My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Author: Lauren Mansy
Publication Date: October 1, 2019
Categories: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance
Disclaimer: **I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.**
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.
Thank you to Blink and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read this eARC.
The premise of this story is really interesting. Memories are used as currency and the world created around this idea is fascinating. Taking memories sounds a bit scary to me, just because I wonder how someone would stay themself with other memories in their head. Also it feels like cheating. If you want to learn a skill, steal a memory and now you are an expert in it. It shows how the Gifted has the upper hand in this world.
Etta Lark is hiding from her past. Her best friends are dead and her mother is in an asylum. Etta made a deal with Madame, the ruler of Craewick, that would help her hide from the Shadows, a group she betrayed to help save her mother. But Madame changes the rules on her and Etta has to go back to the people she hurt to help her mom again.
This was a fast read. I devoured all the information about the Gift, Ungifted, and Minders. The world of the Shadows is really intriguing and probably my favorite part of the book. Some of the story is told through memories, since Etta has taken a few. There is insta-love but I think it works because it is a standalone book. Etta and her love interest do get to know each other on their quest. I’m so used to reading trilogies with love stories drawn out that seeing insta-love in a book that isn’t purely a romance novel is sometimes hard to get used to. It works in this story but I wasn’t that invested in the romance though.
When Etta and Reid get to the end of their journey, Etta’s past is revealed in a twist and it seemed so convenient. Etta accepts this reveal so easily. From there on, the story wraps up and everything works out in the end. Which is great, but my interest was dwindling by then. The time span of this story happens in one week, so the ending felt rushed.
Overall, this was an interesting book, with a potential to be amazing because I really enjoyed the underworld of the Shadows. Everything else though fell flat for me.
Get it here: Amazon
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