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The Memory Wood

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4.34  ·  Rating details ·  488 ratings  ·  232 reviews

The must-read novel of 2020. Chilling, moving and unputdownable, The Memory Wood is a thriller like no other.

*************

Elijah has lived in the Memory Wood for as long as he can remember. Its the only home hes ever known.

Elissa has only just arrived. And shell do everything she can to escape.

When Elijah stumbles across thirteen-year-old Elissa, in the woods

...more
Kindle Edition, 375 pages
Published February 13th 2020 by Transworld Digital
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Average rating 4.34  · 
Rating details
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Maureen
Dec 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
On the face of it, this appears to be just another abductor/abductee story, but actually, it comes with a terrific twist, in this debut novel from Sam Lloyd.

The storyline revolves around 12 year old Elijah who has lived in Memory Wood for a very long time and 13 year old chess champion Elissa. Elissa has just arrived at Memory Wood, shes been abducted and is being held in a cellar beneath the surrounding woods. Elijah visits her and wants to be her friend, so Elissa asks if hell help her to
...more
Paromjit
Dec 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sam Lloyd's debut psychological thriller is unforgettable, a nightmare, a chilling depiction of child abduction. 13 year old Elissa, a bright girl and gifted chess player, and her single parent mother, Lena, make their way from their home in Salisbury to a Chess competition in a Bournemouth hotel. Elissa is abducted outside the venue, a drugged Elissa wakes up to find herself manacled in a underground cellar. She is discovered and visited by a desperately lonely 12 year old Elijah. Elijah has ...more
Ceecee
Nov 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If this isnt a best seller in the making Ill eat my rather stylish trilby! This is a book that makes your eyes pop, inhale and forget to exhale, your jaw drop and utter the odd (mild obviously) expletive and sometimes all four at the same time which probably isnt pretty. To sum up what this story is about is hard but basically the central aspect is the abduction of 13 year old Elissa Mirzoyan whilst she attends a chess competition in Bournemouth. She is manacled in the cellar of a Gingerbread ...more
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: She can't be in here. She can't. And yet when I angle my head, there she is.

(Her) face looks like a piece of steak left too long on a barbecue, cracked and burnt and black. Her hair is gone, along with her ears and most of her nose. Clear fluid seeps from the fissures in her flesh.

Only her eyes have been spared. They stare with dreadful intensity, two baleful emeralds that have soaked up all the inferno's heat.

'Look at me, Elijah,' she whispers.

I scrunch up my eyes, turn my face to
...more
Carolyn
Jan 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a very dark and creepy thriller - the stuff of dark fairy tales of missing children lost in the dark woods.

Elissa is a thirteen year old chess prodigy, drugged and abducted from a car park outside a chess tournament. When she comes round she finds herself manacled to the rough floor in a dark cellar of a tumbledown cottage. Her kidnapper, a foul smelling brute of a man she calls the ghoul, brings her food and water only if she does what she's told. She's also visited by a boy called
...more
Miriam Smith
Billed as the must read book of 2020 and described as chilling, moving and unputdownable, The Memory Wood is certainly a book to be looking out for next year and was admittedly a read I did not expect.
Elijah has lived in the Memory Wood for as long as he can remember. Its the only home hes ever known. Elissa has only just arrived. And shell do everything she can to escape...... With a premise as intriguing as that, it was impossible not to get addicted to the story from the very first page. Due
...more
Lou
Feb 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thirteen-year-old chess prodigy Elissa Mirzoyan is abducted in the middle of a tournament after leaving the venue to fetch one of her possessions from the car. The kidnapper, nicknamed The Ghoul by Elissa, thrust her into the back of his van and spirited her away to The Memory Wood. When she wakes from her slumber she realises that she is chained and being held captive and notices she is covered in bruises. She wonders how she will escape her godawful situation and her only hope is if long-term ...more
Pauline
Sep 14, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Elissa a thirteen year old girl has been abducted from a car park. There is a witness who sees her being bungled into a white van. The police are called and it's a race against time to find the girl alive.
When Elissa wakes up she is in some sort of dungeon. There is no light and she remembers that she has been drugged and taken against her will.
She is visited by two people, a man that she finds very frightening and a person who says he is trying to help her.
All she can think of is escaping.
I
...more
Louise Wilson
Jan 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is the story about the abduction of thirteen year old Elissa. She's very clever and she's a chess prodigy. Elijah is twelve. He lives in a cottage in the Memory Wood with his parents. When Elijah finds Elissa, she thinks that he will free her. But Elijah wants to keep her for his friend. The inspector in charge of the investigation, Mairead, has her own personal issues.

