Mini-series of young adult novels by Ann Brashares
Author: Margaret Millmore
Waking up in the hospital after being in a coma for four weeks would frighten anyone and make you wonder where the time went and what happened. But, when Jane wakes up all that is familiar to her is her first name and when addressed by the last name Knox by the hospital staff she is unsure of whom they are speaking to. How did she get this Traumatic Brain Injury and why did she think it was 2007 and not 2010? How did Jane lose three years of her life and yet when questioned remembered certain facts and not others? The false sense of security provided by the nurses, hospital staff and the man claiming to be her husband is unnerving to say the least. Flashbacks of events in her life come front and center yet most questions go unanswered. A reoccurring dream keeps appearing in her mind each night as she wakes from a difficult night’s sleep hoping to regain some semblance of her former life. What is constant is a green building. Not able to totally identify what kind of structure it is whether apartment building or warehouse Jane tries to hone in on the exact image but more disturbing is the figure in the shadows that she can’t seem to identify. While cleaning up and trying to make herself look more presentable more images appeared in her mind starting with her best friend Kira and another named Brett. Just why they did not come to see her is unknown at this time. When her supposed husband appears again he seems to know a lot about her friends what happened to her and the man who supposedly caused her accident. Out of nowhere her friend Kira calls and asks to see her and more memories flood back not everything is what it appears to be. Michael is trying to make her feel safe but just who he is she really is not sure. Seeing a psychiatrist was supposed to help bring back her memory and working with PT her physical strength.
Doppelganger means double walker. Doppelganger is an apparition of oneself or another person whom we are acquainted with or know or even never met. Imagine yourself or someone with you that is yours or his body double that is supposed to be with us at all times. It is someone you can or cannot be aware of at times. It might be a premonition of what lies ahead in your life. It cannot be seen in the mirror but is considered to be a bad omen predicting death. Is this what Jane has to look forward to? What is the Doppelganger Experiment that she has been a part of and just does not know it? When Jane questions Brett about how she met Michael and their courtship is it real? As both of her friends fill her in on their impressions of Michael you gather that they are not thrilled with him that he’s too stiff and definitely not the kind of person they thought she would wind up with. But, a bad dream startled her again and this time she saw the orderly Franklin in her dream warning her against going into the green building. But, Michael arrived and disturbed her train of thought telling him about Kira and Brett’s visits and discussing the past as Franklin entered the room but this time was cold to Michael giving Jane some pause for thought. The same dream seems to reoccur when she is alone. Standing in front of the same green building this time visualizing it as an apartment building and trying to focus on the figure that appears each time. The figure appears as it does in a Doppelganger as a ghostly image. But, even her friends seemed different yet she did not make any startling connections or disconnections yet from the past to the present. Franklin would appear at times and although he seems friendly enough it appears he has something to do with the green building and what lies hidden behind its walls as he just might be the link she needs to her past.
As Jane became home and more acclaimed to her new environment she began to relate to the reader her exploration of her home, the photos she found and the unsettling feeling she had when she looked at pictures of her old boyfriend Aaron who resembled Michael. Not only that learning from Brett that they were total opposites intrigued her more. Wanting to know more about this green building and looking up information based on a business card brought her attention to a study dealing with temporoparietal junction at the Center for Temporoparietal Advancement. When Jane started to look this up what she found were two definitions of what they dealt with. One is mind control and the other is Self. The procedure she found out might have been inconclusive but the end result in some cases was a second self. This was caused by the fact that electromagnetic stimulation was used on subjects creating as the title states the doppelganger phenomenon or effect which created a person or second self “identical to the original person who copied or mimicked the person.” Frightening to the subjects and enlightening to Jane. As Jane continued on her search for information what she did not find were the names of any doctors or scientists that conducted the study which was discontinued.
Then cold statement made by a guest at a cocktail party leads Jane to delve further into Michael’s past and possible identity. As Jane discusses things with Brett she realizes that something about her friends just might be off. Then meeting with the doctor that actually worked on the patients in this experiment what she learns will terrify the reader, bring chills down your spine and make you think twice before entering any building that just might be green. These experiments deal with the mind and how to alter behavior. Added to that she learns more about her boyfriend Aaron and her part in this experiment and why she was targeted and hit.
The truth behind the experiments and who was in charge will surprise the reader and definitely made you wonder how and why anyone would create a doppelganger or alter ego person for someone else. These evil experiments cost lives and now Jane had to decide whether to trust Michael, Brett or Kira or no one. Who were they and what was behind Michael’s transformation? What was done to all of them and what would the end result be? Imagine a center creating this physical doppelganger alter personality for you. Imagine not being in control of your own mind. Author Margaret Millmore has created a novel filled with research, psychological drama, mind control, fear, diabolical doctors and lies and betrayals that one woman named Jane has to sort through to find her way through the Doppelganger Effect or Experiment in order to find any reality. Cruel experiments at the hand of those who thought it would help those who fought for our country. What happens at the end will leave many unanswered questions and hope that the author will bring these characters back in order to learn the final ending. One mind boggling and thought provoking book that is really quite scary when you think about it and the premise behind it frightening. The end is really just the beginning. Read it to find out why. You won’t be disappointed.
Fran Lewis: Reviewer
What did you think of this review?
Mini-series of young adult novels by Ann Brashares
The first book in the "Twilight Saga" by Stephenie Meyer.
A memoir of a girl growing up in New York
The story of the murder of two well-loved Harvard professors