Review: Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

Title: Nevernight
(The Nevernight Chronicle #1)
Author: Jay Kristoff
Genre: Fantasy 
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: August 9th 2016
Kindle Edition, 448 pages

In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family. Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined. Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic—the Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and the subtle arts, she’ll be inducted among the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church’s halls, the bloody secrets of Mia’s past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves. Will she even survive to initiation, let alone have her revenge?
*Trigger Warnings: Mentions of rape, violence, murder, graphic sex scenes & torture*

Do you ever DNF a book four separate times, give it a fifth chance and it ends up being a five star read? No, just me? Alright, alright. I am already really iffy with over hyped books to begin with, so the hype for Nevernight made me a little nervous. But then Stephanie @ Ohana Reads kept pushing it on me and we pretty much have the same book tastes. Let's fast forward to when I actually read and finished this book and was shrieking at the end. Jay, you have officially killed me. 

Mia's family was brutally taken and murdered for crimes against the senate when she was only a young girl, but from the moment her father is hung and her mother is locked away she swears that one day she will get vengeance on the men behind her family's downfall. She has spent the years since being trained by Mercurio to become an assassin, but Mia has reached the point in the training where is is time to find the Red Church and become a Blade of the Lady of Blessed Murder. But on her journey she meets the mysterious Tric, who is also looking for the Red Church himself and for his own vengeance. Mia and the acolyte train vicariously for a spot as a blade, but only four will be granted the status, and soon everyone is out for themselves. But when Mia starts making friends her feelings for Tric become complicated and her powers begin to become stronger the others aren't quite sure that The Red Church is where Mia should be. There is also a traitor among them, but who could it be? 




I will admit, the first half of this book was rough to get through and reading it was basically getting to go to the dentist, it was a process. From the first page I knew Jay's writing style was going to be unique and liked how the two scenes in the first chapter melded together, but I was also afraid that was how the whole story was going to be. After the first 100 pages though, it was smooth sailing. This book is 448 pages and after I got past the rough patch I finished the remainder in only a few hours. One Mia gets to the Red Church, lessons start and the introduction to the secondary characters begin I couldn't help but fall in love with Mia Corvere and her story. 

Do we want to talk about a kick ass, cut throat, sassy main characters with serious anger and attitude problems? That is basically Mia. Plus, she has a habit of punching and stabbing things. I loved the character arc through out the entire novel. From page one we see Mia as this cold young girl (she is only sixteen) her only had vengeance and murder on her mind. But after meeting Tric and finding the Red Church she starts to grow. The people she is being pitted against become her friends and some of her peers become enemies. She struggles with her feelings for Tric and as well as the compassion and humanity she is starting to develop. If this is the growth that Mia has come to have so far, I can't wait to see what the next two novels are going to have in store for her. 

Let's talk about Tric for a moment because honestly: He is my new fictional love. Mia and Tric meet in a pub where they are trying to seek passage to the Red Church with no luck, so they decide to team up. At first the duo are weary of each other but eventually they warm up and become friends. As Nevernight goes on and we learn more about Tric and his character, I couldn't help but feel bad. But I don't pity him. He is at the Red Church to become a Blade and get the vengeance that he deserves. ALSO: The sexual/romantic or what ever you want to call it tension between Mia and Him was slow burn as hell and killed me. 


Now, I will forever be flabbergasted by the people who have shelves this book as YA because it is not a YA book at all. Besides the violence, graphic scenes, language and more adult themes, Nevernight contain quite graphic on page sex scenes. Yes, Mia is only sixteen years old, sixteen year olds do have sex though, whether we choose to acknowledged it or not. I thinK the surprise was the explicitness of it. I, for one do not mind on page sex scenes, I am basically trash for smutty scenes in my favorite novels so I was there for this. There is easily 5-10 pages (I read this on my kindle and it didn't give me page numbers) of oral sex alone. Now, I think this was essential to the plot because it pushes their relationship forward. But if you did want to skip this, it isn't going to ruin the rest of the book for you. 

This review is already a mile long BUT I have more to talk about. 

These plot twists. Jay kept me on my toes the entire time. Every time I was finally getting something straight it changed. Characters, settings, events, world building. It was quite amazing. Jay gave us both Mia's and Tric's backstories through out the entire novel, so it wasn't one big section of learning who they were. It progressed through out the novel in places that it was needed for the reader to understand the importance of what was happening. 

