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The Hunted #1

Elusive Memories

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One false move—or trusting the wrong person—can turn the Gifted into the hunted.

Captured by the Northern Alliance Betterment Society, a group more dedicated to murder than betterment, memory-bringer Sam Benson’s in trouble. She doesn’t know where she is or, more importantly, who she is. With her memories gone, she must piece together the details of her life before they take it from her.

But there’s more at stake than Sam’s life…

Now that she’s been dragged into the war between the Gifted and the Northern Alliance Betterment Society, Sam realizes how much is riding on her ability to escape. As the conflict escalates and new players stand in her way, she must find a way to take charge of the fate of the divided Gifted people.

Sam might crumble under the pressure… or rise up to give the Gifted a fighting chance.

The paperback edition includes The Unexpected Gift, a novella following the events of Elusive Memories.

246 pages, Paperback

First published May 13, 2014

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About the author

Amanda Shofner

11 books131 followers
Amanda Shofner explores the connections between family, friends, and lovers in contemporary romance. When she's not writing, you'll probably find her reading, investigating the Twin Cities with her dog Scarlet, adventuring to new restaurants, drinking coffee, or declaring, "There's a Futurama episode for that."

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Displaying 1 - 16 of 16 reviews
Profile Image for Christi Snow.
Author 68 books743 followers
June 23, 2014
My Review:
This book was so different from most everything else out there right now, but I loved it. Honestly, I began reading it at the hair salon on a day when I had a hundred and one things to get done...and I kept sneaking my kindle back on so I could read just a few more pages. This story is riveting. I needed to know what was going to happen next.

It's a completely different world and as the reader, you have no idea what is going on at first. The author did an incredible job of slowly revealing details of the world bit by bit...just enough to keep you from getting confused, but not near enough (especially at first) so that you really knew what was happening or who Sam, the heroine, should trust. The thing that's never in doubt though is that Sam is in deep danger and she's gonna have to trust someone to get out of it. Ack... and because of the way the story is written, I'm not sure what else to say that won't be a spoiler of some sort.

In the parameters of this world there are two main groups of people that affect the story...Hunters and then the Gifted which are made up of Illusionists and Memory-Bringers. Sam is a memory-bringer...that means she has a paranormal gift to "read/experience" other people's (and her own sometimes) memories, both past and future. The Hunters want to eradicate the gifts from humanity, but only after they figure out a way to steal the abilities within those gifts. When the book begins, Sam is imprisoned in a facility run by the Hunters and definitely in danger of eventual death. But part of the difficulty of what's happening to her is that she doesn't remember much of anything. They've been using drugs on her that erase her own memories which makes it so difficult for her to figure out who to trust.

I loved Sam. She felt like a normal girl in incredibly extraordinary circumstances that require her to rise above. She has to be strong or else she's going to die. She has no other choice and she refuses to back down and let that happen. If she's going to die, she fully plans to go out fighting with everything she has. How can you not love that?

There are two men who are trying to help her. I don't want to say anything here to spoil the story, but the one...gah, I really loved him. I love his attitude and the glimpses of emotion he shows and I desperately want more of both of them.

There is a snippet of epilogue, which is not a cliffhanger, but omg...I want book #2...NOW!! I cannot wait. This first book set up such an incredible story. I definitely want more. It was just fabulous!
Profile Image for Chris.
69 reviews
January 1, 2016
Loved Elusive Memories! Started reading and it grabbed me tight. Sam is a feisty tough girl with a smart mouth, and I liked that. The story unspools quickly, and I just did not want to stop reading. I read some of it slowly so I could begin to build a vision of Sam's world in my head, and then fast and then faster because I needed to know Right Now what was going to happen. Then Kindle is telling me I am ninety per cent done, and I do not want to be done.

There are plenty of unanswered questions to keep me panting in wait for the next book. Thank the gods for the afterword. Now that I know a little of what is coming, I can be patient and wait a small while....is it done yet? I believe I will go and have a second read of this book and work on fleshing out my vision of Sam's world.

Extremely well written. I recommend it with all my heart.
Profile Image for Shirley .
1,913 reviews56 followers
June 23, 2014
You know it's a good read when you keep flipping back and forth at the end to make sure it's really over because you really, really, really want more!

The paperback release party for Elusive Memories gave me just the incentive I needed to finally get to this book. Now I could kick myself for waiting so long. *sigh*

The world created in Elusive Memories was harsh, but outside the walls of The Northern Alliance Betterment Society it was a lot like our own. That kind of made it even more frightening. Bad things happen when powerful people gain followers using fear and prejudice as fuel for their cause. So what happens when even the people being persecuted or ‘hunted’ are split into two groups that don’t trust each other? The basis for an amazing story full of twists, turns and crazy revelations.

