**Disclaimer, I recieved and e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.**
Title The Memory Thief
Author Lauren Mansey
Description from Amazon
In the city of Craewick, memories reign. The power-obsessed ruler of the city, Madame, has cultivated a society in which memories are currency, citizens are divided by ability, and Gifted individuals can take memories from others through touch as they please.
Seventeen-year-old Etta Lark is desperate to live outside of the corrupt culture, but grapples with the guilt of an accident that has left her mother bedridden in the city’s asylum. When Madame threatens to put her mother up for auction, a Craewick practice in which a “criminal’s” memories are sold to the highest bidder before being killed, Etta will do whatever it takes to save her. Even if it means rejoining the Shadows, the rebel group she swore off in the wake of the accident years earlier.
To prove her allegiance to the Shadows and rescue her mother, Etta must steal a memorized map of the Maze, a formidable prison created by the bloodthirsty ruler of a neighboring Realm. So she sets out on a journey in which she faces startling attacks, unexpected romance, and, above all, her own past in order to set things right in her world.
Full disclosure, fictional asylums terrify me. I’ve never read a book where something bad doens’t happen in the asylum. I was extremely hesitant to apply for this book on NetGalley because of that. However, I conquered my fear beacuase of the absolutely captivating description of the world building in this book. That dust jacket sold me.
Porter and Felix – they had the best banter. I’d read their stories any day. I don’t want to give away any spoilers but, I was spoiled by these two characters.
One Thing I Wasn’t Sure About
The neatness. Everything was very neat and tidy from the writing perspective. Normally, I love when things tie up, but it almost felt too easy. I’d hope that future stories would elaborate on this and maybe untie some of the tied up ends in order to create a little more drama.
I’m not sure if this is a stand alone novel or the beginning of a series. I was very satisfied with the ending, but it left enough loose ends and unanswered questions that I could easily see this developing into more. The political atmosphere is somewhat uncertain by the end, so there are many opportunities for the characters we know to travel, or to introduce us to new characters in other areas. Similarly, the concept of buying and selling memories could lead to all kinds of plots in future installments. I think this story has tons of series potential.
Overall, I liked this story a lot. I see a lot of future value in a series set in this world and I think the characters were well written. The plot twists were mostly unexpected and I really appreciate that. All in all, I would definitely recommend this book.
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Recommendations for Further Reading
Smoke and Key by Kelsey Sutton – both of these stories gave me similar vibes. Smoke and Key is the story of a girl trying to recover her memories, as they are the key to saving her. Like Etta in The Memory Thief, Key needs to harness the power of memories and use gifts that only she possesses.
To Best the Boys by Mary Weber – this is another great story of a strong female main character conquering a maze.
Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte – this is another amazing story of a semi-futuristic/dystopian world where memories are traded/collected. Both have amazing strong female leads.
- Hardcover: 368 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins Religious - US (24 September 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0310767652
- ISBN-13: 978-0310767657
- Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 2.5 x 22.1 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 408 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 98,697 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)