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Conjured Hardcover – September 3, 2013

3.5 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up-Suffering from severe memory loss, Eve is taken to a safe house and told she's in a witness protection program, but that fact and many others are called into question when she meets other "witnesses" who believe that the agents will eventually kill her. With no information about the crime she witnessed, the teen has no idea who to trust. She's also haunted by chilling visions that immediately follow when she uses her various powers to do things like making the birds on her wallpaper fly or walking through walls. Eventually, she is able to remember enough to go traveling through many magical worlds on a hunt for "the Magician," only to find out that she herself was created as a way for him to store power from young magical beings by the inference of their dying breaths. Only her nonmagical boyfriend's belief in her newfound humanity is able to convince Eve that she doesn't have to be defined by her past. This is an urban fantasy without a solid sense of time or place. It's contemporary in tone, but there are no distinct regional flairs or cultural references. Due to Eve's memory loss and the story being told entirely from her perspective, readers learn things in fits and starts with memories slowly taking shape and reality constantly being questioned. The narrative progresses slowly and can seem disjointed at times, but the action does pick up and leads to a satisfying, if slightly creepy, ending.-Sunnie Lovelace, Wallingford Public Library, CTα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review

“A twisted circus of a book, completely freaky and delicious at the same time. It's a thriller, a fairy tale nightmare, and a romance all in one, unlike anything else and impossible to predict. I could not stop reading!” ―Laini Taylor, New York Times bestselling author of the Daughter of Smoke & Bone series
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Walker Childrens (September 3, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802734588
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802734587
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.2 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,531,193 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Evie Seo TOP 1000 REVIEWER on September 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover
An ambitious, visually dazzling and completely breathtaking literary triumph - Conjured by Sarah Beth Durst is an absolute must-read for any paranormal fantasy fan out there. This book makes for an extremely compelling, refreshing and emotionally engaging journey - one that you'll want to re-take time and time again. It's entirely unique. It's seamlessly plotted. It's dark and creepy, yet mesmerizing and magical at the same time. Hands down one of my top favorite books ever.

Conjured is a gorgeously told story - one that explores themes of identity, belonging, destiny and love. Reading it was a truly magical experience. I was mesmerized and amazed every step of the way. I loved everything about this book - the luscious detail in which the carnival backdrop was described, the horror of Eve's dreams and visions, the hidden symbolism and the perfectly satisfying ending. This tale was both uplifting and heartbreaking, sad and wonderfully hopeful. Full of meaning. I loved how new and fresh everything felt - I've never read anything like it before! Every page of Conjured shines with creativity and uniqueness.

The plot line itself was incredibly well thought out and gripping. I did not want to stop reading. I loved the mystery behind Eve's character and how it slowly unravelled through visions and dreams. Many aspects of this tale were downright scary - like the magician-turned-serial-killer who would cut his victims into pieces and then keep their remains in special boxes, or Eve's disturbing memories resurfacing while she was unconscious - but there were also other aspects of it that were incredibly beautiful, meaningful and moving. Some of them were positive and heart-warming, others.. simply tragic.
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Format: Hardcover
When I finished reading Conjured, my first thought was, "Why wasn't this a short story?" The first 75% was an uninteresting and somewhat confusing mish-mash of genres: lost memories, a serial killer, and magic. The last 25% threw in a crazy, creepy twist and featured a recapping of the entire plot. I wondered why I had to sit through a full story when it was all going to be explained for me at the end.

In Conjured, Eve has no memories of her past. She has two mysterious caretakers who play good cop and bad cop. Malcolm seems nice enough, but Nicki speaks to Eve with a sneering, sinister tone. Eve is in a witness protection program for reasons unknown, and Malcolm and Nicki instruct Eve to have as little interaction with others as possible. At the same time, they set her up with a library job that ensures she will have personal interactions. They tell Eve that even though she's capable of performing magic, she is not to do so in public. Of course, that doesn't last very long. Somehow, the goal of all of this is to get Eve to regain her memories so she can help identify a serial killer. Is this all making sense?

At her library job, Eve meets another employee named Zach who immediately says, "I think it's a shame that it's customary to shake hands upon greeting when what I really want to do is kiss your lips and see if you taste like strawberries." Most people would be disturbed or disgusted by such a greeting, but our Eve loves it. They are soon kissing and (literally) flying, with the help of Eve's magic.

Eve meets a group of odd teenagers who seem to only speak the language of snark, and they possess magical talents, too. There's a scene straight out of X-Men: First Class when the group and Eve all show off their talents.
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Format: Hardcover
MY THOUGHTS

LOVED IT

Eve doesn't remember anything about her past life except little blips of information and the surgeries to change her appearance. Now in a witness protection program, she is told she must remember her past so others won't die. She first realizes that there is a problem with her past when strange things start to occur. Her Aunt Nicki is really an agent assigned to protect her and Nicki's partner, Malcolm, tries to make her life as normal as possible. Whatever normal is for her since she has discovered that she can do things like make the birds on the wallpaper in her room fly around. Malcolm does try to help her become more "normal" by getting her a job at a library where she meets Zach. Zach and Eve make an instant connection and while touching Zach, Eve can use her magic without the side effect of blacking out and losing newly gained memories. When she does blackout, she has horrible visions of her past that fill her with fear.

Malcolm and Nicki's boss, Lou, wants to press her to regain her memory quicker, so he introduces her to other teens like her. They can all use magic without losing consciousness and even though they befriend her, she senses something just isn't right. One of the boys, Aidan, tries to romantically entangle her and pull her away from Zach. As Eve starts to connect more with her memories, the more she begins to fear what she has witnessed. She begins to fear the other teens, the agents of the WitSec program and even herself. Forced to face her fears, she discovers that she is from another world and in order to save others from harm, she must go back to where she came from.
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