I am absolutely obsessed with this book. I honestly requested it solely because I kept seeing all these neon pictures on my feed and I was intrigued by the cover, but it ended up being an incredible read that I marathoned in one sitting. I listened to the audiobook, but I definitely want to get a physical copy for a reread soon.
Thanks to Hodder & Stoughton Audio for the eARC of this book. It has not affected my honest review.
About the book:
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.
What did I think?
I will absolutely be reading more from Kate Dylan in the future, the writing was so readable and accessible that I sat down to listen to ‘a chapter or two’ and then I blinked and I’d read the whole thing. It had the kind of cinematic feel that I love in YA, and it worked so well for the sci-fi/thriller genre. This would make a spectacular movie, and I need it immediately in front of my eyeballs. The premise itself also felt very cinematic. It was creative, pulling in some fascinating ideas from across sci-fi and combining them in a way that felt very unique. The world-building was straightforward and easy to understand without overloading the story at the front. I’m a big fan of a book dropping us into its high concept and explaining as we go, and MINDWALKER absolutely nailed that in the first few chapters.
The futuristic elements were really well handled too. I read a lot of sci-fi, and a lot of Star Wars novels, and I love them a lot but I’m well aware that futuristic elements in a book can end up being…. a bit silly. That didn’t happen in MINDWALKER, I was totally immersed and committed from the first page to the last and I felt utterly convinced the whole way through that this could really happen. I don’t think I’ve read many books that had sci-fi settings but thriller pacing, but I know I want more. It worked so well, keeping me on the edge of my seat until the very end.
I loved the characters, and – and this is rare for me in a YA novel – I loved the romance. The romance in this book really hinged on the fact that our main character and her love interest came from completely opposite sides of the conflict with completely opposite beliefs. I’m very used to YA books having their main character always quietly opposing the system, but Sil is fully entrenched at the start of the book. This was so much more interesting to me, as Sil had to learn to challenge her beliefs and acknowledge her privilege as she was taken completely out of the world she was used to. It made me absolutely adore Sil as a character, and added so much depth to her relationships with the Analog Army.
Release Date: 1st September 2022