Memory Zero by Keri Arthur | Book Review

August 29, 2014 Reviews 14

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 | Book ReviewMemory Zero by Keri Arthur
Series: Spook Squad #1
Published by Dell on August 26, 2014
Genres: Mystery, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 400
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher


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.

The Characters…

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.

The Story…

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.

Concluding Sentiments…

Memory Zero was action packed, with a great world and lots of mystery. I’m thoroughly looking forward to the next one!

Pretty Great

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About Keri Arthur

Keri Arthur, author of the New York Times bestselling Riley Jenson, Guardian series, has now written more than 25 books. She’s received several nominations in the Best Contemporary Paranormal category of the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Awards, and recently won RT’s Career Achievement Award for urban fantasy. She lives in Melbourne with her daughter and two crazy dogs


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About Berls
Berls has been a book lover her whole life. She reads pretty much every genre and is currently working hard at making her childhood dream of becoming an author come true. She loves sharing her thoughts about books, blogging, and just random fun stuff. She's a challenge and read-a-thon junkie, so it's no wonder that she loves co-hosting the COYER reading challenge. Leave a comment, Berls is always happy to chat!

14 Responses to “Memory Zero by Keri Arthur | Book Review”

  1. Lark

    Terrific review, Berls! I kind of wondered about the lack of romance in Memory Zero, since I had heard of Keri Arthur as an UF/paranormal romance author. But I haven’t read her until now, so I didn’t have too many preconceptions — and I really, really liked this book.
    Lark recently posted…Sunday Post – 8/31/14My Profile

  2. Bookworm Brandee

    Memory Zero sounds fantastic, Berls. I enjoyed the Riley Jensen series quite a bit (not up-to-date in it) so I like Arthur’s style. I like the sound of the world building in this one. And I like the sound of Sam. 🙂 I don’t mind police procedurals, but if you tend to not like them and still enjoyed this book, that says something. I’ll have to add this one to my tbr. Great review, girl!
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…**#COYER Review ~ Go With Me ~ Elyssa Patrick**My Profile

    • Berls

      This definitely has the good mystery down! I’m hoping some romance will develop, but I already like the characters, so I’m very hopeful they’ll continue where I think they’re headed 🙂
      Berls recently posted…Sunday Post | 57th EditionMy Profile

  3. Carmel

    I wasn’t expecting to have you compare this book to her Riley Jenson series, that’s kind of the magic word for me as far as Keri Arthur is concerned. She used to be one of my fav authors, but her Dark Angels books were an epic flop IMO, so I’ve been reluctant to give this re-release a go. I’m just so torn… I’m afraid I’ll hate it, and my opinion of her will be even further tarnished.
    Carmel recently posted…When Push Comes to Love by Elliott James + Giveaway #StompvsRompMy Profile

    • Berls

      I know, I wasn’t expecting me too either lol! In one sense, it’s very different because romance hardly even factors in – but the paranormal police force and world felt similar to me – in all the right ways. I haven’t read any of her other series, but I know a lot of people have said that beyond Riley Jensen they really haven’t liked her books 🙁 Hopefully this edited republish is what we’ve been looking for. I’ve got books 2 and 3 to read and review too – so fingers crossed!
      Berls recently posted…Sunday Post | 57th EditionMy Profile

    • Berls

      I have only read one of her series completely and it was preblogging days, so I don’t know how well it’d stack up now, but at the time I really enjoyed it. And so far, I like this one, so fingers crossed 🙂 She’s definitely into the paranormal, which you know I love!
      Berls recently posted…Sunday Post | 57th EditionMy Profile

  4. Red Iza

    Sounds like a very good one ! I liked Riley Jenson at the beginning, but got tired of all her sleeping around – I don’t mind romance and sex but Riley got on my nerves big time ! I’ll look that series up, great review 😉
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