Elusive Memories drew me into the story from the beginning – all because of Sam. Her situation would have made the average person curl up in a ball and give up. No memories, no contact with anyone other than a couple of fellow prisoners, no food, but she still held on to a fragment of hope. Her courage and determination was admirable. She was the perfect heroine. She’s also Gifted in a very special way – and she isn’t the only one, but in the interest keeping my review spoiler free I’ll let you discover those little ‘memories’ right along with Sam… ;)

As for the supporting characters? I can’t really say much and it’s all the author’s fault. Honestly, I was as confused about who could and couldn’t be trusted as Sam was. Elusive Memories not only kept me turning the pages, it had me turning them back. Not because I was confused by what I had just read. It was more because I couldn’t believe what I had just read. Amanda Shofner didn’t cut her characters any slack and she didn’t pull any punches. There wasn’t a time that I thought that Sam was completely safe. It wasn’t that kind of world and Sam wasn’t that kind of character. It’s one of the things I liked most about her.

Elusive Memories didn’t exactly end in a cliff hanger, but the story is far from over. As a matter of fact, I picked up the novella, The Unexpected Gift – which continues Sam’s story – as soon as I finished Elusive Memories. Hopefully there won’t be a long time span before the next full story is released. Otherwise this particular author may reach ‘Evil Author’ status sooner rather than later.
Profile Image for Dustin Morley.
13 reviews2 followers
December 23, 2014
A bit of a disclaimer: I'm part of a writing group that the author, Amanda Shofner, leads.

The story didn't pull me in right away - it begins with Sam stuck in a prison of sorts. She doesn't really know what's going on. I've always had a hard time reading claustrophobic stories, as I enjoy adventure and mysteries in grand settings.

However, once Sam began to figure out what was going on, the book became an absolute page turner. There was mystery, adventure, urban fantasy, science fiction, and romance. Like Sam, I also found it difficult to figure out which characters in the novel could be trusted and which couldn't which really helped set up the novel.

The story also featured some social commentary that I appreciated, in a way that I think is very approachable for today's society.

I look forward to reading the other stories in this series.
Profile Image for Kristin.
955 reviews102 followers
May 5, 2016
Straight up great UF. I have this song stuck in my head, "Let's get this army started..." (sung to a certain Black Eyed Peas song). I sure hope there's more to this world! Full review soon...
208 reviews
February 16, 2018
Thought of you

Somewhat different from other authors and their storylines we can get together and live up to its promise and make it a reality
Profile Image for Krystle Lewallen.
Author 3 books2 followers
March 6, 2017
Elusive Memories had a very strong story line that kept me completely enthralled. I wasn't so sure about it at first because, unlike other books, it doesn't tell you much about why everything is going on right away. It kind of worked backwards through this one. But I liked that. It worked with the story line. I actually would much rather read a book with more thought and dialogue then a book that does nothing but describe what everything and everyone looked like in so much detail that it didn't leave any room for thought. I think that's what kept me so interested-it kept me guessing. There were some minor editing issues throughout, but it didn't detract from the story at all. It still flowed nicely. It does have some very suggestive dialogue and some cursing so keep that in mind before reading but I definitely recommend if you can get past that. I'm not a fan of books that curse a lot or are suggestive, but this one didn't bother me.
Profile Image for Lou.
324 reviews3 followers
August 4, 2014
In Elusive Memories we meet Sam; who has found that she is locked in a compound with no memory. Sam is slowly learning what may have happened from someone else who is being held in the compound too. She has also begun experiencing memories; these memories aren't necessarily always her own either. You see Sam is gifted, she is what is known as a Memory Bringer. Her family have been Memory Bringer Elders in the past.

Whilst in this compound Sam has witnessed and experienced some of the methods the Hunters are using on and against the Gifted ones. Sam is determined to stop this treatment and end their cruelty, but first she needs to escape. Two of the guards begin helping her and both claim they want her to escape. But do both guards have her best interests at heart? Can Sam figure out who she can trust?

I have to say I like this book, that said it did take me a few attempts to get into it. I do not know why because it's very unusual for me to feel that way. Maybe it was the book I read before this, maybe I had just hit a patch of right book but wrong time, I'm not sure. But when I did find the right day to be reading this I did enjoy it.

I like the way Amanda has chosen to write this in that we learn what is happening alongside the main character. I thought the world that has been created is both realistic and believable, I have no problems imagining that this place could well exist somewhere out there! It is clear to me that Amanda has given her debut fiction book lots of thought and consideration.

