Amelia Fang and the Memory Thief

Please note that this review may contain spoilers for earlier instalments in this series. You can read my review of these novels by clicking the links below:

Amelia Fang and the Barbaric Ball | Amelia Fang and the Unicorn Lords

Amelia Fang and the Memory Thief was written by Laura Ellen Anderson and first published in 2018. It is a middle-grade fantasy story about the adventures of a young vampire girl, her ghoulish friends, and her pet pumpkin, in a world populated by a mixture of monsters and cute fantasy creatures. The novel forms the third part of the Amelia Fang series and is preceded by Amelia Fang and the Barbaric Ball (2017) and Amelia Fang and the Unicorn Lords (2018). I would recommend reading these stories in sequence if you want to fully appreciate them.

Now that Amelia and her friends have proven that the Creatures of the Light are no threat, Nocturnia has become a very different place to live. Faery exchange students are welcome in school and their classes have been adapted to include a number of new subjects – including Glitterology and Angel Kitten singing. Yet most exciting of all is the new cooking class. Their teacher is the famous faery chef, Mr Sublime, and in his first lesson he sets a contest to win tickets to the Pumpkin Paradise Park to whoever can bake and sell the most Sublime Cookies.

As she dreams of becoming a pumpkinologist, Amelia is desperate to win the tickets. While Tangine is happy to help her out due to his new-found love of cooking, the others seem less than convinced. Florence and Grimaldi are much more interested in playing Goblin Tag and this leads to friction as their lack of focus starts to ruin Amelia’s chance of winning the prize. Amelia also finds herself disappointing her mother. The Countess Frivolita wants Amelia to follow in her footsteps, yet Amelia doesn’t know how to make her mother see that she’s more interested in pumpkins than fancy balls and organ lessons.

However, in the midst of everything, something strange begins to happen. When Florence claims that she forgot about meeting with Amelia, Amelia first assumed that she was lying. Yet, when other people around the town start to become forgetful, she realises that something is seriously wrong. Can she and Tangine find out what is causing the memory loss before their friends and family completely forgot who they are?

Amelia Fang and the Memory Thief is another really fun instalment to this great series. Following the rather exciting events of the previous novel, we have returned to Nocturnia – the Halloween-themed setting of the first book. It is a world of friendly ghosts and monsters where everyone gets up a dusk and sleeps throughout the day. However, now that the people of Nocturnia have learned that there is nothing fear from the Creatures of the Light, their home has subtly changed to be more accommodating. While the story is still delightfully gross – from its goblin slime superglue to its scream-cheese flavour bogies – this is now combined with the sugary cuteness of the previous story.

However, in terms of plot, I was a bit disappointed to find that this was the weakest novel in the series to date. That is not to say that it is a bad story by any means. The previous two instalments were absolutely excellent, but this one just did not feel quite as grand. There is no epic quest to find a kidnapped person, or Barbaric Ball. The story this time was rather grounded until its climax, making it feel a little slower to find its feet and get the mystery moving.

The story is also still completely age-appropriate for its target audience. It is light and easy to follow, packed with nice humour and illustrations (drawn by the author herself), which really do capture the individual personalities of the characters. As with the other instalments of the series, the paperback also has foil elements on the cover and coloured page edges, which really do make it catch the eye. It would make a wonderful and season-appropriate gift for any Halloween-mad 7-9 year old, as well as a fun and easy read for an older reader.

The plot of the story is very easy follow and ultimately takes the form of a simple mystery, as Amelia and Tangine finally notice that people are losing their memories and rush to learn why. While its twists are perhaps not quite as surprising as those of the previous instalments, it still builds up to a rather exciting climax where Amelia learns the sacrifice that she must make to undo all of the damage that the villain has done. Although the novel does have a couple of sad moments this time, there is certainly nothing that would prevent a young reader from enjoying it.

My only real disappointment was in terms of character. While the book does offer a bit of development for Amelia and Tangine, the other protagonists don’t really feature much this time around. While Amelia Fang and the Unicorn Lords gave Florence and Grimaldi plenty to do, they don’t appear much in this story as they are amongst the first to lose their memories. However, I will admit that the novel does use this to its advantage to a degree. Amelia Fang and the Memory Thief carries a message about how people will argue from time to time, yet this does not mean that they do not still love each other. The fact that Amelia thinks that Florence is angry at her is one of the things that prevents her from initially realising that she has lost her memories.

The story also did not really connect to the previous instalment as well as I would have liked. Amelia made a lot of friends in Glitteropolis, yet they aren’t really mentioned at all in this novel. While the likes of Adonis the Angel Kitten do get brief cameos in the final chapter, it would have been nice for them to play a bit more of a role. It felt as though they had been entirely forgotten about and I certainly wanted to see more of them!

Anyhow, I think that’s about all that I have to say. The Amelia Fang series is still tonnes of fun and I would certainly recommend it to all young readers looking for a light Halloween read. I really can’t want to see what kind of adventures Amelia and her friends will have in the next instalment!

Amelia Fang and the Memory Thief can be purchased as a Paperback, eBook and Audio Book on Amazon.co.uk

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: The Sobeks 2018 – Part 4 | Arkham Reviews
  2. Trackback: Amelia Fang and the Half-Moon Holiday | Arkham Reviews

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© Kim Dyer and Arkham Reviews, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Kim Dyer and Arkham Reviews with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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