It’s my stop on the blog tour for The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy, a YA fantasy debut that came out earlier in October. In this fantasy world, memories are used as a currency, and are bartered, traded, and sometimes stolen. I had a lot of fun reading this one, and I’m excited to share my thoughts (and a giveaway!) with you. You can view the full tour schedule here to check out posts from the other tour hosts! I obviously received The Memory Thief for free in exchange for an honest review.The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy
Release Date: 1st October 2019
Add it: Goodreads
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.
Apparently I’m a masive sucker for anything to do with weird currency or transactions, because as soon as I heard about The Memory Thief I was comparing to Everless and I was getting really excited. The concept of memories being sold, traded, and stolen is a fantastic idea, and also mildly terrifying.
I think some people have complained about the world building in this one, as it’s very rich and, yes, slightly info-dumpy. The reader is thrown into it in the beginning of the book, and to be honest the pacing of this information being thrown at you doesn’t really let up. That said, I did get used to it, and eventually I learnt the terminology that the author was using and figured out what she was talking about when it came to the history and politics of the world.
I thought that overall the world building was very well developed, and the author clearly put a lot of thought into it. I think turning this into a longer fantasy book would have worked better, because I feel like The Memory Thief suffered due to its short length.
That said, the length did make for a very past read. I flew through this one in just a couple of sittings, which is unusual for me when it comes to fantasy. I just wish that the plot had been more developed, as it felt very crammed in and rushed. I would have liked to have had more time taken with it to properly develop the plot, the world, and the characters.
I really liked the twists that were thrown in there. I didn’t care enough for the characters to become emotionally invested in them, but I did really enjoy the plot twists that came out of their interactions and relationships. They were a lot of fun and made me smile.
I think what the book was really missing was a lack of emotional connection. I enjoyed the ride and the world building, but more of a connection to the characters would have made me enjoy the whole book a lot more, particularly the ending.
Overall The Memory Thief is a really fun fantasy book, and the concept was definitely intriguing. I think it’s probably more suited to slightly younger teenagers, and I think lots of people would enjoy the fast paced plot!
About the Author
Lauren lives in the Chicago area, where she’s spent years working with youth, from young children to high schoolers. When she’s not writing, Lauren is usually with her family or exploring the city to find the best deep dish pizza. The Memory Thief, which was inspired by Lauren’s own journey with her mother, is her first novel. Find her on her website, Twitter, and Instagram.