The characters are good. I could imagine being alongside Sam, sharing her visions and experiences with her. Sam did show signs of growth throughout the book but I'm unsure if she reached her full potential as a lead character. I have my reservations about the guards and I found I was trying to second guess who Sam should have been trusting.

Overall this is a good first book. I'll be keeping an eye open for more books by Amanda to see how she develops as a fiction author.
Profile Image for Stephanie (Once Upon a Chapter).
366 reviews77 followers
January 31, 2022
First reviewed at Once Upon a Chapter

Elusive Memories by Amanda Shofner was exactly the paranormal break I needed! I picked up this book because I have read both of Shofner’s non-fiction blog related works. I found them both immensely useful and I wanted to give her ficiton debut a go.

Elusive Memories has a lot going for it. So many of the elements of the story worked for me. I enjoyed both Sam and Coop. Their personalities played well off each other. In fiact I liked all the characters, even the bad ones! The pacing was great. I never really felt as if I wanted to put the book down and take a break. Of course work and sleep interferred.

The world building was easy to align myself with as well. Elusive Memories opens up with a Sam who doesn’t remember anything. As the reader we learn everything right along with Sam. Shofner also uses memories that Sam sees (sometimes her own, sometimes another’s) to advance the story. I love it when an author uses this technique! I personally enjoy it. Shofner laces the story with a wonderful sense of humor as well. I have to say that I had a smile on my face during one of the first scenes and it involved socks of all things!

The only issue that I had was my own impatience to get through the last part to find out what happened! If you’re looking for a paranormal story that is fun and one hell of a ride and features characters you’ll remember for awhile to come, Elusive Memories by Amanda Shofner is a book you’ll want to pick up. I am definitely going to be picking Shofner’s future books!
Profile Image for Brittany.
105 reviews73 followers
September 26, 2014

1) Character Development

One of my favorite aspects of the books is that you get to learn about Sam as she tries to regain her memories. This type of character development allows the reader a really in depth look into the character. Sam does not remember anything in the beginning and is stuck in a cell with little to no provisions. She learns about her past and present through reappearing memories.
2) Human characters

The characters are not perfect, thank you Amanda Shofner! I am getting so sick of “perfect” characters! If authors want us to relate to their characters, they should make them sound like a human! We make mistakes, so should the characters.
3) Multi-Faceted Story

This story has a little bit of something for everyone. It is definitely a mature YA/NA and had about every element of a darn good story.


The story is a bit confusing at first because Sam has no idea what is going on. This confusion does not take long to clear up but the beginning definitely reminded me of Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi. The main character is trapped and does not know/can’t remember much about herself.

Yes, there is only one dislike! I loved this book and I can’t wait for the next books!
Profile Image for Melissa Price.
219 reviews102 followers
February 22, 2016
Elusive Memories (The Hunted, #1) by Amanda Shofner by Amanda Shofner

Thank you Goodreads and author Amanda Shofner for the chance to read "Elusive Memories" from the Goodreads First Reads Program for an honest review. A Fantastic read. I look forward to continuing reading the Series and would definitely recommend. I liked the novella, "The Unexpected Gift" (The Hunted #1.5"), at the end as well.

Full review to come asap....

Profile Image for TheGeekyBlogger.
1,458 reviews177 followers
December 15, 2014
Read for Fun (Kindle)
Overall Rating: 4.00
Character Rating: 3.75
Story Rating: 4.25

First Thoughts when Finished: Elusive Memories by Amanda Shofner was a unique (can't stress that enough) story that pulled me and didn't let me go. (Read in one afternoon). I enjoyed the mix of suspenseful storytelling and fringe paranormal. This is one of those series that will catch you off guard and make you want more! What can I say I am ready for the next one :)

Part of the Read It, Rate It, File It, Done Reviews
Profile Image for Juli Manz.
60 reviews
February 14, 2016
Confusing at first but push through!

What an interesting concept for a book. The beginning starts out rough -- better suited to visual than the written word, perhaps, until Readers become more acclimated to the oddity of the prose, because the setting and characters are very unclear.

As the story and memories progress, the plot unfolds in a unique and captivating story to create what this society considers the Utopian dream for them.

Twists and turns, as well as betrayals, make for a quick fun read.
28 reviews
July 11, 2014
I LOVED this book. I was immediately pulled into the world and the characters. It's well written and engaging.

Great choice for a summer read (or anytime).

Profile Image for Hitzuji.
231 reviews57 followers
July 18, 2015
I was really surprised of how good this book is. I got it because it was free in amazon that day and had no expectatives. Since the very beggining it got me inmersed and intrigued. I really liked Sam, the protagonist, such a good character. The story is really good, as well. I enjoyed so much reading it and flew through it.
Displaying 1 - 16 of 16 reviews

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