The Memory Chamber
by Holly Cave
Expected publication: February 22nd 2018 by Quercus
Genre: Adult Futuristic Psychological Thriller
In a Flutter: Twisty and tense
YOU ARE GOING TO DIE.
YOU CAN PRESERVE A HANDFUL OF SPECIAL MEMORIES FOREVER.
WHICH ONES WOULD YOU CHOOSE?
True death is a thing of the past. Now you can spend the rest of eternity reliving your happiest memories: that first kiss, falling in love, the birth of your children, enjoyed on loop for ever and ever.
Isobel is a Heaven Architect, and she helps dying people create afterlives from these memories. So when she falls for Jarek, one of her terminal – and married – clients, she knows that while she cannot save him, she can create the most beautiful of heavens, just for him.
But when Jarek’s wife is found dead, Isobel uncovers a darker side of the world she works within, and she can trust no one with what she finds…
The Memory Chamber is a thrilling and original story which vaults the reader into a world that is terrifyingly close to our own, where we can avoid everything we fear – even death itself. But can we ever escape the truth?
Worldbuilding: The futuristic setting was a mix of London and India. The world is more tech-advanced – chip implants, codex, virtual second lives – it’s a cool world that I wouldn’t exactly call Sci-Fi since it’s so alike ours.
Characters: Isobel is a Heaven Architect. It’s a very interesting yet trying job. She struggles with moral and personal dilemmas, with her own fears and desires. She’s a very authentic and easy to empathize with character; she’s also smart, plagued by doubts – always a plus for me, I loved tortured characters! -, has some OCD tendencies, and tries to hide her vulnerabilities.
I wasn’t sure how I felt about Jarek and the whole thing was pretty heartbreaking for a bit there, and then it was something else too, and then a lot more heartbreaking.
Plot: The romance arc which ended in a bittersweet almost-ending was pretty gripping and romantic, doomed as it was – and yet, as we learn later on, this is barely scratching the surface of the real heartbreak to come. The mystery of who killed Sarah and the concept of the Heavens and rules to regulate them (and access to and into them) made for very engaging reading.
Writing: First person, present tense narrative, Isobel’s POV. I found her voice to be interesting and charismatic.
Curb Appeal: Really cool cover, hooking blurb – impulsive buy material for my thrillery moods.
I recommend The Memory Chamber to fans of twisty mysteries set in futuristic worlds riddled with moral dilemmas and layered characters.
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