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Memory's Wake Paperback – July 3, 2011
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
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"With likeable characters, an intriguing plot, and a captivating world, it's hard not to fall in love with "Memory's Wake". " ~ YA Book Haven
"Memory's Wake was such a beautifully written and illustrated novel that I almost have no words to express how much I enjoyed reading this book." ~ Seeing Night Reviews
From the Author
I don't know who I am.
She takes the name "Memory" and knows she has just one goal - to find her way home, wherever that is. But this land is strange. No technology to be seen, and iron is banned, thanks to a pact the humans have with the magical creatures who share their Victorian era world. In her t-shirt and torn jeans, Memory knows she's different, even before she performs impossible magic.
Haunted by her past, chased by a dragon, wanted by the king and stalked by the strange, handsome savage that seems to know her, everyone is after Memory, and she suspects it's not just for her eye-catching outfit. Her forgotten past holds dangerous secrets that will challenge everything she believes and risk the lives of everyone she loves.
The Memory's Wake Trilogy
- Book One- Memory's Wake
- Book Two- Hope's Reign
- Book Three- Providence Unveiled
˃˃˃ A full length novel in an epic trilogy
Her heart had sunk when she found a crumbled mess of multi-colored metal and plastic in her back pocket. She guessed it might have been a phone, before it was crushed some time during their hazardous journey the night before. Maybe earlier. When she asked Eloryn if she had a phone she could use, Eloryn looked at her as if she spoke a foreign language. Not that she knew any numbers or names of people to call anyway. But still, everything felt so strange. Magic. No phones. The fancy clothing everyone wore. Maybe she'd gotten lost at a LARP convention. Maybe she was just more messed up in the head than she thought.
That is entirely likely, she thought, glumly. She second guessed the reality of everything she'd seen so far. Dragons, moving trees and trolls were hard to believe after all. Even that beast man in the forest. She'd thought at first he was just another of the scary chasing men, but when he took hold of her, he threw her to safety, relatively anyway. She thought she saw recognition of some kind in his wild blue eyes, but in the riot of confusion that formed her first moments of consciousness she couldn't be sure of anything, not even his existence. How could she ever find him again anyway? She somehow doubted he'd have a phone number, even if she still had a working phone.
The only other things she found in her pockets were a piece of cherry gum and a knife. One look at the knife told her it wasn't the kind you take camping, it was the kind you threatened people with. Is that who I am, the kind of person that threatens people? She decided to keep the knife to herself. Eloryn already looked at her sometimes as if she was dangerous, and maybe she was, but that wasn't the sort of thing she wanted to find out about herself. Besides, she wasn't the only one keeping secrets and Eloryn's seemed much bigger than a knife in the back pocket.
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Waking up in a forest, a confused teenager finds she has no memories of who she is and where she came from. Lost in a seemingly strange world, she finds herself assisted by another beautiful but secretive girl named Eloryn whom she meets in the woods. Taking on the name Memory, all Memory knows is that she must find her way back home. Hunted and chased by strange men, a tyrant king and a dragon, Eloryn and Memory find themselves racing across a magical land inhabited by both humans and fae alike. In a world with no technology and simple living, Memory knows she’s different in her torn jeans and multiple piercings, but as Eloryn and Memory try to determine who to trust—either the charming thief to tries to assist them, or the handsome but strange man who stalks Memory, Memory’s ability to harness dangerous magic make it clear that Memory’s past could change everything….
I have to say I enjoyed Memory’s Wake a lot more than I expected to. There’s an almost fairytale like quality to the story that blends well with the authors lyrical descriptions and vibrant fantasy world. In fact, I’m almost ashamed to say I haven’t read Memory’s Wake until now. As a fixture on the Australian fantasy scene, I have often seen Memory’s Wake and its author Selina Fenech at the various Supanova’s and Oz Comic-Con’s I have attended, but have never pursued the book further until now. I was very much entranced by the world Fenech has created and enjoyed this magical tale—wish I had read it sooner.
