Title: Shattered Minds
Author: Laura Lam
Publisher: Pan MacMillan
Disclaimer: I received a copy free from the publishers via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Carina is an ex-neuroscientist, and she was pretty damn good. Until she got addicted to a drug that takes her into a virtual reality. A virtual reality where she doesn’t have to fight her conscience and her urge to kill, she can give into it without hurting anyone. She’s on the path to self-destruction, caused in part by Sudice, the company she used to work for. When she starts seeing a dead girl in her virtual reality, a dead girl she didn’t create, she finally discovers what Sudice did to her, and how she can stop them. But she can’t do it alone. She teams up with a group of hackers to finally take down the mega-corporation.
I’ve been wanting to pick up a Laura Lam book for a while. I’ve heard great things about her work and I have both False Hearts and Pantomime on Kindle but haven’t got around to reading them yet. So, I requested it on NetGalley when I saw it to finally encourage me to read one. It is set in the same world as False Hearts, which I haven’t read, but I still found to world-building to be well explained and I read it fine as a standalone with no previous knowledge of the world or technology.
Shattered Minds can be best described as Cyberpunk – a very technological heavy read -which is why I struggled with it a little bit. I did enjoy the book, but the story relied very heavily on technology, such as virtual reality, hacking, brain chips and implants etc. But sometimes it just got a little too tech-heavy for my personal tastes but others may not have that problem.
Our main character, Carina, was a very… interesting character. She was a Dexter like character. She was a drug addict (recovering for most of the book), who had a very strong urge to kill. She is the epitome of an unlikeable, but well-developed, female character. I wouldn’t call her a pleasure to read, her inner thoughts were a little bit uncomfortable to read at times but she was a well developed and complex female character. I particularly enjoyed reading of the conflicts she had, and that of fighting her drug addiction. I also really enjoyed Daz, a transgender hacker and doctor who aides Carina through her recovery and her mission to take down Sudice.
I also really enjoyed the nonlinear narrative (I’ve always been a fan). I liked how the mystery of the past unfold alongside the thrilling-action of the present.
Shattered Minds was a dark and brutal read, but I would definitely recommend to science fiction lovers, especially those who love science and tech-heavy sci-fi.
Megan (pronounced MEE-GAN bc her Irish grandfather refused to use the English pronunciation) is a 21 year old british blogger, history graduate, lover of books and expert procrastinator. She is anxious and introverted and is currently attempting adulthood. She loves potatoes which is often blamed on her irish heritage and can often eat her weight in food. She predominantly reads and reviews YA which includes historical fiction, science fiction, contemporary, and f/f romance. She loves reading about unlikeable female characters, positive female friendships & relationships, and is a sucker for a pretty cover.