Persona by Genevieve Valentine. ★★★
Persona‘s a near future thriller that just never grabbed my interest.
In Valentine’s version of the future, each country has a Face, a celebrity ambassador who represents in the country in the media but doesn’t actually get to make decisions. Suyana’s the face of United Amazonia Rainforest Confederation, a young country that desperately needs to increase their status and make alliances. Luckily, Suyana’s arranged to date the Face of the United States. But when she’s heading to that first date, someone tries to kill her. Daniel, an unregistered and illegal journalist, witnesses the attack and despite himself becomes involved in Suyana’s life.
I don’t know why I never became invested in Persona. There are no obvious flaws I can point to, but then again, there’s not any obvious strengths either. While I thought the Faces and such sounded intriguing, it’s execution didn’t live up to it. I listened to Persona on audio, and the narrator was fine. But normally when I get into an audio book, I’ll find excuses to listen to it, ending up spending time playing solitaire while listening to the story. That never happened with Persona.
I also had trouble believing the connection between Daniel and Suyana. I get that being in dangerous situations together makes people grow close, but I still felt like their connection was superficial.
At heart, I think the issue was the pacing. A thriller is supposed to be thrilling. It needs to be something fast and exciting, where you keep flipping those pages. Persona’s most exciting scene was the assassination attempt in the beginning.
I know this review is a lot shorter than normal, but I really don’t know what to say about Persona. It went in one ear and out the other. If there’s a sequel, I don’t think I’ll bother reading it.