SING ME FORGOTTEN Book Review by Jennifer Adam


SING ME FORGOTTEN

by Jessica S. Olson


Isda does not exist. At least not beyond the opulent walls of the opera house.


Cast into a well at birth for being one of the magical few who can manipulate memories when people sing, she was saved by Cyril, the opera house’s owner. Since that day, he has given her sanctuary from the murderous world outside. All he asks in return is that she use her power to keep ticket sales high—and that she stay out of sight. For if anyone discovers she survived, Isda and Cyril would pay with their lives.


But Isda breaks Cyril’s cardinal rule when she meets Emeric Rodin, a charming boy who throws her quiet, solitary life out of balance. His voice is unlike any she’s ever heard, but the real shock comes when she finds in his memories hints of a way to finally break free of her gilded prison.


Haunted by this possibility, Isda spends more and more time with Emeric, searching for answers in his music and his past. But the price of freedom is steeper than Isda could ever know. For even as she struggles with her growing feelings for Emeric, she learns that in order to take charge of her own destiny, she must become the monster the world tried to drown in the first place.



About the Author

Jessica S. Olson lives in Texas, where she spends her time singing praises to the inventor of the air conditioner. When she's not hiding from the heat, she's corralling her three children, dreaming up stories about kissing, murder, and magic, and eating peanut butter straight from the jar. ​ Website: www.jessicaolson.com Twitter: @JessicaOlson123 Instagram: @jessicaolson123




Jennifer's Review

This is an exquisitely written, darkly beautiful debut fantasy that explores the link between music and memory in a unique way. It could be called a gender-bent Phantom of the Opera retelling, but that wouldn't adequately reflect the original worldbuilding or magical concept. Still, fans of the Phantom will love finding echoes of his story in this book.


SING ME FORGOTTEN is about Isda, whose powerful magic potential can be seen in her face. Because of this, she was abandoned at birth and would have died if Cyril, owner of a lavish opera house, hadn't rescued her. Raised in the shadows of the opera, Isda learns how to create music and control her magic. She is forced to wear masks and hide in the darkness, but helping Cyril gives her purpose. It's a limited life, but safe enough… at least until she hears a young man named Emeric singing as he cleans the floor.


Emeric's voice opens doors in Isda's mind that make her crave more experience of the world. As she trains him to become the opera star he deserves to be, her own yearning for freedom threatens everything. In the end, she is faced with a terrible choice: what if saving the one she loves means becoming the monster everyone fears?


These characters are complex and compelling. Isda's struggles are heartbreaking – her loneliness, ambition, and anger fuel the plot. At one point she asks, "When is it my turn?... When do I get to step out of the shadows and live?"


Her slowly growing relationship with Emeric is a perfect balance of uncertainty, awkwardness, and attraction. Watching their musical partnership gradually evolve into something more offers a lovely counterpoint to the sinister hint of corruption and danger lurking behind the story. Emeric is a wonderfully realized character, with a heart of gold (or caramel!). Readers will swoon when he tells Isda, "You are a song."


Together Isda and Emeric try to challenge the prejudice of their society by creating beauty. We are the music that wove the world, Isda says. But people with her power are persecuted, executed, erased from existence. Can Emeric's love save her from all the shadows arrayed against her? From the darkness in her own heart?


Treated as a monster and faced with an impossible choice, Isda says, If they want me to be a nightmare, then a nightmare I shall be. But when she embraces the full strength of her terrible power, her full capacity for love and sacrifice is revealed, too.


SING ME FORGOTTEN is the type of story that will stay with readers long after the last page is turned, like the haunting echo of a favorite melody.


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When she's not wandering her husband's family farm, kayaking on the lake, or riding her (formerly) wild rangebred mustangs, Jennifer Adam can be found surrounded by books, fountain pens, and cats. She believes in dancing through moonlight, celebrating rain, and making wishes. THE LAST WINDWITCH is her first novel.

Website: www.jenniferfrancesadam.com

Twitter: @JenFSAdam