The Persistence of Memory

Book 1: Deja Vu

Fiction - Fantasy - Urban
276 Pages
Reviewed on 04/26/2019
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

When Karen realized that flying an invisible jet and saving the day while wearing a swimsuit wasn’t a viable career path, she turned to teaching yoga and writing. She’s the author of a new superhero action romance trilogy, The Persistence of Memory, as well as several short stories and poems that have appeared in literary journals and anthologies. She has earned several writing awards, and earned her master’s degree in English in 1994.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite

As they say, “…and now for something completely different.” That is exactly what The Persistence of Memory by Karen Janowsky brought me. This book took me completely by surprise with both its premise and its development. Major Daniel Hecht was somewhat of an enigma. A sickly, weak, American Jew who was captured by the Nazis in 1938, Daniel was subjected to horrific experiments by the Nazi overlords who were working on a formula to make the “perfect” soldier. When Daniel was finally freed by a group of partisans, he was used and abused by the American armed services for his special abilities. Then, right in the middle of the war, something odd happened and Daniel was thrust through time to 2012 where he was again recruited by an organization that wanted to use his special talents along with some other “superheroes” to keep the forces of evil at bay. When Daniel, an awkward introvert, meets Nina, a new recruit, both instantly know there is something special between them. Despite neither having memories of the event, they are sure they have always known each other, and that there is a special bond between them. Daniel, Nina, and the rest of the rag-tag superheroes set about trying to stop the collection of ancient artifacts that together could create a superweapon for the forces of evil.

I absolutely loved this book. The premise was so outlandish and the story so personal and real that you, as a reader, can't help being drawn into the jumbled world of Daniel and Nina. The Persistence of Memory is an enigma in itself. Somehow author Karen Janowsky has managed to combine an action-packed narrative of superheroes with a sweet, beautiful love story that plays out between Daniel and Nina. Both characters are so incredibly naïve as to the ways of the world that at times you really want to shout at them… “for God’s sake, just do it.” The writing style is relaxed and comfortable. I was able to read this book in a single sitting. It is one of those stories you just simply cannot put down because you are always searching for the next step, the next move in the relationship. The erotic writing in the book is a very small part, but an extremely powerful part. I felt the author handled these scenes with such tenderness and care that it was an absolute pleasure to read. If you love good science fiction or fantasy with plenty of twists and turns, or if you just love a ripping good adventure yarn with plenty of romance, you will love this book. I did and I can highly recommend it.

K.C. Finn

The Persistence of Memory: Deja Vu is a work of romantic urban fantasy penned by author Karen Janowsky. In the opening novel to a new series featuring time travel, we follow the adventures of World War Two hero Daniel ‘Lionheart' Hecht as he finds a new place: leading a secret group of outcasts with superpowers. One such outcast is Nina Asher, a young woman with immense knowledge, but no memory of her origins. As she and Daniel grow closer, the mystery of Nina’s memory begins to unfold, spelling extreme danger for them both. An epic and complex romance follows, with all of history in its wake.

Written for adults due to its steamy romantic content, this decade-spanning fantasy adventure is sure to please fans of both modern mystery dramas and historical romances. Author Karen Janowsky finds great strength in her character development, making Nina and Daniel so real that they leap off the page from the start. The supernatural elements of the undergrounders blend really well with the urban elements of the contemporary world, and it’s that sense of realism which helps readers stay emotionally grounded as danger looms, and the real monsters of the tale begin to emerge. The twist in the plot near the end is pleasantly satisfying and not too far-fetched, and I found the atmospheres of the past and present to be very well balanced throughout. Overall, The Persistence of Memory: Deja Vu delivers a superb and intense romantic adventure played out amongst historical nostalgia and epic superhero thrills.

K.J. Simmill

Daniel never normally connected with people, and those who pursue him usually were just in love with his history. He was Lionheart, a super soldier who survived the Nazis, experiments, manipulations, and somehow found himself propelled through time. When he met Nina, however, he couldn't explain the attraction. It was as if he'd known her forever, and the impossible visions he had of her did nothing to disprove what he felt. He thought there were more pressing things to address. The collection of artifacts, thought to be part of a larger weapon, had to be a priority, especially since they were not the only ones after them. But his and Nina's pasts are more important than they could ever imagine.

The Persistence of Memory by Karen Janowsky is a blending of romance, superhero, science fiction, and time travel. It is packed with interesting ancient history, some of which, while steeped in fact, has been tempered to the author's own creative flair. I enjoyed the building relationship between Daniel and Nina, and the broad scope of characters we meet. We learn about Daniel's past as we explore his present and his hopes towards a future with Nina. All the time they are attempting to stop the movements of demons. I enjoyed the fact that the heroes are fallible, they are not only imperfect and flawed, but they also don't claim victory at every turn. They are human, mostly, and are presented as such. The plot is mainly focused on the building relationship between Daniel and Nina but is also filled with action and exploration. History is revealed and secrets uncovered in this character-driven plot. Romance, uncertainty, mystery, and intrigue will keep you delving further, trying to uncover the truth and its importance.