This is a debut novel from Sam Lloyd. The tension starts to build right from the start of the story. It's told from
...more
Indieflower
Mar 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book so much! Very different from any other abduction themed story I've read, with a great main character, 13 year old Elissa, an intelligent, somewhat introverted chess player but my goodness what a badass, I loved her. For me, a total page turner, dark, twisty, gripping and a little heartbreaking too, I loved that it kept me guessing all the way. An excellent debut novel, 4.5 stars rounded up, I'm very much looking forward to more from Sam Lloyd.
Liz Barnsley
Feb 23, 2020 rated it really liked it

The Memory Wood is one of the most elegantly immersive crime novels Ive read for a while- immediately involving, two highly intriguing young characters in Elijah and Elissa plus a twisted and compelling plot that holds your attention and your emotion throughout.

Its a bit of a different way of telling a kidnap story- the victim here, Elissa, is no pushover, intelligent and determined but in one heck of a bind. Enter the elusive and odd Elijah, who may be her salvation but could equally be the
...more
Louise Wilson
Jan 31, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the story about the abduction of thirteen year old Elissa. She is very clever and she's a chess playing prodigy. Elijah is twelve. He lives in a cottage in the Memory Wood with his parents. When Elijah finds Elissa, she thinks that he will free her. But Elijah wants to keep her for his friend. The inspector in charge of this investigation is Mairead, she has her own personal issues.

This is the debut novel from Sam Lloyd. The tension starts to build right from the beginning of the story.
...more
Suzanne
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh my goodness, what a ride! I loved loved loved The Memory Wood; it wove its way into my life, my nightmares, the lot. Definitely my read of the year....

Its a novel centred around a kidnapping. Creepy and twisty, with a good balance of police involvement - which I dont usually especially enjoy if its too interlaced within a novel. Its written from several perspectives, the kidnapped 13 year old girl, her kidnapper, a 12 year old boy who is apparently trying to help her, and the lead female
...more
Bex (Beckie Bookworm)
48487370._SY475_

This genre wise is part Police-procedural part psychological thriller.
13-year-old Elissa Mirzoyan is kidnapped from a local chess tournament and hidden in the basement of a run-down cottage on a private estate that Elijah has named the memory wood.
Elijah lives on the estate grounds with his family and is aware of the hidden underground basement.
Lonely and desperate for company he takes to visiting Elissa whenever he can just like he did with the previous basement occupant before her.
DS Mairead
...more
Nicole
Dec 21, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very weird book that unfortunately missed the mark for me.

I really struggled to get into the book at the start. The characters are odd and the writing was weird.

But then we are introduced to two new characters and I liked those perspectives so I started to enjoy the book a lot more.

But the ending was weird and odd. It just was a bit too out there. It's hard to explain without giving spoilers but I wasn't a fan

I felt the whole book was too long. I got bored in quite a few parts
...more
Kim Ebner
Feb 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
I have a sneaky suspicion that this thriller is going to be a big hit in 2020. I absolutely loved it, and Im sure many others will too. I must have read hundreds upon hundreds of thrillers in my time (as its my favourite genre) and as Im sure you can imagine, they can sometimes become a bit monotonous and somewhat similar. The good news is that this book breaks that trend. This is a thriller unlike any other that Ive read before.

The main characters in this book are two children Elyssa, who is
...more
Georgina
Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes, life is so gosh-damned strange it hardly seems real.

In a moment, 13 year old Elissas life is changed forever when she is spirited away to the Memory Wood. She wakes to find herself chained and bruised, and as the nightmarish nature of her new reality becomes clear, her only hope of escape lies in the hands of 12 year old Elijah. But the desperately lonely Elijah doesnt want Elissa to leave, and it soon becomes clear that this strange young boy has secrets of his own...

Now, anyone who
...more
Michelle
Jan 05, 2020 rated it liked it
The Memory Wood by Sam Lloyd is a unique thriller regarding the disappearance of a Elissa a budding Chess Champion from a car park at a local Chess tournament. Although she is not the first child abducted by her abductor, she is the most cleverish. She makes a friend of twelve-year-old Elijah, who promised to help her escape. But not all as it seems with Elijah and Elissa doesnt know if she can trust him or not. And, a female police officer who when she finds out that she is another victim to ...more
Rebecca
Dec 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely amazing, PLEASE READ THIS.
Pamela Usai
Feb 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I am STILL RECOVERING from this book.