Though at first I wasn't the biggest fan of the world building and found it a little confusing the footnotes did help with that. I HIGHLY encourage you not to skip over them. (The kindle version opens them right on top of what you are reading so you just have to click out of them and you are back to the story, which was really convenient.) Some are funny and in there for basic shits and giggles but the others help with the world building and how the society runs, which is a fresh change then how it is usually done in novels. 

Overall I ended up loving Nevernight and I can't wait to dive into Godgrave (which is currently sitting in my kindle waiting for me to start it.) I'm not going to recommend this book to YA audience basically on the content a lone, BUT I do understand that some teenagers are more mature in certain aspects. I'd say 17/18 and older would be a good starting audience for this book, but again, read at your own risk! 

ARC Review: The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh

Title: The Beautiful
(The Beautiful #1)
Author: Renée Ahdieh
Genre: Paranormal, Historical Fiction, Vampires (!!!)
Source: BookExpo 2019
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 8th 2019

New York Times bestselling author Renée Ahdieh returns with a sumptuous, sultry and romantic new series set in 19th century New Orleans where vampires hide in plain sight. In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans provides her a refuge after she's forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent along with six other girls, Celine quickly becomes enamored with the vibrant city from the music to the food to the soirées and—especially—to the danger. She soon becomes embroiled in the city's glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group's leader, the enigmatic Sébastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in the lair of La Cour des Lions, Celine battles her attraction to him and suspicions about Sébastien's guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret. When more bodies are discovered, each crime more gruesome than the last, Celine and New Orleans become gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose—one Celine is sure has set her in his sights . . . and who may even be the young man who has stolen her heart. As the murders continue to go unsolved, Celine takes matters into her own hands and soon uncovers something even more shocking: an age-old feud from the darkest creatures of the underworld reveals a truth about Celine she always suspected simmered just beneath the surface. At once a sultry romance and a thrilling murder mystery, master storyteller Renée Ahdieh embarks on her most potent fantasy series yet: The Beautiful.
***Trigger Warnings: Mentions of rape, graphic depictions of murder victims***

It is time to throw Twilight out the window and forget your grandma'a kind of vampires because Renee bought them back in 2019. I was super excited when I learned about the news about The Beautiful, in the recent years the decline of vampire books has been drastic and it was very rare to see them in YA. So a vampire book by one of my favorite authors? Hell yeah!!! At BookExpo this year I fell and broke my ankle and I sadly wasn't able to meet Renee. Emily was kind enough to get me a signed copy of The Beautiful but also got a recorded message of Renee wishing me a speedy recovery and that she hopes to meet me soon. (My fan girl heart flailed at this!) Alright, alright, back to my review now. The Beautiful is a lush 19th century murder mystery, with a romance worth dying for and characters that will melt your heart. 

It is 19th century New Orleans and seventeen year old, Celine Rousseau is seeking refuge in a covenant after fleeing her life in Paris. Celine is enamored by her new home and soon meets Oddette who is looking for a seamstress to create her a beautiful dress for a masquerade ball the marks the start of Mardi Gras. Celine who was a seamstress in Paris takes on the task and soon befriends Oddette. But Odette is part of the dangerous group, La Cour des Lions, that is led by Sébastien (Bastien,) and its clear from the beginning that Celine isn't getting away easy. As people around Celine begin to be grisly murdered and sparks fly between her and Bastien, Celine is immersed in the underworld of New Orleans. Will her heart and herself make it out of this alive? 

I think Celine is my favorite character that I have read about in the longest time. In 1872, woman still don't have rights and general don't speak up or speak that minds. Well everyone but Celine. Sharp tongued, full of wit and not ready to take anyone's bullshit Celine is ready to start her life over after the events that made her flee Paris. When she meets Bastien it is clear that their attraction is undeniable but the beautiful boy that she is attracted too also infuriates her with his secrets that he can't share. I really enjoyed seeing Celine's growth through out The Beautiful, and I am super excited to see where Renee is going to take her in the next novel. 

