I hope that everyone is doing well, and settling back into
the daily grind that many dread.
Things have been going pretty well, especially now that I
back from a trip, and I can continue to do something that I enjoy.
On my way back from the trip, I received a request from a
writer that was attempting to dip her toes writing books and I decided to take
a look into her debut work.
Today, I will be
reviewing that title, which is called Memory
Storm by R. T. Ensari.
Enya has lived an unhappy life with an abusive father and
bullying at school and seeks to get her own freedom in her adult life.
However, with the early discovery of her desire to see
misery, she might not be able to get the freedom she desires, as she ruins the
lives of other.
From the official summary given on Amazon, which can be
found at the link provided above, it seemed like it might be a decent read and I
was really looking forward to it.
And after taking the time to read this, I found it to be alright.
From the moment that I opened up this book and started
reading the first pages, I did not want to put it down for any reason.
Readers want to be able to dive right into a story, as I
have brought up in many of my other reviews, and if they can quickly get into
the work, they might be more willing to ignore any flaws that are present, at
least the very minor ones.
In this regard Ensari did quite well and helped me to
actually be able to get into the groove of the story, as well as made it seem
like I was having a bit of fun reading it.
If she was not able to do this much, I would have been
really disappointed because that would have meant that there was no effort put
into the work and readers hate when it feels like there was hardly any effort
put into a work, even if she does acknowledge her inexperience, which is
something that I do applaud.
However, because she did put in enough effort for my
attention to be captured and held, I feel like giving her a bit of praise for
doing something right.
I also liked how not all the characters she created seemed
to be dumb.
When Ensari initially asked me to look at this title, she
told me that this was a psychological work and that means that it is not only
important for a character's state of mind to be explored, much like can be see
Note or Thomas Harris's Red Dragon,
the latter of which I still regret reading due to how disgusting things were,
but the characters must have some kind of obstacle that can pose a threat.
This threat can come from themselves, which can come from
things from the past, and those that have caught on to what is going on, and
two such characters seemed to have some suspicions in this work, though only
one was suspicious due to some kind of actual investigation.
As much as I like the idea of some evil person bringing
about ruin to others, things can become pretty boring when there is nothing to wreak
havoc for such a character's plans, seeing as we are not really rational in our
daily lives, and things did not always go the way they were planned.
If Ensari was not able to deliver on this, I would have
ended up hating this book just as much as I dislike seeing people use God to
manipulate people into doing things that are not really good for them or anyone
else, as it would have totally failed in delivering what fans of psychological
works would expect to get out of the book.
Fortunately, she did not fail in this manner, and I can
safely say that she was able to deliver at least the bare minimum of what is to
Hopefully, she can improve upon this, so that I can actually
be glad that I read something from her, because I would prefer to see people
improve their craft, just like any other reader, instead of seeing them go
Then again, it does take some time to find one's stride, so I
would not be surprised if it takes Ensari more time than it took Agatha
Christie to actually be able to do everything right.
Still, Ensari does deserve some praise for being on the
The thing that I liked the most though was how I was not as
disgusted by what happened in the book.
Back when I read the book that introduced Hannibal Lecter to
the world, I hated how some of the content featured in that work seemed to be
way worse than the anime out there that is not considered pornographic and it
turned me off of checking out the rest of tetralogy, including the beloved Silence
of the Lambs, though still not as bad as a I title that I heard about but
do not want to mention, as the official summary alone was pretty disgusting.
However, as Ensari told me, the content presented was not
graphic in any way, in spite of there being some serious subject matter, and it
actually felt like the story really was focused more on the effects of what had
happened to Enya after the trouble.
Now, there are times that such graphic material is necessary,
as it is important to the story or getting to understand things better, but if
the important aspects of a story can be expressed and the characters to feel
fairly realistic, it would be better if such things were left out.
Many, but not all, fans of visual mediums of entertainment,
such as television and movies, especially movies from Hollywood, might be fine
with the eye candy that is gratuitous violence or sex, as they do not care too
much for a story, but avid readers are not impressed by such scenes because it
shows that the writer is doing nothing but pandering to the lowest common
denominator, instead of delivering a story.
Having a story to tell is the most important part of a work
of fiction and that can only be brought about by making sure that the
unnecessary fluff is not added, and might disgust the reader.
If Ensari delivered the kind of eye candy that is associated
with many Hollywood movies, I would have put this down much quicker, as she
would have shown me that she did not deserve the time that I spent reading her
work, and I would have felt lied to about what the work was.
However, because she did not do that, I actually feel like
giving her her first round of applause.
Hopefully, she can still deliver more books like this, so
that she can attract more readers, which is something that every writer would
want to see happen, otherwise, she would only disappear into the garbage pile
that only seems to be growing in the world fiction.
Outside of those things, I cannot think of anything that I particularly
liked, at least that could not be shoehorned into what I already talked about.
Because my attention was captured quickly and held for much
of the book, not all of the characters were dumb, which helped add in more
conflict needed for psychological fiction, and that there was no gratuitous
violence or sex, this book was fairly decent.
Although there were things that I liked about the book,
there are some issue.
First, the protagonist was terrible.
When a person reads or watches a work of fiction, they go
into it, expecting to like main character or a few others, thinking that it is
a necessity of a good book or movie, and it ends up disappointing them greatly.
However, avid readers know that a likable protagonist is not
the be all end all of what makes a work great. In fact, what a great work of
fiction needs is an interesting character.
