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Gerald M. Weinberg
on July 11, 2012 :
Mind Secrets is a novel in the best of all science fiction traditions. It makes one contrary-to-today's-science assumption and then shows us the consequences. I love such stories in general, and I love this one in particular.
The contrary-to-today assumption is mind-reading—of a sort. It's begun to spring up among teenagers, much to the chagrin of the graybeards. In the book, the conflict is played out on the full London stage, but especially in the life of Michael, who wakes up at the start of the story with his memory wiped, while he's being pursued by a big man with evil intentions.
Without a memory of his own life, Michael is at considerable disadvantage in the chase, but he manages to escape, live on the streets, and eventually wind up living with a couple of "Perceivers"—that is, mind-readers. From then on, his life is an ongoing series of pursuits, captures, escapes, and more pursuits. Through all these adventures, he manages to assemble parts of his jigsaw-puzzle past.
But all his new knowledge does is create more trouble, culminating in an all-out war between the Perceivers and the Norms. As for the book's reading appeal, I literally couldn't put it down—and not just because of the non-stop pursuit. Author Chris Reynolds provides plenty of deep stuff for the reader to ponder. Will the world really be like this when a minority of the population can read the thoughts of the majority?
(reviewed the day of purchase)