Luna has always been able to exist in virtual and real worlds at the same time, a secret she is warned to keep. She hides her ability by being a Refuser: excluded by choice from the virtual spheres others inhabit. But when she is singled out for testing, she can’t hide any longer.
The safest thing to do would be to fail, to go back to a dead-end life, no future. But Luna is starting to hope for something better, and hope is a dangerous thing..
Ack, this is going to be a difficult one to review. There was nothing terribly wrong with the book, per se, but it just fell flat for me. It felt like dystopia-lite, in a sense – and not to be harsh, but it didn’t bring anything new to the genre. With so many of these dystopia/sci-fi YA books permeating the market, a book has to have something special to stand out from the crowd, and unfortunately Mind Games just didn’t have it.
Some of the new-age words used in the book confused me – you had to deduce from the context in which they were used what each one meant. I think the biggest drawback for me was the lack of world-building – we are never told how the society of technology domination comes about – we just have to accept that people all have digital implants in their head and corporations rule the world. The explanation for the S’hackers, a super-level of hackers that can manipulate matter, also became a bit convoluted at times.
I did like our MC, Luna – she is loyal to her family, doesn’t always fit the mould, and takes some fairly brave risks. I also admired the fact that there is not a traditional HEA, while the plot twist near the end – where you find out where the people on the untraceable island have disappeared to – gave me the creeps!
I finished this book in two sittings, so while parts of it fell flat, once I got into it, I was still fairly entertained. Overall, however, it wasn’t the most memorable book I’ve ever read, and definitely needed more fleshing out.
Free copy received from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.