Book: Secrets of the Tally by Halie Fewkes
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Review type: Very light, generic spoilers. Main plots twists are not divulged!
Goodreads Synopsis: [HERE]
Secrets of the Tally by Halie Fewkes is a fast, intriguing read about a girl name Allie who has lost all her memories and must blindly navigate her new, dangerous world in search of who she once was. Very quickly we learn that old Allie had quite a few secrets from her friends and family and that new Allie needs to figure them out soon before the danger of these secrets catches up to her.
The hardest thing about memory loss stories is balancing the internal struggle of the main character to determine who they really are and not letting the frustration from the lack of missing memory resolution affect the reader. For the most part, this story managed that. There were times where I got just as irritated as Allie about her not being able to find her memories. However, I feel that that there was just enough of what I’m assuming was old Allie’s original personality to keep her feeling like a solid character. New Allie finds out just enough of who she used to be, through others telling her, to form who she wanted to be now. Her growth over the course of this book is noticeable and fairly well written.
Allie is by far the most developed of the characters. And while she is the main character, I would have liked to get a better feel for the rest of the cast. Allie is very strong willed and confident, which I think is good in this story. Having a female main character who can fight for herself is always welcome. She is determined to uncover her own buried secrets and fights to find the truth.
There is a beginning of romance in this story with a character named Archie, but it is never overwhelming and it avoids the dreaded “insta-love” trope. They become friends and Archie proves integral to Allie finding out more of her past. I won’t go into exact detail to avoid full spoilers, but I will say that I didn’t predict the twist of Archie’s true identity.
My main complaint about Allie, and many of the other secondary characters in her age range, is that they felt a bit immature. There was one moment where Allie lashes out at an annoying character, Jesse, and she just yells “I hate you!” I flashed back to me being 13 and yelling this at my parents and then cringed at how immature I was back then. I don’t remember it ever explicitly saying how old Allie is, but I think she guesses herself to be about seventeen. And while seventeen isn’t exactly the pinnacle of maturity, I feel like some of the things Allie and her friends say and do, border on a much younger teen’s reaction. And I’ll be completely honest, this could just be the opinion of an old lady. I think I might be a bit outside the age range to really, truly get into the mindset of these characters. So take that all with a grain of salt.
The world building in this book is fairly good. Not too heavy handed, but I felt there could have been some more explanation of Dincara. The background of the humans and the Escali, the vicious and almost human looking “bad guys” of the story, was interesting and I look forward to learning more about them in upcoming books. I am also excited to learn more about the Epics, which considering the next book is called, Catching Epics, I’m sure I’ll get my wish.
While there was a lot of intriguing bits in this book, I do feel like a lot of it was set up for the next book. That being said, I am really looking forward to continuing with this series. There were definitely some plot twists towards the end that caught me. I’ve read the synopsis to the second book and it sounds like the story gets turned up to 11.
This book was provided to me from the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions and reviews are completely my own. Thank you again to Halie for letting me read this book!