Monday, 2 March 2015

Review: Mind Games

Mind Games
Publication Date: March 5th 2015
Publisher: Orchard Books
~A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review~

Luna is a no-hoper with a secret: in a world of illusion, she can see what is real. But can she see the truth before it is too late?

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

Mind Games is very imaginative-and for me, unique, since I haven't read one like it before-I'm not going to discredit that, but that was the only main good thing I liked about it. I didn't hate it,  it was pretty interesting, so that kept me reading, but there's something about it, that I can't put my finger on. Overall, I had a few issues with it.

I'll begin with the characters,  they felt  2D, they moved the story along and played their part but I felt no connection to any of them or find their personality. The main character, Luna, is that character, you know the one, the perfect character that's perfectly perfect and doesn't know it, and she's special, etc, etc, but she was nice, she was likeable. The secondary characters, particularly the female secondary characters are portrayed to be, how can I put his nicely? Bitches. Luna's step-mother, a money hungry bitch. Her ex-friend that easily becomes her friend again, a backstabbing bitch. The 'mean' girl, an all-mean-for-no-apparent-reason bitch, Crystal, a jealous bitch. I think you get the idea. The male characters that get some 'screen' time, Hex and Gecko, you guessed it, are attracted her. The romance is minimal, luckily.

The writing was easy to read, but the story was hard to follow, if that makes sense. It's fast paced, really fast paced, like so fast paced I had to go back to previous pages to reread because suddenly we're somewhere else. It's one that if you blink, you'll be huh? Thirdly, while it went in-depth to create the virtual world and how it works and how you can change anything in that world, and create a safe place only you can access, and for most of the characters, it's a sensory deprivation to the outside world. Think like you're a character in The Sims.  But, it doesn't go into how the implants were created, how any of this came to be, there's a brief world building in the human world, not that you see it that much, but I wanted to learn more about it because it was interesting.

Everything in Mind Games revolves around virtual reality, and while it is to the extreme (to the point where they're thinking actually going to school isn't necessary so you can stay home and be virtually schooled, which, you know, score and all but still, the impact of socialising and behaviour would have a huge impact on that loss) really, what effect does technology have on our everyday lives and relationships? How much do we use it every day? It's scary to think about the role it plays in our lives. It's so easy for things to escalate online with social media, as we've all seen. It's so easy to be someone else, it's also a lot easier to actually be yourself, but it's also dangerous, like it shows here in Mind Games.

Mind Games has a great concept, but in places it played out like a hot mess, there were twists I saw coming, and some I didn't, which was great, but I didn't feel enough for the characters for it to make an impact.

Rating: 3/5