“YOU ARE GOING TO DIE.
YOU CAN PRESERVE A HANDFUL OF SPECIAL MEMORIES FOR EVER.
WHICH ONES WOULD YOU CHOOSE?
True death is a thing of the past. Now you can spend the rest of eternity re-living 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…”
Wow, what a fascinating read The Memory Chamber is. Once again I have stepped a little out of my comfort zone for this book but I’m rather liking this new, less restricted approach I’ve got going on at the moment. I like to think I’m broadening my horizons as a reader, what do you think?
The Memory Chamber is, by and large, a futuristic thriller. An intricate, considered and somewhat addictive thriller. But there were other genres nudging their way in. A smidge of romance, a sprinkling of sci-fi (or if you prefer speculative fiction) and a scattering of techno-thriller. An interesting combination and one that held my attention from start to finish.
Imagine if you never died. Imagine, providing you have the money and the desire (of course!), that someone could preserve and sculpt your most precious memories which you would then live for all eternity. Your body would be disposed of but your essence would be captured and locked away in a secure lab. Reliving the moments that made you the happiest, over and over again. That’s what Isobel does for a living. She is a Heaven Architect and will design your perfect Heaven. But when Isobel meets Jarek the last thing she expects is to fall in love with her client. Her young, attractive, terminally ill, MARRIED client. When Jarek’s wife is discovered murdered, Isobel is determined to prove his innocence at any cost and is thrown into a world of suspicion ultimately discovering not all is as she first believed…
If I had to come up with one word to describe The Memory Chamber it would be ‘fascinating’. The idea of a synthetic Heaven totally piqued my interest and made me read every single word of this book, from start to finish. Very much like the idea of my recent other ‘science fiction-y’ read, The Feed did. I’m not normally one for romantic relationships in my stories but the spark between Isobel and Jarek was quite tantalising. It certainly didn’t put me off finishing the book! What I would have liked was a little more mystery, but then I’m a crime reader and that’s my thing!
You can’t help but want to talk to others about this book and the ethical questions it raises. Is the idea of a self-designed Heaven something that appeals to you? Or would you rather just take your chances and wait to see what’s on the other side? It’s a very original and brave choice of subject matter by the author and she has handled it incredibly well.
Would I recommend this book? I would. Particularly if you’re looking for something a bit different. I found Isobel a little annoying at times, Jarek a little creepy but it all added to the reading experience for me. And that cover, OH.MY.GOSH – how stunning is that?! Overall an absolutely fascinating journey and I look forward to seeing what Cave gives us next.
Four out of five stars.
I chose to read and review an eARC of The Memory Chamber. The above review is my own unbiased opinion. My thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the review copy.
The Memory Chamber by Holly Cave is published in the UK by Quercus Books on 22nd February 2018 and is available in hardcover, eBook and audio formats with the paperback to follow later this year (please note, the following Amazon and Waterstones links are affiliate links) | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Goodreads |
Now living in Bedford with my family, I’m a long way from my roots by the sea, in Torquay, Devon. But I’m a traveller at heart, so who knows how long we’ll stay?
Although my Dad was a writer, and we spent much of my childhood writing and telling stories, I never thought that I could make a career out of it. I studied Biology at Imperial College London, followed by a Masters in Science Communication. After four years as a Contemporary Content Producer at the Science Museum, I turned freelance, quit my job, and headed off on a round-the-world trip with my now-husband. It was the best thing I ever did.
On our journey, I finally found the headspace and time to write my first novel, The Generation, which I self-published a few years later. I built up my science writing portfolio on the road and came back a little bit poorer but ready to start again, this time without any fear of failure.
Author image and bio © https://www.hollycave.co.uk/
Review © Emma Welton | damppebbles.com