The Memory Agent
The Memory Agent by Matthew B.J. Delaney 47North General Fiction (Adult) , Sci Fi & Fantasy Pub Date 11 Jul 2017
The Memory Agent has a lot in common with The Matrix. But don’t think that detracts from its allure or originality. In The Memory Agent, traditional prisons have been replaced with virtual worlds set in alternate time periods where memory-wiped prisoners are given new bodies and new lives. Parker and his team break prisoners free from their virtual prisons. Their most recent assignment is their most difficult yet - entry into a closed system, the maximum security prison set in 1950s Manhattan.
The novel is extremely complex, it's very basis entrancing. At the beginning you have a set of 1930s adventurers excavating a tomb in Egypt. Deep inside they discover a modern Manhattan empty of people but filled with echoes of memory. The entire city is a memory temple for Parker and his team. Before Parker can move forward with the assignment, he must recover his memories and discover his purpose.
The novel has a surreal, dreamlike feel that entrances the reader. Delaney does an excellent job revealing pieces of the past a bit at a time, the reader learning and reacting alongside Parker. There are a few inconsistencies, but dreams have their own mutable logic. It doesn't detract from the reader’s experience. The Memory Agent is a thrilling ride with a little bit of everything and more than a few twists. I highly recommend it to any lover of science fiction.
5 / 5
I received a copy of The Memory Agent from the publisher and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
Crime never changes. Punishment does. In a time when prisons no longer contain inmates behind concrete and steel, the convicted serve their time while asleep, rehabilitating in virtual reality while blissfully unaware of their crimes. Roger Parker is a professional prison breaker, skilled at navigating these strange penal dream worlds and extracting those imprisoned there—for a price. Parker wants out of the game, but a powerful senator, desperate to save his son, convinces Parker to pull one last job. The clincher? An opportunity for Parker to find his wife, herself interned, lost somewhere in a treacherous, time-shifting Manhattan cyberscape. As Parker and his team make their hallucinatory journey between worlds, memory and motive lose coherence and integrity, and the clock begins to run out: internal security detects the breaker, and sets out to remove him—permanently. Unable to rely on his perceptions, unsure of the truth or even his very identity, will Parker break out . . . or be broken?