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Architects of Memory

(The Memory War #1)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  300 ratings  ·  89 reviews
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 find 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 threate
Paperback, 336 pages
Published September 8th 2020 by Tor Books
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Sophie Amoss Yup! In fact, I am the narrator of the book. It's available on Audible and iTunes now. Audiobook was also reviewed at Audiofile Magazine : https://www…moreYup! In fact, I am the narrator of the book. It's available on Audible and iTunes now. Audiobook was also reviewed at Audiofile Magazine :

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Average rating 3.72  · 
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Lex Kent
Sep 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was super intense. I sometimes think the word ‘gripping’ can be overused when it comes to books and movies. It’s meant to draw us in but mostly I’m disappointed by its promise. Well, let’s just say that this book needs to have ‘gripping’ tattooed across the whole cover. I haven’t read a book that held my attention like this in a while. One of my Goodreads friends warned me that I would read this in one sitting. That was no joke. I read this in 6 hours straight and could not stop reading unt ...more
Sep 08, 2020 rated it liked it
So! The good:

The pacing, a lot of the action, the core concept of the aliens, and the OTT blowout of the end.

The so/so:

The relatively generic space-opera feel with very little to make it stand out from most space-opera setups. Such as corporate indenture. Has no one read Cherryh? Scavenging is also so commonplace as to be a core fixture of these types of SF-lite novels. The originality is centered, but not very developed, on the (no spoiler) abilities of the aliens and how it relates to our MC.
leo | 飛べ
Jan 14, 2020 marked it as to-read
I read on Twitter that this book features "A world where citizenship is a debt paid before its earned, and medical bills can make that impossible. A bi MC with a f/f relationship, wholly respectful of a previous m/f marriage. Serrated with grief with a heart full of hope." which doesn't sound cool. Nope. Not at all.
Like hell, take all my money.
R.J. Theodore
Oct 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
With badass, nuanced characters indentured to fight a war no one can win, Architects of Memory is a thoughtful, heartbreaking story that takes the surreal dread of VanderMeer's ANNIHILATION and rockets it to the stars.
Jun 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The main character of this book is a space salvage operator. She had been indentured to a mega-corporation as a miner, but the planet she was working on was attacked by aliens, the company holding her indenture went under, and now she’s indentured to *another* mega-corp hoping to earn enough to pay off her debts, become a corporate citizen, and get needed medical treatment.

That is a truly horrible premise for a book. And one that doesn’t sound relevant to contemporary American society in any way
Sonja Arlow
This is a world two hundred years into the future where human life is managed by competing corporations, not governments. You are either born a full citizen or need to earn it and life revolves around capitalism gone wild.

Ashland and her entire family were indentured mine workers, trying to earn citizenship when war with the alien Via destroyed their world. Ash is left terminally ill as a by-product from her mining days but finds work in a salvage ship, hiding her illness in a race to get full c
May 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Indenture Ash knows if Aurora found out about her celestium sickness, she will never become citizen. But priorities change when she stumbles upon a huge corporate conspiracy that contradicts everything she used to know.

"They didn't know we could die." – Ash

I love how this quote is on the cover of the book. It pretty much sums up the ongoing conflicts yet gives up none of the plot. The overall concept of Vai was both beautiful and terrifying to read. And when Ash and Kate started to learn more ab
Judy Lesley
Jun 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Riveting. That's really all I need to say about this book. Well, that and a few more things to convince you that you simply have to read it.

Ashland Jackson and her entire family were indentures working in a mine, trying to earn citizenship when war with the alien Via destroyed that world and left Ash terminally ill from the product she had been mining. Luckily for her a crew from a salvage vessel and the corporation they work for has taken her on board to let her earn her way toward citizenship
Beth Cato
Sep 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, netgalley, science
Architects of Memory is solid scifi with awesome character development, deep worldbuilding, and moral complexity. It's escapism that also makes you think.

