Eve has a new home, a new face, and a new name—but no memories of her past. She’s been told that she’s in a witness protection program. That she escaped a dangerous magic-wielding serial killer who still hunts her. The only thing she knows for sure is that there is something horrifying in her memories the people hiding her want to access—and there is nothing they won’t say—or do—to her to get her to remember.
At night she dreams of a tattered carnival tent and buttons being sewn into her skin. But during the day, she shelves books at the local library, trying to not let anyone know that she can do things—things like change the color of her eyes or walk through walls. When she does use her strange powers, she blacks out and is drawn into terrifying visions, returning to find that days or weeks have passed—and she’s lost all short-term memories. Eve must find out who and what she really is before the killer finds her—but the truth may be more dangerous than anyone could have ever imagined.
SOURCE: PUBLISHER / NETGALLEY
Eve doesn’t remember anything about her past life except little blips of information and the surgeries to change her appearance. Now in a witness protection program, she is told she must remember her past so others won’t die. She first realizes that there is a problem with her past when strange things start to occur. Her Aunt Nicki is really an agent assigned to protect her and Nicki’s partner, Malcolm, tries to make her life as normal as possible. Whatever normal is for her since she has discovered that she can do things like make the birds on the wallpaper in her room fly around. Malcolm does try to help her become more “normal” by getting her a job at a library where she meets Zach. Zach and Eve make an instant connection and while touching Zach, Eve can use her magic without the side effect of blacking out and losing newly gained memories. When she does blackout, she has horrible visions of her past that fill her with fear.
Malcolm and Nicki’s boss, Lou, wants to press her to regain her memory quicker, so he introduces her to other teens like her. They can all use magic without losing consciousness and even though they befriend her, she senses something just isn’t right. One of the boys, Aidan, tries to romantically entangle her and pull her away from Zach. As Eve starts to connect more with her memories, the more she begins to fear what she has witnessed. She begins to fear the other teens, the agents of the WitSec program and even herself. Forced to face her fears, she discovers that she is from another world and in order to save others from harm, she must go back to where she came from.
This story really captured my attention since it seemed to mix the best of the Twilight Zone with Men in Black in more of a horror-thriller type tale. The passages where Eve has her visions are the stuff of your worst nightmares. As Eve starts to remember her past, the horrors just keep on coming. Even nice, normal Zach has some horror in his past bringing to light some domestic abuse in his own family. The love story around this pair is one for the ages. The last third of the book had me guessing and I never imagined the ending. Parents: some language, some magical kissing and a bit of violent imagery.
About the Author
SARAH BETH DURST is the author of the young adult novels Vessel, Drink Slay Love, Enchanted Ivy, and Ice, as well as the middle grade novels Into the Wild and Out of the Wild. She has been a finalist for SFWA’s Andre Norton Award three times, for Vessel, Ice, and Into the Wild. Sarah lives with her husband and children in Stony Brook, New York. Visit her at SarahBethDurst.com.
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