LOOK I MADE A GIF OF CONJURED!
Ah, yes, I’m also going to talk about the actual book, but you wanted to see my gif. I know you did, stop rolling your eyes, blogglings. And who am I, but delightfully acquiescent to your requests? Even if you didn’t yet know your requests until I told you what they were. But don’t thank me. I live to be helpful.
Conjured is a wild ride to Creepville on Freaky Express with multiple stops by Confusing Station.
I’m unsure how to react to it at the moment. Usually I a) love a book, b) loathe it, or c) feel mildly indifferent. For Conjured I feel a little confused but respectful of the intense imagination in these 360-pages. It’s hard to review that kind of feeling!
But you know what I’m thinking, don’t you?
LIST TIME.* Let us weigh the likes and dislikes together!
*If you’re at all new here, bless you, then let me causally tell you that I absolutely love lists. My entire blog is founded on 89% lists.
Thanks Bloomsbury for the review-copy! Conjured by Sarah Beth Durst hit shelves 1st of October, 2014.
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. That she escaped a dangerous magic-wielding serial killer who still hunts her. The only thing she knows for sure is that there is something horrifying in her memories the people hiding her want to access—and there is nothing they won’t say—or do—to her to get her to remember.
At night she dreams of a tattered carnival tent and buttons being sewn into her skin. But during the day, she shelves books at the local library, trying to not let anyone know that she can do things—things like change the color of her eyes or walk through walls. When she does use her strange powers, she blacks out and is drawn into terrifying visions, returning to find that days or 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—but the truth may be more dangerous than anyone could have ever imagined.
THINGS I LIKED
1. I enjoy a good book of extraordinary imagination. This book fits that perfectly. The imaginings are wild and crazy and intense and let me applaud!
2. The setting was partially a quiet Witness Protection town, partly a freaky carnival. You know the drill. Magician. Dolls. Puppets. Sawing people in half. Magical other-worlds. Storytellers. Knitting needles.
2. The human boy: Zach. He works at the same library as our narrator (Eve). He’s hilarious and talkative and bubbly. I love reading boys who fit that description! Because usually it’s girls and we can all agree that boys can be talkative and bright too. Zach was HILARIOUS. He had some fantastic quips and stole the show so many times. Okay, he stole the book.
[Zach] placed his hands on her shoulders so she’d look directly into his eyes. “You know, the moment I saw you, I said to myself — because all the great people talk to themselves, of course — I said, ‘Zach, you have to meet that lovely lady, because she will make your life extraordinary.’ I was not wrong.” (CONJURED pg. 174)
You’re adorable, Zach.
3. The plot was unique. (It reminded me of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.) It mixes magic into our world in this epic law-and-order case. Two cops are protecting a magical-girl-witness (Eve) from a powerful magician wanted for murder. But she’s got no memories. Although, I’m being a wet blanket here, but the memory-less-ness is starting to get kind of old.
4. It has an incredibly unreliable narrator, which I always find interesting. I approve of books that mess with your braincells.
THINGS I DISLIKED
1. The writing style. Hey, but this is so subjective, so I honestly need to yell “READ IT” if you at all like the premise. But the style, to me, felt really thick. It was like eating insanely dense porridge. And the description? Eeeeverywhere. Literally everything was minutely described. I longed for plot and action and more characterisation. The description and slowness bored me half to death.
2. Because our bonnie narrator kept losing her memories, it was freakishly hard to connect to ANYONE in the book. I’d flip to a new chapter and oops, oh no! Her brain is compromised again. I needed to care about her (and hopefully the supporting cast). But I just didn’t. I didn’t know them.
3. Um…now this I’m sure has an explanation for…but it kept switching from 1st to 3rd person. The book started in 3rd person with the visions in 1st. Great. Good. I like that. (The visions were all sectioned off with their own chapters and italics. Very clear.) Then halfway through the book, it just ditched the 3rd person altogether and went 100% first person for visions AND normal narration. Um…OKAY? It feels like such a blatant mistake! But I’m sure there’s a reason, I just have no clue what it is. So this just threw me completely.
4. The ending was a whirlwind of confusing weirdness. I’m not even sure who “won” this. I’m not even sure what the villain’s issue was.
All in all?
Basically, this is a book about memory loss, magic, and freaky carnival descriptions. I recommend it if you love noir novels with a dash of superpowers and blood soaked visions. And don’t mind them being exremely slow. Conjured was okay in my humble but fabulous opinion, but didn’t impress me. Not even a little.
Cait does actually like creepy books. She just likes them to make sense (obvious creepiness not subtle) and she likes to be emotionally attached to the characters. (But come to think of it, she actually didn’t like Miss Peregrine’s either. Asylum by Madeleine Roux on the other hand? OH THAT WAS HORRIBLY GOOD.) Currently, she’s rewriting in order to limber her fingers up for NaNo.