Memory’s Wake by Selina Fenech Blog Tour | #COYER Book Review

November 11, 2013 Blog Tours, Challenges & Readathons, Reviews 22

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Memory’s Wake by Selina Fenech Blog Tour | #COYER Book ReviewMemory's Wake by Selina Fenech
Series: Memory's Wake Trilogy #1
Published by Fairies and Fantasy Pty Ltd on June 16, 2011
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Format: eBook
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
four-stars

Lost in a world full of monstrous fairies, a troubled sixteen year old has to find out who she is and why her memories were stolen before she is found by those who want her dead.

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 pre-industrial 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.

Memory's Wake contains over 45 illustrations by the author and artist.

My Initial Reaction…

Memory’s Wake was a marvelously unique story, with endearing characters and a plot that kept me engaged. The mysterious elements worked extremely well and I never knew what was coming next, which made this a really fun and exciting read.

The Characters…

Memory’s Wake is told from the perspective of four main characters: Eloryn, Roen, Will, and of course, Memory. I’m not picky about my book’s point of view, but being tossed around this much can be a bit confusing if the author doesn’t make the transitions clear. While I was always able to figure out the point of view, the transitions could have been smoother; I would have rather not had to figure it out. That being said, I did love these characters and reading from all their points of view did enhance the mystery and complexity of the plot.

Memory (sometimes called Mem) is the most central character, in that her mystery is the one you’re most interested in solving (at least I was). In the first scene Memory is thrust into this medieval-esque world of magic and fae (which was pretty great, by the way), beat up, having to immediately run for her life, and  and she has none of her memories. As a reader, we know what none of the characters do – that Memory has somehow come from our world – because she’s wearing jeans and thinks of things like cell phones that are completely foreign to this world. As the story unfolds, we get to know Memory better and it’s impossible not to feel for her. She’s lost, in danger, scared and confused. And somehow she’s managed to group up with someone who’s problems are more important to everyone than her’s, making her feel inconsequential and alone.

Memory’s playing second fiddle to Eloryn (sometimes called Lory or El, which could be a bit confusing at first), the first character she encounters in Memory’s Wake. Eloryn is on the run from Wizard Hunters, and like Memory, we have no idea why. We just know that something has gone terrible wrong when she passed through the Veil (some form of magical transportation) and that for some reason Memory was ripped through that same veil with her. Through Eloryn we begin to guess at the kind of magical world Memory’s been placed in – for example, Eloyrn’s magic is clearly forbidden, though again we don’t know why. Eloryn has the most personal growth of the characters – she starts of scared and timid, but as the story progresses she really finds her voice and strength. She’s also a marvelously compassionate person and she’s got to figure out how to balance that with the need to be fierce and, well, kick ass.

Until these two ladies and forced travel companions grow into themselves, they’re very lucky to have the support of the two leading men – Will and Roen. Will is a mystery for me still, we’ve only just gotten to know some critical details about him and I have a feeling he will be much better fleshed out in future books. He’s a Tarzan like character, raised by the fae, and a bit wild. Roen, on the other hand, is a man of the world – he should have been a prince, but the kingdom’s been taken over and his family has had to go into hiding. As a result, he’s supporting them the best he can, as a thief. He wants to protect the girls but he feels ill equipped, mainly because he looks down on himself for the path he’s been forced to take in life.

I enjoyed all the characters, and as a character motivated reader I was satisfied to see the way they moved the story along.

The Story…

That’s not to say Memory’s Wake doesn’t have a wonderful story. It does. The mystery surrounding Eloryn and Memory is heightened and intensified by the fact that they are being chased by the Wizard Hunters in this fabulously complex magical world. I would have liked to see more of this world and to understand it better. For most of the story I felt like Memory, drifting about in a complex world with rules I didn’t understand. It worked well for the story though; my ignorance made the mystery of what was going on that much more complex. What I loved, though, was that despite my lack of knowledge there were enough hints along the way that I felt like I could potentially solve the mystery. Ultimately I picked up on some things, completely missed others, making it all the more fun.

For me Memory’s Wake was a book of self-discovery more than anything else. Yes there’s action and magical creatures and even a little bit of romance. But more than anything our main characters are figuring out who they are – and not just Memory – they all have a lot to learn about themselves and that journey isn’t quite over.

The story and the world building were beautifully supported by drawings done by the author (some people get all the talent!!). I was skeptical when I heard there were drawings in the eBook – I didn’t expect them to be very enjoyable in that medium. I was wrong. I loved these drawings (even when I was reading on my phone!) and often stopped reading just to look at it. Ultimately they did nothing to move the story along itself and yet they helped me to visualize the girls and what what was going on in different ways. I wouldn’t want to read the book without them, now that I’ve had the privilege of reading it with them.

