Publication Date: Available Now from Macmillan
Raised in the closed cult of Mana’s Hearth and denied access to modern technology, conjoined sisters Taema and Tila dream of a life beyond the walls of the compound. When the heart they share begins to fail, the twins escape to San Francisco, where they are surgically separated and given new artificial hearts. From then on they pursue lives beyond anything they could have previously imagined.
Ten years later, Tila returns one night to the twins’ home in the city, terrified and covered in blood, just before the police arrive and arrest her for murder—the first homicide by a civilian in decades. Tila is suspected of involvement with the Ratel, a powerful crime syndicate that deals in the flow of Zeal, a drug that allows violent minds to enact their darkest desires in a terrifying dreamscape.
False Hearts was a dream read in more ways than one. Tagged as “Orphan Black meets Inception” that is actually not a bad analogy – but as well as all the scifi geekery and gorgeously imagined settings both in and out of the mind, this is also the story of two sisters and their changing relationship.
This is one of those novels that comes alive, not only because Laura Lam has a deft and extraordinarily imaginative eye for the small details that create a vivid world but because it has a surreal vibe and a totally addictive flow. Taema and Tila are a right pair, growing up within the confines of a (very creepy at times) cult then being thrown out into a real world that changes their entire existence. No longer are they joined but separate. And what a world it is.
False Hearts walks the line between hugely entertaining story and decent character development really well – it seems as if this is a part one, I do hope so because I need to know what comes after – this was a really banging story, so wonderfully descriptive. The dreamscape portions taking on a nighmarish quality that does stay with you and some of the wildly dark imagery is beautiful in its complexity. I do love a book that really digs deep into your subconscious and this book has that in spades.
The relationship between the sisters is classically absorbing, the realities of being so close and then so far is a theme that embeds itself into the wider story as well as defining the two girls themselves – I loved how we were drip fed their upbringing against the backdrop of one trying desperately to save the other. Once they had no secrets, it was impossible, now though secrets abound and Laura Lam takes the reader on a deeply delicious, darkly immersive journey of discovery, with identity very much a running theme.
Basically its *really* very good and comes highly recommended from me. Indeed.
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