Cover Image: Dare to Know

Dare to Know

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Member Reviews

Dare to Know is a thrilling, ground-breaking, genre-defying and expanding page-turner that I have been eagerly anticipating - and the future is now! You know you're going to experience something unexpected, delightfully weird, and mind-bending when you open Dare To Know. As expected from a James Kennedy project, it is thought-provoking, wry and sardonic in the best way, hilarious and cutting, and impossible to put down. The unique voice of our protagonist facing his past and future reveals more of himself than he likely plans - a testament to Kennedy's craft and finesse with words. Can I just sing the praises of the plotting? Kennedy weaves the narrator's past friendship with Renard at junior-high physics camp, his romance with his college girlfriend, Julia, and the present dilemma of knowing too much about his own mortality that always propels the reader forward. He balances the big questions about philosophy/physics/morality/history while centering the struggles of the characters... who are also us, right? I cannot stop thinking about Dare to Know - and recognize I've only skimmed the surface of its depths after my first read. (P.S. When Dare to Know actually becomes a start-up, please don't tell me - I don't want to know ... Would you?) Highly recommended for all collections. It also makes a fantastic crossover book for teen/adult collections. I also cannot wait to booktalk it to high schoolers who are avid horror/scifi fans who want a book unlike anything they've read before.
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This book reminds me of Ray Bradbury decided to write like Stephen king . Engrossing and thrilling I can promise you you’ve never read anything like this
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The narrator begins his working life with incredible success.  He's hitched his wagon to a rising star by being the one person who found an error in groundbreaking calculations (albeit, nearly inconsequential one).  He and his girlfriend end up working for a company that can predict - to the second - when you will die.  However, the narrator makes a series of missteps and finds himself alone and wrecked, literally and figuratively.  That's when he breaks the company rules and calculates his own death, and everything he thought he knew is in utter chaos.  This weird tale will appeal to readers who enjoy minute detail in the support of a fantastical tale.
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This book wasn't what I expected.  Based on the description, I thought there would be thrills, and a race to uncover a conspiracy.  That is not the story.  It's a much stranger tale, and most of the book is spend winding back in time, and very little going forward.  The publisher blurb calls this an "adrenaline-filled thriller," which simply does not feel accurate to me.  It is bizarre and speculative and high-concept, not fast-paced and thrilling.  The excitement of the story comes from following slowly unwinding concepts, not from a thrilling chase for answers.  The answers bloom and unravel in a sometimes Lynchian fashion, filled with unsettling 'is this real?' imagery.  None of these things are criticisms, but they do not align with how the book is currently being marketed.  I'm afraid this may cause the book to miss its audience!

Many thanks to NetGalley and Quirk Books for the advance copy - I always enjoy reading the newest from Quirk!
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This book is weird and strange and somehow compelling. I found the pacing picked up a whole bunch the last third of the book, and I couldn’t put it down. 

A bit darker than I’m normally comfortable with and more philosophical than I prefer—but the premise is clever.

Surprisingly, I enjoyed this book. 

I would recommend this for fans of Blake Crouch (especially Dark Matter) and for those who like Rabbits by Terry Miles.
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Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC.

This is, for better or worse, an entirely modern book. We have a shady scientific company, speculative aspects in an otherwise normal society, a deteriorating relationship, a joke-y narrator, and too many damn anecdotes and allegories to tell the reader HERE'S WHAT THE BOOK REALLY MEANS because the plot itself isn't good enough to do the job. 

There are elements of interest here, and I admire Kennedy's imagination. However, for a book about the tension of knowing your own death timeline (or would you rather live in ignorance?), there is a paucity of insight about our own mortality. The timeline is shaky, especially in the first half, where the  backstory is cut up with little blips of the present. We already understand where the plot is headed, so the supposed mystery of the present isn't enough to buoy us as we explore the past.

The greatest sin, however, is represented by our narrator in his relationship to Julia. They are the type of couple that you feel obligated to invite to the party, but deeply, deeply hope never show up. The narrator obsesses over her, although I was never convinced of the appeal, nor his appeal to her. 

They are, in short, boring. Thoroughly, unshakably, soul-numbingly boring people. And, no matter how zany the plot becomes, the boringness permeates every aspect of the novel. In short, the contrast only highlights how hard he is reaching for an intriguing plot and how the characters are cyphers for flat reflections.
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I really liked the oddness of this novel. I finished it a week ago and still can't stop thinking about it. It was unique and interesting and I look forward to reading more Kennedy titles in the future. I'll definitely be buying this for the library.
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Alright, who said this was similar to a Blake Crouch novel? I DNFed this one so hard. The plot dragged, the main character is severely unlikable but in a dull way, not a fascinating anti-hero way. Blake Crouch’s novels pick up immediately and set you firmly in a world, whereas this one kicked back and forth between past and future of a character I couldn’t care for, then left us in a ditch. Even the “science” behind the death prediction is unremarkable and undefined, more like a Voigt-Kamf test in Bladerunner than a futuristic fatalistic equation backed by research. I tried, many nights spent starting the same chapter over because I kept falling asleep.
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I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley. The premise sounded very intriguing: A company called Dare to Know can calculate the exact time of your death with 100% accuracy for a price. One of the company's sales reps breaks the company's cardinal rule and calculates his own death time, only to find out that he actually died 23 minutes ago.

The book started off well, and built up the story at a good pace. Much of the early part of the book is told in a mix of different backstory reflections. At first, the reflections don't seem to have much of a connection, but as the story moves along it seems that there are some subtle connections between them, which makes it interesting and keeps you reading.

But then it starts getting weird about half-way through. And then it just gets weirder and weirder. Moving away from science fiction and more into occult fantasy. The ending was not what I was expecting - I was hoping that there would be more of the loose ends tied up than there were.

It did keep me reading though, curious as to what was going to happen next. 

Thanks to NetGally for an ARC of this book
#netgalley #daretoknow
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A company can tell you, with 100% accuracy, when you are going to die. But what happens when you live beyond your expiration date? We meet our narrator as his life and grasp of reality our crumbling around him. As you read along, your sense of reality will melt away too. I dare you to read, Dare to Know.
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Exceedingly compelling. Much of book reminded me of old-fashioned sf - focus on an idea and a 'what if' rather then on character or worldbuilding. I really didn't like the ending, became horror/fantasy, not for me.
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In an alternate present day, we have the technology to pinpoint the exact day and time of one's death, and you can pay a pretty penny to have yours determined. The main character calculates death dates for a living, and when he breaks the rules to determines his own time of death he discovers he should have died a few minutes ago. This sets our hero on a quest to figure out what the heck is going on.

This book starts out slow, setting up the history of how this technology came to be and the hero's backstory. I found it to pick up speed about halfway through, and then things start to get trippy. The author keeps you second-guessing yourself, reality, and the main character. You remain just on the edge of insanity, until the slam-bang ending. What starts out as a straight-forward tale spins out of control into the realm of the occult and alternate realities. It's a mind-scrambler, for sure.

Recommended for fans of Blake Crouch and A Clockwork Orange.
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