Thursday, February 19, 2015

Review: Conjured by Sarah Beth Durst

I'll start with a warning - this is a quite twisted book. The front page blurb calls it twisted, freaky and delicious.

And it's all of those things. Teenaged Eve is in witness protection. She has amnesia, and dimly remembers cosmetic surgery to change her appearance. Her protectors, though, appear more concerned with making sure she remembers what they need to arrest a serial killer than her health or safety.

Oh, and she can work magic. Considerable magic. Every time she does, though, she passes out and remembers something. Sometimes she loses several days after each "vision."

There's a bit of a romantic triangle, which appears to be obligatory in YA these days, but it's pushed off to the side slightly. The primary theme weaves Eve's romance with Zach, whom she meets at a library - I think it's the geekiest teen romance in a while - with the mystery of her "case."

Durst builds a high magic multiverse with gateways between worlds, and what may or may not be our world being used as a safe haven by Para-WitSec, because it's the only known world without magic (which doesn't stop people from other worlds using magic there, so may not be as effective as they think). And she weaves in fascinating characters. I couldn't put this one down.

So, back to that warning. I don't want to give things away, but I think it's important to give fair warning - one of the themes of Conjured is child abuse. That's all I'm willing to say right now, but if you're uncomfortable with issues related to it, you might want to be careful with this book.

For the rest of us - I couldn't recommend Conjured more highly.

(Copy acquired at World Fantasy Con).