Book Review: Stacey Nash’s Forget Me Not

Posted May 10, 2014 by Kathy Davie in

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Stacey Nash’s Forget Me Not

Forget Me Not


on February 19, 2014 and has 285 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.
three-stars

First in the Collective urban fantasy science fiction series for Young Adults and revolving around Anamae Gilbert and her discovery of some unexpected tech.

My Take

It’s a melancholy start that ends in a burning question. And in between, it’s terrifying with an organization that knows too much and has a grip on too many people, up to the highest offices in the land. Determining which countries live or die, suffer or survive. How do you evade such people when it’s like the NSA on steroids? And you have no recourse to the law? Who use such advanced technology? It’s tech, and then there’s TECH that’s practically magic.

Nash’s story has a freshness with an interesting premise that has me, in general, wanting to read book 2. It’s a cute romance, and Will’s reactions create a tension that Mae doesn’t understand. The training arenas fit the background for the resistance, and I like that Mae stands up and takes the blame. And she’s willing to try some outrageous tactics. That stunt at the television studio was clever! Although why she didn’t simply use the cover-up instead of putting Jax in danger, I do not understand. The explanations for how porting works and how the safehouse is protected from The Collective’s monitoring were good, again fitting within the storyline.

The major conflict is The Collective hunting Mae for her use and knowledge of tech, and it’s the minor conflicts that keep the story burbling along. Beau is slow at planning and deciding to do anything. Jax is the hot, moody engima who’s captured Mae’s attention. Then there’s Mae. Supposedly intelligent, she’s actually the weak point in all this.

This is where it falls apart for me: the stupid tropes. I suspect that part of this is young, know-it-all teens who don’t think things through, but the story needs to be deeper and smoother. It’s too surface. There’s too much tell and not enough show.

I’m not saying that tropes in general are stupid; it’s how they’re handled. In Forget Me Not, Jax brags about how good he is, and yet when they prepare to steal into the Council building, they have almost nothing in the way of backup plans. Then there’s the lack of planning when they steal into the private compound, although, they are at least consistent in not having plans. I get that the encounters with the scouts when Mae is “freelancing” were not planned, but I did expect Mr. I’m-So-Great to have better reactions than he did. Why don’t Will and Jax tell her what the plan is before they go rushing out there??

Mae’s reaction to Will’s reasoning is that it’s not Jax’s fault they “came home bruised and bleeding”. Annnd doesn’t this just prove his point!!?? She keeps rushing into danger because she’s not thinking. She freezes when she should act; acts when she should freeze…hopeless. And she never learns…*eye roll*… Gimme a break. Why not have her catch herself before she runs out. Show us how conflicted she is. She wants to run out there, but she knows it’s the wrong move. It would be more believable and fit within the intelligent persona she’s supposed to have.

Stop treating her like a child? Then stop acting like one.

As for Will’s reactions to Mae’s behavior around Jax. This could have been written smoother, with greater depth and emotion. Instead it’s clunky. Sure, it’s reasonable that Mae would be totally ignorant of how Will feels, but doesn’t she get even a glimmer of what might be bothering him? At least eventually? Nor am I buying Jax making up to Mae. It doesn’t feel realistic. Of course later events explain why he does, but it still doesn’t change how the story reads.

Another sure, why not is Mae’s desperate need to know her dad is okay, but wouldn’t the resistance have had some sort of camera Jax could have ported in to check on her dad…I mean, hullo, tech??

“It’s my dad, and it’s my fault he’s been taken. I will do something.”

There are loose threads in this: the eyewitness report, Will’s parents, Will’s acceptance of all this, the state of tech in Al’s shop at the start and the end, the forbidding mentions of “Will coming along doesn’t feel right”, and the unexpected hostages encountered.

And then…I’m a hypocrite. Will is the voice of reason, telling Mae they can’t go. They don’t know how to fight. They’ll get in the way. But it’s too much tell; Nash isn’t showing me the stress and strain, and that bugs me.

The Story

A chance find of a pendant that matches her missing mother’s bracelet, throws her and her dad’s world completely upside down. Worn together, the combination is a high tech device that attracts the attention of a secret and very powerful secret society that will stop at nothing to prevent the world knowing such technology exists.

Fiction is Fact. Know the Truth

The Characters

Anamae Gilbert is a high schooler who misses her mother and loves her dad. Will Avery is Anamae’s best friend with a gift for machinery. His mom has a thing for fashionable and modern, which leaves Anamae out. Emalee is Will’s sister.

Al runs Albert’s Second-Hand Treasures, a.k.a., Crazy Al’s, and cares for Anamae and her dad. The shop’s motto is “no refunds without magic”. Bertie is Al’s wife. Just as crazy as he is.

Beau Fairsmith runs a safehouse for the resistance. Martha is his wife and the cook. The bubbly Lilly is Beau and Martha’s very helpful daughter. Ace is her dog, although he really likes the antisocial Jax Belfry, who is one of their operatives, an abandoned orphan. Marcus is workshop guy with a love for exploring the tech. Sam is one of the trainers. Garrett is the James Bond of the group. Evan is almost as experienced and excellent at infiltration, and both of them live in a different safehouse.

The Collective is an organization that oversees tech, unwilling to allow the world access to most of it. They’re determined to control the world, its politicians, and they use the more advanced tech to do it. They (and the resistance) monitor constantly for its usage; the one to suppress it savagely and the other to save anyone using it.

Six patriarchs are on the Council of The Collective, and Councilor Manvyke is in charge of anti-resistance activity. Thera might be another. Nik is Manvyke’s heir; Joshua Maxim is his younger son. Kratos, Nike, an Bia are some of his henchmen. Abby was their mother.

The cover-up, an agia, is the combination of pendant and brooch, the Tarlequin, a Key of Power. Protect-its are a bulletproof type of skinsuit. Blake Wilder seems to be a schoolmate bad boy.

The Cover and Title

The cover is dreamy with Annamae front and center, her head thrown back, and the forget-me-not pendant centered below her throat.

The title is what sets it off, a Forget Me Not of a pendant and a bracelet.

three-stars