Tuesday, April 3, 2018

ARC #Review - Active Memory by Dan Wells #YALit #SyFy #Noir

Series: Mirador # 3
Format: E-Galley, 400 pages
Release Date: February 13, 2018
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Source: Library
Genre: Young Adult / Science Fiction

From Dan Wells, author of the New York Times bestselling Partials Sequence and the John Cleaver series, comes the third and final book in the dark, pulse-pounding, sci-fi neo-noir series that began with the acclaimed novel Bluescreen.

For all the mysteries teen hacker Marisa Carneseca has solved, there has been one that has always eluded her: the truth behind the car accident in which she lost her arm and a mob boss’ wife, Zenaida de Maldonado, lost her life. Even in a world where technology exists to connect everyone’s mind to one another, it would seem that some secrets can still remain hidden.

Those secrets rise violently to the surface, however, when Zenaida de Maldonado’s freshly severed hand shows up at the scene of a gangland shooting. If Zenaida is—or was—still alive, it means there’s even more about Marisa’s past that she doesn’t know. And when she and her friends start digging, they uncover a conspiracy that runs from the slums of Los Angeles to the very top of the world’s most powerful genetic engineering firm. If Mari wants the truth, she’s going to have to go through genetically enhanced agents, irritatingly attractive mob scions, and some bad relationships to get it.

Dan Wells’s widely acclaimed series continues with his most shocking, pulse-pounding, and visionary story yet.

Dan Well's Active Memory is the third and final installment in the Mirador trilogy. This is a series that is set in 2050 Los Angeles. It is a world where almost everyone has a Djinni built right into their brains. It is a world where protagonist Marisa Carneseca lives with her parents and siblings in a neighborhood called Mirador. Mirador is run from top to bottom by Don Francisco Maldonado & his family. Marisa is a pretty interesting character as we have learned over the course of this series.

She helps out at her families Mexican restaurant, she's a pretty decent, if not top notched hacker, she's a member of a group known as the Cherry Dogs, along with her friends Sahara, Anja, Jaya and Fang, she's solved a huge mystery in regards to Bluescreen and taken down a corporation in Ones and Zeroes. But, the mystery behind the accident that apparently took her arm leaving her with a prosthetic one has never been fully explained. Why was she in the car in the first place? Why won't anyone speak up and tell the truth?

There are several people, including her father, who know the real secret to what actually happened and they refuse to talk about it. In fact, her father tries to prevent her from starting any investigation for fear of reprisals by Don Francisco. Marisa has also been chasing a dark web hacker named Grendel who claims he has the answers she needs. As the story opens, things really get twisted. Marisa and her father are called into the police station by Detective Kiki Hendel after a hand is found.

Could it be that the woman who has been blamed for Marisa's arm being lost, Zenaida Maldonado, actually be alive after all these years? If so, where has she been and why did she disappear? Mari’s investigation leads to an uneasy alliance with Omar, the scion of the Maldonados, who also wants to know what happened to his mother. Omar has both betrayed her and given aid when she requested it. Curious sort of mindset. Marisa ends up getting involved in Chuy's gang war, and becomes the target of a corporate assassin.

Thanks to her awesome and amazing friends, Marisa is not alone in this endeavour. In fact, because they both live in the LA area, Sahara and Anja are right there alongside her protecting and supporting her in any way they can. You can also add Marisa's friend Bao to the mix as well. He's one of the few people who actually live off the grid and prefer it that way. I have said before that the friendship between the Cherry Dogs is what really drives this series. I can't imagine a group being as strong, or stronger than the Cherry Dogs. 

Active Memory does have a lot of action, especially the final part of the book when all things must come out and characters we've met before make an appearance. Marisa's family shouldn't be ignored. From her sisters Pati, and Gabi, to her brothers Sandra and Chuy. Marisa's parents are very protective of the family, which is why the lack of explanation as to what happened to Marisa, was so bizarre.
The most awesome thing about this series, is that it never once became romance heavy. Marisa might have found a connection to a few characters, Bao, Alain and perhaps Omar, but nothing of actual substance ever went all the way. My only question is about the identity of Grendel. I'm pretty sure I guessed who it was, but really would have liked confirmation. 

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