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Triggers

3.59  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,204 Ratings  ·  254 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.

At the same hospital, researcher Dr. 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 arre
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Published April 3rd 2012 by Viking Canada (first published March 23rd 2012)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,233)
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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
Dec 18, 2012 Mike rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
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
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Lisa
Jan 03, 2012 Lisa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
[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
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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
Jan 06, 2012 Denise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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,
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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
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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
Timothy Reynolds
Jan 18, 2015 Timothy Reynolds rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves:
A terrific political scientific terrorist thriller with a completely unexpected ending. This would make a great film!
Lisa
Apr 09, 2012 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
(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
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Sean Randall
Apr 07, 2012 Sean Randall rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Louis Prosperi
Mar 02, 2012 Louis Prosperi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
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
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Alex Telander
Apr 25, 2012 Alex Telander rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Jaclyn
Aug 03, 2012 Jaclyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 28, 2011 Mark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Chip
Aug 25, 2013 Chip rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
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
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Rob Darnell
Feb 26, 2015 Rob Darnell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The President was shot. While the surgeons at Luther Terry Memorial Hospital fought to save the President’s life, a bomb at the White House went off. The White House and the hospital are only a mile apart and the explosion caused a brief power outage at the hospital. The outage messed up some of the hospital’s equipment, including a piece of equipment that one doctor was using to treat a soldier with PTSD. Now several people at the hospital can read the memories of another person. This becomes a ...more
Katie
May 11, 2014 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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,
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Fred Hughes
May 20, 2016 Fred Hughes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A light science fiction story with a moral perspective.

Terrorism, a shot President, power failure links minds in the hospital, President has a response to the terrorism, someone may have a direct link to his mind and know what is about to happen, people linked have different responses and reactions to the information they have access to.

A nice tight packaged focused more on the characters than the science.

Recommended based on the above and the author
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
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Djj
Feb 11, 2015 Djj rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Robert Sawyer. He's relentlessly optimistic, always writes about science in plausible ways and frankly I think he is deserving of the governor general's award for the WWW trilogy alone. Having said all that, this is not his best work. It's a tight little novel where, through a series of coincidences, a chain of people become mentally linked, e.g. telepathic. He wraps this around a political thriller involving a terrorist plot and the US president. I ripped through it, and for sure it's fu ...more
Di
Jun 06, 2014 Di rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
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
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Elizabeth
Sep 01, 2015 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Craig
May 09, 2016 Craig rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sawyer delivers a very suspenseful story with great characters and some nice puzzle-solving, but the ending doesn't seem to mesh with the set-up; it kind of collapses into a deus-ex-machina puddle. (Or (Spoiler!) perhaps Sturgeon-ex-machina, for More Than Human fans.) Almost all of the other novels he's produced have been solidly grounded in established science, but this one just deals with a kind of nebulous brain-fixing machine that goes haywire due to a poorly-timed terrorist attack. His obse ...more
Christopher White
Sep 25, 2015 Christopher White rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Argh! Typical Sawyer! The character development is quite good, especially the expansive and unusual relationships between the characters. However, the story was lacking... the suspenseful subtext, a vengeful military operation that would eclipse the Holocaust in terms of inhumanity, was resolved with such brevity and dismissal, that it was nowhere near worth the long build-up to it... and it became just an asterisk to a headlong descent(?) into a humanist utopia (which is a weakness of science f ...more
Leann
Mar 16, 2014 Leann rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
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
Andrew Olsen
Jul 07, 2015 Andrew Olsen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-books-1
The Thrill of Shared Memories

Triggers is a stand alone novel written by the Science Fiction veteran Robert Sawyer.

It starts with an assassination attempt on the President of the United States at the same time a bomb blows up the White House. This goes on in conjunction with an experimental treatment aiming at helping those with PTSD.

The bomb used to destroy the White House had an electromagnetic pulse right before detonation and this pulse in conjunction with the memory experiment leaves every
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Malcolm Little
C’mon, Robert. What happened to you, man? All I see here, within the pages of Triggers, is you resting on your laurels, pumping out schlock to meet a quota. Don’t tell me that all those awards and accolades got to your head and made you forget about quality control. Maybe it was your editor’s fault, maybe you had a bad year personally. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt for this time, since Triggers was at least an easy read. At least for my part, what I can forgive is:

• You included an ecle
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Jenny Gilchrist
Oct 20, 2014 Jenny Gilchrist rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, contemporary
Loved it.
Typically Robert J. Sawyer, a great premise, great imagination.
What if the most powerful man in the world's memories were compromised? Every code he knew, every thought he had about other leaders, everything about the secret service, and international affairs. But who knows the secrets???? And are they dangerous?
It's so clever,
I had mild anxiety about the ending, finishing so suddenly....no spoilers here...but sort of a bit without explanation.
Very clever though..very very clever.
Randy M.
Jun 18, 2014 Randy M. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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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
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“You know, it’s funny. If someone attacked you with a knife and scarred you, the courts would assess the physical damage—how long a scar, how many stitches it took to close the wound, whatever—and they’d come up with a figure that you’d be entitled to in compensation. But hurting someone with words that they’ll always remember? With an act they’ll never forget? That’s physical damage, too—it changes you just as permanently as a scar. But instead of tallying up what the compensation should be, we just say, ‘Get over it,’ or ‘You should develop a thicker skin,’ or—and this is ironic, given that it’s the one thing that’s impossible—‘you should just forget about it.” 0 likes
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