F. G. Cottam’s The Memory of Trees is definitely better than just three stars but not quite a four. The pacing is stunted and the action slowly driven. The main characters are hard to bond with and you are not so sure you are wanting them to win as much as you want the villain to win even less. What it does have and what makes it so intriguing; is story. This is a well developed and written story. In fact, in my opinion, could have been developed and built upon even more. Spanning centuries in its scope and blending science and mythology, Cottam’s The Memory of Trees is as moving in story as it is unsettling.
…Yes, you honoured the old gods. They had known that in the ancient world. Even when the sum of human knowledge had been compiled in the library of Alexandria, When the answers to every possible question had been within reach of the scholars there, they had remembered in ancient times the oldest and most universal rule: if you wish to survive and prosper, you honour the gods…
Eccentric billionaire Saul Abercrombie has decided to do something quite radical on a remote strip of land on Welsh coast. He plans to restore the ancient forest that once ruled the land. It will be a grand undertaking that will leave his mark on this land long after he is gone. To help him he hires the young scientist Tom Curtis. Tom sees this as a last opportunity to win back his family and cement his reputation in his own field.
However Abercrombie is keeping a truth of this barren land from Curtis. A truth of an ancient evil once defeated that is binding its time to return. A forgotten power, that if restored, may heal Abercrombie from the disease that is ravaging his body. An evil, that craves the forgotten forest to live again.
The Memory of Trees is a story that spans the dawn of time to medieval battles to modern day horror. It creeps along, sometimes a little too slowly with the twists that are coming easily seen, but steadily it does build. Until the end where our heroes, flawed and weak as they are, face down the evil that awaits them.
A good read.