Your life depends on playing their game.
Fans of the award-winning SLATED trilogy won't want to miss this gripping new psychological thriller from Teri Terry!
In a future world, life is tightly controlled by the all-powerful PareCo. Standing out from the crowd is dangerous so misfit Luna hides her secrets carefully, not realising her own power. Unlike her friends and family, Luna has never been able to plug into Realtime, PareCo's virtual world, where almost everyone now lives their lives. So how do PareCo know about Luna, and why do they want her for their elite think tank?
The truth is hidden in a web of shining silver secrets, and the corrupt authorities would do anything to keep it that way. Can Luna find a way to use her own hidden powers and bring the truth to light before it's too late?
I picked this up the other night and was instantly hooked.
Luna Iverson lives in a world where most people are always plugged into the virtual world, via their Implant. Even school lessons are like that, kids plugging into the PareCo's Virtual Education. But Luna is a Refuser, which means that she refuses to get an Implant. So she's in a small class of kids that refuse technology for several reasons--some are religious, others are medical, or even serving a punishment for misbehaving in VE--but she's just there because she doesn't want an Implant.
Actually, it's safer if she doesn't get one. Her Nanna has told her this her whole life, because if she doesn't refuse others will find out her secret and probably exploit it. Luna can still sign into the virtual world via a PIP--Plug in Point--sofa, but gets so sick that she can only log in for a little while.
She lives with her father, grandmother, stepmother and stepbrother. Her grandmother is sick, and her father is always plugged in working, so she spends most of her time with her stepmother, Sally, and brother, Jason. Sally isn't an awful person, but she's always bugging Luna and just doesn't understand her refusal to be like everyone else. Even her younger brother has an Implant. And, being a Refuser has affected her socially. Most kids stay away from her, gossip about her, and just don't want to be anywhere near her. In fact, she only has two real friends: a Hacker (people who can manipulate the virtual world with black tattooed marks on their left eyes) called Hex, and a fellow Refuser called Rachel.
However, when Luna somehow gets a place in the upcoming PareCo tests, she's swept away to a facility for a week. Here she meets a mysterious boy called Gecko, who happens to a S'hacker (undetectable hackers with silver marks on their left eyes) and introduces her to ANDs (anti-nausea drugs). She also manages to score well enough to get a placement in the coveted Think Tank. An opportunity most dream about, but she doesn't want. She tries to transfer to university instead, and almost does.
When something tragic happens in her family, she has no other choice than to be transported to Inaccessible Island.
But on the way there, an accident occurs and Luna is suddenly thrown off balance in more ways than one. Suddenly, she's meeting new people who talk about conspiracies and danger. She's finding out a lot about the seemingly safe virtual world that PareCo has managed to establish. And also that she might be able to help change everything. Or might just end up destroying everything and everyone she cares about.
Wow. This is one intoxicating storyline. As soon as I entered this futuristic world I didn't want to get out of it. Luna is a compelling character who is determined to keep herself in the real world more than in some virtual place. She's strong, stubborn, cheeky, and very likeable, but at the end of the day she's still a kid and isn't immune to being manipulated by greedy, conniving adults.
Mind Games turned out to be an intriguing thriller filled with shocking revelations. It's an amazing book that I enjoyed immensely. I loved how this world is completely foreign but so well created through words that I could see everything playing out inside my mind vividly. A book this intricate--with so many different silver threads that connect and lead to one devastating conclusion--needs a strong and capable character to convey the events... and Luna is the perfect heroine!
I loved this book SO much! As well as the very pretty cover! I also found it super creepy. I mean some of the things that she finds out are chilling. *shudders* And yet, with our dependency on computers and phones, who knows where it might lead us? I just hope it's not to think tanks. :/
Mind Games, March 2015, ISBN 9781408334256, Orchard Books