ARC Review: Reclaimed

If someone told you they could take away your most painful memories, would you let them?

For Senna, Zurri, and Han, the choice is clear. Senna is running from a traumatizing shuttle craft at the hands of a cult leader; Zurri witnessed the death of her former manager—and stalker; and Han seeks to escape the guilt that comes from hearing his deceased mother’s voice every day. But as the three undergo the memory-erasing procedure, they begin to lose more than just their tragic moments. Is it a side effect of the technology? Or is there a more deliberate, and sinister, hand at play?

This book was so, so stressful. I’m going to go right ahead and say that I’m not usually upset by content warning topics in books, but this one was super intense in a way I can’t even really articulate. So if you are sensitive to themes of sexual assault or manipulation, definitely stay clear!

I very much got the sense that this book was a metaphor for the ways that women’s voices are frequently erased by powerful men and their vast resources. In that capacity, I really appreciated its message. The combination of a sci-fi world with such a feminist and relevant take is something I haven’t seen done before.

As for characters, for the first half I disliked pretty much all of them. Except for Senna who was just kind of ~there~ (which made me feel for her given her background). Zurri just came off as a diva, Han was SO cocky, and I could tell pretty much from page one what was going on with our tech overlord Paxton. However as the story progressed, I think most of them got nicely developed, and appeared much more human. I do wish we got some of that complexity earlier on though.

I also need to thank this book for making me realize that futuristic super techy utopian sci-fi worlds just aren’t for me. Unlike in other books, this one had a world and technology that didn’t confuse or overwhelm me. It seemed throughly explored, well written, and had good background. But at the same time, it didn’t wow me, and I think that’s a me problem. Therefore, I would recommend reading some reviews from other people who DO typically enjoy this specific brand of world building in order to fully get a sense for how it was done.

For my own personal enjoyment I would give this book a solid 3.5, but if any of what I described above is in your wheelhouse, for sure check it out!

happy reading (:

Rating: 3.5/5
Pacing: slow-medium
Intended audience: Adult
Content warnings: sexual assault, assault, death of a loved one, cults, stalking, manipulation

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15 thoughts on “ARC Review: Reclaimed

  1. Wow, I may check out this book. I do like fleshed out characters, so I’m glad to hear they do get better as the story goes on (I also notice this problem in television; the characters don’t act as human as they should). The synopsis is what really draws me in as I have had thoughts similar to it, and it truly makes you wonder about the depths of ourselves in how memories construct us and impact us in different ways.

    I too like a more mild sci-fi. One thing that will make me zone out is when it’s this built up world with different hierarchies and tech that just is going to confuse me in the narrative. Unless maybe it’s a trilogy and the like, it’s not going to draw me in that way. It’d probably have to be an established universe in fiction for me to absorb it better, or something similar to it.

    A very well written and awesome review, I like how concise you are and to the point of both what makes this book and what doesn’t.

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  2. Book sounds interesting. I usually can’t read traumatic books, but your review got me interested to search this book. But I guess it’s not yet released. Can’t wait to read it when it comes out. You have a way of writing reviews that raises curiosity about a book. I love your reviews

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  3. “I also need to thank this book for making me realize that futuristic super techy utopian sci-fi worlds just aren’t for me” – this made me laugh more than it should have!!
    i do love the cover for this book though, but it’s unfortunate about the content warnings. i might give it a pass.

    Like

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