The Knowing by Sharon Cameron
Book Two of The Forgetting series
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: October 10, 2017
Rating: 4 stars
Source: ARC sent by the publisher
Summary (from Goodreads):
Samara doesn't forget. And she isn't the only one. Safe underground in the city of New Canaan, she lives in a privileged world free from the Forgetting. Yet she wonders if she really is free, with the memories that plague her and secrets that surround her. Samara is determined to unearth the answers, even if she must escape to the old, cursed city of Canaan to find them.
Someone else is on their way to Canaan too . . . a spaceship from Earth is heading toward the planet, like a figment of the city's forgotten past. Beck is traveling with his parents, researchers tasked with finding the abandoned settlement effort. When Beck is stranded without communication, he will find more in Canaan than he was ever trained for. What will happen when worlds and memories, beliefs -- and truths -- collide?
What I Liked:
The Forgetting was my favorite book of 2016. I thought it was a standalone, and it was a great one. But when I heard that Cameron was writing a companion sequel, I promptly flipped out. I would have been excited about a sequel (though I didn't think The Forgetting needed one), but a companion sequel was even better news. This novel is set many, many years after Nadia and Grey's story in The Forgetting. (I think it's like, one hundred years or so?)
Samara is one of the Knowing, those who cannot forget anything, not even memories from infancy. She lives underground in the city of New Canaan, with the rest of the Knowing. This year is a year of Judgment, which is important to the Knowing. When Samara's best friend is poisoned, Samara must flee for her life. She runs away to the Cursed City, where the old city of Canaan was. But someone else is already there - two someones. Beckett and Jill are the children of two families who have been flying across space from Earth to learn more about the lost city of Canaan. Ships have previously flown to the planet, but the ships never returned. Beckett's parents are interested in studying the culture and remnants, and Jill's parents want to know more about the people. And the Commander has... her own agenda. Beck and Jill weren't supposed to find anything - let alone the Cursed City, and a native. The Knowing are coming for Samara, and those on the Centauri ship are coming for New Canaan. But who will survive?
Like all of Cameron's other heroines, Samara was so unique and likable. She is a quiet thinker, very intelligent and very good at hiding her emotions and burying her feelings. This frustrates Beck, because she isn't always open with her thoughts and feelings. Samara hates Knowing and never forgetting, because her memories can be painful and can cause her to have rare episodes of panic and terror. But Samara is so strong and resilient. Her Knowing makes her powerful and complete, despite its debilitation.
Beck is one of my favorite YA heroes for this year. He is brave and very intelligent as well, and he is so willing to put himself between danger and Samara. It was so wonderful to see a genuinely nice guy as the male protagonist. He is tough and decisive, but he is very compassionate.
Jill is Beck's fellow earthling and explorer. She's kind of annoying but occasionally I appreciated some of her smarter moves. She is sneaky and shifty, someone I never really liked or trusted, but somewhat understood.
There is a lot that happens in this book, but it goes towards Earth people and New Canaan people clashing. Also important is Samara and Beck finding out more about the Knowing and the Forgetting, and why the Knowing exists. This was really interesting to discover, and I was fascinated by how the author tied The Knowing into The Forgetting. There are new physical Grey/Nadia cameos, but they pop up in the story a fair amount, in the second half.
The beginning is slow, but the story in general picks up the pace and is very exciting. Keep going if you get stuck in the first two or three chapters. Once Beck and Samara meet, I was completely dialed in and turning pages.
The romance is very slow-burn and so lovely to watch. Beck slowly gets Samara to trust him, and Samara slowly lets Beck in. They are a good pair, and good for each other. I liked how he took care of her and she took care of him and they took care of each other. I thought the romance was wonderful. Jill has feelings for Beck initially, but this disappears and isn't a love triangle. (Beck has no feelings for Jill, and also when he meets Samara, Jill is sort of no one anymore. And then she meets her own guy).
I loved all of the reveals toward the end of the book. That was a great job by the author, to drop hints along the way and slowly reveal the information. I was dying to know this or that, but didn't skip any part of the story because that was risky! Something important could have been missed. I was riveted until the very end!
The ending is excellent, and actually leaves room for a possibly sequel to this book? A direct sequel, at that. It could end exactly where it is and I wouldn't be mad about it. It was a good ending. But there could be a direct (or even companion) sequel, which would be neat! The author left the ending the tiniest bit open. I wouldn't mind more from this series!
What I Did Not Like:
The only "big" thing that I remember not loving was the slow beginning. It took me a little while to get into the story. I expected to be hooked and immersed, but instead I was somewhat confused and bored. But this only lasted for the first few chapters. As soon as Beckett landed on the planet and started exploring, I started to get more interested.
One could say that there is a bit of an annoying side-romance that could have lead to a love triangle - I didn't think so. Jill is obsessed with Beckett but it was always clear that Beckett wasn't interested in Jill like that. They weren't together in that way - even if Jill wanted them to be. This isn't really a love triangle but it was a little annoying, BUT I also see why the author included Jill's feelings for Beckett and scorn towards Samara. That becomes important.
Would I Recommend It:
If you read The Forgetting, then I definitely recommend this book. It’s a companion sequel so it’s not necessary to read The Forgetting before reading The Knowing. But I highly recommend doing so, because you’ll be amazed when you reach the parts in which the author ties the two stories together. And if you haven’t heard of the series, I recommend it to people who like futuristic science fiction novels that deal with a new planet. Read the books in order if you can! The Forgetting is one of my all-time favorite novels and The Knowing is an awesome follow-up.
4 stars. I loved The Knowing and I’m completely satisfied with this companion sequel. I love how it ties in with The Forgetting and how the author dropped easter eggs throughout the story. I still love The Forgetting more, but this book was very good.
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