I bought Lament for the Fallen by Gavin Chait ages and ago (and I still haven’t read it) so when I was given the opportunity to read another one of his novels: Our Memories Like Dust, I jumped at the chance. And now, I really wish I hadn’t…
Shakiso Collard leads the evacuation from Benghazi as jihadis overwhelm the refugee camp where she works. On arrival in Paris, she is betrayed by her boss, Oktar Samboa, and watches in despair as those she illegally helped escape are deported back to the warzones of Libya.
Elsewhere, Farinata Uberti – strongman CEO of Rosneft, the world’s largest energy company – arrives in London after triggering a violent insurrection in Tanzania to destroy a potential rival in the oil market. In the Sahara, an air convoy on its way to deliver billions of dollars of drugs and weapons to Ansar Dine jihadis crashes and is lost.
A year later, having spent months in hiding, Shakiso travels to West Africa. She is there to lead the relief effort that are hoping to stop the 200 million refugees fleeing war and environmental collapse heading for a fortified and fragmented Europe.
As the myths of these millions seeking new lives across the Mediterranean intrude into reality, Shakiso is drawn into the brutal clandestine fight against Rosneft’s domination of European energy supplies being conducted by the mysterious Simon Adaro. And, deep within the disorienting Harmattan storms of the desert, a group of jihadis have gone in search of the crashed convoy of planes – and a terror that could overwhelm them all.
“Will we recognise the suffering and hope in the journey of these refugees? Or will we raise a wall of steel and drown their faith in the waters of the Mediterranean?
– Gavin Chait, Our Memories Like Dust
All of the way throughout this book I was confused. I mean you just have to read my Goodreads updates to know that I wasn’t enjoying it. There were too many characters so I kept getting confused, the plot seemed to be all over the place and the fact that the formatting on an e-reader for this book wasn’t good either, so that didn’t help with the confusion.
I did finish the book but in my mind, I feel like I DNF’d it at about 35%. I’d just had enough… And not enjoying this book has kind of put me off reading Lament for the Fallen, but I’m still going to give it a read in the future because I want to see if it was just this book that I didn’t like or whether I just don’t like Chait’s writing style. The only reason that I’ve given the book it’s one and only star is because of the issues that this book addresses. Our Memories Like Dust is set in the future and explores issues such as terrorism, the divide between the lower and upper classes, religious beliefs and refugees. I thought it was interesting to see how Gavin Chait portrayed each of these issues and how all of them intertwined with one another, but it was just a shame that it was all over the place.
Overall, this book was just disappointing. I was expecting so much more from it and it just failed to provide the type of story that I was looking for. There are only 3 reviews on Goodreads, and all of them give this book 3 stars, so maybe this book just wasn’t for me? It’s obvious that other people enjoyed this book waaayyy more than I did, so if you’ve read it, please let me know what you thought of it in the comments!
Disclaimer: this book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review