Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Persistence of Memory By Amelia Atwater-Rhodes (3/5 stars)

I got this book as an Advanced Readers Edition through the Amazon Vine program. The premise sounded interesting.

Basically Erin has finally enrolled in public schooling. For the first 16 years of her life she has been institutionalized because of schizophrenia. Sometimes her violent alter-ego Shevaun takes over. Finally Erin's life is looking up, Shevaun is under control and Erin can look forward to a normal life. That is until she joins fencing club. Shevaun once again takes control and Erin flees the club only to see one of her new friends turn into a tiger in front of her. Convinced that she is again going crazy Erin heavily doses herself and wakes up to find that maybe Shevaun is more real than she ever expected.

This was an easy book to read. The characters are engaging. The idea of paranormal powers being treated as mental illness was explored in more depth than it has been in any other paranormal book I've read. An intriguing world was hinted at but never really fully developed. The book itself was very short. It almost seemed like more of an intro to a new series than a full book in itself.

I liked the world and the characters. I just thought that they were all under-developed. I also liked the discussion around paranormal abilities as mental illness. In fact I really like most of this book. The ending kind of ruined it all for me. It was such a rushed ending. Not a ton happens in the beginning then suddenly all this stuff is thrown at you in the last couple chapters and it's all over. It read like Atwater-Rhodes suddenly had a deadline sneak up on her.

If this book is the beginning of a series it could turn into an interesting series. As a stand alone book it feels incomplete. The concepts are interesting, but rushed. If you are interested in the topic of paranormal behavior being perceived as mental illness than this would be an interesting read for you.

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