Triggers
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Triggers

3.57 of 5 stars 3.57  ·  rating details  ·  906 ratings  ·  218 reviews
On the eve of a secret military operation, an assassin’s bullet strikes President Seth Jerrison. He is rushed to the hospital, where surgeons struggle to save his life—and where Professor Ranjip Singh is experimenting with a device that can erase traumatic memories.

Then a terrorist bomb detonates. In the operating room, the president suffers cardiac arrest. He has a near-...more
Kindle Edition, Reissue Edition, 356 pages
Published April 3rd 2012 by Ace (first published March 23rd 2012)
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Michael Smith
I was so intrigued by the blurbs for this novel that, upon starting it, I was threatening to quit my job just so I could have uninterrupted time to finish it. And in fact I did finish it in about three sessions over the next day. However, despite some fascinating twists here and there, the novel seems to spin out of control into a fuzzy, unbelievable, feel-good ending that doesn’t feel emotionally supported by the structure of the novel: a quick and easy resolution, a deux ex machina that resolv...more
Mike
Until about the last 50 pages, I would have rated this book much higher (probably a 4 of 5), but I admit I hated the ending and felt it ruined much of the book.

In a nutshell, a freak accident causes a chain of people to be able to access the memory of the next person in the chain -- A can read B's memories, B can read C's, etc. Most of the novel deals with the ramifications of this: what does privacy mean, how problematic is it if you now know classified information you aren't cleared for, how d...more
Lisa
[I received a free advance reading copy of this book through a Goodreads First Read giveaway. ]

Oh Robert J. Sawyer. I want to love your books. I usually love the ideas (Flash Forward was so creative a concept!), but something in the execution always frustrates me. The characters always seem so flat, and yet I can feel you trying (too hard) to make them real. You have a story to tell me and sometimes I swear I can feel you bonking me over the head with your plot.

Things that bothered me about this...more
Chantal Boudreau
I love science fiction, but I rarely read it. The reason I rarely read it is because I don’t like the way most people write it. There are exceptions to the rule. I’m a big fan of Arthur C. Clarke; Rendezvous with Rama and Childhood’s End are two of my favourites. I also adored Asimov’s I, Robot, and enjoyed science fiction by Anne McCaffrey, Orson Scott Card and Robert Heinlein, but these are the exceptions. I find the majority of science fiction writers who take a hard science approach to their...more
Denise
I won a copy of Triggers from Penguin Books, through the Goodreads First Reads giveaway program.

The technology imagined by Robert J. Sawyer inevitably causes me to think "I never could have thought of that!" Triggers provoked that thought a few times...

When a terrorist attack coincides with an experimental medical treatment designed to erase traumatic memomories, the result is remarkable: a random group of people end up sharing memories. And since one of the group members is the U.S. President,...more
Stephanie
This book has all the trademarks of a Sawyer novel: a very plausible premise, great characters across a wide spectrum, and a fast-paced plot. I especially
Iike the way he addresses the pros and cons of being able to read someone's memories. The dynamics of knowing the most personal thoughts of either a stranger or someone you know is explored in depth. Cultural, racial, and ethnic differences make for compelling reading. I was loving this book immensely until the ending blew for me.

While the end...more
Bryan Schmidt
So strongly written, great characters, great suspense, great plot, but just fell apart in the last give chapters. For me, it totally jumped the shark. I just couldn't buy the ending. It seemed like Sawyer pushed the limits of credulity. Even in the context of the world in which he tells it, it just wasn't believable, and that's too bad. Because up until that point, he totally had me. I was turning pages and couldn't stop. I was on the edge of my seat. I was even hoping it was the start of a tril...more
Lisa
(originally reviewed on Starmetal Oak Reviews)

Triggers really intrigued me through its premise: the fact that a group of people, through some kind of freak event, are able to access another person’s memory. One of the person affected by it is the President of the United States, who winds up in the hospital where this all goes down after he is almost killed by a would-be assassin. Someone is now able to access the President’s memories and Secret Service agent Susan Dawson.

There were many things...more
Sean Randall
I utterly enjoyed this novel, and it was very nearly a 5 star read. But as with something like Flashforward the overwhelmingly transhumanic ending ruined it a little for me.

Other than that, the characters were fascinating, and there aren't many who could've so deftly handled the memory mismanagement. I think the most fascinating mental swap for me was Tarasov reading Dora and the trauma from her childhood, which rang particularly strong for me having a very young daughter of my own. Nikki's surg...more
Lou Prosperi
Another good SF novel by Robert J. Sawyer. I really enjoyed this book (I read the serialized version in Analog on my Kindle), but there were a few loose ends I would have liked to have seen addressed. Nothing major at all, but some plot threads here and there seemed to be left dangling and unresolved.

