Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Book Review - The Memory Witch

Happy Tuesday, good people of the blogosphere! Today I bring you another book review from my extensive TBR list that was created to support the endeavors of Indie Fever 2014. What's Indie Fever? Well, it's a collaborative of readers who get together and read Indie books all year and write reviews. There are many different levels to sign up at! You can see them all here. I invite you to join the reviewer roster, read Indie books until your eyeballs ache, and write some reviews. It's easy; just decide how many books you're going to review, add your name to the linky list, and get busy. Not interested in reviewing but love to read reviews? Check out the reviews written by members here. Grab your comfy chair and let's get going!

First, a little about the book on the butcher block today!

Title: The Memory Witch
Author: Heather Topham Wood
Genre: Young Adult (I think it's maybe supposed to be New Adult) Urban Fantasy
Length (Print): 230 pages
Links to Purchase: Amazon Kindle $7.99 B&N (paperback) $12.98

Synopsis: Ten years ago, Quinn Jacobs’ mother made a bargain with a local witch—steal away Quinn’s memories from the first eight years of her life and in return, Quinn would spend a year in servitude to the witch.

On Quinn’s eighteenth birthday, she’s forced to leave her home and friends behind. For the next year, she’ll live at the Chadwick House, learning everything she needs to know about being a spellcaster. As her powers grow, Quinn begins to unravel the secrets of the past and the reason her mother was so desperate to conceal the horrifying truth.

~                  ~                   ~

*Will not appear in review elsewhere*
Let me start off by saying how much I LOVE the cover for this book. I did a look inside over on Amazon and I wish the inside matched the cover awesomeness. Even the chapter lead-ins done in the same font as the cover would've given it that little something extra. Being a lover of great typography and a graphic designer, I'm a huge fan of those gems I find in interior design when checking out the preview of a print book I enjoyed on Kindle. All that being said, I don't knock off points in a review for the cover of the book; I just like talking about them. *grin*

On to the good stuff!

I grabbed this title during my 12 Days of Christmas party, that special time of year when I stock my Kindle with books I intend to review over the next twelve months. Heather is an author whose work I love reading and she showed up with a pitch for The Memory Witch I couldn't say no to (I've also been sitting on pins and needles waiting for this title to hit the shelves). So, I popped on over to Amazon and ponied up the dough. I have to say, I'm glad I did. While Amazon has this categorized as Teen and Young Adult, I don't think it's appropriate for those under the age of sixteen/seventeen because of some graphic scenes. But, enough rambling, let's get to the review.

From a Reader's Perspective:
I loved the main character, Quinn. Wood has such a unique way of painting her characters so the reader can identify with them, I really enjoy delving into the mind of a new one she comes up with. That being said, Quinn seemed a bit prudish to me. According to the book, she's eighteen and a member of the dying breed known as virgins. That doesn't bother me so much, but her actions during the story threw me for a loop a time or two. I was left scratching my head and asking, "Why?" But the premise of the story and the pacing (which was wonderful and fast) made me care less about the questionable morals of a teen and more about what secrets would be unraveled during the course of the tale. I was hooked. Magic, a father Quinn can't remember, and an unanswered mystery about the past kept my eyeballs riveted to the pages. You'll cringe a number of times when the author gets to some very graphic scenes, but she wrote them well. Details were horrifying. Either way, I adored the story and stayed up late to finish it. Can't wait for the second installment! Let's move on to talk about the writing.

From an Editor's Perspective:
I waited on this novel for so stinking long, I thought I'd get the best of the best of the best (Sir! With honors!) as far as writing goes. Well, not so much. As anyone who reads my reviews knows, I mark errors as I go (it's an editor/proofreader thing). I found over seventy errors. Not misplaced pronouns or comma drops, but errors like: "I hadn't stay up hours each night..." and "...dating back almost thousand years." or "A startled sound broke into..." Needless to say, my head landed in my hand a lot. This isn't the norm for Ms. Wood. These errors didn't fudge with the story, but they were noticeable and did make my mind stutter over the words.

+ 1 Star for a great reveal
+ 1 Star for pacing (fast)
+ 1 Star for the well written magic and horror scenes
+ 1 Star for hooking me with a world I felt could exist
- 1 Star for editing
Overall, 4 out of 5 stars. A highly recommended read if you love fantasy, magic, and curses.

Join me next week for a review of The Bestiarum Vocabulum (a collection of beastly short stories).

I hope you all enjoyed that review. If you've read it, what did you think? If not, will you take a chance on it?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!



  1. Thanks for your review! I really appreciate you taking the time to do it =)
    As far as the editing thing, I won't say anything specifically about my situation, but I will say there are definitely pluses and minuses when you go with a publisher instead of self-publishing. Every author should really carefully examine their needs and wants before making a final decision.

    1. Ah, you're so welcome, Heather! I read it fast; couldn't put it down! I'm not sure what I would do if approached. I love being Indie and I would hate to lose that control (I'm severely OCD), so it would take a lot, methinks, to get me away from that. :) Thanks for the comment.


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