Monday, August 24, 2020

Nemesis, by Brendan Reichs Nemesis (Project Nemesis) (9780399544934): Reichs ...

Melinda "Min" Wilder hates her birthdays, for an unusual reason. Every other year, on her even birthdays only, the same man in a black suit brutally murders her. However, every time, she wakes up hours later in the same clearing, completely unharmed, with no evidence to prove the crime was ever committed. She is 16 now, and has been killed 5 times. When she was 8, she was pushed into a ravine. When she was 10, she drowned after being pushed into rapids. When she was 12, she was run over by a car. When she was 14, her head was bashed in with a rock. And on the morning of her 16th birthday, she was shot to death.  

Min desperately wants answers. Who is doing this? Why? How is she waking up each time completely unharmed? She had decided after her 10th birthday (and second death) that she wouldn't tell anyone, because the people she did tell didn't take her seriously. She now goes to a therapist, Dr. Lowell, whom she hates and doesn't trust.

It doesn't help that there is a multitude of other problems she has to deal with. NASA is about to announce whether or not a gigantic asteroid called The Anvil will annihilate the planet. Plus, she has to deal with Ethan Fletcher, the son of the richest man in town, and a huge jerk. He's always followed around by his posse of lesser jerks, who love to tease Min and her best friend, Tack. 


Noah Livingston has been living a nightmare. Every two years, on his even birthdays, a man in a black suit tracks him down and kills him. He wakes up hours later in a cave a few miles west of his town, completely unharmed, with his memory as his only evidence. 

When he first told someone about this, he was sent to a therapist, Dr. Lowell, whom he trusts completely. Noah tells him everything.

Min finds a footprint outside her trailer that could only match the boot of the black-suited man. This, coupled with the fact that her therapist has been giving her pills to help with her "delusions" (what he calls her murders) ever since she told him about them is enough to convince her that he has been lying to her. 

She breaks into his office at night with Tack, searching for the files on her. What she finds is a set of files and forms on a top secret government project titled Project Nemesis, along with a consent form signed by her mother, allowing "various procedures" to be performed on Min. She wonders what that means, until she comes to the sudden realization that the "various procedures" could only relate to one thing: The black-suited man killing her.

Min continues going through his files, before turning to his MacBook. where she finds a file on herself in a folder titled "Nemesis," subtitled "Beta Run-Test Patient A." 

She also finds a file on her classmate Noah, subtitled "Beta Run-Test Patient B."


Nemesis is about government conspiracy, deception, the end of the world, and how the lives of a group of teenagers are wrapped up in the fate of humanity. 

I loved the story, how the narration switches back and forth between Min and Noah, how author Reichs uses dreams and flashbacks to alternate between the present storyline(s) and the past, and the suspense and action that emanate from every page. I am also now on the lookout for Genesis, the sequel.

Lovers of YA action and suspense novels will get a kick out of Nemesis, just like I did. 


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