"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..." - via Goodreads
With so many YA dystopian novels out there at the moment, how did this one stand out to you & make you decide to read it?
Christina: The advanced technology was a big draw for me, as I like to see how different authors tackle a well-established theme such as that one. A big part of the synopsis is the idea of illusions and things not being as they seem. I love this concept in any story as I enjoy being deceived and misled by books - this aspect drew me in and made me really want to read the book.
Erin: Initially the book caught my eye due to it's author Teri Terry who's Slated trilogy I had read and really enjoyed. I loved how unique, refreshing and realistic the world she had created felt so when I saw that she was releasing another YA dystopian novel I was keen to pick it up!
The idea of virtual reality has been explored in literature before. What unique points do you think Mind Games has that make it stand out from other books with a similar theme?
Christina: I don’t actually think I’ve read any books with a virtual reality, so it’s quite a difficult question for me (If I have, I can’t think of any right now). I do feel as though the advanced technology was realistic and I could imagine living this life myself in the not-so-distant future. The main character made the book stand out for me, Luna being a Refuser was an interesting aspect that I wouldn’t necessarily have expected based on her personality and the society around her.
Erin: The technology and ideas explored in Mind Games didn't feel far-fetched but instead were believable, and without giving too much away also had somewhat of a horror element - it's definitely scary to think these types of virtual worlds could become reality in the near future! I really enjoyed the fact that the main character Luna was a Refuser as it meant we got to see both her real 'in person' life as well as what went on whilst she was 'plugged in' to the virtual world.
Do you feel the characters were realistic or unrealistic for the world in which they live in?
Christina: I think all of the characters were fairly realistic. The main character being a Refuser was a large part of the storyline, but when everybody around her uses this advanced technology, what are the chances of her refusing? I found this an interesting aspect to the story, as mentioned above, but I'm not sure how realistic this was in terms of the world she was living in. I also felt as though Gecko’s paranoia made his character realistic especially as I got to know more and more about the world the characters were living in.
Erin: At first it was a little difficult to believe that Luna would be a Refuser since her family, friends, and what seemed like the majority of the population had been given the implant and adopted the virtual world into their everyday lives. Having said that I found her pretty realistic throughout the novel as she questioned a lot of what was going on and really took the reader on her journey of discovery alongside her.
How did you find the writing style? Were there any areas you thought were particularly strong or weak?
Christina: Mind Games is the first book I’ve read by Teri Terry and it’s fairly safe to say it won’t be the last. Her writing style really captivated me and drew me in and that’s one of the reasons I loved this book so much. I thought her world-building skills were incredible, with world-building being an imperative aspect of Dystopian fiction I felt she just did this really really well.
Erin: Personally I really enjoyed the writing style which I found very easy to follow and felt that the world-building in particular was strong. Having also read the Slated trilogy I believe that Teri Terry has a talent for creating more believable dystopian worlds allowing the reader not to be pulled out of the story by too many plot holes or questions. (Side note: I loved that the world of the Slated trilogy was referenced within Mind Games!).
What were your overalls thoughts on the book? Would you recommend it?
Christina: I actually gave this book 5 out of 5 stars, I loved it. My ratings are often decided on a gut instinct reaction and if I give a book five stars, it’s because it has gripped me and I can’t stop thinking about it. Which is exactly how I felt about this book. I found Luna’s constant questioning of everything around her and her abilities quite annoying, but that was the only slightly negative comment I have for this book. I don’t think Terry has any plans to turn this book into a series, but I’m really hoping she does.
Erin: Similarly to Slated I gave Mind Games a 4/5 stars based on the concept, world-building, writing style and my overall enjoyment of this futuristic novel. I'd definitely recommend the book in general but particularly to those who loved the Slated trilogy!
Mind Games is due for release on March 5th!
This post was written by regular reviewers Christina and Erin. Get to know them here!