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Title: Forget Me Not (Chimera Book 1)
Author: Anca Antoci
Published: 31st January 2020
Format: Ebook – 291 pages
Hello Hello? How are you? I hope you are all keeping safe and being cautious!
I’m so glad to be doing this #BlogTour today. I actually know Anca and have been speaking with her, with some other bloggers for quite a while now, she is so lovely, so when I saw an email in my inbox with her name and the title of her book, I couldn’t pass up this opportunity! I have to admit that the blurb was a bit vague… but the cover drew me in and I couldn’t say no. in hindsight, I’m glad the blurb was vague, because BOY did this book surprise me!
When tragedy strikes, Rae makes a terrible choice and struggles with the aftermath. In the wilderness of the Tongass rainforest, she finds herself hunted by creatures of hell, monsters she never dreamed could be real. A hidden world, an ancient race, and a secret she discovers by accident give a new meaning to her life but only if she can escape and return to civilization. If she is to survive, Rae must comply with Ari, her reluctant hero, and allow him to wipe away any memory of this realm. Knowledge is power, but is it worth dying for?
The first part of a trilogy, Forget Me Not is a New Adult fantasy novel set in a contemporary timeline and follows the misadventures of Rae Davis, a 19-year-old as she discovers a dangerous secret and risks her life to keep it. As she has to grow up and take difficult decisions, Rae’s coming of age story is deep-rooted in the supernatural world.
Trigger Warnings: Mentions of alcohol and painkillers use and sex (not directly), suicidal thoughts.
Forget Me Not is the first book in the Chimera series, a new YA/NA, urban fantasy, paranormal/supernatural trilogy by Anca Antoci. In this first book, we follow the main character Rae, who after the death of her sister is left alone in the world and seeks out her aunt Gwenn who lives in Alaska. She flies from London to Alaska without telling her aunt that she is coming and when she arrives in Skagway (the town where her aunt lives), she realises that she is even more alone than what she first thought. She wanders into the woods at night, and her life is turned upside down when she comes into contact with some very strange people.
This book is set in Alaska, in Skagway, but most of the story actually takes place in the Tongass rainforest. I really liked how when Rae entered the woods, it seemed like she totally left civilisation and walked into a fairytale.
I really enjoyed reading about Rae’s environment. We get an eerie impression from the moment she arrives at her aunt’s cabin, but you can really see a shift when she walks into the wilderness and the book really becomes a fantasy. The forest doesn’t seem surreal at all, it’s more the things that she finds there.
She meets some people that you wouldn’t expect to be walking in the forest in the dead of night, but because she reads so many fantasy books, she either puts it down to her imagination or just brushes it off. I really liked seeing the wilderness in this book, I don’t read many fantasy books that concentrate on forests, so this was a really nice change.
There are quite a few characters in this book, but I’m only going to focus on these three for now.
Rae: She is the main character. Right from the start, she comes across as someone who has suffered a lot in life, is down on her luck and has just generally had enough. Her parents died when she was a child and her sister has just died, she is lost and doesn’t know where to turn, but when she arrives in Alaska, her aunt is not there to help her. I felt sorry for Rae but I also identified to her fairly easily. She is a very real character, she has strong emotions and even though she drags herself through the first part of the book, towards the end she finds meaning to her life and finds the determination to get what she wants.
Ari: He is the second person that Rae meets in the woods. Right from the get-go, I really liked Ari, sure he is moody and his intentions are not always clear, but come on, who wouldn’t love him? Especially when you find out WHAT he is! I’m not going to spoil anything, but I was expecting a bit more between him and Rae, but I’m actually quite happy how it turned out.
Blake: OH BLAKE! He is my favourite character in the book, he is so witty, funny, sarcastic, and just, such a tease! I really liked him right from the start and I was totally rooting for him and Rae. I can’t wait to see what happens in book 2!
I really liked these three characters and I was quite surprised by how much I actually compared them to Bella, Edward, and Jacob in Twilight. Although this book isn’t “like” Twilight, at the same time it is, but also very different. You can definitely tell that some pieces of the story are inspired by the Twilight books, but this book has so much more going for it as well.
Sadness/loneliness/grief: The first we see of Rae is when she wakes up from a dream and she is immediately sad because she remembers that her family is dead. She takes her sister’s death really hard, she is lonely and she even tries to give up a few times. At the start, she is definitely at the end of her tether, but as the book goes on, she starts to live again, it’s really uplifting to see her want to keep on living. You can tell that she is grieving but it doesn’t take over the story.
Magical creatures: Rae has dreamt about magical creatures for a very long time and just brushes it off as her reading too many fantasy books. But when she steps into the Tongass rainforest, she finds out that Lycans, vampires, witches and many more creatures are real. I adore books about mythical/magical creatures and I really liked how the first half of the book concentrated on explaining where these creatures came from and what they were and the second part, where Rae was learning to live alongside them.
“The (Chosen) One”: This isn’t a very strong theme that we get from the start, but I think it’s important to highlight it because I think it’ll be a lot more prominent in book 2. Ari hints at Rae being more than a human, and her dreams point to this too. There is more information at the end of the book about this too and I really enjoyed how this theme was interwoven to seem unimportant, but I think it’ll be vital for the rest of the series.
MY THOUGHTS AND RATING
If you hadn’t already guessed, I’m a massive fantasy nerd and will read just about anything if any magical creature’s name appears in the blurb. Be it witches, vampires, werewolves, goblins, faeries, imps, dragons or magical anythings, I adoreeeeee them all, and I’m so glad that this book fell into this category of awesomeness.
I knew that I would love this book, there was no doubt about that, but I didn’t know that I would be hooked from the very first page. This story completely captured me and I read the whole thing in two short sessions. It is really fast-paced and there aren’t any “boring” moments, so I absolutely flew through this!
I have to give this book 5 stars because it was just so good! It had everything I look for in a fantasy novel. It had struggles, creatures, strong characters, dilemmas, impossible love, determination, I could just go on forever.
I also really enjoyed the writing style, it wasn’t too flowery, it was just the right type of style to keep you captivated but not bog you down with a million metaphors. And the atmosphere was really engrossing, I was totally transfixed by this book from start to finish and I CANNOT wait for Book 2. I think this series could potentially be one of my new favourite series, I already knew that this would be one of the top books of 2020, only on page 1. I would recommend this book to fantasy buffs, but also to anyone, it isn’t too “fantasy-y” so people who aren’t used to this type of book won’t be bothered by it I don’t think. It has the potential to please everyone, and do you know what a call that? A blooming good book!
That’s all for now, I hope you liked this review, see you soon, stay safe (and read this book please),
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – ANCA ANTOCI
Anca Antoci started out as a fanfiction writer and then moved on to write her own story. Thus her debut novel Forget Me Not got published in January 2020. Her fanfiction stories are still available on her blog. Living in Romania, Anca speaks English as a second language. Because she’s a passionate reader, Anca started a blog where she reviews fantasy books called Summon Fantasy. When she’s not reading or writing, Anca loves cooking and watching movies with her daughter while eating nachos.
If you would like to purchase this book, you can find it here: Amazon UK (affiliate link) – Amazon FR (affiliate link) – AbeBooks (affiliate link) – The Book Depository (affiliate link) – Amazon US – Barnes and Noble