[easyazon_image add_to_cart=”default” align=”left” asin=”1476781087″ cloaking=”default” height=”500″ localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51VTdnWNDML.jpg” tag=”superversivesf-20″ width=”331″]
Heisenberg’s Cat Burglar, Unforgettable by Eric James Stone
Reviewed by Peter Sean Bradley
This is a fun, engaging read. It’s not a perfect book – I found the main character to be one-dimensional and too much of a boy scout, but, perhaps, that’s also the reason I found him engaging and the book readable.
Nat Morgan is different; he carries a rare genetic anomaly that makes people forget him if they don’t observe him for a minute, and in fact, computers and digital recordings will erase his existence after a minute has elapsed. His childhood was hit or miss, as his mother kept forgetting about her child. Nat becomes a thief, regrets his life, and becomes a CIA agent, where he uses his singular gift for national security. In the course of his work for the CIA, Nat meets a freelance Russian agent, Yelena, and gets involved in the stealing of high-tech devices that work off of quantum mechanics. In a comedy of errors, Yelena, becomes entangled with Nat and the two become involved in a mission with the highest stakes imaginable.
The book is written in a light-hearted, comedy of errors style, particularly since Nat relies on his talent to “wing it’ and reset if the first approach doesn’t work. He is not a particularly good spy – his language skills consist of asking to go to the bathroom in a variety of languages (the bathroom being a place he can hang out in until his enemies forget him) – and much of the humor comes from him extracting himself from his impromptu schemes.
This is a book that doesn’t bear deep thought, lest the whole thing falls apart, e.g., how does Nat get paid if no one remembers him? Why didn’t the Prophet simply adjust the odds to pull out all oxygen from the room where the final confrontation occurs?; on the other hand, I thought that the final confrontation between the Prophet and Nat was fantastic (“Free”).
From the final, dangling sentence, it seems that there will be a sequel.
This book merits five stars because it is precisely what it ought to be: entertaining.