Some writers like to make up words — at least some of the writers that I know, like Stephen H. Provost. Provost took that one step further from the title of his recently published paranormal thriller, Memortality, to what might be a new take on the undead.
With the made up word Memortality, the book’s protagonist is a paraplegic teen, Minerva Rus, who has an unnatural ability to bring back the dead by simply remembering them. But she’s not the first with this unusual ability. Memortality is a romp through a web of everyday people with not-everyday paranormal talents.
And this talent puts the mortality of those special people at high risk by secret agents from a covert government agency.
So, yes, this is a rather fun and intriguing read with surprising twists and turns from the first to the last chapter.
The engaging first chapter is set in 1996 with a 76-year-old woman and her attention demanding orange cat. The woman struggles to master that new technology called the internet and e-mail, and is in anxiety over the adoption of a child by her son and daughter-in-law, when suddenly, she’s the victim of what appears to be a drive-by shooting.
Minerva is next introduced in the year 2016. She was critically injured in an automobile crash before her 7th birthday and is now a nuisance and burden to her angry mother, who was at the wheel of the car crash. Minerva is an outlier dependent upon her wheelchair for mobility, and further crippled by her bad attitude and willful by her survival needs.
In and out of what seems to be a dream, Minerva interacts with her childhood best friend, Raven, who was killed in the same auto wreck, except that he’s now grown and a handsome young man. But he’s dead and she knows it.
Raven’s history, however, is tied in with the 1996 murder, and he understands that Minerva must remember him to bring him into the corporeal world. He knows that Minerva has “the gift.”
That’s all I share about the plot, except for a questionable character who has researched these persons with this “gift” and wants Raven back to life in his undead form to bring back a rather sleazy person from a dark moment in history. Minerva is in this questionable character’s way.
Memortality is a page turner. The author leaves out a few bits of information, but a close read hints that there is more to come.
Provost is a journalist by trade, and an author by training and passion. He has self-published several books prior to his most recent non-fiction book, Fresno Growing Up: A City Comes of Age 1945-1985, about his hometown of Fresno, Ca., published by Quill Driver Books, the same publisher of Memortality.