In addition to an ultra creepy title and cover, Sam Lloyd's debut novel "The Memory Wood" was simply put, a terrifyingly realistic, mind-numbingly, disturbing read. And, can we taught about ATMOSPHERE? This is the first book of 2020 where I could smell the mustiness of a long-unwashed shirt, or the cloying sweetness of damp earth, or I could feel the squelching mulch of undergrowth underneath my toes. Hell, even the tantalising aroma of tart tomato flavoured
...more
LJ (On The Shelf Reviews)
Jan 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
And the award for first book hangover of the year goes to...you guessed it The Memory Wood.

What can I say about this book??? It was such an atmospheric read, with the right blend of creepiness and intrigue that gave it an almost fairytale like quality. In fact when I started reading it, I felt like Id fallen into some sort of dark twisty fairy story.

The story is told from three different perspectives, Elijah, Elissa and Mairead, each one of them giving a different dimension to the story. Elijah
...more
Jodie (jodie.loves.books)
This book was absolutely mind blowing! I cant remember the last time I read a thriller where I had absolutely no idea how it would end even up until the last couple of pages.

In the book we follow Elijah who lives in The Memory Wood and Elissa, a 13 year old chess lover who has been abducted and kept beneath the wood. I dont want to say anymore than that as I dont want to give any spoilers!

Everything about this book made it the perfect thriller; it was brimming with suspense and intrigue, the
...more
Suzanne
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh my goodness, what a ride! I loved loved loved The Memory Wood; it wove its way into my life, my nightmares, the lot. Definitely my read of the year....

Its a novel centred around a kidnapping. Creepy and twisty, with a good balance of police involvement - which I dont usually especially enjoy if its too interlaced within a novel. Its written from several perspectives, the kidnapped 13 year old girl, her kidnapper, a 12 year old boy who is apparently trying to help her, and the lead female
...more
The Tattooed Book Geek (Drew).
As always this review can also be found on my blog The Tattooed Book Geek: https://thetattooedbookgeek.wordpress...

In early afternoon thirteen-year-old, Elissa Mirzoyan is abducted and taken from outside of the hotel where she is competing in a chess tournament. After being drugged she awakens chained, manacled and locked away in the inky black depths of a cell in the cellar beneath a remote and ramshackle cottage.

Twelve-year-old Elijah North lives in a cottage on a sprawling country estate
...more
my bookworm life
This was a very enjoyable and creepy read, one that while reading it i genuinely had no idea where it was heading, so each reveal for me was a really great surprise, and that added to my reading experience. Even though i have read a lot of thrillers, and do really enjoy that genre no matter the sub genre, i never seem to guess the outcomes ha, so therefore i am always in for lots of surprises and i'm probably one of the best candidates for reading twisty books as i never see them coming.

I really
...more
booksbytheboats
Jan 31, 2020 rated it liked it
Ive got to admit I didnt love this book as much as I thought i would. I enjoyed reading certain parts and I was eager to see what happened, the three different perspectives was one of the main things that kept my interest.

I was rooting for Elissa the whole way through this book and if it wasnt for her, I dont think Id have rated this as I did. I do think it was written well, although I do question some of the story (cant tell without spoilers 🤪) - overall a good read & I would recommend.
...more
Sophie Whitbread
Jan 29, 2020 rated it liked it
It was dark which I do like in a book and an easy read, and whilst I wanted to find out what was going to happen, I just wasn't hooked. It's not like I disliked the book I just didn't love it.

I loved the 3 POVs in this book and feel like DS Mairèad's was definitely needed so that an adults perspective came across and also kept you in the loop of what was going on outside of The Memory Wood!

☆☆☆
The Book Review Café
Review to follow once I get my thoughts in order
Laura Young
Jan 30, 2020 rated it liked it
⭐ BOOK REVIEW ⭐
Thank you so much to @tandemcollectiveuk who organised the #memorywoodreadalong and for my #gifted copy of The Memory Wood.
As always my review will be spoiler free so if youre still reading it dont worry!
This is a pacy thriller told from 3 POVs. Chapters are short and the writing style is conversational and easy to read. The three MCs are Elissa (child - kidnapped), Elijah (child - finds Elissa) & Mairead (adult - DCI). The mix of personalities and varied writing for each
...more
Jesika
I read this as part of a readalong and its twists and turns surprised everyone! At one point I had read 3 massive, unexpected twists in 25 pages and just could not put it down (I definitely chose reading more of this book over sleeping).

The writing changes in tone between the three narrators and the way it teases out the difference in thought processes of Elissa and Elijah is brilliant. The sense of place developed is atmospheric in the creepiest of ways, evoking the says you worried shadows
...more
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