Verdict: Punctuated with exquisite illustrations, MEMORY’S WAKE is an enticing treat for fantasy-adventure fans.
A dark-haired girl dressed in blue jeans and a tee-shirt wakes up in a world filled with magical spells and wizards, but no recollection of her past.
Eloryn, a princess being hunted down by the ruler of the kingdom, discovers and ironically names this girl (who resembles her), ‘Memory’. With the help of Roen, a displaced nobleman’s son and an animal-man, they restore power to the rightful heirs of the land.
The reader is immediately thrown into the action and mystery of MEMORY’S WAKE, and author, Selina Fenech slowly parcels out the details of the plot with its twists, maintaining suspense throughout the novel.
The characters aren’t completely developed, however, Memory’s character is appealing as the underdog as is Eloryn’s role as the humble, but equally tough princess. Fenech effectively captures the differences in their speech – Eloryn’s royal, ‘proper’ speech versus Memory’s language and words from a different time and place. Despite some instances of cliché images such as “bloodcurdling terror screamed out all around,” there are some fresh images in the narrative such as “all her surroundings, even her own body, were crumbling away like wet cake.”
At times, MEMORY’S WAKE appears appropriate as a fantasy-adventure suitable for older children; however the illustrations, several profanities and some romantic scenes gear the book to young adults. Fenech is also the illustrator of this fantasy tale, using her bold, detailed, black and white images to fill in the details of the world she has created. Probably the strongest aspect of this book, the illustrations of archetypal heroes and heroines mixed with the cool modernity of young adults helps pull together the world that Fenech has created.
Punctuated with exquisite illustrations, MEMORY’S WAKE is an enticing treat for fantasy-adventure fans.
Reviewed by Maya Fleischmann for IndieReader