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Selina Fenech weaves a story worth staying up late for! I have been following her artwork for years, and her storytelling creates Memory's Wake through words like her paintbrush creates a portrait on canvas.
Since being swept through a veil door into the worlds in this trilogy with the turning of those first few pages, the lines of words guiding the adventure, I have become a “Memory’s Wake” Collector. I have the Kindle versions, Nook books, and Audible Audio Books as well as the Omnibus versions for all three. Told ya I was a collector. I also recently added the “Memory’s Wake Companion Guide” Hard Cover Book to my collection and it will be a treasured keepsake in my library, not least of all because of the fantastic illustrations! Word has it Selina is going to release a Coloring Book as well!
I was captivated by every story in each book of this trilogy. I missed the adventure and was so sad to leave Avall and all the characters behind that I have I reread or listened to the whole set multiple times. I had waited, initially, to read the stories until I could read them all in a row, and have the option of audio. My latest ventures were into both the Kindle and Audible Audio Book versions of this “Memory’s Wake Omnibus.”
I am so grateful the whole Memory’s Wake Trilogy is available as audio books. I have health trouble that makes reading and holding books difficult, so I rely on audio books. This set is wonderfully done and enjoyable, so it's twice as nice.
Em Eldridge does a fantastic job narrating this book…. She reads all three books if you get them individually or all together in this combined omnibus. A great reader makes or breaks an audiobook, and Em Eldridge was a wonderful choice for the important job of narrator. She creates individual voices for characters and vividly acts and tells Memory's Wake most enjoyably. You can tell who is speaking just by hearing the voice she gives them. You’ll find yourself listening, or imagine listening, for sounds like doors closing, footsteps on stone, and so forth because the reading draws you in like a dramatization or radio show. I recommend this version even to folks who have read the printed or Kindle books, as well as new readers.
The omnibus audio file is huge. If you live in the country like me, it may take a while compared to the individual audio books. ;0)
Now about the stories:
Let me just say, that I love and so gratefully appreciate that these stories are told in third person. So many books these days are told singularly through the limits of first person, which always takes me longer to get into. Selina has chosen the right way, from my perspective. It is more enjoyable, and we still get to hear Memory's thoughts and perspectives...as well as the other main characters'. We can journey with each of the main characters while they are apart and find out what is going on at the same time, rather than only learning about it later, if at all. Best of all perspectives.
I highly recommend this trilogy, and this audiobook set, for anyone who loves fantasy, adventure, mystery, and a spark or two of romance.
Each book in the trilogy may focus on the same characters, but those characters are not the same in each tale; they grow, they learn, and they change in unexpected ways. Every story in each book is connected, though we are left guessing and surmising till all is revealed near the end, but each story is unique in its own way and completely different while keeping the essentials the same. This is reminiscent of chapters in life; they are connected but different: many stories all part of one great story.
Selina’s storytelling skills create magic and each book is a portal through the veil and into Avall. Em Eldridge voices the characters into life and with a bit of imagination any reader can find themselves in the world of “Memory’s Wake.”
I encourage you to view Selina’s book trailers, complete with illustrations and music, for the Memory’s Wake Omnibus and the individual books of the Trilogy, on her YouTube Channel. There is a video previewing the Audio Books as well. You can find them via her website or her Channel, just look under Selina Fenech.
I recommend getting this set and then the hard cover Memory's Wake Companion Guide so you can see all the beautiful illustrations!
I also, wrote my thoughts about each story in a review for each book. If you are interested and a little adventurous….remember Spoiler Alert, don’t say I didn’t warn ya….
* * * Spoiler Alert * * * Hints at Spoilers * * *
From the first page we’re immediately caught up in the unknown with a girl, who is falling, in pain, and with no escape till she is pulled into a place by someone; another girl with a fair complexion, who talks of strange things, impossible things, like magic.
The blond girl says her name is Eloryn and that they should both flee; but who do you trust when you don’t know who you are, let alone who anyone else is? Cue a dragon, wizard hunters, a wild man of the woods, a chase, and the adventure is off to a harrowing start.
Eloryn gives her promise to help this lost girl she brought out of the veil find answers and gives her a new name, Memory. They travel together, not sure if they can trust each other but sure they cannot trust anyone else. Before long they encounter strange creatures and stranger humans. A handsome rogue crosses their path, and a simple act might be the first step to changing all their lives.
Eloryn keeps safe many secrets, Memory doesn’t even remember hers, and this new young man, Roen, may have his own ideas and lead them down the wrong road and into worse dangers…but that’s a chance they may have to take.