This is also just a mini appreciation paragraph for Oddette because she is also a favorite in this book. Though she is a secondary character and doesn't have her on POV chapters she is essential to the plot. If you are looking at someone just as witty as Celine and funny just look at Oddette. I also enjoyed seeing that Oddette is an openly gay woman in the 1800s where is was still frowned upon. 

I loved the darkness of this novel and the mystery that surrounded the La Cour des Lions. I was eagerly turning the pages to learn more about them and what they were. Renee doesn't simply introduce the vampires from page one of the book, it takes about half the book before we have the official word that there is vampires. But everything before that is shrouded in mystery that has you guessing who is human, who isn't and left me crossing my fingers that these vampires didn't sparkle. (I am sorry, I had to.) There are so many plot twists and revelations that are going to leave you speechless and not believing what you read, everything was so intricately done and I couldn't have loved it more. 

Though I loved The Beautiful I did have a few issues with it. I felt like there could have been more explanation on certain events and things could have been expanded on. Even after the whole book you are left in the dark about a lot of things, which I am hoping the second book is going to answer. The Beautiful is told in three POV but Celine's is the main. I think labeling them would be beneficial, there were a few times I confused myself because I assumed I was reading from Celine's POV and it was actually Bastien's. There is also one cliche when it comes to vampire books and I was hoping that The Beautiful wasn't going to fall too, but it did. It is nothing horrible and I can see how it is going to play into the plot of the next book. 

Overall I loved The Beautiful and that ending basically killed me. I can't wait for book two. Renee had me hooked from the start. I recommend this book for fans of vampire books, dark romances and forbidden love. This book is out just in time for the spookiest time of year! 

Review: Soul in Darkness by Wendy Higgins

Title: Soul In Darkness
Author: Wendy Higgins
Genre: Fantasy, Mythology, Adult 
Publication Date: February 10th 2019
Kindle Edition, 298 pages


People travel from afar to the small isle in the Aegean Sea hoping for a single glimpse of Princess Psyche. Their adoration for the mortal woman is so all-consuming that citizens begin to shower her with the very gifts and offerings they once left at the alter of Venus, goddess of love and beauty. But gods are known for their jealousy. Cupid, the god of love, takes pleasure in causing strife and mischief in the lives of humans. He uses love as a weapon, humoring in the weakness of people at the whims of their feelings. When his mother Venus approaches him about punishing the human girl who dares to steal her offerings and affections from the people, Cupid gladly accepts. Psyche's punishment is to be given to a mysterious creature who only comes to her in the dark of night under the pact that she will never lay eyes on him. She is terrified of this stranger, who the oracle described as a serpent. Her mate, however, is masterful in his dealings with his bride. He takes his time, morphing her fears into different sensations completely. Based on the Roman/Greek mythology of Cupid and Psyche from Lucius Apuleius, New York Times bestseller Wendy Higgins brings the tale to life, weaving layers that show exactly how a sacrificial lamb can be enchanted by an unseen monster.

*This book is characterized as adult and contains on page sex scenes that may not be suitable for younger readers.*

I am a huge Wendy Higgin's fan from the time she released her debut novel Sweet Evil. I was super excited when I learned that she was going to be self publishing an adult, stand alone Cupid retelling based on Greek/Roman mythology. Sign me up! Then naturally it took me forever to get around to reading it, but here we are! I will admit that at first I really wasn't sure how I felt about Soul in Darkness, but then suddenly it was 3 a.m. and I just finished the story. So needless to say that I did end up enjoying it. 

I think the retelling was unique and it definitely had that edge that left me: Holy shit what is going to happen next? I loved how Wendy took the well known story of Cupid and twisted it into something completely different and immersive. Sometimes retellings rely to heavy on the actually story and Soul in Darkness did not at all. 

This is a Wendy Higgins book so naturally we are in for a swoon worthy romance. This was sort of the enemies to lover trope that I love. But it was more Psyche thought Cupid was evil and hated him but cupid actually really loves her and wants the best for her. Regardless, I loved it. It was also interesting for the fact that Cupid is invisible due to a curse for more then half of the book, so seeing how to romance progressed with out the typically "dreamy eyes" or "sharp angular jaw" descriptions was quite refreshing. Also I am a sucker for some good smut, and this book did not disappoint in the aspect. 

In my honest opinion: Besides the on page sex, this book would be suitable for upper YA readers. But that is just my opinion. I say this only because I was reading New Adult romances with sex scenes at 16. 

