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 he wastes his talents 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.
(Book Reviewed Here Previously)
I am constantly impressed by Jordan Castillo Price. I don’t know why I keep forgetting this, or maybe it’s less that and the more I read by her, the more I love.
I had avoided this series because I’m not a fan of speculative fiction in the dystopian sense, and something about the blurb felt that way – I’m not sure why. But really, the science fiction part is there, for sure, but this is more a story about relationships and expectations and dealing with people and their “quirks”. I had no idea about the autism and I love that about this, but that’s not all.
I am struck by how multi-faceted this story is. We have the fascinating science fiction – the ability to make “memories”, the philosophy that inspires – what is real? – the relationship between Daniel and his father, the relationship between Daniel and Elijah, the relationship between Elijah and Beth and Elijah’s autism. It’s just so much! You’d think that with all this going on the story would be bulky or awkward, but it isn’t.
Jordan is just so gifted that all the nuances are neatly ensconced in the story and as a reader, it isn’t until I’m thinking about it that I realize just how detailed and complex the story really is.
The second part of this trilogy is written from Elijah’s perspective and it’s FASCINATING! I’m not sure we can ever know what it’s like to actually be in someone else’s head, but in this case, the POV is startlingly different from being in Daniel’s head. Elijah just thinks differently so his perspective on events in not the same as you’d imagine the same events.
I loved that we got to see his yearning and understand where he’s coming from – then compare that to how Daniel feels and what he sees.
The story about Daniel’s father’s memory issues moves forward, but we see more about the romance in this installment. It’s so easy to see how Daniel fits in Elijah’s world so well and I was so pleased that when the two find themselves at a hurdle, they push through it rather than let it form a wall between the two of them. In this case, Elijah’s autism is really helpful, because he’s so damn direct that he won’t let Daniel sink into social niceties. Elijah calls him out and forces him to acknowledge where things went wrong so he can address it. It was so refreshing!
In any case, I can’t wait for the next installment and I really hope we see the entire series in audio format soon!
Highly recommended! (If you enjoyed Carry The Ocean by Heidi Cullinan or Ethan, Who Loved Carter, I’d recommend this story for you, as well.)
Seth Clayton did an absolutely amazing job with book one and he outdoes himself here. I really, really love the way he characterizes Elijah through his pacing and intonations. I thought this was my favorite as a book and I bet it’ll be my favorite as an audiobook, as well.
I think, when the chemistry is right, the right narrator sort of “embodies” the character and for me, it’s Elijah.
Excellent and highly recommended!
6 of 5 stars
Copy Purchased For Review