Meanwhile, a tall shadow of a man follows their trail, with sprites, watching their journey. The wizard hunters, by order of the king no less, and with a dragon at their call haunt the land searching for anyone using magic. They’ll stop at nothing to find what they seek and do not care who gets in their way. The dragon is massive, terrifying, and seems to appear out of nowhere with little warning. And when Memory finally meets the king, his hand starts glowing as if they have a connection somehow.
Step through a veil door, and join Memory on her journey, with Memory’s Wake.
We join Memory, Lory, Roen, and Will as they all adjust after the events in Memory's Wake. A kingdom needs managed, there's the Fae to contend with, a deposed king, and the council. Our main characters are trying to find themselves, how to best do what needs done, all without losing each other along the way. And someone is trying to ruin things and drive friends apart to achieve their own gains. Sound nerve wracking...it sure is!
Memory has been piecing together a new life for herself and trying to find where she fits in. She has this enormous well of magic within her, and no control of it nor idea of how to use it. She needs guidance and seeks it in a way that counters Avall’s old fashioned traditions. Things are just looking up with a series of events sets everything back. When her old life and memories collide with her new ones she finds herself lost again, feeling alone, and distancing herself from her friends.
Eloryn is so busy with duties, overwhelmed by her own thoughts and responsibilities, and so desperate for any help she can get she puts her own future and the future of Avall into jeopardy by relying on another instead of her own heart.
Roen is haunted by his past. With no hope of what he would like the future to hold, he tries to go a new way and things get rather confusing to all involved. A simple misunderstanding could ruin any future he might have.
Will remembers who Memory was, but he has to learn who she has become, and how he can be her friend once again. As he tries, he has to contend with all these other people around after 16 years of living in the woods with only Mina and the other sprites for company.
Just so you know, there are a couple of rough spots due to situations the characters encounter. They are written well, just tough situations our characters have to deal with. Memory's past is told tastefully, but she had a bad time in the regular world.
The hardest one for me was a suicide and an attempt. This never used to bother me, however after losing someone close to it, I really don't like to read about it, I don't even like the word. However, I certainly did not want to miss out on the rest of the book just because of this! As they are caused by magical influence from an evil character it was much easier to read those parts of the story. This is no reflection on the story, it's just me. I'm just putting this forewarning out for any reader with a similar perspective.
The author, gratefully, warns of triggers like this at the beginning of the Kindle Book.
I loved meeting new characters, and their added banter. Wait till you meet Clara, Waylan, the Wizard’s Council, Peirs, Erec, Maeve and the children, and the Fae Royalty of the Seelie and the Unseelie Courts.
I was secretly making mental notes about figuring out who was going to be a nasty in the end. I was on edge, waiting to hear what happened next, hoping for the best, laughing at other bits, and smiling through many moments.
The very foundations of Caermaellon Palace, Avall, and the souls of our main characters are thoroughly shaken, and threaten to crumble from the changes, deceptions, misunderstandings, and forces both from within Avall and from the outside world.
Memory finds herself in a new position with a crown of responsibilities left into her care and with no magic to help her. To keep the peace she has sworn an oath not to intentionally use the magic dwelling inside her. She is unsure of herself, but she has her friends beside her, their support, and their love. She has many lessons to learn and even a few to teach.
Eloryn and Roen finally get their act together, as Memory would put it, but their future is uncertain by the cruelty of a former trusted ally and all the dangers that have been secretly setting the stage for the end of Avall.
Will works to adjust to the life and people that surround Memory, but he is still tied to Mina and Mina is keen to tell everyone that Will’s life belongs to her. When he is taken his friends will risk everything to find him again.
We meet again with many old friends from the stories past and some enemies as well. Clara, Erec, Peirs, Shonae, Nyneve, and Maeve may be secondary characters, but each has their own story, provides their own lessons, and their actions help shape the events.
Providence revealed what she is when she escaped at the end of “Hope’s Reign” but her identity is kept secret, making the humans wary of the Fae and wondering who to trust. A glamour could be hiding any face.
To make matters far worse children are still missing and as time passes so does hope at finding them. And someone is draining humans of blood; a nightmare brought to life in the shadows. Everyone tells Memory that there are no such things as vampires, but then who is doing such a ghastly thing?
Love is tested, friendships are betrayed, lessons are learned, lives are lost, and the world and Avall will never be the same again. Everything will change.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
I enjoyed these books, the only thing that spoiled it for me was the narrator, who on the whole was good, however, when saying words like calm and palm etc pronounced them really strangely. Other than that nice easy listening.