Overall I really enjoyed Soul in Darkness and thought that for a stand alone Wendy did a good job of wrapping the story up. I can't wait to see what Wendy has in store next for her readers, because she is an auto read and buy author for me. 

Review: Menagerie by Rachel Vincent

Title: Menagerie (Menagerie #1)
Author: Rachel Vincent
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Adult
Publisher: Mira
Publication Date: September 27th 2016
Kindle Edition, 480 pages

From New York Times bestselling author Rachel Vincent comes a richly imagined, provocative new series set in the dark mythology of the Menagerie… When Delilah Marlow visits a famous traveling carnival, Metzger's Menagerie, she is an ordinary woman in a not-quite-ordinary world. But under the macabre circus big-top, she discovers a fierce, sharp-clawed creature lurking just beneath her human veneer. Captured and put on exhibition, Delilah is stripped of her worldly possessions, including her own name, as she's forced to "perform" in town after town. But there is breathtaking beauty behind the seamy and grotesque reality of the carnival. Gallagher, her handler, is as kind as he is cryptic and strong. The other "attractions"—mermaids, minotaurs, gryphons and kelpies—are strange, yes, but they share a bond forged by the brutal realities of captivity. And as Delilah struggles for her freedom, and for her fellow menagerie, she'll discover a strength and a purpose she never knew existed. Renowned author Rachel Vincent weaves an intoxicating blend of carnival magic and startling humanity in this intricately woven and powerful tale
*This book is characterized as adult and may not be suitable for younger readers.*

This is my second time reading Menagerie and I am still as shell shocked and shook as I was the first time around. Everything about this book was intricately planned and detailed and vivid. Part of me thinks I am crazy for liking this book as much as I do. But it's something so incredibly different and it shows how cruel humans can be to things that don't understand. Rachel Vincent has been a must read author for since her Soul Eaters series and I've enjoyed many of her novels since. Menagerie is unlike anything I have ever read by her before. This book isn't for the faint of heart. I won't lie when I questioned myself a couple of times if I wanted to continue on. But if you do make it through, there is something extremely satisfying how this book ends. 

Menagerie is set what is to be an alternate United States, where mythical creatures exist and had once lived side by side with humans. After the Reaping, which resulted in the death of millions of children the Mythical Creatures or Cryptids where stripped of all their rights. Soon they were captured or killed. Those lucky enough to be captured become entertainment for peoples pleasure. Metzger's Menagerie is one of the largest travelling menageries in the country and is in Delilah's hometown just in time for her birthday. Delilah visits the menagerie with her boyfriend and best friend, and witnesses first had the mistreatment and abused that the cryptids are dealt. But the dark parts of Delilah come to the surface and soon she is one of the "creatures" caged and traveling with the menagerie. 

“Most people have something horrible hidden inside. A beast. A secret. A sin. What makes you and the other exhibits different is that your inner monster can’t be explained by the laws of physics and biology as we know them. What people don’t understand, they fear. What they fear, they lock up, so they can come see whatever scares them behind steel bars or glass walls and call themselves brave. But that only tells you who they are, not who you are.”

I would have thought the second time around I wouldn't have been so shocked about the cruel attention and abuse the cryptids face. But I was. Part of me was concerned that I wanted to continue to read on after learning more and more about the treatment of the menagerie's inhabitants and Delilah. I think Menagerie is a good example of how humanity turns to cruelty when it doesn't understand something. 

I really enjoyed Delilah's character. She spent 25 years believing she was human. She had a boyfriend, a job and rights and suddenly everything is stripped away from her in the blink of an eye. Despite the inhumane treatment and the tactics used to try and break Delilah she held her head as high as she could through it all. She is one of the fiercest female characters I have read in a long time and I am excited to see where Vincent is going to take her character next. 

As I said this book isn't for the faint of heart, but if you enjoy urban fantasy that is going to make you angry and want to seek justice for a character, I highly suggest Menagerie. Both enjoyable and different this book had me in is grasp until the very last page. I am eager to continue on and see where these characters are going to go next. 

Waiting On Wednesday: The Lucky Ones by Liz Lawson

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine where we highlight some of the upcoming books we can't wait to read! 