Like all of Sawyer's book, this one is very though-provoking, and does a great job of exploring many of the implications of its premise, in this case, that of people having other people linked to ou...more
Alex Telander
Award-winning author Robert J. Sawyer’s new novel, Triggers, is a little different to what readers might be used to from this science fiction writer, as the genre he’s used to writing in some ways becomes secondary to the main story, which is more about the relationships and interactions between a great cast of characters. The science fiction is still very much there as part of the plot, but by the end you’re caring more about the people than the science.

In a time not too distant from our own, t...more
Jaclyn
Very interesting book. The story starts off as a fairly standard thriller -- people's memories are linked in a chain of unknown length, and a Secret Service agent must find out who has access to the memories of the US President. Sawyer's fascination with science is prevalent, particularly in the character of a Canadian doctor who chronicles each new development in the phenomenon almost gleefully. It was difficult to get into the story at this point, simply because there were so many characters,...more
Mark
I have only read one other Robert J. Sawyer book and I loved it but I never got around to reading another one until Triggers. After reading this book I can say I am a huge fan of Mr. Sawyer.

I was hooked from the first chapter. The premise of being able to access someone else's memory is genius, especially when you add the President of the United States into the mix. There are a lot of characters to get to know as the book progresses but they are developed well. If you are a Canadian you'll love...more
Chip
Robert Sawyer constantly amazes me - he's one of the most creative speculative fiction writers around, constantly coming up with wonderful "what if" scenarios (although admittedly his characterization skills are at best acceptable). And Triggers, for the first two-thirds or so, was typical "wow that's an interesting idea/situation" Sawyer. Unfortunately, and atypically for him, I thought he ended up taking the story to a very disjointed and disappointing resolution. Four stars (well, maybe) for...more
Phredric
** Received by my partner as a First Reads Giveaway

First Robert Sawyer book I've read although I've been meaning to read one for ages. Nice easy writing style and the plot moves along nicely until the end when it all gets a bit deux ex machina and silly. Would have liked that to come a little earlier and to have the implications explored more. However I liked many of the characters and he does a good job in handling so many of them and making them distinctive. I'll be reading more Sawyer I think...more
Katie
I have a lot of love for Canada's big daddy of paperback-friendly sci fi. I eat his books like candy, and they fit perfectly into my purse for easy transit reading--who could ask for more?

Sawyer is an incredibly consistent writer who tackles outlandish high concepts with a very solid science framework. This might sound like middling praise, but I don't think there is anyone who matches his output/quality ratio.

Empathy is becoming a recurring theme in Sawyer's novels, and as a social scientist,...more
Sinful Snooze
It's a trainwreck, I'm mad I finished the book. The ending was rushed, contrived and totally ruined the solid interesting concept that had been built up. This book was never going to get 5 stars, but it would have gotten a respectable 3 stars.

Sawyer built a solid conundrum, posed some intriguing questions about interpersonal links, legal ramifications, etc. then spoils his efforts by creating the misguided false utopia such as the protagonist in the fabulous classic The Giver fought so hard to e...more
January
I love Sawyer, but like others, I thought the ending was too neat, too fantastic, too perfect. It was a real let down. Maybe if there were more development, more description of the final Group Mind concept it might have worked, but I just couldn't wrap my head around it. The words "beautiful" and "wonderful" and "miracle" do nothing for me. What does that mean exactly? How does it really feel to read everyone's minds? I'm still left wondering.

My other star deduction on this book was the lack of...more
Di
This was a bit of a departure for Robert J. A political thriller cum sci fi
It was a good escapist read. Some time around 2024 terrorism rules the world. America has been battered on all major cities. An attempted assassination, an experiment gone wrong and people experiencing a wierd ability to read the memories of others - including the president. Sawyer has a positive philosophy about the world which underpins his writing and this book invokes Jungs collective unconscious. It reminded me of a...more
Leann
This is my first Robert J Sawyer book, and it won't be my last. I enjoyed most of the book, as it touched on what would happen with racism, with relationships, with our willingness to help others if we shared their memories, if we really understood them, and all of this against the backdrop of a near-future where America is being pummeled by terrorists on our soil. The end was blah for me because it felt like a let down (I kept thinking, "This is it?!"), but it didn't make me sorry I read it. Wi...more
Randy M.
The dust jacket synopsis for Triggers foretells of another fine example of what I have come to expect from Robert Sawyer, an intriguing “what if” exploration centering on a science-fictional event that isn’t too far removed from our present level of technological capabilities. With Triggers, a medical experiment to isolate and impact memories affecting an Iraqi war veteran suffering from PTSD goes awry, resulting in anyone within a certain physical range of the experiment becoming “linked” to an...more
Tim
I actually read this serialized in Analog Science Fiction and Fact where it was printed over 4 issues. That said, according to the author there's only minor differences (and not to story) with the book version.

