Monday, July 29, 2013

Conjured by Sarah Beth Durst

Eve has no memory.  She doesn't remember where she lived before, what she looked like before or what her name was.  If she tries to use her magic abilities, she has terrible visions and loses consciousness.  She has been told she's in a witness protection program, protected from a powerful magic-welding serial killer.  Eve remembers nothing of this, and everyone seems to be waiting.  Waiting for her to remember...something.

I had a hard time getting into this at first.  I found the beginning dragged, and you have so little information about what's going on and I found this annoying rather than intriguing.  But I stuck with it and it got much more interesting.  And pretty dark.

Eve not only has no memories of her life before now, but she suffers random memory erases.  She might find herself suddenly sitting at a table, and the last thing she remembers is from three weeks ago.  She keeps losing days, and she doesn't know why.  And no one will explain anything to her.  Eve wants to feel safe, but she doesn't know who to trust because her memory is so spotty.  The only person she really feels comfortable with is with Zach, who Eve meets while working at the library.  Zach is completely non magical, but when he kisses Eve, he can use her magic.  And if doesn't make Eve pass out.


There were some aspects of the book I found confusing.  I don't feel like it was ever clearly explained why the witness protection program felt the need to give Eve a human form.  If she stayed in her original form, wouldn't that have jogged her memory?  It was all a little odd, why no on explained anything to her.  You'd think if they were so desperate to catch the magician they'd give Eve anything that would help her remember, and explain why, as many times as they needed to.  But no.  Perhaps because they were afraid of her?  Unclear.

The romance aspect was incredibly idealistic, but maybe that was purposeful to contrast against the extreme darkness we were seeing elsewhere.  It really was a pretty dark book.  We get details of how the magician cut people up and put them in different boxes.  Icky.

There's kind of a happy ending.  Again, a very idealistic one.  The book was an odd mix of idealism and darkness. 

Conjured comes out September 3, 2013.


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