Source: Review Copy
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…
Imagine a world where you can build your own, ideal Heaven. Where you can carefully choose the memories, you wish to store and relive them in your perfect world when you die. This is Isobel’s job, as a Heaven architect, which she adores and is very good at. But when she meets her new client, Jarek, her life takes an unexpected turn when she begins a passionate affair with him. She is determined to create the best Heaven she possibly can for Jarek. But her life is thrown into turmoil when she finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation. Can she ever go back to the life she lived before? Was Jarek really the man who she thought she knew?
The Memory Chamber, by Holly Cave, is a stunning debut which explores an original idea. Science fiction isn’t a genre I would typically read, so I was a little wary when I started this novel, but I found Holly’s book to be so much more than a science fiction book. It has both elements of a thriller and science fiction; I have become quite a fan of novels which blend genres and The Memory Chamber didn’t disappoint.
Holly’s writing is utterly immersive, and I found myself drawn into Isobel’s world. From the opening pages, we can see her passion for her job, and this is why she is one of the best there is in her profession. I found Jarek to be an intriguing character from the moment Holly introduces him. It’s easy to see how Isobel can form a personal attachment to her clients, particularly as she is exploring their own personal life as she creates their Heaven from their memories. Isobel’s relationship with Jarek is what the novel ultimately focuses on. I was surprised by the direction that the novel took, and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough as I raced to get to the end.
I think it is quite possible to see a form of technology like this evolving in the future. With the way in which the speed of technology is moving, you really can’t see what is coming around the corner next; you only have to think of the advancements made in the last twenty years alone. This was an utterly compelling debut which had me gripped from start to finish. It did have me thinking if this technology was available, would I want to create a perfect world, ready for when I die? I’m sure that this book will prompt lots of questions in book clubs.
Holly Cave is an exciting new writer who I can’t wait to read more from. Her writing certainly has that addictive quality to it! You won’t be able to put this novel down!
Thank you to Quercus Books for providing me with an advance review copy.
Publication date: 22nd February 2018
Print length: 368 pages