Sunday, February 17, 2013

Persistence of Vision Blog Tour: Review & Character Interview

Welcome to our stop on the blog tour for Persistence of Vision by Liesel K. Hill! As well as our reviews, we have an interview with one of its characters, the enigmatic Doc, for you today.

Persistence of Vision by Liesel K. Hill
Persistence of Vision (Interchron #1)
By Liesel K. Hill
Tate Publishing Amazon | Goodreads

* A copy was provided by the author for review.


In a world where collective hives are enslaving the population and individuals have been hunted to the verge of extinction, Maggie Harper, and independent 21st Century woman, must find the strength to preserve the freedom of the future, but without the aid of her memories.

After experiencing a traumatic time loss, Maggie is plagued by a barrage of images she can't explain. When she's attacked by a creep with a spider's web tattoo, she is saved by Marcus, a man she's never met, but somehow remembers. He tells her that both he and her creepy attacker are from a future in which individuals are being murdered by collectives, and Marcus is part of the rebellion. The collectives have acquired time travel and they plan to enslave the human race throughout all of history. The flashes Maggie has been seeing are echoes of lost memories, and the information buried deep within them is instrumental in defeating the collective hives.

In order to preserve the individuality of mankind, Maggie must try to re-discover stolen memories, re-kindle friendships she has no recollection of, and wade through her feelings for the mysterious Marcus, all while dodging the tattooed assassins the collectives keep sending her way.

If Maggie can't fill the holes in her memory and find the answers to stop the collectives, the world both in her time and in all ages past and future will be doomed to enslavement in the grey, mediocre collectives. As the danger swirls around her and the collectives close in, Maggie realizes she must make a choice: stand out or fade away . . .

Ally's Review:

Dystopians have become remarkably popular ever since the The Hunger Games. They usually maintain the same guidelines: a broken society, often as a result of plague or war, and a group of righteous characters devoted to mending the tattered world. Therefore, my taste for regular dystopians has sadly been waning. I just don't like the conformity that is now following this genre. Reading Persistence of Vision has been utterly refreshing. It's different. Not in the one or two new unique things different, but in an entirely new twist different. There's time-traveling and other various supernatural abilities. It's like X-Men meets dystopian, meets sci-fi! Everything mixed well together and contributed to the enjoyability of the story.

Persistence of Vision is one of the most mysterious books I have ever read. As the reader, you are left with gaps in the information. This wasn't a bad thing; actually, it was rather intriguing. I like figuring things out; I'd like to fancy myself the Sherlock Holmes of the book world, so it was really fun piecing together the pieces of the puzzle. The main character, Maggie, had missing memories, resulting in the mystery bit of the book. This was all very clever.

Maggie was a great heroine. She was fearless without being unrealistic. She took what she learned in stride and did the best with what she had. This was admirable, especially since everything about this world was complicated. I feel like I need to go into more detail about the story line. So, in the future, society has crumbled, hence the dystopian genre, and everyone is pretty much mindless and telepathically chained to each other. This is called the collective. Now, the intentions were good. The collective made the world an easier place to understand, but then the baddies became power hungry and went on a world domination rampage. The rebels, or the individualists who are not linked to the collective, do what they do best—rebel. Maggie is obviously in the middle of all of this, being the prophecy's "executioner" of the collective. The whole plot line can be quite confusing, and I think that's where Maggie's memory loss came in handy. The reader doesn't have to shield himself or herself from an information overload. The world was explained slowly as Maggie relearned everything.

The other characters were very likable. Marcus was Maggie's love interest. They had romantic history, but after Maggie lost her memory, things obviously changed to a more awkward note. He was sweet and patient through all of this. I did, however, like David better. I am not ashamed to say that I gleefully ship David and Maggie, rather than Marcus and Maggie. My favorite character was Karl. I usually become annoyed with secondary characters, especially if they are purposely placed as comic relief. That wasn't the case with Karl; I found him hilarious. He has a sense of humor that I can relate to. Karl would enthusiastically crack a very funny joke and everyone else would just roll their eyes and tell him to shush. That happens to me all the time! I feel you, Karl!

The world building was well thought out and, for the most part, neatly and evenly covered. One of the two things that bugged me was Jonah, Maggie's brother. Jonah was introduced into the book, seemingly important, and was dropped off within the first thirty pages. The guy seemed significant enough. He was there when Maggie disappeared into the future, but nothing that happens to him is ever elaborated on. Jonah must know something; he was right there! The other little thing that bothered me was the lack of interaction with the true antagonist. I wanted to know more about this bad guy and I barely got anything. The team didn't really get into the thick of the action until the end of the book, and all of that seemed to happen in a blur.

