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.
*I received a copy of this book in return for an honest review. Thank you to Blink for giving me the opportunity!*
Release Date: October 1st, 2019
I cannot get over how cool and unique the concept for this book was. The power to see, take and transport someone else’s memories, an ability which only some people have, was fascinating. What was even more fascinating was the use of those memories after they were taken from their owners, like the rich taking happy memories to feel those good emotions, absorbing the skills someone spent years perfecting or using painful memories as a means of torture. The whole idea really brings to mind how important our memories are to who we become as people. The system of magic was handled so well and played a huge part in the world-building. I loved Etta, and the more we learned about her backstory the more I loved her. We meet her at such an interesting point in her life, and it was interesting to watch her try to pick up the pieces of her mistakes and deal with her grief. The plot in the first half of the book was entirely gripping and I couldn’t put it down. The pacing of all the little reveals about the past and its ripples were incredibly well done. There was a great and unexpected twist in the middle of the book but after that the action kind of lost its luster. It felt rushed through and they had very little obstacles until the ending. Her relationship with her love interest was sweet and a bit of a slow burn, but I wish they would have had more heat and tension between them so we could really feel the build-up. The ending was was smart, but I wish it would have been a tad bit clearer so I could have fully embraced the effects of its cleverness. I’m torn with what to rate this book because I am still completely awed by the concept and the exciting plot of the first half, but in the end, I was left a bit underwhelmed. Because of that, I have to give it a high 3 stars.