Book Review: The Memory Eater by Rebecca Mahoney

I’ll be honest; this book hadn’t been on my radar before I got the email about it. However, when I read the summary, I was intrigued. I wanted to give it a go and see if it sounded as creepy as the synopsis made it out to be. And y’know what? It was pretty damn atmospheric.

In this book, we follow Alana. A teenage girl who has not only recently lost her Grandma but has to carry on the family business independently. Down on Whistler Beach lives a monster, The Memory Eater, and Alana is in charge of keeping them locked down and fed. But when she discovers that some of her memories are missing one day, the monster escapes, and Alana and her friends must dive deep into her family’s past to recapture the monster. Not everything is what it seems, and Alana has to reckon with a family secret that could change everything.

On the surface, this sounds like your typical YA horror/fantasy. There are monsters, family secrets and a lot of questions. But there are actually plenty of serious issues discussed within this book.

The grief is evident from the title and the summary. And yeah, grief is a very prevalent theme. But there are also themes of child abandonment and emotional abuse. So if any of those things trigger you, please be careful.

My favourite thing about this book was the atmosphere and the worldbuilding.

You get glimpses into how the Memory Eater got there through diary entries, which was fascinating. The magic system that runs through these families isn’t detailed. I definitely would’ve enjoyed reading more on that. But it makes sense. The magic has been hidden and destroyed over the years, so, of course, it couldn’t be talked about. All the secrets, all the missing knowledge, it makes sense within the text that the reader wouldn’t get to know this stuff. As even the characters don’t know.

This book was pretty atmospheric. It wasn’t necessarily creepy as I’d hoped, but you feel the dread building up. It made the book a page-turner, and it was definitely well-written.

When it comes to characters, I liked some of the side characters best. Rue and Charlie were awesome, and I enjoyed The Memory Eater too. Alana was an interesting protagonist, but the others stole my heart. This book is also queer. There’s a past romance between Alana and Charlie, plus other queer side characters.

I’m gonna back up a bit and talk more about The Memory Eater. There are obviously secrets surrounding who and what they are throughout the book. I will say that there is a point where it becomes very obvious who they are before it’s confirmed. But it’s only pages before that confirmation happens, and it is pretty far into the book. So that’s pretty good. I want to say there were clues sprinkled throughout the book before that, as there probably were, but I didn’t catch them. So I wouldn’t know for sure. Maybe upon reread, ha!

Overall, I really did enjoy this book. I had a great time with it and am glad I’ve read it. It’s not a book that I’m sure I’d have stumbled upon on my own. So thanks again to Marissa at BooksForward for emailing me. If you like atmospheric YA with fantasy elements in a contemporary setting, I highly recommend picking this one up.

5/5 Stars

Title: The Memory Eater

Editor: Rebecca Mahoney

Genre: Urban Fantasy/Horror

Age Range:  Young Adult

Publisher:  Razorbill

Release Date: Out Now


Amazon UK | Amazon US | Waterstones | Bookshop Org

3 thoughts on “Book Review: The Memory Eater by Rebecca Mahoney

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