We find this book to have a pleasing fragrance.
Daniel and his best friend Krish are on the fast track to success with their AI technology working for AIRI, when tragedy strikes one night at a night club during a demo. Maya, Daniels' girlfriend and Krish's sister, is gravely injured in the ensuing chaos. What comes from Maya's accident is a digital surrogate - a Dirrrogate - that brings to life the memory of Maya.
I really liked the story in MEMORIES WITH MAYA. I didn't really understand much of the digi-talk, but the story between the scientific lines was beautiful and thought provoking. The Wizer that Daniel and Krish created was very interesting, and I liked how Dsouza showed how it could be used for better or worse. In science fiction, there are a lot of very advanced technologies that are thought up, but that take us years to actually be able to create.
What Daniel created from his grief over Maya - a Dirrogate - brings to life the memory of the one he lost. In MEMORIES WITH MAYA, Daniel's creation of Maya's Dirrogate raises questions about ethics and religion. Is what he created right or wrong? Is he going mad for wanting such a realistic version of Maya around all the time? Or is he just a grieving man trying to keep the memory of the woman he loved alive? The grief process is different for everyone and Maya's Dirrogate is the manifestation of Daniel's.
MEMORIES WITH MAYA merges the lines between Transhumanist beliefs that technology can make humans a newer and better race and those of other religious beliefs. This thought provoking novel will make you contemplate the lengths we go to to move on, but also remember those we are grieving. It's a very fine line, and sometimes that line can be crossed, where how we grieve moves into the potentially unethical.
The Guy: Daniel is a very smart and versatile person. He's all about doing his own thing and doesn't like committing to any one person in a relationship. Not only does Daniel work on AI with his best friend Krish, but he also does his own version of high-tech DJing in night clubs. He had a casual relationship with Maya, until she moved back to India with her brother Krish. While I was reading, I felt that in some ways, Daniel seemed emotionally stunted. He doesn't show emotion very often and I think that is why it took him so long to commit to Maya. This may also be why he went kind of crazy in his grief, although sometimes genius comes out of crazy. In his work on AI, Daniel is more of the visual and ideas side of the equation, whereas Krish works on a lot of the coding and algorithms.
The Girl: Maya is a girl with dreams of working in classical dance. She's a beautiful girl, and she doesn't give up when others say she can't do something. She just works all the harder. Maya loves Daniel, but for fear of driving him away, she doesn't confess to him how she feels, until he comes to India to work on the Wizer project. She showed the ultimate sacrifice for the man she loved by protecting him while he was unable to do so himself. When I think of Maya, I think of her as a vision. It's hard to explain why I think of her this way, but it's like she's, well, a memory, a vision, being brought to life. And I guess technically in the end, she is.
In MEMORIES WITH MAYA, the villains are the ones responsible for the chaotic events that lead to her death. I won't say who they are, but what happened to cause Maya's death was based in the greed to corrupted men, working with a group of terrorists. They were greedy for money and power, and it didn't matter who had to pay the price for it.
There isn't much in the romance department in MEMORIES WITH MAYA, but it's all very heartbreaking in the end.
Maya and Daniel had a casual relationship going, until she moved back to India. They still had a casual long distance relationship, until Daniel went to India to work on the Wizer project. Things heated back up and Daniel finally committed himself to Maya, but it was all cut short that night at the club.
Their relationship is filled with regrets and missed opportunities. And those are some of the most heartbreaking scenes in the book.
I'm always really excited when the title of the book shows up in the story, and the moment when it does was very bittersweet. Using Maya's Dirrogate, Daniel is making new memories with Maya.
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