The Blurb On The Back:
Meet Amelia Fang.
Everyone’s favourite little vampire!
It’s Amelia Fang’s big birthnight party and she is VERY excited. But the creatures of Nocturnia are acting strangely and no one can seem to remember anything – even Amelia’s party!
Has someone stolen their memories? Can Amelia find out why, and save her friends and family, before they have all forgotten who she is?
The Review (Cut For Spoilers):
It’s several weeks after AMELIA FANG AND THE UNICORN LORDS. The Kingdom of the Light and the Kingdom of the Dark are now officially friends and Amelia’s school is now teaching Light themed classes including Glitterology and Cloud Crafts and there are new fairy exchange students plus a new cookery teacher called Mr Sublime.
Amelia is getting ready for her birthnight party when she’ll be 11 moons old and looking forward to having a party in the Pumpkin Patch with her parents, Squashy (her pet pumpkin) and all her friends. But her mum keeps insisting that she practice the organ and vampires etiquette and is upset by her interest in pumpkins, even going so far as to threaten to cancel Amelia’s subscription to Positively Pumpkin magazine!
The closer it gets to Amelia’s birthnight though, the weirder the people of Nocturnia start to behave very strangely and none of them seem to be able to remember who they – or each other – are. When Florence, Grimaldi and even Squashy can’t seem to remember who Amelia is, she and Tangine must work out exactly what is going on …
The third in Laura Ellen Anderson’s AMELIA FANG SERIES for children aged 7+ is another charming, self-illustrated gothic fantasy tale about friendship and sacrifice and being worried that your parents don’t understand you. I really enjoy the relationship between Amelia, Squashy and Tangine and between Amelia and her mum but Florence and Grimaldi do get lost in the background and I would really like to see more of them.
Given that this is the third in the series, you do need to read the two preceding books to follow this because although there is a neat summary courtesy of Tangine for newcomers, there is a lot that has happened in terms of the friendships and family groups that readers should enjoy catching up on and part of the plot here turns on what happened in the previous book.
I enjoyed the way Anderson sets out how the Kingdoms of Light and Darkness are getting used to each other and the depiction of Amelia’s school is both funny and disgusting (notably the Coughing Classroom) and the illustrations are a lot of fun (especially the pumpkins Squashy and Pumpy who I think are absolutely brilliant). Anderson also clearly has a lot of fun coming up with types of food and activities for each of the Kingdoms, which made me smile a lot.
Anderson makes it easy to empathise with Amelia and the isolation and confusion she feels as those in Nocturnia start to forget who she is and also at her hurt at believing that her mum isn’t interested in the things she likes. I liked the way she and Tangine team up to try and crack the mystery and the resolution is genuinely very moving with Anderson doing particularly well in heightening the emotion through her illustrations without ever tripping over into schmaltz.
My only real criticism of the book is that the cast is very big and Grimaldi and Florence once again don’t really have much to do, which is a bit of a shame. However I remain hopeful that they’ll get more page time in the next book, which I am very much looking forward to reading.
AMELIA FANG AND THE MEMORY THIEF was released in the United Kingdom on 4th October 2018. Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book.