Author: Jessica Brody
Released: March 05, 2013
Buy: The Book Depository
“…[voids] can be as short as the blink of an eye, or they can be infinite. Consuming your entire existence in a flash of meaningless white. Leaving you with nothing. No memories. No names. No faces.”
Jessica Brody’s first venture out of the contemporary genre is a pleasingly sturdy one. While there is definite room for improvement, Unremembered, on the whole, is an engaging and satisfying read.
Memory loss is a key feature of this book, with a confused and appropriately naive main character leading the way. Following a highly-publicised plane crash – Freedom Airlines’ Flight 121, of which our protagonist is the sole survivor – Sera finds herself living in foster care, with no recollection of the crash or her past before that. The memory loss is, for the most part, handled surprisingly well. Creating a plausible personality while taking into account the character’s lack of remembered experience isn’t, I imagine, the easiest of tasks, yet Jessica Brody does a commendable enough job. Sera, although initially uncomfortably close to being too inconsistent, is a refreshing main character whose story is instantly an intriguing one. Her lack of knowledge also provides moments of unexpected but welcomed entertainment. By and large, she is fascinating, and it is not at all difficult connecting with her.
As perhaps anticipated, much of the plot focuses on Sera’s mysterious survival and sudden amnesia. It is quickly apparent that she may not have even been a passenger on Flight 121, and with this, we are handed another boat load of exciting questions. Enter Zen, the boy with all the answers, and the romantic plot slowly weaves in. The romance is a believable and likeable one, with plenty of well-paced tender scenes and flashbacks. Admittedly, it is a little too clichéd and standard to really make much of a significant impression, but, despite that, it satisfies. As a character, Zen is less captivating the Sera, and could do with some refining personality-wise, but he is by no means unlikeable. It is easy to appreciate his role in the story as more than just the love interest.
The strengths of this book, funnily enough, also stem into areas of slight weakness. There is a science fiction element to the storyline that is aptly used to its full potential, even surpassing it in a few places. The ideas are gripping and atypical, and combine two areas of the genre in fascinating ways. These provide a complicated explanation for Sera’s situation, one that is easily admired from afar. The issue is, unfortunately, that it is not much of a challenge piecing the fragments together prematurely. Parts of the story are painfully easy to predict, and combined with the all too typical role of the antagonist, it results in moments of anti-climax. Still, the creativity in the plot twists are evident, even if the execution is in need of sharpening.
Although Unremembered is not free of faults, it is a fairly decent book overall, with moments of true charm. It certainly makes me curious about the rest of this series. In fact, after the way this instalment ended, I am very curious to see what will happen next.
Rating: 3.5 stars