Mysterious and magical, Memory’s Wake features all my favourite aspects of fantasy. I liked the childlike wonder that accompanied the story and that it was a light, softer kind of fantasy that included a lush Victorian fantasy setting, intriguing characters and plenty of magic and friendship to keep me entertained. The beautiful drawings that accompany the story and litter the novel are stunning additions to the story that enhance the reading experience.
Memory’s Wake is delightfully told in third person and follows a number of characters, with Memory’s voice obviously an important one as well as Eloryn, Roen and Memory’s mysterious follower Will. I really liked all the characters and am already very invested in their tales, especially Eloryn and Roen who seem to be beginning a will-they-won’t-they forbidden romance.
I very much enjoyed piecing things together and learning about Memory’s past in Memory’s Wake. Selina Fenech has plenty of tricks up her sleeve and some intriguing developments to the story are revealed. Can’t wait to read the second book in the trilogy, Hope’s Reign!
Original Rating: 3.5 out or 5 Owls
Disclaimer: Updated review copy provided by the author for the blog tour
I am slowly, yet surely, cleaning out my ebooks library. One book down (okay, nine in total), hundreds to go (I literally mean hundreds). And it's still growing (sadly).
I personally liked the idea behind the book, being a fan of fairies, and it was one of the main reasons why I originally clicked the "buy" when I saw Memory's Wake for free on Amazon months ago. A few other reasons:
~ The cover. Go figure?
~ The title. It's pretty intriguing. "Memory's Wake." It kind of makes you wonder.
~ The synopsis. Monstrous fairies? Haunted by the past? Dangerous secrets? Definitely got my attention.
I have to say, I honestly expected a lot more from Memory's Wake than what I originally thought. I definitely liked the pictures; it made reading and visualizing more interesting instead of just words (oh, I like words. I'm just saying I hardly see a book with pictures... and the last one that I read that did was The Second Siege). But it was predictable in most cases, even though Fenech actually threw in a couple of surprises that kept me reading on instead of yawning and falling asleep. *PHEW*
Memory as a character also didn't seem very in-depth. I guess there is an explanation for that, but it seems that she's always a damsel in distress being saved by others and more often than not sort of cowering (not that I'm calling her a coward, but if it came across that way, sorry)... until near the end. But it also goes for Thayl as well, who seems like your stereotypical villain.
In the overall view, though, it wasn't that bad, and it would be really interesting to see Memory's Wake in comic form. While I know there's a sequel, Hope's Reign (I did my homework... :p), the ending to Memory's Wake made the book feel more like a stand alone than the first in a trilogy.
But is it just me, or do I see quite a bit of errors lurking about? Not the post... though there might be a few. I meant the book. Because if it's just me, I think I need to check my eyes.
This is a YA novel, with the main characters all appearing to be in their teens, and there’s a fair bit of focus on wistful glances and teenage angst. Of course, there’s also plenty of majestic dragons and fickle fairies and powerful magic; this is an action packed novel. The handsome savage, the elegant rogue, the beautiful princes, the girl with no memory but mysterious powers, all the familiar tropes make an appearance and are used to good effect, creating an internally consistent world and sympathetic characters. The writing is lush and descriptive, painting a very clear picture not only of the characters but of the clothes they are wearing at all times.
My main criticism of the story would have to be the title character Memory and her forays into the near impossible and sudden competence in subtle and powerful magic. Those times when I thought “hold on, that just doesn’t seem like something she should be able to do” threw me out of the story. They were partially explained, but not sufficiently enough - although there are two more books in the trilogy, so perhaps they’ll be expounded upon later.
The basic plot: The title character is pulled into existence by another girl, and they are both hunted by armed and armored men, and a dragon. They flee, of course, and escape, with the help of a mysterious half-naked man, and meet up with a thief who decides to help them after stealing from them. Then they seek safety and the secret of Memory’s identity, and the means to defeat the evil villain who wants them dead.