Wednesday, December 25, 2019

The Memory Keeper: A Science Fiction Mystery (The Memory Thief Series Book 6)

The Memory Keeper is the 6th book in the world of the memory thief by Sarina Dorie. Released 26th Nov 2019, it's 178 pages and available in paperback and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately. For Kindle Unlimited subscribers, this book (along with most of the author's oeuvre) is included in the KU subscription library to borrow and read for free.

This is a short and drama filled young adult steampunk SF novel with extensive world building and fantasy elements. The narrative explores themes of belonging, family, honor, racism, and culture. The author ratchets the dramatic tension up from literally the first page, mostly without relief, which I found wearying at times. The framing of protagonist Sean for theft within the first couple of pages was clumsy and the fact that it seemed to have worked on everyone around him (under -entirely- circumstantial conditions) doesn't speak very well of the intelligence of the other characters. In short, it felt absolutely contrived and clunky to me. Much of the dialogue was stilted and cringe-worthy (did the author really need to use "begorra" so many times to convince her readers that the main characters were Irish? Incidentally, begorra and top'o'th'mornin' and such are preeeeetty certain indications that the speaker isn't and never was Irish in any manner).

That being said, this is a young adult novel and will probably appeal to fans of the genre much more than to my cynical old heart. I did really enjoy the world building and flora and fauna and back stories for the different characters and cultures and parallel development on different colonies.

Three and a half stars for me rounded up for the interesting and intricate world building.

 Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.   

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