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About The Scent of Memory by Shari Elder

Twelve years ago, Marisol lost Aren. Now he’s back—pointing a gun at her head and treating her like a stranger.

Rebel hacker, Marisol Martinez, never thought volunteering to keep the hospital safe from cyborgs would lead her back to the man sabotage ripped from her arms. The man she swore to avenge by any means possible.

For over a decade, Cap protected the cyborgs under his command from every danger. Until he meets an insurgent, whose scent wreaks havoc on his control. She calls him Aren and insists she knows him. But she’s wrong. He has no past, no present, no future—only orders he’s programmed to complete.

Forced together, Marisol and Cap can’t resist the passion that keeps building between them. With time running out, Marisol must use her computer skills to restore Aren’s memories or Cap will kill all subversives on the planet—starting with her.

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Review of The Scent of Memory

Four years after Race to Redemption was published, Shari Elder has released the second book in the Green Rising series.  Since book 1 made good impression, I was very happy to read The Scent of Memory.

There are quite a few differences between the books.  We go from a desert world to a frozen tundra appropriately named Nordika.  Instead of storm racing, the sport is dog mushing.  And the cast of characters is mostly different. Hacker Marisol and cyborg Cap are both fierce personalities, bent on doing what they consider is the right thing.  Getting the right thing for both of them to align will be the challenge.

What carries over from the first book are the bad guys and the conflict between the privileged corrupt rich and poverty stricken poor.  One of the things I liked about this book is that the government of Nordika, personified by governor Luke de Graaf, really does have the best interests of the people in mind.  Even if it sometimes means bowing to superior, not-so-sympathetic forces. 

Here’s the thing about hacking being a key defensive/offensive weapon.  It is low on action.  As a hacker, Marisol seems to be able to get at anything she sets her mind to.  While this seems a little unbelievable, ultimately it was a critical part of the plot.  However, hacking is not all that interesting to read about.  So instead of focusing on that kind of action, the relationship between Marisol and Cap takes center stage.  Because, ultimately that relationship will become just as critical as Marisol’s hacking ability and Cap’s cyborg talents.

I would have liked to get to know Aren (who became Cap) a little better.  At least that is what I first thought.  Cap is not Aren.  Cap is Cap.  A cyborg who hasn’t been around all that long.  So maybe the reader is not supposed to know more about Aren.  Like Marisol, we need to figure out Cap.

I liked Ariana, Marisol’s daughter.  Ariana a) is cute and b) she humanizes Marisol.  The cute kid is almost never out of place in a serious story.

Thanks to the author who provided a copy of her book in exchange for my honest review.

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