Genre: Sci-fi, Thriller, Young Adult
Orphan Black meets Inception: Two formerly conjoined sisters are ensnared in a murderous plot involving psychoactive drugs, shared dreaming, organized crime, and a sinister cult.
One night Tila stumbles home, terrified and covered in blood.
She’s arrested for murder, the first by a civilian in decades. The San Francisco police suspect involvement with Verve, a powerful drug, and offer her twin sister Taema a chilling deal. Taema must assume Tila’s identity and gather information – then if she brings down the drug syndicate, the police may let her sister live. But Taema’s investigation raises ghosts from the twins’ past.
The sisters were raised by a cult, which banned modern medicine. But as conjoined twins, they needed surgery to divide their shared heart – and escaped. Taema now finds Tila discovered links between the cult and the city’s underground. Once unable to keep secrets, the sisters will discover the true cost of lies.
This book is one of my favourite reads of this year. It’s such an original story and I strongly recommend this sci-fi read to everyone. I mean, it features conjoined twins, a city free of major crimes, a cult, and a really interesting approach to dreams. I mean, what more could you want from a book.
What Made It So Amazing?
I’ve wanted to read this book ever since I’d first heard of it… but that is true of a lot of books. This one was just fortunate enough to have a shiny silver cover, a removable red ribbon of reviews and red page edges. It just happened to have a pretty cover that made me buy it. Thankfully the story inside is just as fantastic as the packing.
I was absorbed from the first page, something which doesn’t happen as often as I like. It was all about Taema and Tila, two formerly conjoined sisters and their past, their present and their future. One is accused of murder (a crime which is utterly unheard of) and the other must pose as her sister to prove her innocence and investigate the criminals. It was enthralling. I loved the attention to detail of this book. I knew a lot of research had gone into it when I read the acknowledgements because you could see it in every page. The struggles of the conjoined sisters. The perspective of each sister when they were within the cult. All of it demonstrated that real research went in to make this story feel genuine.
It’s actually told from both sister’s perspective, one is in the present trying to prove her sister’s innocence and the other looks to the past to explain how she arrive at where she is. Normally, with dual narratives I prefer one over another, but I actually liked hearing both sisters stories and seeing how different the two were… yet also the same.
What Didn’t I Like?
There actually isn’t much to complain about for this one. The only thing which did cross my mind was the fact I had seen this book was marked as False Hearts #1 on GoodReads. I will tell you now this book is a perfect standalone, but I am always nervous when a book is marked as being part of a series as I begin to question what I am letting myself in for. I am glad I let myself in for this series but it’s good to be aware.
Apart from that… I didn’t really have any complaints… there is a reason it was a five star read for me.
And For Those Who Want The Highlights?
I can easily summarise my love for this book. I loved Taema and Tila and their close relationship. I loved the time and effort that went into the research for both conjoined twins and for how cults work. The world building is fascinating and I could totally believe the extremes which people went to with drugs and technology as it is very possible people would do this. I loved the elements of dystopia which flashed through but this wasn’t a dystopian novel, instead it was a thriller and a sci-fi novel first and foremost. It’s just a really fantastic read and you should check it out.
Have you read a book which you bought for the cover and stayed for the story? Have you read False Hearts or do you plan to?