Author: Jordan C Price
Published by: JCP Books
Format: Kindle edition
Genre: Mindscrewy Urban Fantasy M/M Romance
Reviewed by: Judith
Let’s do a little role playing cause you all know Judith loves that:
You: man, I really need a new book to read. Something…gritty? Urban fantasy-esque but without all the trappings of the genre. Maybe some m/m. A bit sexy, a lot introspective…
The world: JORDAN C PRICE’s MNEVERMIND OH MY GOD READ IT.
You: Naw, man. I want something that–
The world: Shut up! You need to read this book. Read it, read it, read it.
Chorus of authors and trusted book sources: Read it, read it, read it readitreaditreadit REAAAAAD ITTTTT.
You: Holy crap this is good…no, wait, it’s getting better…this is amazing…HOLD UP. This is phenomenal.
The world: Told ya. Fool.
Plot: What if you lived in a world where memories could be implanted? You pay a fee, meet up with a memorysmith, and bam! You finally get to sing that solo, or date the man of your dreams, or have one last meaningful conversation with your old man. As is the nature of memory, these implanted memories or mnems don’t stick around forever but for one shining moment you can hold your wildest fantasies in the palm of your hand.
Daniel Schroeder however is living a nightmare. A year ago a memory he created went persistent and now his dad wakes up every day believing his life is way different than it actually is. Daniel struggles to hold down the family business to make it up to his father while working a second job and attempting to date. It’s all hum drum, day to day living until a mysterious man disguised as a crow shows up in a particular memory. Only problem is, he shouldn’t be there…and when Daniel finally finds him outside of memories, that’s when he finally starts living.
Review: Right off the bat, hands down, Jordan C Price just does it for me. In the past three months I’ve devoured almost everything she’s written. She’s amazing in this elusive way where if you asked me to tell you why, I’d probably hem and haw, not able to pinpoint an exact reason. Just take my word for it: she is revolutionary and the entire 3 book Mnevermind series is a superlative example of her work.
Wow. Wow wow wow. Mnevermind is vivid imagination and incredible storytelling at its best. Now, generally I would review books in a series individually but with these, the story flows seamlessly when read as a whole. So do that. Don’t stop after 1.
The plotline is simple: technology exists to implant memories and it’s a thriving business as the memories don’t last and people are determined to maintain the fleeting memory high. Daniel, a memorysmith, screwed up big time and has been paying for it daily for the last year. After creating a memory that went persistent (i.e. it stuck around and his dad now believes it’s the truth), he feels it’s his penance to keep up the family memory business while working another job and not dating. Enter the man in black. Elijah shouldn’t be able to talk to Daniel in memories but he can and when Daniel seeks him out in real life, he gets a lot more than he bargained for, least of which is the chance to fix his dad.
The overarching arc of the books is ultimately the fixing of Big Dan, Daniel’s father; secondary is the budding relationship between Daniel and Elijah, an autistic man who is coming to terms with the realization that he’s gay. The fix takes three books to accomplish while the relationship between Daniel and Elijah is a constant struggle. For the latter, we get a lot of nuance and awkwardness which you may not like but frankly, I adored as there are far too many perfect moments in contemporary romance. The perfect meeting, the perfect turn from friends to lovers, the perfect sex. This has none of that. It is awkward and messy and you really feel that their relationship is a struggle to begin and maintain.
Jordan C Price has a unique writing voice: it’s terse, no-nonsense, and clear cut. There’s absolutely no frills to her writing and that’s what makes it wonderful. She talks about certain technologies or fantasy elements as if it were a given they exist; she doesn’t use flowery writing or too many descriptors to get a point across. She tells it like it is and you’ll love her for it. As a warning since some dislike changing POVs, Books 1 and 3 are from Daniel’s POV with Book 2 told from Elijah’s. I couldn’t tell a huge difference in terms of style when the POV shifted but you will be able to more fully understand each character when it’s his respective turn to shine.
In the end, the fantastic world building, unique plot, great writing, and realism of the relationships earns this series a 10/10. I’ve been forcing these books on anyone who will listen so get them. No, really. I’ll wait here patiently while you do.
Based on the following criteria:
How much did I like the heroes: 10 Daniel; 8 Elijah. Daniel is a no-nonsense good guy in every sense of the word. He’s street smart, knowledgeable about memory creation, does what needs to get done so his father’s legacy keeps going, and is oh-so willing to accept Elijah for who he is. He handles Elijah’s newly discovered homosexuality with a nuance and depth of feeling that is richly human and just plain wonderful. We all need a Daniel in our lives to make the awkward less so. Elijah on the other hand was more likable as a character for me when he was more mysterious. When we actually get to see inside his mind, he’s much less cool and collected than I like. Granted he is dealing with autism and a late discovery of his homosexuality but still…I wanted more of a strong foil for Daniel and less a constant worrier.
How believable is the plot: 10. When Jordan C Price creates a world, it’s just natural that everything in it is real. You don’t even have to suspend disbelief that memorysmiths and mnems exist because the way they’re written is effortless. She superimposes a cool alternate reality onto ours and it’s just seamless.
How much did I like the writing style/editing/etc: 10. Oh god, at the risk of sounding like a fangirl (I am though, I really am – sob), this writing is top notch. There’s no use for an editor because nothing is superfluous. Descriptions are terse, dialogue is fluid, and the plotting is amazing. Plus there’s none of those over the top relationship moments where you think, “In real life this would never happen. GAG.”
How much did I want to keep reading: 9. By the end of book three, the essential storyline is over so while I would have enjoyed more about the growth and direction of the Daniel-Elijah relationship, I’m happy where the series ended.
Final Score: 10/10. If you follow me at all on twitter or facebook, you will see my rather (rabid) adoration of Jordan C Price. She writes a lot and she writes well. She has a mastery over urban-fantasy/sci-fi that few can touch. Pick up any of her novels and be prepared to be dazzled.