This week I read Persona by Genevieve Valentine.
In the near future, the world revolves around the International Assembly, and the “Faces”, figureheads that parrot decisions made by others. Suyana Sapaki is the Face for the United Amazonia Confederation. She is about the sign a relationship contract with the Face of the United States that could boost her political standing and help her struggling confederation. But when she arrives at the hotel for the secret meeting, she is shot. Daniel, a man fleeing his country and budding paparazzi, captures the shots. Without thinking, he jumps into the fray to help her, and is pulled with her into the game of Faces, which could destroy them both.
This book jumped me. A mere 20 pages in, and Suyana and Daniel are running for assassins, and at that point I didn’t know either of them. I didn’t know who they were or why they should matter to me. It took time to get that information, through flashback and other exposition, and it took that long for me to start caring about them, for them to become real characters, people, instead of cutout silhouettes traipsing through Paris.
Once their story-lines diverged, I got more into their characters individually. Suyana’s obsession with appearance and power, her struggle with trust, and Daniels moral back-and-forth make more sense, and I sympathized with them more.
I don’t know how I feel about this book. I wish the world had been built a bit more. I felt slightly unmoored throughout. However, it’s fast-paced and quick to read. Entertaining and well-written, but somehow doesn’t fully satisfy at the end. Perhaps this is because there is a sequel upcoming, so the ending is supposed to lead to that, but it felt closed to me, just not satisfactory.
3.5 out of 5. Interesting and not what I expected. I will look for the sequel when it is released.
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