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! 

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