Sunday, July 13, 2014

Book Review: Unremembered

Title: Unremembered
Author: Jessica Brody
Genre: YA, SF


She can't remember her name. She can't remember how she ended up floating in the ocean, the sole survivor of a horrendous plane crash. She can't remember the locket around her neck or what the inscription means: S+Z=1609. All she knows is that she's no ordinary girl.

Violet eyes. Airbrushed beauty. A brain like a computer. Superhuman strength.

Who is she?


I'm going to spill the beans and tell you that her name is Sera.  Beyond that, I hesitate to say, because the mystery is the sole driving force of this book for the first 150 pages. Sera basically adjusts to life with her foster family, tries to piece together what happened to her, and gets more and more hints that she is not normal. I kept waiting for a plot twist.

The second half starts to pick up by introducing a romantic subplot and science fiction elements. The romantic flashbacks are warm and rich and filled with emotion--but it loses its potency, because it's already happened. We don't get to see them falling in love. The science fiction elements are creative, but they strain on the edge of credulity.  I had trouble suspending my disbelief.

I also had problems with Sera. As much power as she's given--and she's given quite a bit--she hardly uses it. Her brainpower is canceled out by the fact that she makes incredibly stupid decisions. There are reasons for this--her amnesia being one of them--but even so, would it be so hard to don a disguise when scary men are chasing her? I found it difficult cheering for a heroine who should be a superhero always needing to be saved by males with guns. Even the moment when she stepped up and had her heroic moment, seemed too little, too late.

I really wanted to like this book. I met its author, Jessica Brody, at Literary Orange and she seems to be a wonderful person. She really sold me on her story, even though I'm not really into "Bourne Identity" sort of books. Unremembered wasn't bad. It was just sort of ordinary.

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