Official Review: Missed Memories by Alan Baker

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joshfee77
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Official Review: Missed Memories by Alan Baker

Post by joshfee77 » 29 Mar 2019, 16:47

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Missed Memories" by Alan Baker.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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"In life, there are no regrets, just missed memories." So begins Missed Memories, a supernatural thriller by Alan Baker. Alexandra (Alex) and her best friend Kate are about to start their senior year of high school. On Saturday night, they go to a party held by Jeremy, a new boy in town, who is good-looking and attracted to Alex. Showing her around his family home, Jeremy takes her to his bedroom, smokes marijuana with her, and then tries to rape her. She smashes a glass bottle in his face and leaves. The next day, Alex and her family are on back roads to a local water park when their van is hit by a stolen car being pursued by police. Alex sees the souls of her mum, dad, and six-year-old sister Bailey escorted from their wrecked van by an olive-skinned man in a three-piece suit and shiny black shoes. While she recovers in hospital, her friend Carl hears her say the name "Azrael" in the dead of night. He finds out online that Azrael is the angel of death...

Baker's prose is smooth and easy to read, definitely suited to a young adult audience around Alex's age. I read this book quickly, with plenty of mystery to keep me intrigued along the way. Given the extraordinary events that occur in Alex's life after the accident, it is difficult to work out what really happened to her and her family. Having the narrative told from Alex's point of view adds nicely to the confusion. The concept of reality in this book is somewhat fluid, which is great if you enjoy puzzling out a mystery, never really knowing where you stand until the end. I found myself guessing multiple potential twists which didn't end up happening.

Throughout the book, the plot moves forward nicely. There is plenty of internal conflict for Alex's character about what is really happening and what she should do, combined with the external conflict of the ongoing appearances of Azrael. Baker's foreshadowing of the fatal crash at the start of the book is sensitive and moving. The crash itself is sudden and powerful, and Alex's time in the hospital is especially interesting. During her recovery, some weird elements begin to intrude on the story. I like that this book has a regular, unremarkable beginning before the accident, then takes this sudden dark turn. There are some genuinely creepy moments between Alex and Azrael, some of which are absolutely frightening.

Missed Memories does contain more than ten typographical errors, but not a lot more. I found the tenth error by two-thirds of the way through the book, which is better than most books I have reviewed for Online Book Club. My only other gripe with this book is the formatting. The paragraph indentation in the copy I read is not pronounced enough, with new paragraphs starting only one character in from the left-hand margin. This makes it difficult to see the start of a new paragraph, especially if the previous one runs to the end of a line.

Overall, Missed Memories is a solid supernatural thriller for young adults. Aside from its minor errors and formatting, I found it a compelling and entertaining read, which I rate 3 out of 4 stars. With another edit, I would have no problem awarding it 4 stars. It does have some sexual content, so I would recommend it to young adults eighteen and over who enjoy supernatural thrillers, especially movies like The Butterfly Effect and Final Destination.

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Missed Memories
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Juliana_Isabella
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Post by Juliana_Isabella » 04 Apr 2019, 22:57

Thanks for the review. This sounds like an original idea that's done well. I like when the author can keep the reader guessing right up until the end.

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Post by ButterscotchCherrie » 05 Apr 2019, 05:10

I like confusing paranormal stories that keep me wondering about what's really going on - Alex's visions of Azrael seem to fit the bill here. I will check this one out, thanks!

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Post by danielleamy » 05 Apr 2019, 06:29

This sounds great. I'm a fan of the Final Destination series, so I might give this a try. Thanks for the recommendation!
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Post by kandscreeley » 05 Apr 2019, 07:32

Young adult books are one of my favorites, but I'm not sure about this one with the angel of death. I'm glad that you enjoyed it in spite of the errors, but I think I might pass for now. Thanks for the information, though. I always enjoy your reviews.
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Post by kdstrack » 05 Apr 2019, 08:33

The author did a good job of keeping you guessing with the confusion and twists in the story. An angel of death that wears a three-piece suit and shiny black shoes?? This book had quite a few interesting elements. I enjoy your writing and the intriguing review. Thanks.

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Post by Prisallen » 05 Apr 2019, 09:23

This sounds like an unusual plot that keeps u guessing about where it is going next. I think I would enjoy it. Thanks for the review!

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Post by Crazyreader01 » 05 Apr 2019, 11:20

With another round of editing this book will be a bestseller in no time, with that plot and mysterious characters. Thanks for the review!

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Post by DogoMulla » 05 Apr 2019, 13:38

I wouldn't mind some mystery. Some supernatural tale might also do. Yet, somehow I feel there's something off about this one... Good job on the review.

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Post by Lungz_ » 06 Apr 2019, 08:40

Sounds like something I would read .thank you for the lovely review. I love page turners

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Post by chiefsimplex » 06 Apr 2019, 13:43

I like it when a story starts on a low tone ,then rises sharply all of a sudden. The surprise aspect is basically what fascinates fans of this genre.Puzzling mysteries are intellectually engaging and for me-irresistible, i am definitely going to read this one.Thanks for an interesting review.
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Post by Michgal 32 » 07 Apr 2019, 07:08

The book seems to be very interesting right from the start. I think I would give it a try. Thanks for review.

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Post by joshfee77 » 09 Apr 2019, 00:12

Juliana_Isabella wrote:
04 Apr 2019, 22:57
Thanks for the review. This sounds like an original idea that's done well. I like when the author can keep the reader guessing right up until the end.
Yeah, an innovative idea and a plot that keeps you guessing. Well worth a read. Thanks for commenting!

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Post by joshfee77 » 09 Apr 2019, 00:13

ButterscotchCherrie wrote:
05 Apr 2019, 05:10
I like confusing paranormal stories that keep me wondering about what's really going on - Alex's visions of Azrael seem to fit the bill here. I will check this one out, thanks!
Very mysterious and quite dark in parts, which I really enjoyed. Plenty of unexpected surprises. Thanks!

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Post by joshfee77 » 09 Apr 2019, 00:15

danielleamy wrote:
05 Apr 2019, 06:29
This sounds great. I'm a fan of the Final Destination series, so I might give this a try. Thanks for the recommendation!
Yeah, definite similarities in the basic premise, at least. I enjoy reading anything where the author attempts to personify death. Highly entertaining. Thanks for your comments.

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