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A Memory Called Empire

Narrated by: Amy Landon
Series: Teixcalaan Series, Book 1
Length: 15 hrs and 37 mins
4.2 out of 5 stars (140 ratings)

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Summary

Winner of the 2020 Hugo Award for Best Novel

Shortlisted for the 2020 Arthur C. Clarke Award

Shortlisted for the 2019 Goodreads Choice Awards

In a war of lies she seeks the truth.... 

Ambassador Mahit Dzmare travels to the Teixcalaanli Empire’s interstellar capital, eager to take up her new post. Yet when she arrives, she discovers her predecessor was murdered. But no one will admit his death wasn’t accidental – and she might be next.

Now Mahit must navigate the capital’s enticing yet deadly halls of power, to discover dangerous truths. And while she hunts for the killer, Mahit must somehow prevent the rapacious Empire from annexing her home: a small, fiercely independent mining station. As she sinks deeper into an alien culture that is all too seductive, Mahit engages in intrigues of her own. For she’s hiding an extraordinary technological secret, one which might destroy her station and its way of life. Or it might save them from annihilation.

A Memory Called Empire is followed by A Desolation Called Peace in the Teixcalaan duology.

©2019 Arkady Martine (P)2019 Macmillan Digital Audio

Critic reviews

"A riveting story of character interplay and politics, this audiobook features the cool, calm narration of Amy Landon. Incredibly dialogue-driven, this story requires Landon to distinguish important nuances between characters with her word emphasis and pronunciation. She does so in a way that allows listeners to become engaged with the story and easily follow the political maneuverings. Her smooth delivery combined with Martine's story makes this sci-fi audiobook perfect to absorb one's attention." (AudioFile)

"A Memory Called Empire perfectly balances action and intrigue with matters of empire and identity. All-round brilliant space opera, I absolutely loved it." (Ann Leckie, author of Ancillary Justice)

"Contender for debut of the year." (SFX Magazine)

What listeners say about A Memory Called Empire

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Astonishingly good!

The story was brilliant and thoroughly enjoyable and all the characters were so interesting. I thought the sci-fi technology aspects were very cleverly and thoughtfully done and the cultural elements were really rich as well. The author created a fascinating world and described it so poetically. I can't wait for the next installment! It was read very well so that the characters were easy to distinguish and the emotion came through very powerfully. It is good to see sci-fi with such a strong cast of believable female characters leading the story. It had plenty of intrigue, politics, action, suspense and surprises!

7 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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It's like a text to speech reader is narrating

awful. narrator is like a text to machine speech synthesiser. couldn't get past 1st chapter.

6 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Amazing story, flat narration was a let down

I bought the audiobook after really enjoying the print book – but had to return it because the narration is such a let down. The narrator's voice is so flat and emotionless it almost sounds like Siri. I found it hard to engage with the story and dangerously easy to tune out – not a problem I generally have.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent space opera

I loved this book. It's full of intrigue and questions of what a self is. Reminiscent of space operas like Machineries of Empire and Imperial Radch. This book features a female main character of humble origins set to navigate the political intrigue of a large empire. Carrying a physical recording of her predecessor as her only guide. I was also pleased to see some queerness in the book. The recording is excellent. I got hooked on the story straight away and hardly stop listening for the want of finding out what happens next. I'll be grabbing the next installment the moment it's released.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Speech cadence off

I gave up after ten minutes. I found the speech cadence of the reader a bit off. Sentences ended at odd inflections. The speech was also a bit emotionless.

4 people found this helpful

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Ditched it at Ch 5

Really frustrating, author over explains EVERYTHING, especially the main character's thoughts. Ruins a good concept

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Excessively descriptive.

I don’t mind slow drama, but the story unfolds too slowly for me and the naming conventions for people and places is a distraction. Description feels like it gets in the way of feeling empathy for the main characters. The narrator doesn’t feel invested in the story, though oration style is a personal thing. Either way, after 5 hours, or a third of the book - I’ve had to return the audiobook.

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Terrible narration

Story might be good, narration is terrible, I could not listen for more than 10 min. Three words, pause, four words, pause, three words, pause. Impossible to follow a sentence.

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Engaging and well narrated

A number of reviews I read criticised the narration of this book. I was concerned about that so listened to sample first and heard no issues. Having listened to the whole book I’m puzzled about different perceptions of what we hear. What was to me a coolly narrated story, but still expressive with each character having their own voice, was to others quite mechanical. I can only suggest that if you are concerned you too listen to a sample. As far as the story itself was concerned; after the initial impression of information overload I was drawn in and definitely would want to read any sequels, which I’m sure will be forthcoming, there being a number of threads left loose to be picked up later without damaging the plot of this book. Two societies are shown ,but the space station society is only seen in its role as a contrast to the planet base empire. Will we see more of it next time, or learn more of the city’s algorithm?

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You are taken on a journey with this gal

Really enjoyable story that takes you through the political complexity of a society that we can recognize in ourselves but that is also very different. Would recommend

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  • Just reading
  • 08-10-19

Simply glorious space opera

Great narration, a thought out narrative suuported by interesting characters and a penchant for city design. I came for the space empire, I left wanting to know more about The City.