Ash is an indenture with a big goal: gaining citizenship, and maybe proper medical treatment, before her terminal illness does her in. She already almost died in an attack by mysterious aliens that did kill her fiance. Now, she's working to salvage tech off of space debris caused by those same aliens, the Vai. When she has an odd reaction to so
Adah Udechukwu
Aug 30, 2020 rated it liked it
Architects of Memory did not meet my expectations
Jul 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Architects of Memory is one of those books where I don’t quite know where to start with my review. It explores many themes that I’ve been reading a lot of in sci-fi lately—space opera, political espionage, enigmatic alien societies, the pervasive intergalatic war machine that is humanity, and intriguing tech and setting descriptions—but does so in a way that feels fresh and without an ounce of excess. In fact, while the sci-fi elements are expertly executed, Architects of Memory’s true strength ...more
The Captain
Sep 07, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi
Ahoy there me mateys!  I received this sci-fi eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  So here be me honest musings . . .

Super awesome title and cover made me pick up this sci-fi.  This ended up being a quick, engaging read where I ultimately ended up being both confused and conflicted.

I did not know this was the first book of a series so that could have contributed but really this book made me feel like either nothing was explained or I just blatantly missed things.  I did very mu
Landice (Manic Femme Reviews)
I’m not quite sure how to describe my experience of reading Architects of Memory. I started to say it was “a delight” to read, but that’s not even close to accurate, because this is an incredibly heavy book. That being said, it was well written and engaging, so much so that I binged most of it in one day, which I generally avoid doing with books that are heavy or likely to leave me emotionally exhausted.

I won’t go into much detail about the plot so as to avoid spoilers, but I did want to note th
Aug 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
This and more reviews at

This is the story of Ash, who is an indentured salvage pilot. In this world, companies rule everything, and those who are indentured to one of the companies can work their way into citizenship… eventually. Ash is in somewhat a hurry to find her way to citizenship, because she’s got a terminal illness and only citizens can afford the cure. When Ash and her crew find what could be a very powerful alien weapon on a salvage job, suddenly everyone from eve
Laura (crofteereader)
Jul 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
There are only two things that kept this book from being five stars: pronoun-antecedent agreement and soliloquy. Those may seem like small things (and they are) but they're two small things that drive me absolutely crazy. Pronoun-antecedent agreement, for those who don't know, is when a pronoun can be easily mapped to the noun it's standing in for. What happens when you have three characters with she/her pronouns and any one of them could, feasibly, be the "she" being referenced? You use her nam ...more
Sep 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Okay Karen Osborne, you've got my attention.

Gripping, exciting, fun, and couldn't put it down. There were questions of humanity, of human value, ethics, and interesting science, like any good sci fi. 4 stars instead of 5 owing to a few confusing turns of phrase/difficulty discerning who was speaking and villain monologuing (like Mr. Incredible and Frozone, I am not a fan of this). But otherwise? One hell of a ride. I loved the pacing of this novel. I am not often fond of back and forth chapters
Jul 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Hi. I’m not even gonna be shy about it. I’m serious about my sci-fi and I’m happy to report that I loved ARCHITECTS OF MEMORY by Karen Osborne, and it has become one of my favorite sci-fis of the year.

Here are a few of its badass attributes:

* space opera + mystery + corporate shenanigans⁣
* classism and power dynamics = conflict!⁣
* dare I say, there’s some slow burn vengeance?⁣
* bisexual rep (I mean, the colors on the cover. Coincidence?)⁣
* mind-fuckery™ (my favorite!)⁣
* gorgeously written (how
Jul 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
(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
Mogsy (MMOGC)
3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

The protagonist of Architects of Memory, Ashlan “Ash” Jackson, is a feisty and determined salvage pilot with a lot of secrets. For one thing, she’s carrying on a complicated relationship with her boss Captain Kate Keller that she would like to keep under wraps. For another, she’s secretly dying of a degenerative neural disease that could jeopardize her chances of buying her way out of corporate indenture if anyone ever f
Desperately trying to earn citizenship so she can get treatment for her fatal condition, a salvage pilot and her crew stumbles across an alien artifact that everyone wants and the situation is full of intrigue. I had to read this exciting debut sci-fi that made good on the action and more.

