Title: Ms. Never
Author: Colin Dodds (received a complimentary copy of the book from the author)
# of pages: 470
Genre: Literary Fiction, Sci-fi
Date of Publication: 1st November 2019
“I mean, look around—people take better care of their phones than they do of their own hearts. I guess you could say that. I mean, if you lose your phone, you have to tell everyone you know, apologize, and make arrangements. Otherwise, they’ll think you’re dead and give away your cubicle and your bedroom. But some days, you lose your heart …… and no one would notice even if you told them.”
Farya Navurian is a young college girl looking for a job. She’s an everyday girl with her thoughts and emotions of a girl of a similar age. But something makes her unique, her ability to dissolve the reality. With every seizure or a bout of depression, she changes the reality. She grew up in the Greater Majestic Anointed Commonwealth of Ohio. But in the present day, it doesn’t exist. This power keeps her in a pensive mood. It affects millions of lives, few got erased and for others their memories are different. Only Ethan, her best friend knows. He remembers these obliterated events, cities, and lives. And in this chaos, she listens to music. The tunes of Thelonious Monk give her the peace and calm. Now she lives in New York with a job that doesn’t make her any happy. But the music keeps her seizures away.
On the west coast of the continent, there is Bryan Lomoignes, son of a musician Jimny Lomoignes. He is the CEO of Metacom, a telecom company. The company lures its customers through fringe benefits. The customers, yet, don’t know when they sign up for the service they sign up for something more sinister. Bryan has always felt disconnected. And his recent divorce heightened this feeling. To keep his depression at bay, Bryan buys his father’s albums. This love for music brings both Bryan and Farya together. But that’s not they had in common, they both had a secret. Bryan & Farya fall in love and keep their secrets locked away from each other.When things go awry, that’s when they realize the secret they were harbouring links both them. And they are the ones who can repair the world before it changes forever the reality.
Farya and Bryan are the 2 main characters. Their story keeps running in parallel until they meet. There are other characters like Lourdes, who helped Farya mental exercises and Ethan. They are pivotal characters in building the stories. But beyond them, other characters who stress the storyline. The author has given a decent amount of introduction and depth to Farya and Bryan’s character. When it comes Farya’s character author has given intricate details. That was important given Farya has a unique ability.
There’s an underlying focus on the present society’s digital dependence. With every passing day, our lives are getting intertwined with technology. We have a phone, laptops, tablets and what not! We without giving much thought, agree to their TERMS. The point is not just reading the fine print but also about the intense dependency on them. The author nudged us in that direction. In fact, throughout the book author has these subtle hints like “Holy Trio” for the wallet, keys, and phone.
It’s depression. And depression is nothing less than a soul’s disappointment in its owner. So have a drink and do something out of character tonight.
There are other themes such as depression and sacrifice for the greater good.
It is literary fiction with an inkling of mystery and sci-fi. I enjoyed the style and the concept of the book. There were characters who didn’t add value to the story. The story wouldn’t change if the author removed them from the story. Most of the major characters are well- developed and harmonizes with the rest of the book. It’s a thought-provoking book. And that synced with elements of mystery and sci-fi which makes it an extraordinary read.
Even though Lourdes is an important character, the author underplayed the character. She could have added to this mix. There were some portions slow to read.
Ms. Never is an interesting take on a challenging subject and this combined with emotions and will to do the right thing in the face of an intense dilemma.
My rating for the book 3 stars.