Tuesday, December 29, 2015

loopyker's #CBR7 Review #05: Memory's Wake by Selina Fenech

Memory's Wake audiobook cover
Who would you be if you couldn't remember who you were?

Memory is a teenager who awakens in a land of magic with no idea who or where she is.  She is quickly discovered by another girl, Eloryn and together they flee some chasing men who have a dragon at their command.  The action in this story starts right away and keeps going.  The two find friends and more enemies along the way as they try to figure out who Memory is, while Eloryn works to save her country from an evil King.

As a long-time fan of Selina Fenech's artwork, I bought her first novel, Memory's Wake, when it first came out and was later gifted the audiobook to write a review after having read the full trilogy.

This is a good, solid first book.  It has somewhat of a Terry Brooks - Magic Kingdom feel to it somehow and compares favourably.  Having said that, I think after reading the other books in the trilogy and her Emotionally Charged book, I think this is the weakest.

All of the action gives little time for character development.  There are glimpses during rest periods, but I think there would have been more of an emotional connection if things were a little less frantic in places. Memory can end up just being annoyingly whiny at times.  But I enjoyed the overall plot and world that Selina has built.

I think it was Terry Pratchett who gave advice in one of his interviews about learning how to be patient with writing and not putting all of your jokes and tricks in one book.  Write for the story, not the jokes.  Memory's Wake sometimes feels a little forced into ways to tell the "clever" bits, rather than the other way around.

As for the audiobook, I enjoyed the narrator, Em Eldridge.  She brought a better rhythm to it, than I got from reading it.  Maybe is has to do with the Australian accent.  She had a good voice for Memory, but was also good for the older and the male voices too.  I recommend listening to the audiobook to give you that tone if you continue to the other books before their audiobooks are finished.

As usual, Selina's artwork is amazing and does a lot to sell the print versions of the book.  However, she has now published a solution - if you have bought the ebook or audiobook, you can get all of the artwork for the three books, plus some bonus artwork and information in The Offiical Illustrated Companion Guide to the Memory's Wake Trilogy.

On its own, I'd give the Memory's Wake book 3 stars.  When in the audiobook version and combined with the full trilogy and artwork extras, I would bump it up to a 4 stars.

Title: Memory's Wake
Author: Selina Fenech

Audible Audio Edition
Narrator: Em Eldridge
Listening Length: 8 hours and 48 minutes
Publisher: Fairies and Fantasy Pty Ltd
Audible.com Release Date: April 17, 2015

Other formats:
paperback/hardcover/Kindle ebook
Length: 328 pages
ISBN-10: 0987151118
ISBN-13: 978-0987151117
Kindle ASIN: B005502KA8


Book 2 in the Memory's Wake Trilogy

Book 3 in the Memory's Wake Trilogy

Rating system:
1 star (didn't like); 2 stars (OK); 3 stars (good); 4 stars (very good); 5 stars (favourite)
Also check out Cannonball Read for a variety of book reviews from many others.

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