Rating: 4.5/5 stars
This book utterly fascinated me. There’s quite a bit I want to discuss, so I will write a genereal, non-spoilery overview first. Following this will be a nonsensical rant containing my thoughts and questions (so basically, the good stuff ;)).
Haunted by his past. Hunted by his future. Caught in the middle.
Neve Knightly lives in an ordinary world. Where déjà vu is nothing more than a mind-trick. Where premonitions are dismissed as mere coincidence. Where no one thinks twice about the glitches in their reality.
Neve Knightly is living a lie. When her nightmare of a tragic incident comes true, the glossy enamel shatters. Through the cracks, she catches a glimpse of the truth slithering just beneath the surface. And so, she becomes consumed with deciphering the enigma that’s been haunting her since childhood. But her quest becomes deeply entangled with the last two people on earth she could have ever imagined: the former love of her life, Dylan, who mysteriously vanished three years ago, and his estranged best friend, Romer, who seems to be guarding a secret of his own.
Romance, redemption, and revenge plummet as priorities as their lives become riddled with peculiar happenings lying just outside the realm of science. They find themselves venturing down a perilous path, and in search for salvation, emerge at the brink of unveiling the best kept secret in human history.
Alright, so if you watch Dan Howell on Youtube, you are probably familiar with the term “existential crisis”. For those of you who don’t know, it is exactly what it sounds like: a crisis in which someone questions the purpose of their existence. This book made me do just that. I can’t tell you why, but if you love delving into the world of “what if?” as much as I do, then this will be your kind of book. The ideas that Ms. Keramati explores in her novel have substance and death. It will blow your mind, and that’s all I can say about it. And for the amount of mind-blowing information, I was very pleased at the way Keramati explained it all. I’ve seen info-dumps for just settings, so it must have taken considerable thought to slowly release all the needed information. I was impressed at how seamless it was–it was almost as if the readers knew what was happening all along, but a single explanation just confirmed it all.
It’s hard for me to pinpoint all of the other reasons (besides the Theory itself) I loved this book so much. I suppose it will have to be the most concrete of aspects, which is the prose. The writing style was elegant and seamless, and it flowed in a way that reminded me of Maggie Stiefvater, with expert use of rhetoric devices and unexpected turning of phrases. The way Keramati created imagery was astounding–I could, see, hear, smell, and feel the atmosphere she created with her words. My favorites were her character descriptions:
“With the thought of Neve, his place is set ablaze with vivid color. And then she is everywhere, like a tuxedo kitten curled up in every corner of his heart; leaning against the window sill, snapping a photo of a raspberry sunset. Down on all fours with her hair up in a messy bun, wiping the wine she spilled tripping over nothing. Lying across him with tears in her eyes, begging him to stop making her laugh so she can get a few minutes of shuteye.”
This passage actually screams personality to me. With a few phrases, I felt warm and comfortable, and I could imagine the mood of Dylan and Neve’s (the protagonists) relationship. Keramati could quickly turn this comfy vibe into one that sent shivers down my spine:
“He is a svelte silhouette, young to the bone, but host to a weathered soul. He is like a timeless art-piece marred by neglect and consequence. He is beautiful, androgynous, and unimaginably lethal.”
Okay okay, I’ll stop with the quotes for now. Sorry for that little bombardment, but I had to share.
What else to say about this book? I took off half a star because of the small plot lag in the beginning, but this is quickly amended with fast non-stop action that I couldn’t put down. In fact, I was so engrossed that I didn’t even realize that my boss was (and several coworkers) were giving me the eye for reading on the job. (Thanks, Nelou!) The romance was sweet, but it didn’t overtake the plot, which I appreciated because that can quickly happen in these paranormal-fantasy-type books. The characters were all strong, independent, and very real for me. I enjoyed learning about their pasts and how it intertwined. And that ending, man. Wow.
Overall: The Fray Theory is wild and unique–something everybody needs to read.
Visit Nelou Keramati here to learn more about The Fray Theory: Resonance. You can also check out other reviews and add the book to your Goodreads.
THE END OF NON-SPOILER SECTION. GO AND READ THE BOOK, THEN COME BACK.
This section doesn’t contain much review per se, but all of my thoughts and questions about the Fray Theory. There is no format, (or grammar, for that matter) whatsoever, so feel free to escape while you still can. Everything here is open to discussion. Please, please discuss it with me.
CAN WE JUST SIT HERE FOR A MOMENT AND APPRECIATE HOW WELL THOUGHT-OUT THE FRAY THEORY IS? I men yes, it lacks concrete scientific backing, but it makes sense to me. I’ve actually thought about this kind of stuff before. I’ve thought about it very, very extensively. Anyways, I can’t get over how much this book has opened up my mind beyond these. thoughts. My ideas about alternate realities have always been snippets- pieces here and there, but The Fray Theory wrapped it all up in a neat little package.
Another thing I really enjoyed was the sense of magical realism I got. This book is more scientific than magical, but there was something in the way it was described that made the Fray Theory seem like a natural part of life. At the same time, it was also extraordinary in the way it explored the possibilities of our universe. This sounds pretty contradictory, I know. But descriptions of “shoeprints exactly here his portrait’s feet would be, if it had a body” sound very low-key and casual, which is at polar opposites with “claims that ‘all possible worlds exist’, and are ‘just as real as the actual world’…[which means] that the universe is far richer than she could’ve ever imagined.”
I’m sorry if I’m not making any sense. My mind is kind of reeling right now. There’s still so much that I need to KNOW. One of the main questions I have is whether or not alternate realities hold not only all possibilities, but every possibility in every moment of time. Could our Neve Resonate with a forty-year old Neve if they were in the same situation? This is briefly touched upon when the mysterious Reaper Resonates “everywhen”, but what exactly does this entail? Wouldn’t this not be possible if the future was set in stone, or has the future already happened in a different reality?
I also have a few questions about Glitching. If a Proxy is already at “Point B”, does that mean that that Proxy and our Proxy have lead exactly the same life up until then, but one Proxy somehow managed to get to Point B first? Did that Proxy Glitch. Wouldn’t that mean that there’s an infinite line of Proxies allowing for others to Glitch?
Oh Lord. I’m just making this even more complicated, aren’t I?