The Fray Theory: Resonance
by Nelou Keramati
Neve Knightly is a university student much like any other, struggling to find her place in the world as she nears the start of an adult career she’s unsure of. She has a sharp intellect and proves to be a compelling character to relate to. When an ex-boyfriend mysteriously shows up after having suddenly vanished without a trace three years before, she reacts as anyone would–with pure shock and confusion. But then, her problems cease to be ordinary. She awakens one day to discover that the nightmare she was having had actually been occurring in real life, all while she was asleep.
Now, don’t assume you know what that means. The fantasy elements of this book might at first seem familiar, but they are explained in a way that is completely unique. It makes for a very compelling science fiction landscape in our modern world.
The Fray Theory is a certified page turner, the sort of book you find yourself reading under the table, at your desk, and in waiting lines. I found that it ended much too soon. Keramati does an excellent job of pacing, and there is hardly a dull moment to be found anywhere in the book. The action scenes are gripping, and the chilling moments are acutely effective.
However, the real strength of this book is the characters. Often, it takes a while to truly relate to a character you’re reading about; not so with The Fray Theory. You feel like you instantly know the three main characters, Neve, Dylan, and Romer. Keramati shifts seamlessly between the three characters’ points of view, without ever making the transition feel forced or unwanted. Rather, they all continue the same plot. All three characters are unique and well-rounded, and that is something that is hard to do in a novel with multiple POVs. Feeling what each character feels is effortless and natural. The relationships between them are complicated and real, and make all of their interactions rich and enjoyable for readers.
I do wish the book had spent a little more time on the explanation (*no spoilers*) behind all of the strange events and abilities that fill the story. This had to be rushed to some degree because of what’s going on in the story at the time it’s revealed, but readers aren’t given very much time to understand what is a very interesting and original concept. I expect we will delve more deeply into the topic in the next book, though, and I’m looking forward to better understanding the implications of it.
Overall, this is a highly entertaining read, and an exceptional debut novel from Nelou Keramati. Readers will find themselves gladly swept into a thrilling world full of appealing characters and mysterious phenomena.
4 out of 5 stars