Monday, February 24, 2014

Review: CONJURED by Sarah Beth Durst

Title: CONJURED
Author: Sarah Beth Durst
Released: September 3rd, 2013
Series: N/A
Genre: YA paranormal / fantasy
Pages: 368
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Format: eARC
Source: Publicist
Rating: The Royal Library, Middle Shelf
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.

Conjured is undoubtedly like nothing you've read before. The narration twists and shifts between different perspectives from Eve (her normal 3rd person POV, flashbacks in 1st person, and eventually, the novel shifts from 3rd to 1st person) as she attempts to come to terms with her current life in the paranormal witness protection program. But, she is haunted by memories of a twisted circus, a murderous magician, a terrifyingly captivating storyteller. None of her memories make the slightest bit of sense to her. To top it off, her peculiar abilities, when used, sometimes cause her black out and lose track of her recent memories, making it difficult to know who to trust and who is lying to her.

Durst continues to impress me with every story she writes. Her work always includes highly impressive and imaginative storylines, and Conjured is no exception. Eve's point-of-view is odd, peculiar, and the mystery surrounding her and the other characters in the paranormal witness protection program is a thrill to unravel. While I was not completely sold on the romance, the mystery and descriptive writing style make this a challenging story to set aside. With so much paranormal young adult literature, it can be difficult to differentiate between books, but this is one story that truly stands out. Darkly mysterious and eerily entrancing, Conjured is a dazzling tale that will surprise you in more ways than one.

Highlights: The twisted circus memories and realities kept me hooked. I was unable to guess the truth about Eve's origins, even though the hints were presented early on. This would be a fun book to reread, if only to see all of these hints again. Durst develops a fully realized world, both our "normal" world and the worlds in Eve's memories. The writing is lyrical at times, and wonderfully vivid.

Lowlights: The romance is underwhelming and very quick to form (or perhaps it only felt that way simply because of Eve's memory issues).

Rating: The Royal Library, Middle Shelf. Conjured is an eerily fantastic story that is worth owning, and  it has earned a spot in the royal library. I enjoyed Conjured very much, despite a one or two small issues, and would highly recommend this eerily magical story to other readers.

16 comments:

  1. I remember seeing this cover around but I had no idea what it was about. It sounds so mysterious and creepy, very intriguing!

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    1. It's very intriguing! Eerie, fascinating, and gripping - definitely worth reading :)

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  2. I have been curious about this book! What I find so interesting are the various perspectives/flashbacks. I thought that might make the novel difficult to get into, but it seems that Durst's writing style is fantastic and that wasn't the case. It's a bummer the romance sort of fell short. It sounds like a good read nonetheless. Great review, Lea!

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    1. The perspectives / flashbacks were my favorite aspect - it was a bit different than what I'm used to. Despite the issue I had with the romance, it was still great!

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  3. I enjoyed this one, too! Such a twisted and dark ending, and yeah, while there are little clues throughout, I don't think anyone would see that conclusion coming! Glad you liked this one, Lea!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it too! Oh, my gosh. The clues really were everywhere, but I never caught on...I love it when books keep a mystery going like that, even with the hints.

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  4. The imaginative and well done storylines sounds great to me.

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    1. It really is fantastic, you should check it out!

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  5. Sounds really interesting, it is definitely a unique storyline!

    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

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    1. Definitely unique - the mystery surrounding the protagonist surprised me in the end.

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  6. Sarah Beth durst is on my mental must get now list . Happy you liked it and tnx for the review

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    1. You MUST check out her books! VESSEL is my favorite from her, but her other stories (such as this one, or DRINK SLAY LOVE) are great too.

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  7. Sounds great, can't wait to read this :-)

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  8. Sounds great, can't wait to read this :-)

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  9. I hadn't heard of this one before, I will have to check this one out!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

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