on July 6, 2011
Source: Author Review Copy
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
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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 44 black and white illustrations by the author and artist. Approx. 80,000 words or 320 pages in paperback.
Strange girl appears in a mystical, magical place
Whimsical, fairy tale like, and filled with fantastical creatures, Memory’s Wake transports the reader to a different place. One where dragons exist, magic prevails and a thief and a princess fall in love. In the midst of it all is Memory, a strange girl with pink and black hair who has no recollection of how she got there. She meets Eloryn, a beautiful fair maiden who seems to be on a run and gets thrust into an adventure filled with magic, royalty, and a host of characters who will help or hinder her in a mission to get her memories back.
Memory’s Wake is a magical and mystical world that comes to life in your head. It’s written in a heart-pumping, action-filled way that will constantly have you wondering what will happen at every turn. The author has incorporated a range of twists and turns that are slowly revealed throughout the novel. Most of the twists I didn’t see coming, which was a delight to experience as the story unfolded. I loved experiencing the world that the author has so vividly painted; the kingdom ruled by Thayl, the evil ruler, forests with wisps and fae, a carriage with some evil villagers, and the magic and fighting that is mystical and violent.
Being an illustrated eBook, you’ll notice some beautiful illustrations as well adorning each chapter, that really helps bring the world to life. They were a treat as you reached the end of a passage which really helped you to picture what was happening in the book.
While the world and the narrative was a strength, the downfall was the inconsistency of the characters, and the way which some pertinent plot points unfolded. I actually had to go back and read some specific passages in the story to try and make sense of what happened (in particular where the big reveal happens about Memory’s past) and still couldn’t make perfect sense of what exactly happened, and people’s motives within them. It’s like I couldn’t really tell whether the villain was evil or not based on his actions (although it is assumed that he is), and why he did what he wanted to. The ending was also slightly glossed over and I was left confused, as Memory did not seem to have a satisfactory resolution.
Memory’s an interesting character who is fiesty, smart, and ultimately broken, and her contrast is Eloryn in the story. Memory seems to have taken a beating in this novel, she’s not afraid to get down and dirty, hides knifes in her dresses and for a period of the story, sports a black eye. Eloryn on the other hand, is dainty, demure, beautiful, and the princess. That also makes her judgemental, spoilt, and coddled the whole way through. That type of character really annoys me (like Lissa vs Rose in Vampire Academy), especially how everything seemed to work in her favour.
Overall, I found it to be an exciting read, but would appreciate further detail when it comes to pertinent scenes in the novel. I appreciate how it isn’t a stereotypical YA read featuring annoying instant love or love triangles (in fact there is romance but it is very brief) and I look forward to reading the next novel, Hope’s Reign (due out soon) to find out what happens to these two girls. Thanks to the author for offering this book on this review tour!
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Born in 1981 to Australian and Maltese parents, Selina lives in Australia with her husband, an unnamed cat. 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 a visual artist, and shared her imaginary worlds in paintings and now in her novels.
1. As an artist, what inspired you to write?
It’s all about story for me. I love stories in any form, from books to movies or plays. Even in my art, I like to tell stories. I’ve always been an avid reader and love fairy tales. I used to write a lot as a kid but was discouraged as a teenager by my peers. It was my husband that encouraged me to take it up again when I kept bugging him about all these story ideas buzzing around in my head.
2. How did you come up with the idea and story behind Memory’s Wake?
A lot of my story ideas just come to me, or I dream them (I have very cinematic dreams). Memory’s Wake was more hard won. The original story was a simple “Modern teen lost in another world, goes on adventures” concept I started writing as a teen. There wasn’t a lot of story to it. When I started trying to turn it into a quality novel, I studied story structure and had a lot of thinking to do and tough decisions to make. I combined lots of things I loved into the mix (Arthurian legend, fairies, sympathetic villains, hot guys!) and Memory’s Wake was born.
3. How would you describe Memory as a protagonist?
She’s not a normal heroine. She’s not always brave, selfless, or in control. She makes up for that by being heartfelt, clever, and willing to grow. She also has a funny way with words.
4. How long does it take you to write and illustrate the book?
Both Memory’s Wake, and Hope’s Reign (book two, out on the 10th May!), took about 6-8 months to write and illustrate. On top of that time I also spend more months carefully plotting the complicated trilogy storyline.
5. Have you experienced any challenges in delivering an illustrated book – including through digital formats?
When I first released Memory’s Wake, the ebook version didn’t include the illustrations because I was too worried about getting the formatting wrong! It was a bit of a learning curve, but I managed to get it together and include the illustrations in the ebooks now. The illustrations also simply add a long time to the publishing process. I am a little jealous of authors who finish their manuscript then get their book out straight after! For me, it’s another few months of work before my illustrated books come out.
6. Your artwork heavily features fairies, mermaids and other fantasy creatures, what attracts you to these creatures?
I’ve loved anything fantasy themed for as long as I can remember. Fairy tales and mythology were always my favourite stories growing up, but there was another turning point. I blame a friend of the family who introduced me to pen and paper role-playing when I was a kid. One taste of adventure in dungeons and dragons and I was lost to fantasy realms and daydreaming for life!
7. What are your favourite authors and books?
I read almost exclusively Young Adult fantasy, sci-fi or horror. I’ve read a lot by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare, and also enjoy many indie authors like Anya Allen, Dalya Moon and Anna Kyss.
8. Why did you choose to self-publish?
After finishing Memory’s Wake, I was going to devote some time to trying to get it traditionally published. I knew it could take time so I set myself a goal of spending a year trying. Two months later, I’d had some great feedback but no takers just yet, then I fell pregnant! With a baby on the way, I realized I wouldn’t have the time to keep submitting to agents and publishers and my book could sit unread for years! So I got my act together and got it published myself before my daughter was born, and I’m so happy I did! I’m a bit of a control freak, and I enjoy the whole process.
To celebrate the release of Hope’s Reign, book #2 of the Memory’s Wake trilogy, Selina is giving away the awesome stash below. Enter to win a huge Hope’s Reign poster, Memory’s Wake bookmarks, a pendant with the broken heart motif, and a hand made Memory plush dolly!