Concluding Sentiments…

Ultimately, I really enjoyed Memory’s Wake and look forward to reading the next book in the series. The ending left enough resolved to make me happy and yet I can see definite lingering uncertainties that leave it wide open to continue. I recommend this for anyone who enjoys fantasy stories, magical worlds, and young adult stories.

Giveaway!

Turns out that Selina is very awesomely giving away a set of three posters of art from the books! This artwork was fabulous and I definitely wouldn’t mind winning these myself! Good luck 🙂

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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four-stars

About Selina Fenech

Born in 1981 to Australian and Maltese parents, Selina lives in Australia with her husband, her baby girl, an unnamed cat, and a lorikeet who’s far too clever.

During her life Selina has found ancient Roman treasure, survived cancer, had knights joust at her wedding, been mugged for doughnuts, made a living as an artist, eaten every bizarre and wonderful food put in front of her, and now enjoys writing novels

Berls

Photo of Berls
About Berls
Berls has been a book lover her whole life. She reads pretty much every genre and is currently working hard at making her childhood dream of becoming an author come true. She loves sharing her thoughts about books, blogging, and just random fun stuff. She's a challenge and read-a-thon junkie, so it's no wonder that she loves co-hosting the COYER reading challenge. Leave a comment, Berls is always happy to chat!

22 Responses to “Memory’s Wake by Selina Fenech Blog Tour | #COYER Book Review”

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    • Berls
      Twitter:

      Thanks Brandee- I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I think the fae elements are really going to develop much further in book 2. Book one gives your just enough to know that you love the way Selina’s using them and that you want to know more. I’m super excited for the next one (which is already out and I’m just debating with myself on whether to buy the ebook of paper back) – I think it’s going to be epic, and particularly because of the fae.

  2. Pamela D

    I am also very picky about books with multiple POVs. I prefer there to be a significant and obvious break in between POVs. I also really like it when the POV’s character is stated at the beginning of his/her section. I listened to an audio book once, and it was not clear at all when we were switching POV, and I was so confused.

    This sounds like a great story! I will have to check it out. 🙂
    Pamela D recently posted…Ho Ho Ho Read-a-Thon Wrap UpMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I love when POVs are clearly stated at the start of the chapter – It just makes it so much clearer. I’ve only listened to one audio book that was Multiple POVS and it was really confusing because they had two narrators – one for the female POVs and one for the male POVs. IN theory that sounds like a good idea, but it meant that every character had two different voices – one as interpreted by the male POV and another with the female POV. It was too confusing!

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      Yes – except they aren’t full color. Check out the posters on the rafflecopter – they are some of the images from inside the book. The illustrations seriously mesmorized me and I know I’m eventually going to buy this entire trilogy in paper back in large part because of the images. It’s just so pretty. Plus the story rocked!

  3. Selina Fenech

    Wow, what an incredible, thorough, and insightful review! The BEST part of writing a novel are times like this, when someone has obviously understood just what I was trying to say 🙂

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      Thank you so much, that means a lot & I’m glad you liked the review 🙂 I’m really looking forward to the next one, I have some serious questions hanging around right now! I was looking at buying Hope’s Reign actually and trying to decide if I should go Kindle or Paperback… I kind of want paperback for the illustrations but I have to wait until next month to buy it. Whereas if I get the eBook I can buy it now… Tough decisions!

      • Selina Fenech

        My books should be part of the Matchbook program, which means if you buy the Paperback first, you’ll get a discount on the ebook. Unfortunately it doesn’t work the other way around :S
        Or you can email me and I’ll send you an ebook copy 😉
        Selina Fenech recently posted…Memory’s Wake Review TourMy Profile

        • Berls
          Twitter:

          For reals?! I think you just made my day 🙂 emailing you in a sec. Though I do believe I’ll be buying the complete trilogy on paper back. It’s just too beautiful not to have on the shelves. But I don’t actually want to have to wait until I can do that to read the next book LOL

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      Yay!!! I hope you’ll enjoy. Four POVs can be a lot, but the ladies are the primary POVs so it works most of the time. It might not even trip you up like it did me at times.

  4. Giselle

    Great review, Selina! I love it when books have drawings or illustrations and it’s great that reading it in ebook format was fine – I’ve read some where it was like an image divided in 2-3 ebook pages and it obviously didn’t work lol. It also sounds like a great story and mystery!
    Giselle recently posted…Review: The Plague by Lisa C. HinsleyMy Profile

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