The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy

The Memory Thief
Author: Lauren Mansy
Publisher: BLINK
Release date: October 1, 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Fanstasy

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.

When I first started reading The Memory Thief, I was kind of wondering how a world like this was going to work. People trading and selling memories. Having them used as a commodity and kind of like a drug. It does work though and I ended up finding the world and characters very interesting.

There are the gifted and the ungifted. What unsettled me the most was the gifted called Sifters. They are able to mess with people’s minds through a single glance. The talents varying from there but in general they have to be transferred by touch. Like anything though, there is a series of checks and balances that try to keep like Madame becoming a power. Unfortunately she became a power. I thought it was very unique.

I liked Etta. She is someone who has had to make tough choices and has had to deal with the consequences. I think she did a lot of growing before we join her in the story but I think she continues to grow as the plot develops. She carries many burdens of what she has done with her and at one point she mentions the journey to forgiving herself has been long. There were things I didn’t one hundred percent understand her gifts. It has to do with the end of the story though and so I don’t want to give anything away. I just got the impression she had a gift similar to someone else but then it was like that other person was the only one who had it.

I liked Reid. I didn’t feel overly attached to him and because the romance is fast paced, I kind of wish they had more of a previous history. Like Etta and Bray, it would have convinced me more. Although I do people can fall for each other pretty quickly based off of surface attraction so I never rule that out.

I liked the plot. I thought it was interesting and the book is well written. As far as pacing goes, I thought the first half was really good. The end felt a little quick. It seemed like they were getting places a little faster than I was expecting. I did really like it thought and the whole idea of the story. I’m kind of like that person that gets mad when books are too long and gets mad when books are too short.

I liked The Memory Thief. I thought the concept of memory transfer as a ware was really unique. I liked the main character Etta and how she had to make some really tough choices. I also found the world interesting.

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.

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Prize: 1 finished copy of The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy + a poster and signed bookplate (USA only)
Starts: 10/14/19
Ends: 10/26/19

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