Architects of Memory opens with pilot Ash Jackson, working off her indenturehood aboard a salvage ship owned by Aurora Corporation after the alien Vai attack the world where she and her family had been working
Oct 16, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020, space-opera
A well-paced but generic space-opera.
Aug 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Fast fun read, not sure how I feel about the ending. I want more! Full review to come.

Architects of Memory by Karen Osborne. Published by, this is Karen's debut science fiction novel. Think I'm starting to find my groove with science fiction. For a debut, there are a lot of things to like about this story. A quick summery. Architects is the story of Ash, an indentured who works as a salvage operator. She and the crew she's a part of go around salvaging what they can from giant space batt
Sean Randall
Sep 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
This had Humanity, the confusion of war and a rather compelling set of leads. I felt as if I were hit over the head with sexual preference sooo early on, it's almost become de rigueur to have these strongly stated early on in modern sci-fiand that's more than a little sad.

I also found both the Suits and the lack of memory a little underused, but the series is wide open for more and the storytelling and idea are hugely exciting and very enjoyable.
I won this book through a goodreads giveaway!

So. Hmm. How to put into words my feelings about this book?

It is very readable: fast paced, action packed, etc. But at the end of the book, I put it down feeling simultaneously depressed and like I didn’t care.

I feel like the book throws you into the action so quickly that I never actually.... had time to understand why I should care about these characters and their world. I also spent most of the book not understanding the timeline or how humanity ha
J.S. Dewes
Oct 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow, what a read!

Architects of Memory is a non-stop, incredibly thoughtful novel that sticks with with you long after you put the book down. It has the pacing and scope of a blockbuster sci-fi, bolstered by the warmth and emotional intimacy of the characters and relationships.

I think I was most impressed by the worldbuilding and (dark) history, which builds up eerily in the periphery, then sneaks up from behind and hits you when you least expect it.

The intricately developed and terrifying polit
Aug 31, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, 2020, reviewed
This was a fun and action-packed space opera which could be great but unfortunately failed at the most important thing - making me care about the characters and the world they live in. Both aspects were very surface level and I feel like the author was more focused on bringing up some social commentary than telling an interesting story.

We are constantly told that this spaceship crew is a family, how much they love each other and so on, but we never actually see them being a family because we are
Jul 30, 2020 rated it liked it
I just finished this book last night, and the more I think about it today, I'm still not too sure what the point was.
I feel like this book tried too hard to be an allegory for something. War? Class? I'm not entirely too sure, because it was so much shoved at me at once.
This book was so quick to read and get into, but I really wish that the author would have slowed down and explained a bit more about the previous war, the alien tech, and even Ash's previous life with Twenty-Five.
I didn't feel con
Alexander Tas
Sep 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Read this and other science fiction/fantasy reviews at The Quill To Live

What’s that? It’s time for another dark horse review? Oh man, well I think I just used up that idea for an intro. Oh well, I got to it first so it’s mine now. I should be talking about a book right? Well, I’ll be honest, the first thing that leapt out to me about this book was the title. The description only sold it more, but that title really got to me. It felt like it could mean so many things, and I think that still remai
TJ Price
Sep 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reading this novel was, for me, like watching the best blockbuster movie and an intimate arthouse film, simultaneously. It has dazzle and grit, spectacle and carnage; but it also has warmth, flair, humor, and poise. From the very first page, it is soaked in possibility, both of the technological and of the human.

I was blown away by the intense depth of this novel. Expecting a good thrill-ride, nothing could have prepared me for a full-blown investigation of what it actually means to be human in
Sep 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Karen Osborne is a writer, visual storyteller and violinist. Her short fiction appears in Uncanny, Fireside, Escape Pod, Robot Dinosaurs and Beneath Ceaseless Skies. She is a member of the DC/MD-based Homespun Ceilidh Band, emcees the Charm City Spec reading series, and once won a major event filmmaking award for taping a Klingon wedding. Her debut novel, Architects of Memory, is forthcoming in 20 ...more

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