The Clarity – Keith Thomas
Release Date: February 20, 2018
Final Thoughts: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Ashanique has special powers. She can see into the memories of lives she’s never lived. She remembers dying in the World War, as a blindsided young soldier. She remembers a primitive family who lived millions of years ago. But her memories are the result of a top-secret government experiment conducted by an agency known as HED, and a desperate rogue assassin will stop at nothing to wipe away the proof.
Ashanique and her guardian Matilda, a scientist studying how our brains form and retain memories, race against time to save their lives and the lives of the other victims of the experiment. As they uncover the illicit plot conducted in government labs years prior, they discover complex secrets about the human brain and the unified consciousness of all humanity.
The Clarity moves fast, and I’m talking fast. The action and violence is demanding of a movie adaptation, pronto, and the movement keeps your heart racing. But the value of this book isn’t just in the bloody surface of its action scenes. Thomas has created an elaborate science-fiction context that propels our curiosity and exhibits extreme creativity on his part. His theories about memories, the inner workings of the human brain, and government conspiracy are a beautiful, detailed, nerdy foundation to a rapidly moving book.
The book is NOT for the faint-hearted. When I say it’s gory, I mean it is laden with descriptive gunshot wounds, throat slitting, and torture. Personally, I’m fine with gore. I love a good horror movie scene as much as the next creepy girl. So I found the violent scenes striking and propelling, especially because I’m not used to seeing gore portrayed in a novel.
The story uses memory flashbacks and interview transcripts to deliver the full breadth of the story, and it switches perspectives to get all of the details in. It is a full coverage book, and we dig into the government conspiracies from every angle.
My copy of the book clocked in at just about 295 pages. Many of the more science-oriented details flew over my head-many of the characters are very smart scientists. However, Thomas does a great job of making sure we understand the gist of the theories he explains, even if we don’t immediately know what the hippocampus does in the brain.
I would have loved to dig even deeper into the conspiracy behind the experiments. When the characters finally get to the meat of the conspiracy, the momentum of the book slows considerably, and even though everything is explained and accounted for, I was thirsty for more of the intrigue that accompanies a good government cover-up. I would’ve liked to dig deeper into the characters, including the assassin, Rade, who’s traumatic past is emphasized but never fully explained.
The Clarity was thrilling, compelling, and completely authentic. Thomas effectively blended the heavy action scenes with a substantial plot and distinctive characters. While it took me far too long to finally pick up this book, it only took me two days to return it to the shelf. Thomas’s theories keep us interested, and the final idea that our human consciousness is intertwined is a poetic ending to a very physical story.
Thank you so much to Atria Publishing Group for my advanced copy in exchange for a fair review.