Another new book for you guys! This one is hot off the presses – it came out in March. Feel free to leave a comment if you’d read it to offer your own opinion!
Title: The Memory Tree (Amazon)
Author: Glenn Haybittle
Read harder Challenge: Could be – A book about war
Star Review: ♥♥♥ /5
Why: A good read for fans of Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake series. This book has some really compelling characteristics. It starts as a sci-fi or dystopian fiction, and I love a story that starts right in the middle of the action. This book really challenges the reader to develop their schema as quickly as possible so they don’t miss what’s happening. I know some people don’t like this, but it really works for me. The first two thirds of the book follow the story line of two characters who have had their memories taken away, and who seem fated to find each other. The suspense of this part of the book was extremely well-handled and as a result I found myself continuing the story despite lingering confusion based on some incomplete world-building.
The last third of the book follows two different, but connected stories, and this part veers hard into the historical fiction genre. While the connection between the stories themselves continues to have an element of science fiction, I really didn’t like the drastic shift, and given Glenn Haybittle’s previously published work, it really felt as though the author didn’t have the stamina to continue the fresh, edgy story and switched to something with which they were more comfortable. That being said, the first two thirds of the story had already invested me in seeing it through until the end, so the timing on taking this risk paid off. The ending is super open-ended.
I would be willing to recommend The Memory Tree to someone, but only if they are admitted fans of science fiction and historical fiction in equal measure. While I thought there were some interesting liberties taken in the dystopian fiction genre, I thought the execution fell flat and so while I finished, I didn’t feel pushed to in the exhilarating way that really exceptional fiction does.