Ellie Savage is used to promises. Her dermatologist dad and her psychiatrist mom run the Narcosis Clinic, a medical facility famous for ultimate makeovers, where disturbing issues are resolved while patients are beautified. Clients like pop star Dean Mathews are grateful to narcosis for healing their deepest wounds. Ellie is her parents’ most ardent supporter until her dreams become a nightmare. Ellie discovers that her true self has been shredded to bits by the scalpel and the only way for Ellie to remember is to forget everything she thinks she knows.
I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. I’m excited this year to be able to offer book reviews and author interviews to self-published or small-press published authors of YA Fantasy and Science Fiction, in addition to my regular reviews from my partners at Netgalley. If you are a self- or traditionally-published author, you can submit a request for your review by filling out this form.
This book takes place in modern-day Seattle, where Ellie’s parents have their futuristic clinic. A lot about this world is familiar, despite the one science fiction-esque element. I visited Seattle last year, but am not too familiar with it. As a tourist, I didn’t find any inaccuracies in the descriptions, but a Washington native might feel differently. I enjoyed having a specific location for the story to latch onto, but feel like it could have taken place pretty much in any large city in America and made sense.
The cast is large for a book this size. Narration alternates between Ellie, the protagonist, Cole, her love interest, and Dean, a client and pop star. Each character was unique and I feel like that author accurately captured their voices through their individual perspectives. She also does a great job showing the awkwardness and fun of being a teenager through her character’s interactions. I do feel like I didn’t get to know each character very well, since the narration was split and wonder if I would have liked each character more if just one Point of View was used instead of three.
The plot of this book had a few challenges in terms of pacing. I didn’t feel like the plot really got started until about halfway through. Since we start the book with all the characters already knowing each other, a lot of time in the opening chapters is dedicated to backstory and describing everyone’s relationships. There are also a few flash backs in these opening pages, which I always struggle with. Based on the plot summary, I had hoped a more Science-Fiction heavy plot, but instead this is more of a thriller and drama, with the character’s relationships taking up more time on the page than the actual Narcosis treatment. After I was halfway through this book, I had a hard time putting it down, as the pace picked up significantly at that point and there was many twists leading up to the climax of the story.
Narcosis Room is a fun and quick read perfect for lovers of Young Adult Romance and Thrillers. It is a bit light on Science Fiction elements, but still a good read for fans of the genre. I enjoyed the different characters in the book, but wonder if one POV might have made me feel more connected with the characters. The Seattle setting was unique and memorable, but this book could have easily taken place anywhere. Thanks to the author for sharing this book with me!