Kieran Roark awakens in a wheelchair, unable to remember anything. As part of a classified experiment, he will have one year to learn his identity and recover his memory, or he will be euthanized by the state.
Scientist Berkeley Bennett has one mission: manipulate Kieran's emotions in an attempt to bring back his memory. But when she falls in love with him, she is forced to make a harrowing decision that may cost Kieran his life.
What Kieran knows could save Earth from a coming war. Whether he believes the future is worth saving is another matter. Racing across an unfamiliar world in a body he does not recall, Kieran needs to discover who he was and, more importantly, who he is.
Ikenberry's amnesiac protagonist's struggle to discover his identity in a world several centuries ahead of his 21st-century experience is an emotionally powerful debut, despite the author's simplistic understanding of romance and politics. On a dystopian Earth, the protagonist awakes without his memories under medical supervision. He's sent on a walkabout through Australia, and eventually a degraded United States, to organically integrate his mind to the present by sparking memories of his past. A female guide protocol A.I. inside his head becomes fiercely protective of him, and a scientist named Berkeley Bennett comes to him in an attempt to enhance recall with emotion. Meanwhile, competing factions watch him as an experiment to determine whether clones of soldiers from a time when humans knew how to fight could become an effective, expendable army to engage an alien threat. Though Ikenberry's storytelling is ungraceful in places, his insight into the human side of the military mind has strong appeal.