Review of U-Day (Memory Full, #1) by Rapha Ram

A desperate CEO gives the reader a taste of the morbid underbelly of the near-future society featured in this book in the prologue. 

In this multi-faceted work, the lens through which we perceive the world is Livvy Blunt, a girl with a modern mind, trying to squeeze the meditative regimen of her monastic existence into her overactive imagination. Like any one of us force fed media, and a constant barrage of stimulation since birth, she struggles with reducing the noise. Our gossip-mongering brains tend to speculate, and the customization of the human lifespan is an endlessly beguiling subject.

After a busy prologue establishing a key conflict we are transported to the perspective of our close first-person narrator who leads us on an exploration of an environment detailed and colored by her mind, which is chock full of rich imagery. A seamless interweaving of action and character internal monologue sweeps the reader into the setting.

With an atmosphere containing a mixture of familiar and unfamiliar world-building constraints,
the intriguing premise of the novel develops alongside our growing knowledge of Livvy. Would you trust your welfare to a corporation with power over minds? Oh wait, we already do that in today’s world. Its meditative introspection contains a hint of the zen-like cultivation necessary for a balanced mind. It is an interior journey as much as an exterior one, with a relatable and sympathetic protagonist. The book tackles the omnipresent temptation to succeed in a competitive society, to not be distracted by fun and games, to responsibly take charge of one’s own mental development, and asks hard questions and presents thought-provoking concepts. The pacing was more relaxed than expected and the insights into setting and character rewarded a methodical reading.

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