20 Following

The Not-So-Literary Heiresses

We came from a family of writers. Alas, we can't write. So we blog about our love for books instead.



Amir's Review: Conjured by Sarah Beth Durst

Conjured - Sarah Beth Durst

This is what I felt for the first 60% of this book:





I don't normally use GIFs on my reviews but words cannot express how much this book confused and frustrated the freaking hell out of me.


Eve is under some sort of Paranormal Witness Protection Program. She has no memories of her past but she has magical abilities that make her lose consciousness and mess with her short-term memory whenever she makes use of them. WitSec needs her memories to catch a serial killer who has been targeting teens with magical abilities.

Expect possible spoilers:

The premise sounds like something I could get into in a heartbeat and that's why I requested the book as soon as it became available on NetGalley. Unfortunately, it was hard for me to empathize with Eve's plight because, simply put, she has no personality. Meeting her at the beginning was just plain boring because she was such a bland character and it doesn't help that we only have her POV throughout the whole book. And when she finally did something interesting, she woke up missing a few weeks and now she has to regain more forgotten memories. Seriously? WTF.

And then there's the insta-love affair. It was hard for me to get invested in Eve and Zack's romance because there was absolutely no build-up whatsoever. We are looking at everything through Eve's POV so we only met Zack once, briefly, before she decides that she likes him and starts kissing him. I know Zack has more memories of their time together and was attracted to her from the very beginning but its weird for Eve to suddenly have feelings for a boy she has literally only met once before.

Zack was geeky and a bit quirky and it's refreshing to have a love interest that's different from the brooding handsome hunks we normally get, but because we never really get to know him, he just comes off as this weird guy that talks a lot. Again, I know Zack remembers all the time they spent together but it's still weird how infatuated he was with her that he's willing to bail out on his own family just to help her out.
We also meet other magical characters, which should've made the book more interesting, but just made it more frustrating because I have no idea what the hell is going on. Is it really magic? Or are they mutants? They keep on talking about other worlds... Are they aliens? WTF.

And for a book that centers on the capture of a serial killer, he was certainly non-existent for the majority of it. We know that it's something to do with Eve's past and we get glimpses of it from her dreams but we're not even sure if they were just that. Dreams. I was 60% in and still not sure what the hell I was reading.
There were a few times when I wanted to drop the book and not finish it, but I carried on. The first time, because I was sure something interesting will happen. We are dealing with magical beings, after all. The next because I wanted to find out why this book was just so damn vague and confusing. The last time is because I'd already read that far, might as well see if this book had an actual point.
Fortunately, the book did have a point and I do like how all questions were answered in the end, but I couldn't get over my frustrations before the revelations. This is not the first time I've read a book where I didn't like the first half. A good example of that is Cameron Jace's Snow White Sorrow. However, Conjured is different because it's not just certain characters and situations that prevented me from liking it. I didn't enjoy anything in the first half and I had to actually stop reading a few times to play a game off my iPad to make myself happy again, enough to continue on, because it was becoming a chore to finish the book.
Regardless, I did like the revelations when they were finally brought to light. It was original, and the book finally became more interesting so this was not a total waste of my time. I think I would've enjoyed it more if Eve had less memory gaps. It would certainly improve her development as a character and her relationship with others.

All in all, the revelations at the end of this book almost makes it okay, but then I remember my frustrations getting there. The best thing I got from this book? I discovered a new game that I'm now addicted to.

A copy was provided by Bloomsbury USA Children's Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


Source: http://www.not-so-literary-heiresses.com/2013/09/review-conjured-by-sarah-beth-durst.html