Book review: 'The Unremembered' is a captivating read

By Becky Robinette Wright

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Aug. 6 2011 3:00 p.m. MDT

The riveting and captivating story of "The Unremembered" (Tor Books, $27.99) takes readers on a journey that will become part of their souls. But they should hold on to their seats for a ride featuring thrills, fear and exhilaration.

The journey begins with a Council of Gods in a Tabernacle where it is learned that many worlds have been created. What happens in those worlds constitutes the journey.

Interwoven in the book are a cornucopia of cultures, traditions and settings.

The gods, who have created these worlds, seek to maintain a balance between matter and energy, revealing a great competition amongst themselves.

Humans face severe trials from mankind and from non-humans, and it is a battle for the survival of the fittest, mentally and physically.

The hope is in the power of music and song, which are able to quell the powers of evil. The veil — or the divider — must be protected at all costs, while holding back evil beyond comprehension. If the veil collapses, humans and the worlds as they are known will perish.

"The Unremembered" is the first book in the "Vault of Heaven" series.

The book is Peter Orullian’s first novel, but not his first work. He is a master storyteller and a successful musician, and he weaves his talents in both fields to create his masterpieces.

Orullian was born in Salt Lake City in 1969. In high school he played varsity athletics, served in student government, sang with the school’s a cappella choir and graduated the class valedictorian.

In 1991, Orullian joined a rock band that was performing and recording. It was at this time he finished his honors thesis — a fictional work titled "Skinwalkers." The same year he graduated magna cum laude from the University of Utah with a bachelor's degree in English and was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Societies.

In 2006, Orullian sold his first short story to Denise Little anthology and then began regularly selling his work to Denise and Marty Greenberg in addition to contributing to Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show.

In 2009, Tor Books purchased the first three books in the fantasy series "Vault of Heaven."

“I have always loved stories,” said Orullian. “My family, partially my sister, who is two years my junior, helped lead me to my love of language and storytelling.

“Writing the 'Vault of Heaven' series is an avenue for creating a second world. Fantasy has a dear place in my heart. In a fantasy world I can give things different names, explore things in a safe way. As the novels progress I have more latitude to explore and create,” he said.

Orullian is an established writer and accomplished musician and doesn't see a conflict between the two crafts.

“They complement each other,” he said. “In my stories and my life music plays a central role. When I am writing, I am writing and I am focused on that. When I am involved in my music, I am focused on music. One doesn’t distract from the other, they are both part of what I am."

Orullian will be doing a book signing on August 4 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Barnes & Noble at Jordan Landing, 7157 Plaza Center Drive.

Becky Robinette Wright is a freelance writer living in Virginia.

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