I have a serious jones for ass-kickery. Not sure why. I’m probably the least violent person out there, and wouldn’t be able to throw a punch to save my life. But I very much enjoy seeing a character open a can of whoop ass.
Enter Kristen Lippert-Martin’s Tabula Rasa, pitched as Jason Bourne meets Divergent. Which, honestly, isn’t quite accurate. I wasn’t quite sure where Divergent came in, but Jason Bourne? Yeah, the novel was all over that.
Here’s the blurb:
Sarah starts a crazy battle for her life within the walls of her hospital-turned-prison when a procedure to eliminate her memory goes awry and she starts to remember snatches of her past. Was she an urban terrorist or vigilante? Has the procedure been her salvation or her destruction?
The answers lie trapped within her mind. To access them, she’ll need the help of the teen computer hacker who’s trying to bring the hospital down for his own reasons, and a pill that’s blocked by an army of mercenary soldiers poised to eliminate her for good. If only she knew why . . .
So I guess a more accurate version of the fiction math would be:
The Bourne Identity + Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind + Memento
Which is a lot of lost memory.
What Intrigued Me: Any kind of teenage Jason Bourne is cool in my book. I always need more badasses in my life.
What Hooked Me: Tabula Rasa has romance in it. But it’s not the main plot, for which I am ETERNALLY GRATEFUL. The story would have made zero sense if romance was the main plot, and I appreciate the courage to designate it as the C plot (or lower) and keep the main story a thriller.
What Made Me Fall In Love: Keep in mind, the novel is nowhere close to formulaic. But it does mirror classic video game storytelling. You’ve got a narrative main character who’s mostly unaware of what’s happening. You’ve got a mission and side missions. You’ve got to infiltrate a heavily defended base. You’ve got characters who help and provide information. You’ve got backstory and character history that is revealed the closer the MC gets to their goal. It’s classic first person video game rules. Which how Tabula Rasa gets you to stay up late reading.
Tabula Rasa is available from Amazon or your local badass bookstore. It will mess your brain up.