Mind Games by Teri Terry

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Mind Games by Teri Terry

1408334259.jpg
Buy Mind Games by Teri Terry at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Teens
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: Dystopian thriller set in a speculative future world post WW3 in which a virtual reality corporation runs education and most other aspects of daily life. Yes, we know, it's been done before, but Teri Terry has a knack for original twists, good writing, tight plotting and relatable characters. You'll enjoy it.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 448 Date: March 2015
Publisher: Orchard
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 1408334259

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Luna is a Refuser. In her world, a Refuser is a kind of cross between a conscientious objector and a Luddite. In this post WW3 Britain, almost everyone has a brain implant which they use to spend most of their lives in a virtual environment. People don't just play in the vast array of games: they work, they learn, they date. Even hacking is encouraged. And those who opt out, like Luna, are shut out of the best careers and viewed with suspicion.

Everyone thinks that Luna's Refusing is principled - a rejection of the technology after her hacker mother died in the virtual world. But it's not. Luna has a secret: when in the virtual world, she's aware of her physical body and that's thought to be impossible. She's Refusing to hide this ability, even though this will mean a future in the lowliest of careers. But then PareCo, the corporation running almost every aspect of virtual life, singles Luna out for the test that ensures entry into the upper echelons of society and Luna can't hide any longer...

Ok. This premise is nothing new. So you can imagine that PareCo doesn't turn out to be a benevolent organisation. And that virtual life isn't all it's cracked up to be. And that technological advances have considerable downsides to add to the benefits they bring. But Teri Terry has a knack for original twists on her chosen themes, and her books feature great writing, tight plotting and relatable characters, so if this type of speculative story is your thing, you will thoroughly enjoy Mind Games.

Luna is a great central character. She's stubborn, independent of thought and courageous to boot. And you really root for her as she goes into bat against PareCo. But she also has personal issues to vanquish along the way, so you can identify with her, too. And she fits perfectly into a very thoughtfully created world, which is all too credible.

There is a shout-out to Terry's earlier sequence, Slated, at one point in the book, which made me smile. I'll be honest: I preferred Slated to Mind Games, because I prefer real worlds to virtual ones and because once or twice I found Luna's virtual abilities slightly unbelievable, even in a world where technology has advanced so much. There were a couple of moments when it all felt magical rather than technological. Even so, Mind Games is fast-paced and well-written with a great central character and interesting things to say about the advance of technology.

Recommended.

Another speculative thriller featuring a virtual world is Quantum Drop by the redoubtable Saci Lloyd. And you shouldn't miss Terry's own Slated sequence.

Buy Mind Games by Teri Terry at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Mind Games by Teri Terry at Amazon.co.uk


Buy Mind Games by Teri Terry at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Mind Games by Teri Terry at Amazon.com.

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