I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Memory Zero by Keri Arthur
Series: Spook Squad #1
Published by Dell on August 26, 2014
Genres: Mystery, Urban Fantasy
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.
My Initial Reaction…
Memory Zero felt similar to the Riley Jenson Series by Keri Arthur that I remember loving – minus all the sex. Lots of action, mystery, and a fun new world that I’m looking forward to getting to know better in the rest of the series.
Samantha (Sam) Ryan is pretty much what I’ve come to expect from my UF heroines. She’s smart, stubborn, and tough as hell. Some of that is because of her training – since Sam is a police detective and a damn good one. I liked that everything about her wasn’t summed up with some supernatural ability. I love supernatural abilities, of course, but I also like it when characters know how to use their minds and eyes – and Sam does in spades. That’s not to say there’s nothing special about her, though. Sam has no memories from before she was 14 years old and there’s no record of her before that moment anywhere. She’s been searching for answers for years, but in Memory Zero she’s learning that someone out there has them. And she’d probably be worried about that, if she wasn’t busy trying to save her skin.
Thank goodness she has some help, from the sexy and mysterious Gabriel. Gabriel works for a special division in the police force called the “Spook Squad” because they deal with all the supernatural “Spooky” elements – Vampires, Changers, Shifters, etc. He also is part of a secret organization and knows a lot more about the mess Sam’s found herself in than she does. I liked Gabriel a lot and I see the potential for romance to develop between him and Sam in future books, but in Memory Zero there’s only the barest hints of that. I don’t need romance in my books, but I imagine this could be pretty disappointing to those that came across this series looking for something similar to the Riley Jenson series, which was loaded with romance and sex. Sorry folks, maybe in the next book.
There are quite a few secondary characters, but none that you get to know too well. This really is the Sam and Gabriel show – we get both of their points of view – and that was find with me, though I would like to get to know some of the characters a bit better as the series progresses. At this point, though, it’s hard to say exactly who will be important.
Memory Zero is basically a detective story, so I’m surprised I liked it as much as I did (those who know me, know I don’t tend to like procedural elements). I think what made it so fascinating for me was the world building. We’re in an alternate version of Australia where the supernatural world is out of the bag. It felt similar to the Riley Jenson series, in that there’s the separate government agency for policing the supernatural elements. But other than that, the world is really quite different and creative. For one, you’ve got both Shifters and Changers – one changes into animals (Shifters) and the other can change into alternate human forms (Changers). That alone added an interesting element.
There were some elements – like the Kite thingys (like my official name?) – that were introduced but not fully explored in Memory Zero. On one hand, I wish we saw more of them and understood them better, but on the other hand, I think that any more world building could have bogged the story down. I suspect we’ll see a lot more of that and the secret organizations in future installments, which I look forward to reading.
The main mystery in Memory Zero circles around Sam’s partner – Jack – who had gone missing, but at the start of the book contacts Sam, only to appear to her as a Vampire and try to kill her. The result is that she blows his face off and gets suspended for murdering her partner. She has only a small window to prove her innocence and at every step of the way, things get more complicated and more exciting.
Memory Zero was action packed, with a great world and lots of mystery. I’m thoroughly looking forward to the next one!