The book is centred around a very interesting premise that an experiment causes various people's minds to be linked together, but they only can read one other person's mind (and it's not reciprocal). However, since one of the people linked is the President of the US, this causes definite s...more
An Odd1
Excerpts. http://www.sfwriter.com/sctr.htm
"Triggers" by Robert J. Sawyer are tiny sensory stimulations - whisper of sound, waft of scent, tickle of touch, single word - that recall memories. What if suddenly they link you to another person in a circle of twenty(view spoiler). Many vignettes draw together principal and minor characters. Young, old, male, female, light skin or dark - abuser(view spoiler)...more
James
Sawyer has never disappointed me so far. he is exceptionally skilled at coming up with creative "what if" scenarios, which is essential to good sci-fi, but more than that, each novel is a social commentary. this is smart sci-fi and smart writing in general. I would easily recommend any of the Sawyer novels I've read to anyone, even if they aren't into the genre. this book and others bridge the gap and would be enjoyable to most audiences, I think.

this story explores what happens when memories ar...more
Mary Z
I really should have written this review much sooner -- I received an advance reader copy of this novel from Goodreads prior to it's general release and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The story begins with an assassination attempt on U.S. President Seth Jerrison. While the action takes place in Washington, one of the main characters is a Canadian memory specialist, trying to help patients suffering from post traumatic stress disorder; in particular, from the crippling flashbacks experienced by one of h...more
Dominick
On the same day the President barely survives an assassination attempt and an EMP-emitting bomb destroys the White House, Dr, Singh is engaging in an experimental procedure to modify memory--in the very hospital in which the President is undergoing surgery. EMP and memory modification equipment somehow work in tandem to create an effect whereby the memories of several folk get quantum entangled: each person in the group is linked to one other and can access all his/her memories, and of course th...more
Nicole About Town
I have long been a fan of authors such as Steve Berry and James Rollins, and I am always on the lookout to find authors who write stories in a similar vein. Enter Robert J. Sawyer and Triggers. This was the first book I have read by Robert J. Sawyer, and I am so happy I did. Sawyer crafts such an intriguing and daring story, but still manages to make it believable. While the story is a bit futuristic, it’s not so futuristic that the basis for the story is unrealistic.



What I liked:

Characters – T...more
Jill
I think this author is always at his most clever when he takes on American politics. The story begins with an assassination attempt on U.S. President Seth Jerrison. Ironically, the President was speaking about the need to combat increasing violence, which lately had included a series of bombs emitting widely-damaging electromagnetic pulses. The Liberty Bell in Philadelphia had been destroyed, as had the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, and the Willis Tower in Chicago.

After being shot, the pr...more
Ashley Chen
I recieved this book for review as a part of a blog tour. For giveaway, click Review+Giveaway: Triggers by Robert J Sawyer


All I can do is bow and applause for Mr. Robert J. Sawyer. His writing is just pure gold. I don't have to force myself into his novel; his novel just sucked me in. Haha, I totally imagined one of his sci-fi action scene where I'm being dragged into this book but that's how I felt reading his book.

Robert was able to write from so many point of views but still able to connect...more
John Parungao
Robert J Sawyer gives us a facinating look at a multi cultural nation in the grip of the post 9/11 era. Set amid a contemporary America, which is once again the victim of terrorist attacks. These attacks use a powerful bomb, which unleashes a powerful electomagnetic pulse. What happens when one of these bombs goes off during a ground breaking experiment to treat a war veteran suffering from PTSD? The scope of the machine's effect is expanded. Suddenly various people from all walks of life are fo...more
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Goodreads Librari...: 9780670065769 2 24 Apr 03, 2012 10:16PM  
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Robert J. Sawyer is one of Canada's best known and most successful science fiction writers. He is the only Canadian (and one of only 7 writers in the world) to have won all three of the top international awards for science fiction: the 1995 Nebula Award for The Terminal Experiment, the 2003 Hugo Award for Hominids, and the 2006 John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Mindscan.
Robert Sawyer grew up in...more
More about Robert J. Sawyer...
Flashforward Hominids (Neanderthal Parallax, #1) Calculating God WWW: Wake (WWW, #1) Humans (Neanderthal Parallax, #2)

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