Tag Archives: gritty

Book Review: The Memory Keepers by Natasha Ngan

Published September 2014 by Hot Key Books.

18196516Goodreads Synopsis: “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?

My Review: I read and loved Natasha Ngan’s striking fantasy début, The Elites, when it was released last year. Ever since I finished the last page of it I was eager to read more from Natasha! I was so glad when this arrived in the post, I delved straight into it and devoured the story in a day. It’s richly fantastical, but scarily real and possible at the same time. I’m so glad I enjoyed it as much as The Elites!

I adored Natasha Ngan’s world-building in her début novel, and was eager, but nervous, to see what her new dystopian world would be like. Ngan is so inventive and creative: Long after I put the book down, I was wondering about the futuristic imagining of London. It’s divided completely between a rich north and a poor south, with technological advances like memory recording. The book explores so much of the city and there were a lot of well developed parts, like the Underground communities… I’d really love another book set in the world of The Memory Keepers, as I was fascinated by the world-building.

The plot was really awesome. It was actually much darker and much more action-packed than I’d initially anticipated, though that’s not to say I didn’t love it! I was hooked from start to finish. I thought I’d guessed the ending, but it turned out to go in a completely different direction! I think the only thing that I would’ve liked in the book was to see more about the whole “memory” viewing technology. Of course, it’s a hugely central part of the book – but being really nerdy, I wanted to know a bit more about the history of it and how it came to be. That sci-fi element really interested me 😀

The book is written in switching narratives between Alba and Seven, who both lead completely different lives but are brought together when Seven breaks into Alba’s house to steal one of her family’s memories. I loved the narration immensely. The switching narrative was perfect for the story and Natasha Ngan has crafted two great, individual voices. I love Alba and Seven, the protagonists, too! I connected with them a lot and really didn’t want to put the book down while reading, eager to know what happened next to them.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Memory Keepers – there was a part of me a little nervous I wouldn’t love it like I did Natasha Ngan’s first novel… but it exceeded me expectations and was a total thrill ride of a book. The sci-fi elements of the story are imaginative, inventive and really clever. I loved Ngan’s writing even more with her second book. I think the narration was brilliant. Highly recommended, whatever your genre preference:)

My Rating:

bibliomaniacheartbibliomaniacheartbibliomaniacheartbibliomaniacheartbibliomaniacheart1

I received a copy of The Memory Keepers from the publisher, in exchange for a review. In no way at all did this affect my thoughts.

Advertisements

Mini Reviews: CRUSHER and INCINERATOR by Niall Leonard

I read Crusher a while ago, in January, though I didn’t get to write a review of it! I was sent a copy of the sequel which was released really recently (Thank you, Random House!) and I thought it would be nice to do a joint-mini-review post, reviewing the series so far- Book three, Shredder, will be out soon. Enjoy!

17307328Crusher: By Niall Leonard, published by Corgi in September 2012.

Goodreads Synopsis: The day Finn Maguire discovers his father bludgeoned to death in a pool of blood, his dreary life is turned upside down. Prime suspect in the murder, Finn must race against time to clear his name and find out who hated his dad enough to kill him.
Trawling the sordid, brutal London underworld for answers, Finn exposes dark family secrets and faces danger at every turn. But he’s about to learn that it’s the people you trust who can hit you the hardest…

My Review: Crusher was a really, really exhilarating read! I really enjoyed it, for the most part. It’s really shocking, and packed with some brilliant plot twists that keeps the reader completely engrossed. The plot’s very unique, but at the same time, a very gritty urban murder mystery- who killed Finn’s dad with his own award? Though I did enjoy most of the plot, there were a few parts I couldn’t really agree with… I couldn’t really understand Finn’s choices a lot of the time, and I felt some points were a bit rushed. It is a fast paced novel, but I did feel like a lot happened at once, and some bits were… too freaky!

At first, I really liked the main protagonist. Finn was so determined and prepared to tackle his father’s killer. He’s a very realistic teenager- one I think a lot of YA readers will definitely be able to relate to. Then, when he meets the first love interest of sorts in Crusher, I really started to dislike his new attitude- he was so obsessed with her and I hated him for seeming to completely forget about the whole mystery behind his dad…

17612844 Incinerator: (Newest release- just published!) By Niall Leonard, published by Corgi in January 2014.

Goodreads Synopsis: London gang-lord The Guvnor is in hiding, and Finn Maguire has begun a new life running a boxing gym with his old friend and coach Delroy. But when Finn’s lawyer Nicky Hale vanishes overnight with all his money, Finn finds himself in hock to a loan shark with a vicious gang of enforcers. Desperate to track down Nicky and repay his debts, Finn investigates her other clients and soon finds himself engulfed in a web of lies, betrayal, malice and madness, with only his wits and his fists to keep him alive.

My Review: Incinerator was probably my favourite of the two books in the Crusher trilogy so far! I felt that it was very fast paced too, but definitely enjoyed the themes a lot more. It shows that Finn’s developed so much- now trying to get out of the violence, and into business- though that doesn’t work for very long. I really enjoyed the plot of Incinerator- it had me even more hooked than Crusher. Niall Leonard’s writing is really great, and captures the urban setting so well.

I really liked Leonard’s writing, as it’s edgy and gritty, going with the setting and the themes really well. I definitely grew to like Finn Maguire a lot more in this installment as well. Beforehand, in book one, I couldn’t get on with him for a portion of the book. Though, I really liked seeing his character develop a lot in Incinerator. He was even more determined than ever and I’m looking forward to hearing what awaits him in Shredder! 

My Ratings:

bibliomaniacheartbibliomaniacheartbibliomaniacheartbibliomaniacheart1

I received Crusher from my dad.

bibliomaniacheartbibliomaniacheartbibliomaniacheartbibliomaniacheart

I received Incinerator from the publisher, in exchange for a review. In no way at all did this affect my thoughts.