I received an ARC from the publishers in exchange for an honest review. It has not affected my opinions.
Genre: Sci-fi Age Range: YA Star Rating: 5 stars Series: standalone
Eighteen-year-old Sil Sarrah is determined to die a legend. In the ten years she’s been rescuing imperilled field agents for the Syntex Corporation—by commandeering their minds from afar and leading them to safety—Sil hasn’t lost a single life. And she’s not about to start now.
She’s got twelve months left on the clock before the supercomputer grafted to her brain kills her, and she’s hell-bent on using that time to cement her legacy. Sil’s going to be the only Mindwalker to ever pitch a perfect game—even despite the debilitating glitches she’s experiencing. But when a critical mission goes south, Sil is forced to flee the very company she once called home.
Desperate to prove she’s no traitor, Sil infiltrates the Analog Army, an activist faction working to bring Syntex down. Her plan is to win back her employer’s trust by destroying the group from within. Instead, she and the Army’s reckless leader, Ryder, uncover a horrifying truth that threatens to undo all the good Sil’s ever done.
With her tech rapidly degrading and her new ally keeping dangerous secrets of his own, Sil must find a way to stop Syntex in order to save her friends, her reputation—and maybe even herself.
Blurb taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.
MINDWALKER is a UKYA scif-fi debut that has been getting a fair bit of hype and was so much fun to read. I was reading it at a very chaotic time, so wasn’t able to sit down and just read it (which is what I very much wanted to do) but despite lots of interruptions and long stretches when I couldn’t read, it kept me entertained the whole time.
It’s a snappy book, fitting a lot in the 311 pages – several twists and turns and revealed corporate secrets. Sil has been effectively brough up by Syntex for the last ten years, so leaving forces her to confront other opinions about the ethical nature of the technology, and the power it allows the corporation to hold. There were also questions about when it was OK to use morally iffy (at the very best) technology and the slippery slope within.
Sil is the sort of character who barrels ahead to do what she thinks is best, and doesn’t ask for opinions (other than her super computer.) It means we get some great set pieces of (well-meaning) recklessness in the post-apocalyptic New York City.
The ticking timebomb of the technology in her head, and the way serious action degrades it, adds a great tension rachet to the book. There’s so much pressure to find the answers, decide a side, and act before time runs out – but you also know that acting will reduce the time left so there might not be enough.
If you are the sort of reader who likes banter, then this is a book for you. The dialogue is so sharp and snappy, more the clever/witty (and genuinely feels clever rather than thinking it’s clever) side than the petty/mean side, which was great as it’s the type I prefer. Sil’s general voice also made me laugh a few times – her observations were a sarcastic, exasperated mix that worked so well.
I look forward to what Kate Dylan writes next (and I rather hope we get her German books in English now!)