CONJURED by Sarah Beth Durst
jacket flap blurb
There are three things that Eve knows.
One. She can’t remember who she is—but she has someone else’s face and name.
Two. She is the only survivor of a notorious serial killer—who will never stop hunting her.
Three. There is something horrifying buried in her memories that her protectors want to access—and there is nothing they won’t do to get her to remember.
At night, Eve dreams of a tattered carnival tent and of buttons being sewn into her skin, the only clues she can provide about the killer who stalks her. By day, she shelves books at the local library alongside Zach, whose blatant flirting and cheerful optimism lend a sense of normality to her life. But, as the serial killer who pursues her and the people who claim to be protecting her know, there is nothing normal about Eve. And once she remembers who and what she is, no one’s life will remain untouched.
From the acclaimed author of Vessel and Ice comes a mind-bending, haunting thriller that illustrates why who we are born does not dictate who we choose to become.
I loved this book. It had me hooked from page one, and I never lost interest. The characters are fascinating and complex and unforgettably real. All of them, Eve and Malcolm and “Aunt” Nicki and Zach and Aiden and Topher and Victoria and Lou and Patti and, yes, the Magician and the Storyteller. I loved them all. They were all unique, they were all complete, they were all believable, and, in a strange way, they were all good guys. Sure, some were good guys only in their own minds, in their own stories, but there was never a character you could point to and say, yes, them, they are the villain, the antagonist, the bad guy.
In fact, the only thing I didn’t love was the fact that the tense and first/second/third person changes. Eve, has visions of her past (she has forgotten all of it), and these visions are written in first person + present tense. But the first part of the book is written in third person + past tense. The second half is mostly first person + present tense, except for one part, which is third person + present tense.
It actually works. Almost. The first/third person changes felt natural, and they worked. It fit the story, and I think something would be lost if the whole story was in either third- or first-person. But I think the tense changes didn’t work. The second half, which is all present tense, flowed much better than the first half, which is part present and part past. The changing between tenses made the transitions in and out of visions awkward and jerky.
So if I was writing this book, I would change it to be all in present tense. I would also change the title. If I had to go with a one-word title, I think I’d call it Becoming. But I could pick any title, I’d go with: Breathing Green.
rating out of five stars