Cover Image: Dare to Know

Dare to Know

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Member Reviews

From a great premise to slipstream to weird. This was not the progression I was hoping for. This ended up being a mashup of about four or five entirely different books, two or three of which I might have found interesting.
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If you had the option to know your exact death date, would you want to know? How would knowing affect the way you live your life? 

In Dare to Know, the future offers you the chance to purchase the knowledge from a company which has developed the software to accurately predict your death date. But when the main character, a salesman for the company, finds out he has outlived his death date he goes on a journey to find out how he did it. 

This book is unputdownable for the first two acts but the third became slightly laborious in style. However I was so hooked by groundwork Kennedy did in setting up the world & making me care about the character that I had to keep reading. This is a very good book.
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Another book with an AMAZING idea, and a terrible execution. I could hardly even give it one star. But alas, I am required to at least give it one. I am giving it one, because it was an amazing concept. Try again!
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I am a member of the American Library Association Reading List Award Committee. This title was suggested for the 2022 list. It was not nominated for the award. The complete list of winners and shortlisted titles is at <a href="https://rusaupdate.org/2022/01/readers-advisory-announce-2022-reading-list-years-best-in-genre-fiction-for-adult-readers/">
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This book had all the potential but it didn't delivered it to me like I expected it to. The pacing got confusing right away. I was very interested, then I got distracted and found myself not understand what was happening. It had potential, but sadly I wasn't entertained enough to like it.
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I loved how random strange and twisty this one was, it really blew my mind actually. I love the idea of being able to predict peoples deaths (probably not in reality as it would make me anxious as hell) but theoretically it sounds like it would be so interesting!
I enjoyed the way it was written, it got a little confusing in parts but overall a really enjoyable thrilling unique read!
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DNF @ 35%

Back when I was in high school, I read Mr. Kennedy's debut novel, The Order of Odd Fish. Admittedly I remember nothing of the book, only that I loved it and shared it with several friends at the time to get them to read it. I still own the book, and gazing at my shelf causes me to sometimes look up to see if the author wrote another book. 12 years later, I was excited to find out that he had another one coming out! I requested an eARC as soon as I found out, but I didn't get around to reading it until after the publication date. It's pegged as a sci-fi thriller, which is something that I'll pick up from time to time.

Unfortunately, I did not vibe with the writing style. The synopsis is about a salesman of a company that sells your death details to the exact date and time you will die. The salesman early on ends up in a car accident during a winter storm, and while waiting for the tow truck decides to calculate his own death. The prediction algorithm used is always correct, but his death supposedly occurred 23 minutes ago. From here, I expect the story to be told in a quick and thrilling manner in how the character is able to figure out why he may still be alive. Before his car crash, the book does explain some of the character's history as well as some of the "science" that is behind the death prediction method used. Unfortunately, the book continues to talk about the character's past, mainly his relationship with a previous lover (who will be the one to help him solve his death problem). It doesn't focus on the character's present situation at all and just keeps jumping back to the past. I didn't really find this format really thrilling as it's not building how the current/present situation is dire. It really takes you away from the problem at hand and I was bored. I'm still glad that the author has another book out there after so many years, but I don't think this one is for me.

Thank you to the publisher for providing a free eARC via Netgalley. All opinions are my own.
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QUICK TAKE: very cool idea (people being able to predict someone's death down to the day), but ultimately execution left me wanting more. There's a lot of flashbacks that I just had trouble getting into, and was craving more of the present day story. Ultimately not for me.
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This novel is near-future scifi - I would say future tech, but what's involved here is an algorithm and mathematics used by trained individuals to determine specific times of death. And while the plot is very real world for the most part, the real genre here is weird fiction. This becomes clear the further you get into the story and absolutely blatant in the final few dozen pages.
The protagonist is not very likeable, but you're obviously meant to feel bad for him because of the state his life is in. And he gives plenty of details, especially regarding his failed relationships. Then, of course, he discovers his time of death has passed (not a spoiler - it's in the book blurb) and gets even more lost. It definitely gets you to keep reading for the "what next" factor.
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First of all a big thank you to Netgalley, the publishers and the author for sending me a copy of this for me to read and review.

