The New World has an interesting premise: When Jane's husband, Jim, dies, she's horrified to discover he'd joined a group called Polaris, which is a group that preserves dead people's heads in the hopes of reanimating them in the future. In other words, they cut Jim's head off his body right after he died and took it away to their headquarters for preservation.
Yeah, I'd be annoyed too.
As it turns out, much, much later in the future, their work is successful, and Jim wakes to a new body and a new life. However, Polaris indoctrinates him into the idea that he must give up all previous attachments and memories from his previous life if he is to fully reenter the world again.
Meanwhile, poor Jane is left behind in the current day, trying to find a lawyer who will help her get Jim's head back, and even trying to infiltrate Polaris in order to take back his head.
I don't know, you guys. Maybe it's me. Maybe I'm a bit tired of dystopia and future weird worlds. I just could not wrap my head around this, or buy very much of it. So much of the future world is presented in New Age-y terms that felt stilted. I didn't understand the necessity of letting go of previous memories, other than for the authors to play around with the idea. There are some touching moments, such as when Jim meets another woman who is resistant to letting go of the past.
The stories of Jane and Jim are told initially in alternating chapters, but after a while the authors don't even bother and just run them together in the same chapter. I think they're supposed to feel parallel, like we're supposed to experience Jane's struggle in coming to terms with losing Jim and what Polaris means, while we're watching Jim struggle with the idea of giving up his past life, flawed as it was. But instead of parallel, it felt random and annoying. And the ending--it's not an ending. The book just stops. Nothing is resolved in any particular direction. Not that I need everything tied up with a bow, but I'd like some sense that something happened, and that sense was totally missing.
It'll be interesting to see this one discussed in the ToB. Maybe others who liked it better will throw some valuable insight my way.