Anne OK's Reviews > The Memory Thief: A Novel

The Memory Thief by Emily Colin
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bookshelves: 2015-reads

Emily Colin’s debut novel is gripping, hauntingly beautiful, and thought-provoking in its other-worldly feel. The research demonstrates the time and effort this author has expended in getting the details right and in presenting the challenges, risks, and perseverance of mountain climbing. In addition to a storyline that delivers an abstract vision, the characters are interesting and well-defined. The Memory Thief shows us that love can bring both pleasure and pain, yet when both of those are gone, love still remains.

First off, I would feel remiss if I didn’t mention that the cover of this book really disappoints – especially since it could be such a great draw to the story and characters on the pages. What’s with the water - where are the snow-covered mountains? Sure, this story includes a woman and little boy . . . but mountains played such an important role, too. This cover just wasn’t in sync with this story or the characters readers will meet. There were also some editing issues throughout -- nothing major and ones that won't diminish the positives.

After Aidan, a true mountaineer, is killed by an avalanche at the top of an Alaskan mountain (the same mountain that took the life of one of his best friends & climbing buddy a few years back), his spirit takes over the body of Nicholas, who is lying unconscious miles away in a North Carolina hospital. Aidan has one plan – to make good on a promise he made to his wife before he set off on this mountain climbing adventure, and Nicholas is the vessel he uses.

Madeline, Aidan, and Nicholas all tell their side of the story. Gabriel is Madeleine and Aidan’s four-year old son – but seemed much older - and he has some secrets of his own that will not only break your heart but will then turn around and make you smile with his strength and determination to stay loyal and honor his daddy’s wishes.

And then there’s J.C., Aidan’s best friend from childhood. He’s a questionable character in my opinion. He’s loved his best friend’s wife from the first time he saw her. I liked his personality and charm, but I also wondered if it was just a little too much. His interactions with both Madeleine and Gabe after Aidan’s death demonstrated the love he held for both of them. However, there were just too many things that made me feel a little queasy and ill-at-ease where he was concerned. Was he really the stand up guy he appeared to be? Was there something sinister in his friendship with Aidan? Could he have played a part in those mountain climbing accidents?

Is this one paranormal? Well, I’m not a big fan of that genre. Although this story definitely challenged the limits on my beliefs in what may be the afterlife, it never really felt paranormal-ish or ghostly to me. I was intrigued from the start. So I just let go of my inhibitions and took the plunge into the deep end. I'm not sorry that I did either.

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Reading Progress

September 24, 2013 – Shelved
September 24, 2013 – Shelved as: to-read
Started Reading
October 2, 2015 – Finished Reading
October 3, 2015 – Shelved as: 2015-reads

Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)

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message 1: by Piper (new) - added it

Piper Awesome review, Anne!! I am very much intrigued. xx

Anne OK Thank you Piper! It is really a very good book to read.

message 3: by Mo (new) - added it

Mo Great review, Anne.

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