If you had the ability to take away the memories of others, would you make a business out of it? In The Last Witness by KJ Parker, the main character is self admittedly no angel. After discovering as a child that he could take away memories, he found himself turning it into a necessary career choice. Though he wants to settle down and have a simple life of leisure, his bad choices and gambler lifestyle keep him from doing just that. When he encounters a young woman with the same abilities, our main character soon learns the dangers his gift possesses.
KJ Parker creates memories for various characters in this book that are so visceral they feel real. In one particular section, his character describes the war memories of a man he has taken away. It is a painful and violent memory. I do warn readers with sensitive stomachs that there are a few segments in the book that are a big disgusting. In one particular passage, the narrator describes how his sister lost her eye when a tree branch flew back and pierced it.
The Last Witness by KJ Parker is a bit like a fantasy version of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, but with no romantic overtures and a more violent realm of possibility. In its novella format, it is a quick read.
The Last Witness is available from Tor October 6, 2015.