Saturday, July 09, 2011

Persistence of Memory, by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Persistence of Memory (Den of Shadows)
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Erin Misrahe is not a normal 16-year old that lives in Concord, Massachusetts. She just started going half time to public school and finally has a friend. After spending the better part of her life in institutions and mental hospitals for violent behavior, schizophrenia and dissociative personality, her doctors are finally trying to re-associate her with the world. Aside for a few anxiety attacks and being afraid that she may still hurt someone, Erin is doing fine; that is until she suffers an anxiety attack and wakes up in France, next to a man that says they have been together for years (and since she is 16 she is slightly baffled by how many years that could be) and that she is not Erin but Shevaun (who Erin recognizes as her alternate personality). After Erin "wakes up" for her little episode strange things start to happen and an old friend comes back into her life to warn her that someone wants to harm her, Shevaun who is a vampire.

The book belongs to the Den of Shadows series by Amelia Atwater Rhodes and some of the characters present in other books make an appearance here. The book had a good premise and it was intriguing to read through the book to learn what the story was between Shevaun and Erin. It was a light book, easy to read (you can read it in one sitting) and not overly complicated (although it tried to be). The book tried to weave a complicated story full of character's back histories, some psychology (that is not really delved into, merely mentioned) and some major issues about growing up thinking you are crazy and can't trust yourself. I said that the book tried to weave the complicated story and it was actually somewhat doing that when I notice that I had less than 15 pages to read in the book. Then, I questioned how could this book possibly conclude so rapidly when everything seemed to be so messed up. The thing is that fo all the time the author spend trying to create a full world full of history, conflict and interesting character, she fails in the conclusion of the story by dismissing all the created suspense and launching into a simple conclusion of the story's events in a way that was all to convenient. It was frustrating.

The characters she presented us were hollow and incomplete, she failed to produce more complete versions of the people that were taking part in the story and thus give us a better understanding of the character's reactions, reasons and actions. I understand that there are several books through which the characters in this book are linked, and I have read some of them. But even then, having known Alexander's story (In the Forests of the Night), for example, I know that there is still a lot missing to him, as with most of the characters in this and the other books by Amelia Atwater Rhodes.

The book was not bad, but I felt it was incomplete. It felt hurried at the end, as if the author rushed to finish her paper before handing it in to the teacher. Read this book if you are a fan of this author and have read the other Den of Shadows books. It was an easy book to read but disappointing in the end.

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