Review: Architects of Memory by Karen Osborne

Posted September 20, 2020 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 10 Comments

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Review: Architects of Memory by Karen Osborne
Architects of Memory

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Series: The Memory War #1
Genres: F/F Romance, Sci-Fi Romance
Published by Tor
Released on September 8, 2020
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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The Delight

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 for a mining corporation.  The attack left Ash without family and fiance, but sickening from an illness she got in the mine destruction.  She was lucky Aurora corporation picked her up, but she’s in a race to earn her citizenship and gain the payment for her illness before she dies from it.  Ash is still grieving, but learning to see the Twenty-Five crew as her new family and the citizen captain as something much more.
But, then on a salvage job she comes across the Vai alien artifact that can be used as a weapon.  Aurora isn’t the only corporation after it when it can mean defeating the Vai and being the top corporation.  And, that is just the surface because that artifact affects Ash and she has just become interesting to several.

Architects of Memory is an action-packed space opera set in the future when corporations rule and citizenship is earned unless one is born into that prized upper class.  It’s a dark future for most and the heroine is no exception.  She has a tough row to hoe and it gets to her like it would most of us.  I did want her and the crew to find a way through it all and to see her get a slice of happy with Kate.

I found this to be one of those books that just dives right into the middle of a situation and then explains things in chunks along the way.  And, just like I look for when I reach for sci-fi, the author added some unique ingredients like her take on the aliens.

There is an assumption that the reader is somewhat familiar with sci-fi futuristic world in space and specifically when corporations rule.  At least, that is how I felt since there was some general description that my mind filled in.

Unfortunately, this was also somewhat how the characters were developed, too.  I was told things about them, but didn’t see much evidence of this.  Like Ash and Kate’s love or Ash’s relationship with the rest of the crew.  Much of the time, Ash and Kate were not together so I was glad at the outcome, but not extremely vested.  Ash was still getting over her fiance and this new pair from opposite sides of the track are attracted and I will grant the fact that this book took place over the span of a few days so, again, it heavily relied on the fact that things were already in the middle and not just beginning.

The strength of the story was the hard-hitting and well-paced action scenes and intrigues that left one flipping pages to see how things were going to come out.   There were some good surprises and the book ended with Ash’s story wrapped up, but left room for more.  Luckily, Nat’s story is next.  I do want to see how it goes now that Nat and Ash are on the same page.

All in all, this was a fab debut book.  It was an exciting read and I liked this introduction to a new series.  I think space opera and sci-fi fans should definitely give it a go.

I rec’d this book from Net Galley to read in exchange for an honest review.

Challenges Met

New Release #144

About the Book
Architect of Memory by Karen OsborneARCHITECTS OF MEMORY BY KAREN OSBORNE

Millions died after the first contact. An alien weapon holds the key to redemption—or annihilation. Experience Karen Osborne’s unforgettable science fiction debut, Architects of Memory.

SyFY Wire SFF Reads to pick up in September

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 threatens to turn her into a living weapon.


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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Anne - Books of My Heart

It sounds good – I’m glad you enjoyed it. I really enjoy this genre but don’t read a whole lot of it. Probably because I also enjoy other genres. Sigh.

Sophia Rose
1 year ago

I love space opera and it’s fun when a new author or series hits the scene. I know what you mean about having a wide-spread enjoyment so that it’s hard to get to all the ones that sound interesting. 🙂

Mary Kirkland
1 year ago

That world sounds like a hard one to live in. I like the sound of this one though.

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

Yeah, it sounds like a tough world to live in. I’m pretty sure I’d be one of those drudging in a mine trying to earn my citizenship. 🙂

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer

OK, this sounds good. The romance doesn’t intrigue me as much as the world/ storyline 🙂

Sophia Rose
1 year ago

That was how I felt about it, too. 🙂

Carole Rae
1 year ago

This sounds intense!!

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Carole Rae

She was sure fighting for her very life. Exciting!

1 year ago

This sounds like a solid scifi book. I usually like it when a story dives in and then explains things along the way, although I can see how that approach doesn’t always work as well when it comes to characters. I like how the sound of her unique twist on aliens as well. I’ll have to look this one up!

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Lola

It was a good, solid one and I think will get better as the series progresses. You picked up on exactly what I was saying- fun to drop in on the action and the world, but not always fun when that happens with characterization, too. 🙂