It is said that “False Hearts” is reminiscent of a cross between “Ophan Black” the TV Series and “Inception” the movie. Luckily I have watched neither so there is nothing to shape my expectation of this novel.
This is a new world, in a new century. A new era where a technology corrupted San Francisco has come forth in the now Un-united States. It is then not surprising that cult like small pockets of society where any form of technology has been rejected are going to pop up.
Mana’s Hearth is one of those communities where sixteen year old conjoined twins Taema and Tila have grown up. And aside from their physical constraints resulting from being conjoined which is almost certainly viewed as alien in perfection Mecca San Francisco, Mana’s Hearth is their paradise, at least for a time.
Now with a weak heart beating for them both, in a technology and medicine deprived environment, Tila and Taema have no choice but to leave their loved ones and the only life they have known with no prospect of return. And it is not only an emotional detachment that has to occur, but also a physical one from each other, as after sixteen years, Taema and Tila’s undergo an operation that will enable them to lead separate lives.
Sixteen years in Mana’s Hearth has made Tila and Taema thirsty for knowledge, thirsty to discover themselves as individuals, needless to say that they are quickly absorbed in this new world and over the next 10 years, they get a taste of all it has to offer, even danger, and Taema experiences it first hand when she embarks on a perilous mission to save the life of her now imprisoned and murder convicted sister.
You can imagine that Taema probably now longs for the uncomplicated world that is Mana’s Hearth, although this world may not be so perfect either. In any case she will have to show what she is really made of and surprise herself if she is to survive.
If you are familiar with Laura Lam’s previous writings, and specifically the young adult series “Micah Grey” there is no doubt that this new San Francisco is a departure from the fantasy world of Ellada. Let me reassure you however that this new world and its characters can definitely hold its own. Whether it is the infinite knowledge ready and brainloadable with the tap of a button, or the devices that keep you fit and young effortlessly, the idea of living in not such a far off future will be attractive too many for obvious reasons.
This piece is also written in a voice that is more direct, less cautious and less hesitant, with an assurance befitting more adultlike characters. Something that scifi adult fiction fans will enjoy.
I for one, really liked exploring the bond and relationship between Taema and Tila before and after their surgery. I even wonder how life would have been had they remained and lived a full life at Mana’s Hearth deep in ignorant bliss.
Who knows, one day Laura may even write that story :).
Thanking Team @ for providing me with a review copy of this title.