Déjà Vu by Ian Hocking is a fascinating sci-fi thriller that tackles several interesting near-future technologies along with the question of what really makes you you. If you’re not someone who needs to really connect with characters to enjoy a hard sci-fi, this is probably a great book for you! I’m quite glad that I took a chance on a new small publisher since I’m excited to see what Unsung Stories publishes next.
Note: I received a copy of Déjà Vu from the publisher.
Déjà Vu by Ian Hocking
Published by Unsung Stories on Aug. 1st, 2014
Genres: Adult, Sci-fi
Page Length: 328 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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In the year 2023 Saskia Brandt, detective with the European FIB, comes back from holiday newly single, tired and full of sadness. Heading straight back to the office she finds no peace, only her receptionist dead and no suspects. Given only 12 hours to clear her name she sets to work on unravelling the mystery, one that proves greater than the sum of its parts.
David Proctor is just an academic eating his breakfast until he gets a phone-call telling him the prototype computer - Ego - he has been loaned is now the only one left. Meanwhile someone has broken into his house, someone who wants him to go back to the lab where his wife died in a bomb attack 20 years before.
As the mysteries and intrigue envelop Saskia and David they are forced to unpick their own pasts. Because in Déjà Vu you find that things aren't as they seem, truth is a matter of perspective and that the past can change just as quickly as the future.
- Déjà Vu is mostly set in the near future, about ten years though it seemed a bit further to me despite the date stated. I love reading sci-fi that looks at what technology we might develop before spaceships are zooming us around the galaxy. The appearance of nano-technology being used to treat cancer and the possibility of manipulating neuron pathways to change how a brain thinks are fascinating to me and I can’t get enough.
- The plot is all kinds of twisty! There are a lot of mysteries introduced throughout Déjà Vu and it seems like as soon as one is solved, something else is revealed to be completely different than I thought. I love a plot that keeps me guessing and this book definitely fits that bill.
- Time travel! And time travel done well with paradoxes discussed and analyzed too :D. I was totally that nerdy kid borrowing documentaries on string theory from my calculus teacher in high school, so I’m always pleased when a fellow nerd does his or her best to figure out how time travel could actually work ;-).
- Déjà Vu actually has a lot of action for being hard sci-fi so don’t worry about insufficient motorcycle chases or explosions; there are plenty!
- What my love for sci-fi really comes down to though are the philosophical questions. What is it about your brain that makes you you? What if someone else’s neuronal pathways were plugged in? If you go back in time but know that you have to accomplish something, are you immortal until that thing is accomplished? I don’t know! But it was fun to think about :).
- There are several points of view in this book and it felt too short to fit in strong character attachment because of that. I didn’t feel like I spent enough time getting to know each of the main characters to connect with them. They just feel like acquaintances at this point.
- I’m the geek that wants to dive in and find out how every little piece of tech mentioned works. Déjà Vu briefly mentions an artificial world with artificial life that is being tortured, but doesn’t then explain what that world really consists of. Inquiring minds want to know!
- For a while after finishing this book I was confused because my notes said both “too much detail” and “not enough details”. How can that be? I realized though that the problem was that details were described at a very fine level without the glue between them to make it click. I don’t really know how some of the technology was supposed to work despite it being quite heavily explained because the connections weren’t always made.
Déjà Vu is a book that will appeal to fans of hard sci-fi with plenty of action and conspiracy, plus the bonus of time travel. I wanted to get to know the characters better and a clearer idea of how the tech worked, but those are a me-thing more than the book’s fault. Keep on the look out for this small press though, I think Unsung Stories is going to do some great things!
Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
Déjà Vu by Ian Hocking
© 2015, Anya. All rights reserved.