The ending killed me. I would love to say that Ally Holmes foresaw everything that went down, but I can't. Persistence of Vision is a complicated book. It's impossible to unravel all the secrets in one go, though I did have fun trying. I really enjoyed reading this book and I can't imagine what's in store for the sequel.

All in All:

Persistence of Vision is a complicated and mysterious read, but that's what makes it so good. It has a little bit of everything—dystopian, sci-fi, romance, you name it! I think anyone can find something to like about this book.

Lee's Review:

At this point in my reading life, I feel like I’ve read enough dystopian novels to realize that I have a love/hate relationship with them. When I can immerse myself in the world and think, hey, this could really happen, we’re OK. When the world lacks enough details of how it came into existence or worse, is just nonsensical, well, we have a problem. Knowing our rocky history together, I now try to be extra selective about the dystopians I choose to read. I’m still bound to make mistakes, but happily, Persistence of Vision was not one of them.

This book revolves around the idea that in the future, the human brain will be mapped, its inner workings unlocked like never before. Tapping into the power of previously unused areas of the brain has made abilities like healing and telekinesis possible. As with all discoveries, however, there are some who would exploit this knowledge for nefarious purposes, and that is the scenario Persistence of Vision poses. The majority of the population lives in collectives, linked together through the mind. A group of individuals, of which the protagonist, Maggie, is a part, fights to free those in the collectives. I loved this concept and the crystal clear manner in which the formation of the collectives was explained. Liesel K. Hill’s world building is top-notch here. I never felt overwhelmed by scientific facts and jargon; the details were presented in a logical, eloquent flow that made this world easy both to understand and to find plausible.

Although most of the story focuses on Maggie, I thought that the book had an ensemble feel to it as well because of how fleshed out the supporting characters are. It’s quite fitting because working as a team is so vital to Maggie and her companions in order to bring down the collectives. I liked reading the team members’ back stories about how they ended up at Interchron, their mountain base of operations. As for the characters themselves, Maggie is a strong, resilient heroine who doesn’t allow her memory loss to become a cause for self-pity. She has to relearn everything she’s forgotten since leaving Interchron and being returned to her own time and willingly does so because the mission is so important. I loved Karl, one of Maggie’s best friends on the team, for his vibrant personality and sense of humor. I have to say, Karl has one of the coolest abilities among the team: time travel. I also liked how Marcus, the healer of the group, gave Maggie plenty of space upon her return to Interchron. The two were once close, but Maggie recalls nothing. It’s obvious that Marcus wishes she could, but he never presses her about their past together, which I found very sweet.

In a genre that sometimes gets bogged down in overcomplicated scientific explanations and disaster scenarios that stretch credulity, Persistence of Vision always maintains its focus on the story. And it’s a story that I found extremely fascinating—the battle to retain individuality and free will in a world mostly fallen to collectivism. This is an excellent sci-fi/dystopian novel with one of the most thought-provoking premises I’ve read about in a dystopian. Liesel Hill’s writing and storytelling are both stellar, and I eagerly await the next installment of this series.

All in All:

If all sci-fi/dystopians were written in such an accessible way, I’d definitely read more of them. I highly recommend this to anyone who’s shied away from the genre before.

** Our Interview with Doc **

Welcome to Rally the Readers, Doc! We thank you for answering a few questions for us today.

Not a problem! I’m happy to be here.

We’re quite curious to learn more about your background. Can you tell us a little about what your life was like growing up?

I’m not someone who likes to talk about my past much. I can tell you that I grew up with two brothers, and that my life has seen a lot of tragedy and turmoil, most of it brought on either directly or indirectly by the collectives.

How did you earn your nickname? Do you find it a bit ironic that your role in the prophecy is that of Witness instead of Healer?

My nickname comes from my profession, which is a medical doctor. I understand why many people think my role is ironic, but I’ve never found it so. I became a medical doctor before I had full grasp of my neurochemical abilities. I’ve never shown as neurochemical talent with Healing, so the situation has always felt quite natural to me.

You seem to keep quite a bit of information to yourself, sharing it with the other team members only when you think it’s necessary. Is this important to your role as Witness, are you just naturally secretive, or a combination of both?

A bit of both, I’m afraid. There are some things I worry about sharing with the team, because I don’t want things I know, things I’ve been through to affect them in a negative way. Again, some of the things I’ve seen and experienced in my past are quite tragic and personal, so I have a hard time sharing them anyway.

Both the mysterious B and the Remembrancer seem to know you. Are you able to elaborate on why that is?

