Thursday, September 5, 2013


So, I love all things carnival-related.  Specifically side-show histories/biographies.  I went through a period of reading only non-fiction books about Tom Thumb, Schlitzie, Daisy & Violet, et al.  I watched Carnivale compulsively (don't get me started on my "WTF!?!" toward HBO canceling like it did...*shaking head*).  And made my family watch Freaks...multiple times.  "One of us, one of us..."  AND visited the Circus World Museum in Baraboo, WI.

This interest led me to requesting Conjured by Sarah Beth Durst.  

Eve has a new home, a new face, and a new name—but no memories of her past. She’s been told that she's in a witness protection program and that she escaped a magical serial killer who is still after her.  She tries to appear normal as she shelves books at the local library, trying to not let anyone know that she can do things like change the color of her eyes or walk through walls. When she does use her powers, she blacks out and has horrible visions.   When she comes to, she finds that days, even weeks, have passed and she’s lost all short-term memories. Eve must find out who and what she really is before the killer finds her.

I'm still not quite sure what I thought of this book.  I didn't dislike it...there wasn't a lot of carnival-y stuff til the last quarter.  However, the events leading up to it are definitely interesting!  It's kind of Memento meets Mirrormask/Coraline/Stardust (so...lots of Gaiman-esque overtones) meets, I don't know, CSI?

It does have insta-love between Eve and a co-shelver.  I prefer more of a relationship development other than--eyes lock, you're hot, we're soul-mates.  

Because it was similar to Memento with the short-term memory loss, it took me awhile to get into it.  I spent the first quarter of the book very confused- but in a good way.  Well, first it was frustrating, but then I figured "this is what Eve is feeling, too!"  So unraveling her past is all part of the fun!

There was a stretch about 3/4 of the way in, where I rolled my eyes...then the story got really cool again.  I realize there are magical elements in the story, but it got a little ridiculous and seemed like an easy way out of every obstacle.  That said- it wasn't enough to make me dislike the book.  And after that it REALLY got into the magical carnival "stuff" and was right up my alley!  I couldn't turn the pages fast enough!

It's definitely an interesting concept, and if you're into magic, carnivals, and such, you'll probably enjoy it.  I can't say it's very genre-specific, definitely runs the gamut as far as action, horror, suspense, fantasy, some romance.  Plus, you know, there's a library!  Try it! You may like it!

Conjured is published by Bloomsbury.  Digital ARC provided by NetGalley.
Released: 09.03.2013

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