book reviews

The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy

The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy

Rating: 3/5

Publication Date: October 1st, 2019

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.


I received this eARC from Netgalley. This does not impact my review.

I’ve had this e-ARC for forever and every time I tried to start it I just couldn’t get past the first few paragraphs because I was never in the right mood. BUT FINALLY, I managed to pick it up and it was actually really intriguing! It didn’t blow me away, but I loved the idea and the world Lauren Mansy created!

I really loved the idea of memory as currency and the whole black market behind it. It was really interesting to see the dark sides to having this kind of power, and it added an interesting layer to the characters. There was a whole new kind of moral to delve into (if that makes sense) and I think the idea of “are you really you if your memories aren’t all yours” was done really well.

Etta was a really interesting character, especially because she is the one character whose memories cannot be stolen and yet she is still somewhat unreliable. I really liked that I didn’t know exactly whether to trust her mind, so that made this really cool to read.

However, I didn’t really connect to the characters all too much. The romance didn’t feel as developed as I feel it could have been. I definitely would have enjoyed it more if there had been a bit more tension and maybe more depth to the characters. However, this book was more “plot based”–at least it felt like it– and so what was less in the character department was made up for in the events happening. I had no idea where the plot was actually going to go, and was surprised at some of the turns it took… but the pacing for the story was a bit strange.

I felt like I was being thrown into different twists but had no idea how I got there. I don’t know if that was because I was reading right before bed and maybe I was really tired or because the writing felt sort of rushed at times. Things were happening and I didn’t really know how the things began. However, I still enjoyed reading it? It was strangely addicting and I needed to know what happened and why things were happening.

Overall, it was good but not mind blowing or amazing.

I would recommend this to anyone who likes to dive into others memories, interesting dystopian worlds, a not completely reliable narrator, blackmail and deceit, rebels and power hungry villains, and a story where not everything is as it seems.

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