MEMENTO by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Updated: Jun 16
There is no Goodreads synopsis of this book, as it was a presale item and therefore does not have a page.
Some monsters are born.
I was made.
As soon as I read Illuminae I knew I had to read all of the books connected to it - including the novella, Memento. While this book is not for sale, I easily found it on a bookish ISO (in search of) on Facebook. The reason for it not being on sale and not having a Goodreads page is because it was a presale item - you received it if you preordered Aurora Rising.
This was a joy to read. I knew Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff were amazing writers after the first book, but it takes a lot of skill to make me care for a character in only 82 pages. While it helps to have read Illuminae first so that I already had a connection to AIDAN, it was technically not necessary as the novella is a prequel to the first Illuminae Files book.
Just like Illuminae, this novella is written in the format of digital pieces, mostly AIDAN's core memories, emails, and private messages. While I did not have the audiobook to smooth out some of the harder formattings, this short piece really didn't have much that was hard to read. Because of that, I really didn't have any difficulty getting into Memento.
The plot of Memento is basically what happened to AIDAN before the events of Illuminae. It shows what was going on behind the scenes and how AIDAN was already beginning to showcase human emotions and thoughts before he was damaged at the attack on Kerenza IV.
That being said, it is also the tale of Olivia Klein and how her life and death are inexorably entwined with AIDAN.
AIDAN: As I said, this is mostly a focus on AIDAN, the AI on board the Alexander. This shows how he was slowly evolving and even showcases some of his callousness. But what to us is immoral, to AIDAN is just logical. Even though AIDAN shows the capacity to have emotions in Illuminae, this book shows just how logical a creation AIDAN is. While he already begins to have emotions in Memento, he is almost all logic, which can be dangerous.
Oliva Klein: If you read Illuminae before reading Memento, as I did, then you would know that Olivia was not meant for a happy ending. Olivia is one of the first people to start recognizing how dangerous AIDAN is becoming as he evolves and learns. She is also, possibly, AIDAN's first somewhat friend. That being said, Olivia is not exempt from AIDAN's concerning lack of morals.
This is only an 82 paged novella, but so much happens in those pages. It read super fast. I've been told that is the case with all the Illuminae Files books, and it sure was true of Illuminae. You are sucked in quickly and the action, romance, and deaths are boom, boom, boom!
This book may not be available commercially because it was a presale item, but if you can get your hands on it to read it I highly recommend it! It's a fantastic prequel to the amazingness that is Illuminae.