Shattered Minds // It Was Brilliant, I Didn’t Want To Put It Down

20 June 2017

Shattered Minds
Shattered Minds (Pacifica #2) – Laura Lam
Published: 15th June 2017
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Sci-fi, Thriller
My Rating:
She can uncover the truth, if she defeats her demons.

Ex-neuroscientist Carina struggles with a drug problem, her conscience, and urges to kill. She satisfies her cravings in dreams, fuelled by the addictive drug ‘Zeal’. Now she’s heading for self-destruction – until she has a vision of a dead girl.

Sudice Inc. damaged Carina when she worked on their sinister brain-mapping project, causing her violent compulsions. And this girl was a similar experiment. When Carina realizes the vision was planted by her old colleague Mark, desperate for help to expose the company, she knows he’s probably dead. Her only hope is to unmask her nemesis – or she’s next.

To unlock the secrets Mark hid in her mind, she’ll need a group of specialist hackers. Dax is one of them, a doctor who can help Carina fight her addictions. If she holds on to her humanity, they might even have a future together. But first she must destroy her adversary – before it changes us and our society, forever.
I knew I wanted to read this book as soon as I had finished False Hearts last year. I don’t think this book even had a title at that point. I just knew I had to read it. I then promptly forgot about it until I saw the cover on Netgalley so instantly requested. I’m glad I did because Laura Lam in an author I don’t think got anywhere enough attention with that first book, False Hearts, and so I am determined to try again with Shattered Minds.

I will begin by saying this is a sci-fi read. The world it is set in is meant to be some kind of utopia where murder has been eradicated and there is meant to be these great lives for folks. Pacifica is meant to be an ideal place to live and the company, Sudice, has created this brilliant way for people to go into these dreamscapes and satisfy their urges in their dreams rather than in reality. It is obviously all a lie and completely flawed, but that is where we’re at with this book. Shattered Minds is also a standalone book, as is False Hearts, they are set in the same world and there are references to things mentioned in False Hearts in Shattered Minds but you don’t need to read one to enjoy the other (I love when that happens).

I was completely absorbed from the first page with this one, much as I was with False Hearts. I just didn’t want to stop reading at all and it was because I was intrigued by all these characters you are introduced to. I actually didn’t expect that as at first I didn’t understand how Carina was going to play a major role as she was a Zeal addict (Zeal is the drug used to take folks into their dreamscape) but I soon came to care about her and it was swiftly explained how this addict was going to play a pivotal role. And I really liked Dax from the get go. He was so calm and together in the book and I loved that he knew exactly who he was and what he was working towards. Even Roz, the villain of our story, was a brilliant in her emotionless way as you completely got she was being rational and logical (mostly) and that’s what motivated in her crazy way. I mean, I loved to hate Roz and I love when you feel strongly for an antagonist, it makes you care more what happens at the end.

The story in this book is brilliant and I don’t want to reveal plot details but Carina ends up joining a group who are trying to shine a light on the crimes Sudice has committed. Sudice for too long has accumulated power and basically has control over Pacifica as it is this giant corporation with it’s fingers in all the pies. And I loved it was a total David and Goliath type storyline where this tiny group tries to take on the big guy and it’s utterly brilliant. You’ll be cheering for them the entire time and won’t be able to help yourself.

It did make me a little uncomfortable the attitude to addiction in the book but it really showed how flawed a society Pacifica was and it kind of shines a light on reality as well. They were happy to leave Zealots (the Zeal addicts) to slowly kill themselves by getting lost in their dreamscapes and essentially starving themselves as they forget to care for their basic needs until they simply die. And people were swift to believe that only those with criminal tendencies are the ones who will be susceptible to becoming addicted as Zeal itself shouldn’t be addictive. I know that in reality we are swift to ignore things which make us uncomfortable (like those who are homeless and people begging on the streets) and easily assume that it’s their own fault, to invent that they are addicts and criminals. It may not be intentional that this book shines a light on a few flaws, but I certainly felt it did.

Essentially, this is a totally brilliant book you need to check out. This one is very much shining the flaws on society for me and it is an addictive read. Also, did I mention that Dax is transgender and a main character and the love interest in this book? No? Then you have another reason to read right there. I could list lots of reasons, really. It’s an awesome read and so addictive with these brilliant characters. You should really just check it out.

What’s the last book you read where you hooked from the first page? Anyone else read this or anything else by Laura Lam?
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