cover image Dare to Know

Dare to Know

James Kennedy. Quirk, $22.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-68369-260-7

The weight of knowing when death will arrive presses heavily on the characters of this enjoyable slipstream thriller from YA author Kennedy (The Order of Odd-Fish). The burned-out, unnamed narrator works for a company that delivers perfect predictions of when its clients will die, using an algorithm that measures “thanatons.” He violates the company’s cardinal rule when he uses the algorithm on himself—and discovers that, according to the calculations, he’s already dead. The revelation thrusts him into a surreal quest to reconnect with the important people in his life, taking him through memories of his early days at physics camp, his university years and first love, and the subsequent, failed marriage he used to try to forget her. Kennedy ties the very personal quirks of his main character to the eccentricities of the universe, incorporating the lost city of Cahokia and the Crab Nebula supernova of 1054 into the mystery of the algorithm’s error. Readers with a taste for the synchronicity of the cosmic with the commonplace are sure to be entertained. [em]Agent: John Cusick, Folio Literary. (Sept.) [/em]