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Review: Memory Zero by Keri Arthur

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Memory Zero
Keri Arthur

Series: Spook Squad #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Crime
Paperback: 400 Pages
Publication: August 26, 2014
by Dell



For Sam Ryan, life began at age fourteen. She has no memory of her parents or her childhood. In a decade of service with the State Police, Sam has exhausted the resources of the force searching for clues to her identity. But all mention of her family seems to have been deliberately wiped off the record. Everything changes the night Sam’s missing partner resurfaces as a vampire... and forces her to kill him in self-defense. Now Sam is charged with murder. Suspended from the force, and with no one left to trust, Sam accepts some unexpected help from Gabriel Stern, a shapeshifter who conceals startling secrets.

While investigating the circumstances surrounding her partner’s strange behavior, Sam discovers that Garbriel’s been involved with a dangerous organization that’s planning a war on the human race. More immediate, someone is guarding the truth about Sam’s past—someone who’d rather see her dead than risk her knowing too much. To stay alive, Sam must unravel the threads of her past—and find out not only who she is but what she is.

◆ An ARC was provided by Random House for review ◆

There's something about Keri Arthur's writing that keeps me caught up in the book. Like with the Damask Circle books, I found the character and plot development to be weaker than the action. However, there was plenty of suspense and thrills to keep me hanging on every word, wondering what dilemma Sam and Gabriel would find themselves in next.

Sam and Gabriel are likable characters. Both carry secrets and find it difficult to trust others given their situations, which makes room for lots of sparks to fly in heated arguments. However, not many do end up going off, which was disappointing. They have strong personalities, but I never did find myself really connecting with the characters. I think it may be the result of too many secrets and a lot of history that isn't being given to us. There are just so many unknown factors floating aroundlike who to suspect and what lies in Sam's past. While this creates a lot of intrigue, it works against the plot development because we just don't know what is going on. I would have especially liked to see the mystery of Sam's past played up more, as it seems like it'll be playing a larger role in books to come.

One thing that's frustrated me with the Keri Arthur's books I've read is how we get plunged into the middle of the story from the start. While it's great to get some action early into the story, we don't get the backstory to support the current action. In Memory Zero, it would have helped a lot to get get some backstory on Sam's relationship with her partner Jack and why she would continue to put such deep faith in him when facts seem to suggest otherwise. I'd also like to know more about the Federation and how Gabriel seems to know a lot of things other people don't. . . like a certain man's position as general in a certain organization.

For all my complaints, I did enjoy this book over all. The characters were interesting as was the plot development. With the characters and their situation set up, hopefully Generation 18, the next installment in Spook Squad will prove to be an easier, more grounded read. I'm curious to see where Keri Arthur will take us next!

Additional Information
  1. Memory Zero
  2. Generation 18
  3. Penumbra
  • Violence

6 comments on "Review: Memory Zero by Keri Arthur"
  1. I like Keri Arthur's stories but I don't love them. I do love that her characters are usually investigators and have to puzzle out some interesting mysteries!

    1. I agree. Her books are enjoyable reads (and I like how they're UF crime), but I haven't fallen in love with any of her books yet.

  2. I do not believe I have tried this author. Aspects like the action appeal to me, it is a shame you never really connected with the characters.

    1. Yeah, the action is fantastic, but the characters make some areas fall flat.

  3. Hm, being plunged into the middle of a story sometimes works with urban fantasy, but it seems like this author does it in a way that might be a bit jarring, if you've noticed it enough to call it out. I haven't read this author yet, but this premise does sound like fun! I'm glad you enjoyed it, despite a few quibbles.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

    1. There is definitely fun to be had with the actions :) It's what kept me reading.


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