I’d rather not in detail. Both entail painful memories from my past. I will say that, if the Remembrancer is who I think she is, who she’s claiming to be, I was once very close to both her and B. They were big parts of my life before, well, life happened. Now, in B’s case, we find ourselves on opposite sides of a raging war. As for the Remembrancer, I’m not sure what to make of her yet. I hope to run into her again and be given the chance to find out more.

If you ever had the misfortune to find yourself in a collective, how easy/difficult would it be for you to break away?

That I can’t answer with any certainty. As we now know from David’s experience, it is possible, but it’s also very difficult. Even if accomplished, it brings a great deal of physical pain. Even though I’m a strong-minded individual, and might have the will power as David did, I’m also an old man. I worry that such a thing would put my body into a state of shock I might not recover from.

What do you value most about being an individual?

Freedom. The freedom to think for oneself, work for one’s own bread, exercise and enrich one’s own mind. The individual mind is an amazing thing, capable of much more than the average person realizes. But we can only explore the limits of our own consciousness if we think and create for ourselves.

And now for a few random questions:

Least favorite part about being the Witness?

Having a duty to witness everything, even the negative things.

Greatest fear?

That’s entirely too complex a question to only contain two words! I suppose it’s failing in this war, though in a way success is also one of my greatest fears.

If you were a Traveler, where would you want to go?

To a simpler time, with less technology and good, simple people.

If you weren’t the Witness, what role from the prophecy would you want to fulfill?

What an interesting question! Probably Joan’s role: that of Protector. I feel like each member of the team was my own flesh and blood. I wish I had a better way to protect them from all the tragedies of war.

Thank you again for taking time out of your busy day to chat with us, Doc. We really appreciate it!

Thank you so much for having me!

Author Liesel K. Hill

Find Liesel K. Hill:

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  1. Thank you so much for this girl! For your participation and for your kind words! I'm so glad you both connected with the story and the characters so well! Cheers! ;D

    1. Thanks for letting us be a part of the tour, Liesel! We really enjoyed the book and had a lot of fun coming up with the interview questions!

  2. You said X-Men. I'm sold.

    I followed Liesel K Hill via facebook during a social hop. She's another book on my to-read list I have to add. :( Though, I don't think I can read it anytime soon. My to read list is sickeningly long.

    1. When I read Ally's review, I laughed because I also thought of X-Men while reading this. My TBR list is alarmingly long, too, and I just keep adding to it!

  3. Sounds wonderfully written. I've been giving dystopians a bit of a break, but your reviews have got me tempted to get back into the genre :)

    1. I've been taking a break from them, too, but I liked the sound of this one, and it is fantastically written. The world building is very impressive.

  4. Oooh, the characters and world building sound brilliant! :) X-Men, you definitely have my attention now. And the fact that it doesn't get too bogged down with technical terms is great.

    Maggie sounds like a great character. Especially since you say this book is so different. I've heard lots of fabulous things about this book and I definitely need to add it to my wishlist after all the positive praise.

    Brilliant reviews and awesome interview! :)

    1. I consider myself a computer geek, but I'm not as keen on the part of science that deals with atoms and molecules and that sort of stuff. So whenever a sci-fi/dystopian novel is heavy on it, my brain wants to tune out. I found the science of this book very interesting and thoroughly explained, though, and it never overshadows the actual story.

  5. I loved this novel too - I'm a tour stop on the 22nd of Feb :) Thanks for sharing the interview with Doc as well.

    I'm a new follower thanks to this tour, if you could follow me back that would be amazing.

    Rose @

    1. Glad to hear that you enjoyed it, too! Thanks for following!

  6. Fun character review! Doc is quite the secretive person isn't he? Old follower via GFC.

    Come check out my stop on the blog tour!
    Holly @ Words Fueled by Love

    1. He does seem to keep a lot of things to himself, especially about his past. We definitely hope to find out more about him in the next book!

  7. Love this! Excellent interview - those are so much fun. The two reviews you guys did are great. I enjoyed hearing about the supporting characters because these are really important to me. The world building and twists and turns are exciting. I'm so glad to see Liesel. I have this book on my shelf and just haven't gotten to read it yet. Thank you for fantastic reviews :D Jaclyn @ JC's Book Haven

    1. The supporting characters are really well written, with a lot of depth, and the world building is just spectacular. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as we did!

  8. Fabulous reviews girls & really interesting character interview. I follow Liesel already but I'll have to read this book for sure! Not anytime soon though since I am epically behind...anyways I love all the elements you both brought out about how mysterious the plot was (which I love!) and how original it was for a dystopian - you're both right that so many of them have become formulaic. The characters all sound very memorable as well. Thanks for sharing, can't wait to check this one out for myself :D

    1. I really got burnt out on reading dystopians last year and will be reading them sparingly this year, I think. This one is a standout, though. I really loved how unique its premise was!


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