Reviews of Memory of Water

Adam Roberts

A poetic and melancholy debut.

The Guardian

Robert C. Robinson

This novel will attract two audiences – those who enjoy a good YA dystopian adventure, and those who enjoy an adventure with a few strong female characters fighting against the system. It is simultaneously a coming-of-age story, a fantastic adventure, and a bold warning about a future that is all too real.

Portland Book Review

German reviews and the publisher's site

Spanish reviews

Katherine Farmar

Melancholy and yet hopeful; beautiful and yet honest about the reality of ugliness; Memory of Water is a carefully crafted, finely observed, and ultimately deeply moving novel.

Strange Horizons

Justin Landon

Brilliant, lyrical prose… Itäranta’s writing is almost a song, working like a melody that sticks in your head more than a series of words that flow by.

Nancy Hightower

Itäranta’s lyrical style makes this dystopian tale a beautiful exploration of environmental ethics and the power of ritual.

Washington Post Book World

Library Journal starred review - debut of the month

The writing is gorgeous and delicate in this dystopian award-winning debut, which is unique in both its setting and the small scale that Finnish author Itäranta employs… the tension is high even though the pacing remains measured.

Library Journal

Kirkus Reviews

Itäranta’s fine debut is lyrically rendered, vivid and engaging.

Kirkus Reviews

Publishers Weekly starred review

Where Itäranta shines is in her rejection of conventional plots and in her understated but compelling characters. The work is a deceptively tranquil examination of a world of dust and ashes where the tenacious weed of hope still survives.

Publishers Weekly

Nic Clarke

Memory of Water‘s story deals more in atmosphere than action, but is no less involving for that; Itäranta’s steady piling on of pressure on her protagonist grips, even as her prose soothes.

SFX Magazine

Toni Jerrman

Memory of Water is an emotionally nuanced moral study that draws its tensions from love, choices and the mark we all leave on the world. Both in terms of style and themes this book is reminiscent of the work of the American Ursula Le Guin.

Helsingin Sanomat Newspaper

Kaisa Kurikka

The reflections on water, freedom and existence unfold as a whole philosophy of life, where the relations between an individual and the community, the present moment and the eternal are re-evaluated… The language flows beautifully and the thoughts are deep. On the whole, Memory of Water is a truly terrific debut novel.

Turun Sanomat Newspaper

Sanna Sevänen

Memory of Water is a magnificent addition to the field of Finnish speculative fiction and gives permission to expect a lot from its author in the future.

Aamulehti Newspaper

Susanna Laari

I can’t remember the last time I read a story so beautifully written and wise! Emmi Itäranta’s debut is immediately absorbing, despite the fact that I thought I hated science fiction.

Me Naiset Magazine

Oona Juutinen

Emmi Itäranta’s language is carefully crafted, precise and just right. Lyricism and water-related metaphors ease the reader into the rhythm of the book like into the tea ceremony that is central to the story.

Voima Newspaper

Helena Miettinen

Itäranta’s language is springwater clear.

Savon Sanomat Newspaper

Salla Simukka

Itäranta builds the narrative tension of the novel wonderfully through just the right amount of hinting and concealing… While the plot of Memory of Water is engaging, the greatest achievements of the novel are in creating atmosphere and in its interesting social awareness. As a storyteller Itäranta is akin to the great sci-fi master Ursula Le Guin.

Hämeen Sanomat Newspaper

Erkki Widenius

For a debut novelist, Itäranta’s writing is surprisingly profound. For instance, reflecting on the crucial connection between human life and water is a good literary insight from her part… Her text reads at times like dark prose poetry.

Lapin Kansa Newspaper

Tero Hautamäki

The novel’s world view is somber and dark, but Itäranta’s emotional language is so beautifully airy that heavy doesn’t feel heavy… With her Memory of Water, Emmi Itäranta takes a firm foothold among the stars of Finnish science fiction.

Ilkka Newspaper

Marjo Pihlajaniemi

There is no doubt we will hear from this debut novelist again, because the strokes of her pen flow beautifully and her choice of subject matter is achingly topical.

Ilta-Sanomat Newspaper