Title: The Lucky Ones 
Author: Liz Lawson 
Genre: YA Contemporary  
Publisher: Delacorte Press 
Publication Date: April 7th, 2020

Summary: May is a survivor. But she doesn't feel like one. She feels angry. And lost. And alone. Eleven months after the school shooting that killed her twin brother, May still doesn't know why she was the only one to walk out of the band room that day. No one gets what she went through--no one saw and heard what she did. No one can possibly understand how it feels to be her.

Zach lost his old life when his mother decided to defend the shooter. His girlfriend dumped him, his friends bailed, and now he spends his time hanging out with his little sister...and the one faithful friend who stuck around. His best friend is needy and demanding, but he won't let Zach disappear into himself. Which is how Zach ends up at band practice that night. The same night May goes with her best friend to audition for a new band.
Which is how May meets Zach. And how Zach meets May. And how both might figure out that surviving could be an option after all.

I don't like to have to say it, but books like this are needed now to bring awareness to the tragedy that is school shootings. I can tell this is going to be a story of guilt and "Why not me?" but also one of growing and becoming so much stronger in the wake of something so upsetting. I'm really looking forward to reading this! 

What are you waiting on this week? Leave your links so we can stop back!

Interview with Lauren Mansy!

Hi! Hello! Today we have an awesome interview with Lauren Mansy, the amazing mind behind The Memory Thief. I had the opportunity to read The Memory Thief and posted my review yesterday (It can be found here!) and I loved it! The Memory Thief is one of my favorite books that I (Amber,) have read this year and I can't wait for it to in everyone's hands. 

"The Memory Thief was inspired by Lauren Mansy's own journey when her mother was diagnosed with a heart condition and it was uncertain that she would survive surgery or would have many of her memories when she woke up. My own mother was diagnosed with a heart condition the summer I graduated high school and has been through countless tests and surgeries. Each time I had the same worries, was she going to survive? Was she going to forget the life she had? Having read this about Laruen Mansy and where her inspiration came from gave me an even bigger appreciation for a story I had already loved." -Blurb taken from Amber's Review.


TBB: How does it feel that THE MEMORY THIEF is debuting this year?
Lauren: Absolutely amazing! This story is very dear to my heart, and I couldn’t be more excited to share it with readers. One of my favorite things about my debut year has also been the relationships made along the way. I’ve been very grateful to work alongside such incredible and creative individuals, and I’ve loved getting to know other debuts, booksellers, authors, educators, and librarians. It’s such an amazing community, and I’ll forever cherish these friendships.

TBB: In the length of a tweet (280 characters!) can you give us an overall summary of THE MEMORY THIEF?
Lauren: Sure! Memory thief Etta Lark must return to the world of theft she left behind—the black market of memories—to complete the greatest heist of her life and save her comatose mother’s memories from the auction block.

TBB: If you had the possibility to steal a memory from anyone in the world, who would it be and why?
Lauren: Oooh, such a great question. In this world, there are individuals called Collectors, who spend years mastering talents and creating rare memories to sell off to the highest bidders. One Collector is a thrill-seeker. He can usually be found jumping off cliffs so he can sell the rush of adrenaline for a very high price, and he’s pretty much my exact opposite. Since I’m terrified of heights, I can promise you won’t find me cliff jumping anytime soon, but if there was a chance to snatch his memories, I might be tempted to do so :)

TBB: The cover of THE MEMORY THIEF is stunning! What was your reaction when you first saw it?
Lauren: I remember this moment very clearly! I was actually with my mom when I saw the email from my editor, and it was a rush of ALL the emotions. Racing heart, shaking hands, excited screams … and that was all before I even opened the email :) Once the image popped up, I couldn’t imagine loving it more. That’s when the tears came! It had all the elements my lovely editor and I had talked about, which the fantastic designer Jeff Miller weaved together in ways that so perfectly fit the story. I’m thrilled that you like it – I love it too!

TBB: I heard you were at BookExpo this year! What was your experience with signing galleys of your novel and meeting the readers eager to read THE MEMORY THIEF?
Lauren: It was a fantastic experience! Having the chance to meet readers is a wonderful gift and definitely a favorite part about being a writer. Being surrounded by people who love books is both an inspiring and amazing feeling. I met so many lovely readers, librarians, educators, and industry professionals, and I’m convinced that BookExpo was full of some of the nicest people in the world. It was truly an honor to be there.