Let me tell you, this was a WILD ride and honestly for most of the book I couldn't tell you what was going on apart from the basic story line. But that was part of its charm. It does get a little confusing as the story goes on however it was so intriguing that I could not put it down.

The idea that someone, using a formula, can work out exactly when you're going to die is absolutely mindblowing.
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Great premise, but the last 50 pages veered off too far into fantasyland for my liking, but it was still a fast, mildly entertaining read.
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DNF at 35%. I thought the premise sounded interesting but unfortunately the execution really isn’t working for me - rambly narration from someone I’m not liking and don’t want to spend time with. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the advance reading copy.
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This was definitely one of the best books I have read this year... I did managed to finish this book within a few hours. It was captivating and difficult to put down.
HIGHLY RECOMMEND
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Although I went into this book with open eyes I really did struggle to concentrate on the writing. A little too wordy for me but overall a good book with some elements of surprise. 

It started well but was t quite what I expected and for me the pace wasn’t quite what I expected.
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We have the unusual world of salesmen who can calculate using subject math the exact date of your death. This is told in first person, we follow this one guy, a salesperson, who’s better days are way behind him. The book is told mostly of looking back, and details get layered on, so specific moments and events take on more meaning as the book progresses. 

It's a spiraling of despair and then into a hallucinogenic tale to where it is unclear what is reality or not. Death is the center of this book as is fairy tales, which leads one to suppose there will be the happily-ever-after, except this is a satire. It’s an odd one to be sure. A bit too magical realism for me, but for the right reader this will be a good book.
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This is an oddly strange but absorbing book. The writing was very good but the story had so many odd moments that it really stuck with me after I was done.
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When I first read about this book, I was excited about the whole idea of it. Even in the beginning, I felt like this was going to be one of those binge reads, but the style of the writing could save this story for me. It was very difficult to get through and struggled to get to the end. 

I can see where others may like the book, just wasn't for me. Because of this, I chose not to review it on a public forum.
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This is a clever and very fun journey of a book.  I loved the progression of the story, and the twists and turns were just fantastic.  Really enjoyed it!
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**Thank you to NetGalley and Quirk Books for the eARC of this interesting title!**

I really wanted this to be a five star read for me based on the description. The narrator works for a company called “Dare To Know” that uses an interesting bit of physics to predict people’s exact time of death. 

It started out pretty strong for me with a lot of interesting elements and a fast moving plot. I absolutely adored James Kennedy’s style of writing and will be checking out more of his work. With that being said, the characters in this book fell short for me and I disliked them almost immediately. The narrator is off-putting and associates himself with equally icky people. I found myself rolling my eyes through a lot of the dialogue and awkward human interactions that our narrator went through.

The timelines were equally as difficult to care about, as they jumped from not only past and present but also to a fairy tale story told by the narrator. Sounds confusing - right?! 

The science fiction aspects of this book were great and I found myself pretty hooked on the actual explanation of death prediction and how that all fit into the universe. The last 40 pages or so took a weird, fantastical turn that to me made them feel disconnected from the main story line. Maybe I just didn’t “get” this book, but I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as I had hoped.

I would recommend this book for fans of science fiction specifically centered around hard physics and dystopian style plots.
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2.5 stars. This was a compelling read in some ways, but left me disappointed overall. I am not a fan of magical realism at the best of times, and the warping of time and space, along with the heavy dose of philosophy/mathematics, did not appeal. I didn't get a sense of closure at the end, and there were parts where it really dragged. Plus, the protagonist wasn't exactly a very likeable person, which always makes it extra hard to get invested.

What I did find intriguing was subjective mathematics—have gone down an internet rabbit hole looking that up.

(Review copy from NetGalley)
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