The Persistence of Memory Book 1: Déjà Vu by Karen Janowsky

Reviewed by Dianne Woodman

The Persistence of MemoryThe Persistence of Memory Book 1: Déjà Vu plunges readers into an intriguing novel that is a blend of mystery, romance, suspense, supernatural, and thriller. Karen Janowsky captures and keeps readers’ attention from the first page all the way through to the last page. Locations vary from Germany to Yemen to the United States with the majority of the story taking place in Washington D.C.

This compelling story revolves around Daniel Hecht and Nina Asher, who are struggling with issues that affect their personal and professional lives. Imagine being used as an experimental subject for Nazi scientists, being transported through time to the future, facing the challenge of dealing with decades of memory loss, and no longer living your life as a sickly person but as one with an extraordinary physically enhanced body. This is exactly what has happened to Daniel, the team leader of a clandestine group of people with various superhuman abilities. However, Daniel is not the only one with memory issues. Imagine suffering from amnesia with no idea of your own identity or any memories of the past. This is the predicament Nina faces as she wonders what kind of person she was in the past. Both Nina and Daniel experience visions transporting them elsewhere, which are smoothly incorporated into the story.

Daniel’s team is tasked with recovering cultural artifacts, and Nina is hired as the archivist in support of the team’s mission. Nina and Daniel meet for the first time when Nina moves into the same apartment building where Daniel resides. A budding friendship slowly evolves into a romance. Will the relationship survive when Daniel finds out Nina’s true ancestry?

The prologue and each chapter are introduced with a title, brief quotation, timeframe, and location. The titles and epigraphs tie in beautifully with the chapters. Alternating perspectives between Daniel and Nina never confuse the reader because each scene is labeled with the viewpoint character. An excellent use of sensory details to describe the settings and characters enhance the visualization of the story in the reader’s mind. Janowsky has done a superb job of creating believable and memorable characters with their own distinct voices. Readers will connect with them and be invested in what happens to them.

Nazi horrors, superpowered people, mythical creatures, graphic assault scenes, Sumerian mythology, time-travel, eroticism, and sexual intimacy are incorporated into this well-researched novel. Janowsky has done a fantastic job of blending elements from different genres into a clever and unique story that will stay with readers long after they are done reading.