Now, some of you guys might be wondering how a character can
be interesting, even when they are not likable, as they associate a likable
character to be an interesting, but it is definitely possible, as discussed in
a post that I linked to in my review of Saga
of Tanya the Evil, because the audience wants to actually see how they
bring about their own ruin and there are still thinks that make them seem
Unfortunately, Enya is not only unlikable enough that she
deserves to get knocked down a peg or two, like Tanya Degurechaff, but she is
also uninteresting enough that I did not really care what happened to her.
Readers want a character that is interesting more than they
want a likeable character that they can feel sorry for, and Enya is not that
If I had to say why, she seemed to be a dull character, in
additional to being unlikable, it would have to be because Enya did not seem
like she was human making her own decisions.
While many of the things that happened to her were her own
fault, as shown in the book, such as the mistake of having the psychiatrist
examine the son of her husband come to their home, the way that Ensari wrote
things just made things seem like Enya being dragged along for the ride,
instead of actually being something that would illustrate what happens after
children suffer abuse that goes unreported.
For example, when Enya is at school and meets somebody that
she seemingly forms a good bond with, she seems to be just like any other girl,
enjoying the good life, before she suddenly discovers the thrill of seeing
Even though I am no expert in the realm of psychology and I
have not seen what happens to everyone who suffers abuse by those that should
be protecting them, this does not seem to be very believable because abused
people are usually going to be distant or keep to themselves, at least when
looking at reason victims stay with abusers, as discussed in an online post
by Toby D. Goldsmith on PsychCentral.
Yes, Enya did have a good a loving mother, since only her
father was the abusive one, at least from what I got from the book, whereas
somebody like Boku
Dake ga Inai Machi's Kayo Hinazuki never had a loving parent, but it still
did not make things seem to be that much more believable, since she was strong
enough to leave her father on her own.
Out of all the various kinds of fiction, the psychological
genre demands that the characters must be fairly realistic and believable
because what goes through their mind is focused upon and the only time that
seem to occur is in Enya's adult life.
I am not too sure about you guys, but this is already a sign
of a terrible character, and it only makes things when I get the feeling that
this a character that I should have liked, as Ensari told me that the ending is
supposed to be tragic.
Speaking of tragedy, this was not really what I would call a
In a tragedy, there must be some kind of sadness or a
terrible outcome happening to a protagonist or protagonists.
For example, in the Narcissu visual novel series,
many of the protagonists are fated to die from the very beginning, as most of
them are in hospice, but the way each of the characters were written, in spite
of the cliched journey to discover themselves, was done so well that I still
experienced sadness came for them because the characters felt real and the
bonds felt real.
In the case of this work, the sadness only existed while
reading the ending and it was not really unexpected, even though it was not
hinted at in the beginning.
Unfortunately, this was present because of how poorly Enya
seemed to be written.
If Ensari worked on things a bit more and made Enya seem to
be that much more believable, things could have really felt tragic, as she had
intended, and I could have really enjoyed this much more than I did.
Oh well, this was just a debut novel from a writer I never
heard of, prior to their request, so I cannot expect to find gold.
The thing that I hated the most was how this work fairly
difficult to read.
Even though I was able engross myself in the book rather
quickly, I had troubles following along because there were so many errors
present that I do not even know what was a typo and what was not.
One of the biggest mistakes people make when publishing
their work on their own is that they do not even bother proofreading and
editing their, which is why self-publishing gets such a bad reputation, but
writers, such as myself, tend to make a ton of mistakes, as should be
noticeable in my reviews and stories, and those errors that are present can
make things very difficult to read and understand.
However, when a writer takes the time to have people look
over a work, or wait a while, before looking over a work again, and fixes
things before publication, the errors and typos go down to an amount that it
can be read without any difficulties.
Looking through this work, the book had so many errors that
it gave me the impression that Ensari did not even bother to do any
proofreading or editing before she published the thing.
Now, I will admit that editing a work is not really that
easy, since there are so many variants of all the languages out there and each
one has different grammar and punctuation rules to follow, but each of the rule
sets helps to make things that much more understandable for that region or
people at large.
If a writer does not bother to get their work proofread and
edited before putting it into a book, it shows that they do not care about
their work, no matter how much work they did to actually put the story
together, and will only make them look worse than they might actually be.
Unfortunately, in spite of the fact that R. T. Ensari is not
new to the field of writing per se, according to her Amazon profile, the fact
that she put out something like this makes me less willing to check out more of
her work, though it is not bad enough that I would throw her into the same
trash bin that I sent John Grisham into after his travesty The Whistler.
Hopefully, Ensari will make sure that her future work is
proofread, because I would really rather not be bashing her so much, even if
she is fine with what I have to say here, since she did not seem to be cocky
when requested that I look at this book.
Thankfully, I cannot think of anything else that I
particularly hated, at least that could stand out as much as what was talked
about, so I can just let things end here.
Due to the fact that the protagonist was unlikeable and
uninteresting, as she did not always feel like a human, the ending was neither
tragic nor unexpected, with only some sadness towards the end, and the lack of
any proofreading or editing, this work went from good side of okay a little
towards the side that made it look not so great.
Despite the fact that were a few things to like, as Ensari
did meet a few bare minimums, the negatives overshadowed things enough that it
was only good enough to kill time.
I would hesitantly recommend this to fans of psychological
works, because all it does it meet the bare minimums and is not that amazing,
aside from the lack of eye candy, but you would not be missing anything if you
decide not to read this.
As for everyone, I would recommend avoiding it, because it
cannot serve as a good introduction to the psychological genre and the lack of
proofreading and editing makes it difficult to follow.
If you liked this review and would like to see more, please
consider supporting me on Patreon,
so that I can find more worthwhile reads for you guys, and do whatever you do
when you find something that impresses you.
Use an app on your on phone (e.g. Scan for Android) to capture the image above. If successful, you should be taken the web version of this article.