TBB: What are Etta and Reid up to now after the events of THE MEMORY THIEF?
Lauren: Love this question! The two of them often pop up whenever I let my mind wander, and I have a feeling they’re traveling … perhaps exploring other Realms and creating new memories together. Etta has no doubt brought her journal along to document their new adventures, and Reid is probably reminding her to live in the moment. There’s quite a lot that happens to the two of them in The Memory Thief, so they probably deserve a little rest and relaxation :)

TBB: Do you have any plans for after THE MEMORY THIEF that you can share?
Lauren: Since The Memory Thief is a stand-alone, I’m currently working on a few projects that I’m very excited about! I’m also in the midst of planning The Memory Thief release party, and I’m so looking forward to it. It’s been a wonderful journey so far, and I’m incredibly grateful for the chance to celebrate with readers, friends, and family.

Title: The Memory Thief
Author: Lauren Mansy
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Blink
Publication Date: October 1st 2019
Summary: 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 so much Lauren for stopping by today and answering our questions! We loved The Memory Thief and can't wait for it to be out in the world Make sure to pre-order and add The Memory Thief to your TBR!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Fall 2019 TBR!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl in which we create bookish lists about everything from our favorite characters to love triangles and everything in between!

This week's theme: Books On My Fall 2019 TBR! 

*Click on the covers to be redirected to Goodreads!*


Those are the top 10 books on my fall TBR! What are yours? Leave the link to your TTT below so we can stop back! 

ARC Review: The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy

Title: The Memory Thief 
Author: Lauren Mansy 
Genre: Fantasy
Source: ARC provided via Blink
Publisher: Blink
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.
Hi. Hello. I am a sucker for pretty covers. The cover The Memory Thief isn't just pretty, it's stunning. Now imagine my excitement when I learned that it was a stand-alone fantasy and saw that it finally had a summary. Needless to say that I was pretty excited when I received The Memory Thief to review. 

Etta lives in a corrupt society where memories and talents can be bought or sold. The Memory Thief opens in the auction where "criminal's" memories are sold by Madame before they are killed. After a tragic accident to landed Etta's mother in the asylum and left Etta struggling with guilt, Madame threatens to send her mother to auction and Etta knows she will do anything to save her. Etta re-joins the Shadows, a rebel group that cost Etta everything four years earlier, but it's the only way to save her mother from her impending doom. To swear her loyalty to the Shadows Etta must memorize a map of the maze created by the cruel neighboring realm's leader. Only Etta isn't a lone, she is joined by Reid who is a desperate search for his brother who is trapped in the very maze that Etta has to break into. 

The Memory Thief is fast paced and didn't stop for one second. From page one you are transported to a gritty and corrupt society and through the realms on Etta's journey. I ended up finishing The Memory Thief in only a few hours (I was suppose to go to bed but I kept saying, "One more chapter" and then I was suddenly done with the book. #noregrets) The plot was unique and intriguing and kept me with the nagging feeling of wanting to know what was going to happen next. By last one hundred pages I was flying through the pages because I was desperate to know how Etta's story was going to end and if evil was going to be put to rest. 

I really enjoyed the both Etta's and Reid's characters. Especially together. Their banter and arguments made me laugh and go back to reread the things they said. Though I did find their relationship to develop rather quickly I did enjoy the romance aspect. I enjoyed it because it showed how both characters are flawed and that they both have things they need to heal from and that they are going to help each other through it. Love isn't always rainbows and unicorns and both Etta and Reid have things that they are going to spend time needing to recover from.

The Memory Thief was inspired by Lauren Mansy's own journey when her mother was diagnosed with a heart condition and it was uncertain that she would survive surgery or would have many of her memories when she woke up. My own mother was diagnosed with a heart condition the summer I graduated high school and has been through countless tests and surgeries. Each time I had the same worries, was she going to survive? Was she going to forget the life she had? Having read this about Laruen Mansy and where her inspiration came from gave me an even bigger appreciation for a story I had already loved. 

Overall I really enjoyed The Memory Thief and I can't wait to see what Lauren Mansy has in store for her readers next. This book is perfect for people who are looking for a quick unique fantasy novel that is also a stand alone!