Tuesday, 19 August 2014

REVIEW: The Memory Keepers by Natasha Ngan

18196516Author: Natasha Ngan
Published by: Hot Key Books on 4th September 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Sci-Fi, Dystopian, Romance
Pages: 410
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Links: GoodReads | Waterstones | Amazon


In a future London, where the divide between the rich and poor is wide, teenager Seven makes a living by stealing the hottest commodity around - valuable human memories - from banks, vaults and rich people's houses in the city. When he is caught in the act by Alba, the daughter of London's most infamous criminal prosecutor, he never expected her to keep his secret, let alone touch his heart.

But Alba and Seven are bonded by their sense of isolation, and though their lives are starkly different, their sense of justice and survival strengthen their powerful connection.

Then Seven stumbles across a secret about his own memories, and a horrifying government experiment, and his relationship with Alba is put to the ultimate test...

Where to start?

Okay. So I got an early copy of this book at YALC, I practically snatched a copy from the Hot Key Books stand that day. (Which was a little ridiculous seeing as they had dozens of copies stacked up. Somewhere in my mind I assumed they would run out in the 5 seconds I was there staring at them.) Needless to say, this was one of my most anticipated novels of 2014. After reading The Elites, I was looking forward to Natasha Ngan's next novel and The Memory Keepers sounded like something I'd love.

That I did my friends.

We get to meet Seven, a seriously attractive  thief living in the Southern area of a future London. London has been divided. The rich live in the North. The poor in the South. Human memories are recorded and put onto skids which are safely stored away to protect them from thieves who intend to take and sell them on the black market. Seven happens to be one of these thieves but it's the only way he can survive in the harsh conditions of South London. He meets Alba on one of his missions which slowly leads to him discovering a dark secret about his past and the government officials ruling over the city.

There are very few dystopian books I've read where I can see our real world actually becoming to what is described in the book. The Memory Keepers is one of the few I've read where the setting is scarily real that I can see our real world coming to that state. The idea that human memories can be transported onto disks is impressive, it's an idea I've never seen before in any of the books I've read so it was wonderful to read about something new! So if you are looking for something fresh to read, I strongly recommend you read TMK. 

The chapters are written in 3rd person and alternate between Seven and Alba. Can we just take a moment to admire Seven's name? Seven. Obviously the name actually has significance - which I won't tell you about. But as a character, I loved him. He was that type of funny, entertaining and charming teenager I like to read about. I also love the fact that his personality remains the same throughout even when the drama kicks in. I've read books where after a certain plot twist takes place, the protagonist's personality does a complete 180. Silly really.

Let's talk about Alba. I liked her, I really did and I understood her need to be free from her parents who suffocate her by forbidding her to travel around London by herself. I just wished she was a little more rebellious when it came to speaking up for herself. Her inner thoughts were things I wished she'd say aloud but I admired her courage when it came to helping Seven.

I also wished to read a little more about Kola, Seven's flatmate who hold's an important role. That brings me to another key aspect - there are diverse characters in TMK which is a big thumbs up. But Kola really intrigued me, my favourite quote from the book was actually from the words he spoke.

"In the end, all we can do is polish our own patch of the world to make it shine as brightly as possible."

In fact, there is quite a lot of beautiful dialogue. I marked out a lot of my favourites and best scenes.

Matching coloured tabs. Of course.
I really do love Natasha's writing and descriptions. It just makes the world she has created more solid. But this is only a standalone novel, I knew that from the beginning but after reading the end, I couldn't help but want more. The last couple chapters where things were getting very crazy, it was incredibly fast-paced and a lot was happening. There was more I wanted to know such as what happened with Alba's parents? What became of Kola? We are told brief details of what happened at the end but it does end on a kind-of-cliff-hanger.


I did think there would be a love triangle at some point, when you read it you will understand but there wasn't and I think I'm kind of relieved. (Thank you Natasha!) I loved Seven and Alba together and how they formed their friendship in the beginning which developed into something more. It was at a good pace and not *shivers* insta-love. 

This was a mind-blowing read and very enjoyable. Who doesn't want to read about a corrupted future London? And Seven really is wonderful. If there ever is an apocalypse, I sure as hell would want him on my team! I really am lucky to have had an early copy, I can't wait for other readers to get the chance to read it. I strongly recommend it!

Silver Wreath

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