Title: Our Memory Like Dust (2017)
Author: Gavin Chait
Genres: Science Fiction, Contemporary and Futuristic
Publisher: Doubleday and Transworld Books
Release Date: 27th July 2017
Reviewed by: Lois
“Shakiso Collard leads the evacuation from Benghazi as jihadis overwhelm the refugee camp where she works. On arrival in Paris, she is betrayed by her boss, Oktar Samboa, and watches in despair as those she illegally helped escape are deported back to the warzones of Libya.
Elsewhere, Farinata Uberti – strongman CEO of Rosneft, the world’s largest energy company – arrives in London after triggering a violent insurrection in Tanzania to destroy a potential rival in the oil market. In the Sahara, an air convoy on its way to deliver billions of dollars of drugs and weapons to Ansar Dine jihadis crashes and is lost.
A year later, having spent months in hiding, Shakiso travels to West Africa. She is there to lead the relief effort that are hoping to stop the 200 million refugees fleeing war and environmental collapse heading for a fortified and fragmented Europe.
As the myths of these millions seeking new lives across the Mediterranean intrude into reality, Shakiso is drawn into the brutal clandestine fight against Rosneft’s domination of European energy supplies being conducted by the mysterious Simon Adaro. And, deep within the disorienting Harmattan storms of the desert, a group of jihadis have gone in search of the crashed convoy of planes – and a terror that could overwhelm them all.”
I was intrigued by this book after reading its synopsis in passing on Goodreads. This book is extremely relevant as to what is going on in the world at the minute. I feel as though this helped with my interest in the book.
At first this book for me was incredibly confusing. There are multiple stories within the first few chapters of the book. I got confused by this because my brain spent a lot of the time trying to work out who the stories were about and if they linked. There are a lot of characters and places introduced in these first few chapters, which also adds to the confusion. But this all came into place around 50 pages into the book. I began to wrap my head around all the different stories and how they linked and began to enjoy the book even more.
When I began reading this book I was worried I would not connect with any of the characters. This is always an issue for me when I begin a book as I must be connected to at least one character to like the story. I connected with all the main characters in this book. Some of the characters made me angry, others made me sad and some made me feel happy but crucially I could not say that I was indifferent to any of them. Shakiso Collard was the character I connected with the most throughout the book. I loved how strong-willed her character was and her little companion Tuft was a wonderful addition to her story arc.
This book had the right balance of science fiction and the futuristic writing for me. All the technology that Gavin Chait brings into this book worked for me. It wasn’t too much science fiction either. The science and technology sections of this book were light. I feel if you are a big science fiction fan reading this book you might be left longing for more science and technology. The mythology components of this book added to the story for me. I loved when there were sections in the books that told a myth that continued throughout the whole book.
“Our Memory Like Dust” does jump between narratives a lot. The settings change around the world a lot as well. There are also a lot of flashbacks in the book. I feel as though this might be an issue for some people as trying to get your head around them all can be hard at times. But, once you have got into the book and understand who all the characters are and where all the settings around the world are it isn’t an issue. It certainly wasn’t for me.
My only issue with this book was how confusing it was at the beginning. I reread a few of the pages at the beginning of the book trying to understand what was being said. But once I got around this it wasn’t that much of an issue. This book is a slow burner but this again works because it helps you understand the story a little better.
Overall, this book is intriguing and mysterious. I would recommend this to anyone who is a fan of mythology and science fiction. This book covers a lot of relevant topics that should be discussed more between people. I’m sure a lot of people will be recommending this book very soon.
Thank you to Doubleday, Gavin Chait and especially Rosie Margesson for sending me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
It has been a lot of fun being a part of the Our Memory like Dust blog tour! Make sure you check out the other blogs on this tour too. Don’t forget to preorder the book and add it on your Goodreads!
Be sure to check out Book Depository using my link here: Loisreadsbooks
Until next time,