, Smashwords, iTunes, Kobo

Life is AwesomeLife is Awesome by Jordan Castillo Price

From the blurb:
Daniel Schroeder wants nothing more than to repair his father’s broken memories, but it’s been a long time since he’s thought of himself as a memorysmith. Even though convincing Big Dan of their current reality is the most painful task Daniel faces every morning, somehow life manages to prevent him from finding a cure. He needs to keep their family business running. And he needs to moonlight at a competitor’s shop to keep all his employees paid. Or maybe he’s just trying to keep himself from exacerbating the situation.

A year ago, Daniel would have presumed he was clever enough to memorysmith his way out of their predicament, but nowadays he’s not so cavalier. Playing with people’s memories shouldn’t be taken lightly, and things can always get worse. Even with the help of some of the best minds in the business, Daniel still isn’t sure how to navigate his way out of the persistent false memory that’s crippled his life. Is new programming the answer? Better gear? More money? Or is time the only thing that can heal Big Dan’s memories…if they can even be fixed at all.

What Daniel needs most is some breathing room, and Elijah Crowe is eager to provide it. Since he’s smitten with Daniel, Elijah is determined to prove himself—and he’s more than qualified to clear Daniel’s schedule by taking over some duties at Adventuretech. With the support of his new boyfriend, possibilities begin to open up for Daniel, hints of things he hasn’t even realized he’d stopped hoping for: the contentment of a harmonious family, the fulfillment of his creative expression, and a chance at a relationship with a man he loves.

Heather's rating:

A nice ending to a beautifully written trilogy by the always consistent, Jordan Castillo Price.

This book felt so real. If you are going into the final chapter of the Mnevermind books expecting everything to magically work itself out with minimal effort, you are barking up the wrong tree. What impressed me most about the first two books in the Mnevermind trilogy is how natural and real everything felt: The characters felt real, the relationship issues felt real, and the frustrations felt real. That continued into this book as well.

While there were some significant advancements in all of the relationships in this story, some problems persisted... and I LIKED that. While part of me wanted Elijah to start bottoming like a porn star, that just isn't realistic. He has texture and sensory hangups, he's nervous, he has trouble expressing himself- things were a bit fumbly and uncertain in the bedroom again in this book, which gave this story a level of realism that I adored. Real sex is complicated, real sex can be awkward, so BRAVO to JCP for not backing down on the authenticity of this story.

Same goes with the issues surrounding Big Dan and the guilt that Daniel lives with everyday, along with the communication issues between Daniel and Elijah. These problems have solutions that are sometimes painful, sometimes imperfect, and sometimes so beautiful that they made me cry. This book is all about life and discovering one's priorities.

True to the rest of the series, there is no unnecessary drama, but the storyline has enough tension to remain interesting. It got a little Inception-ish at certain points, with the Mnems within Mnems and not knowing what was reality and what wasn't, but in general, this story was very enjoyable. I almost wish there was another book in the series, or maybe a coda, so I could see what happens to all the characters a few months or years down the road.

A lovely end to a very thoughtful trilogy. I don't think Mnevermind fans will be disappointed.

Preorder this book:


Thanks for checking out my reviews!!

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