3 September 2014

The Memory Keepers by Natasha Ngan

Series: Standalone
Publication date: September 4, 2014
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Genres: YA Dystopia
Format: Paperback
Source: Received from Hot Key Books in exchange for an honest review
Pages: 410

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"No one can take your memories from you... can they?"

Seven is a thief with a difference - he steals downloadable memories from banks and memoriums to sell onto London's black market, trading secrets and hidden pasts for a chance at a future of his own. He makes sure he keeps some special stuff back to 'surf' himself though - it's the only real form of entertainment he can afford. But one night, as Seven is breaking into a private memorium in a wealthy part of London, he is caught in the act by one of its residents; Alba, the teenage daughter of London's most famous criminal prosecutor. Instead of giving him away, Alba promises to keep Seven's secret - as long as he allows her to go memory-surfing herself. In doing so, they discover a hidden memory about Seven's past, revealing a shocking secret about Seven's childhood, the government and a mysterious experiment known as The Memory Keepers...

Now Seven and Alba will have to race against time to unlock the maze of The Memory Keepers - but can they keep themselves out of harm's way before the London Guard - and Alba's father - catches up with them?

This was my first Natasha Ngan book and I have to say, I have a feeling she's going to be one of those authors where you just buy her books without knowing anything about them.

Need to know
- The memories aren't erased, they're basically just 'recorded', and you can actually trade them.
- The book takes place in 2144
- We are dealing with a bunch of characters in this book; We have our two main characters Alba and Seven. Seven's friends Loe and a little girl called Mika. Alba's handmaid Dolly and Alba's parents; Alastair and Oxana White.

My thoughts
I think the world building and plot was absolutely fantastic. When I started reading this I had no idea it was set this far in the future, but I quite liked it anyway. I love the concept of memory-surfing, where you basically experience the memory again - you feel everything and hear everything that was originally recorded, it's not exactly the same as just thinking back. I was also quite intrigued by the whole memory-thieving and selling the memory's illegally, everything was just so imaginative and mind-blowing.
I think Natasha has an amazing imagination and I can't wait to read her next book.

Throughout the entire book I felt sorry for both Alba and Seven, they have both had quite a rough time growing up and I really sympathized with them. Alba, the Norther who is deeply neglected by her parents and only has her handmaid Dolly. Seven, the Souther who has lost his parents and doesn't really have anyone besides Loe and Mika. I really enjoyed getting to know both of them and watch the two of them evolve and begin to get out of their comfort zones and let love take hold of them.
I immediately loved the relationship between Alba and Dolly, I love that they have this special bond and how they treat and take care of each other. Their relationship was probably one of my favorite parts of the whole book.

I really enjoyed the whole story, I liked how we were introduced to the characters and we learned everything about 'memories' so naturally and gradually instead of learning everything at once and not remembering anything. I think this story is one of the best I've read this year so far, and I've read a lot. This story has everything, it has wonderful world building and lovely characters. There's love, hate, family - all with and edge of the futuristic.

I could not, for the life of me, put this book down. If I had had the time I would probably have devoured the whole book in a single sitting - that's how good this book is. In a way I'm sad that this book has ended, we don't get to see more of Alba and Seven, but on the other hand everything was wrapped up so nicely that it would almost be a sin to continue the story.

If you hadn't guessed it already, I absolutely loved this book and devoured it quite quickly. I enjoyed both the characters, the plot, the world and the story. Natasha Ngan has touched my very soul and I felt like her heart is all over those pages. I definitely recommend this book to everyone who likes 'different' books and like the futuristic.

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