You know those books you can’t get out of your head? The ones you aren’t sure if you fully grasp yet? That was me and Architects of Memory. Talk about a book with continuous world shifting secrets and turns. I loved this queer SF about alien technology, war, and injustice. Keep reading this book review of Architects of Memory for the details!
Terminally Ill salvage pilot Ash Jackson lost everything in the war with the alien Vai, but she’ll be damned if she loses her future. Her plan: to buy, beg, or lie her way out of corporate indenture and fine a cure.
When her crew salvages a genocidal weapon from a ravaged starship above a dead colony, Ash uncovers a conspiracy of corporate intrigue and betrayal that threatens to turn her into a living weapon.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
What I really loved about Architects of Memory was the way it balancing being this action packed SF with social commentary. It’s one of those books that has a fantastic premise, and then once you figure that out, it keeps delivering shocks that will leave you gasping. But what I loved was how it brought privilege into the realm of SF because not only does Ash have a terminal illness, she’s also bisexual, which is incredibly expensive, but she comes from a very poor mining company. Amidst the corporations, which are these giant mega corps which fight over property AND aliens, there are layers of privilege which Ash keeps coming up against.
For Ash it’s always a question of security, safety, and the time she has left. The premise is strong from the beginning and it’s quickly brought into focus. And then almost immediately the action begins not only within corporation secrets, but also alien conflict. Architects of Memory also delves deeply into the topic of warfare. The idea of an arms race and the dangers in escalating in a war of secrets. This was an added layer that I loved to watch play out because we see it from the POV’s of Ash, the salvagers on the ground. There’s this general company line about what we will do to win, but then there’s the real lives lost in the struggle.
I loved the sapphic couple, as well as the mystery surrounding the aliens as a whole (love me some good aliens), and all the corporate betrayals. If you love jam packed SF stories with fabulous characters, and discussions of privilege, grab this now. Find Architects of Memory on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, Bookshop.org & The Book Depository.