Cover Image: Mind Burn

Mind Burn

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Member Reviews

Wow, what a ride! I enjoyed the pacing of this one, even at times when it seemed like I was reading faster than my brain could compute the details. It moves at a breakneck speed and is perfect for anyone who loves their sci-fi books to fly by. I thought it was a fascinating story, and even though I was afraid the mass shooting conceit would seem like a manipulative storytelling trope, it truly didn't.

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In his all consuming search to find his long time missing girl friend, Cowan Soto leaves his job with One World to become a detective, hoping that way to be able to gain access to the arrest files. But less than two weeks into his training, he and the veteran teaching him are sent to investigate the first mass killing committed in twelve years.
Massacres like this didn't , any more. It is a near future time of cybernetics, with all but a few traditionalists fitted with a traceable PBA, personal brain assistant, which gave them access to a more comfortable world and alternate realities, dulling the unpleasant sides of life. But as the investigation proceeds, it becomes obvious to Cowan and his partner that this was far more than a mere shooting: something was seriously wrong.

This was a great read and I'm not usually super into sci-fi. Definitely worth picking up in today's world

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Overall, I loved Mind Burn, a detailed science fictional novel with a complex protagonist and a racy plot that introduces its readers to a scarily plausible utopian future and makes them ponder some germane existential conundrums.

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In the future, America finds a way to solve most problems of unhappiness, boredom, and criminal activity. Virtual reality and brain implants seem to control impulses or let the impulses fly in an imaginary space, keeping people safe. However, some crimes still happen. Mind Burn by T. E. Bakutis is the story of two futuristic detectives who utilize advanced tech methods to solve those crimes to which they are assigned. I loved this “Law and Order” set many years from now and the special characters within it. The novel is voiced in the point of view of several different characters, but mostly by the two detectives who are partners on their first case. The writing is descriptive, as it should be in a highly detailed technological situation. You do not have to be an IT grad to read this book, the science is well explained. However it flows at a great pace, keeping the reader engaged. As clues stop surfacing on one case, another crime happens, making the partners seem realistically overworked and real. The Mission Impossible type ending is a bit long and explosive but does tie up the crime. Mind Burn is a science fiction police procedural with great world building including laws and government offices so different from today. I am hoping that a series begins with all the crew, brain augmentation and relationships created in this novel. I suggest for those who like Blake Crouch. Thank you to Netgalley and Blackstone publishing for a free earc in return for an honest review.

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3.5 stars (rounded to 4). I'm not usually into sci-fi, but this was entertaining from start to finish since it has a thriller tone to it. If you liked "Ready Player One," you might like this.

The plot is unique and is made for a Blockbuster movie. This futuristic world is engrossing, the imagery is vivid, there's enough mystery and new information sprinkled throughout, and the author poses much more interesting "Is tech evil even if it was made for good?" hypotheticals than "Black Mirror" does.

There's not much character development or nuanced personality explorations, but that didn't bother me as this isn't that type of book.

The reason I didn't give it 5 stars is because the pacing was go-go-go — there was constant action, which was exciting, but wore down on me after an hour of reading each time. There was no relief, just one action sequence to the next. This made the book feel dense, and I had to chunk out my reading sessions into short sessions over the course of a couple months. That's why I'm torn; while I did love the plot, my progress was so slow that it was hard to stay excited about reading it. The frequent acronyms for every type of bureau or fictional tech phenomenon quickly got tiring and felt unintentionally campy.

Overall, though, I'd recommend this book! Definitely memorable.

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This book was fine, just not for me

~This book was given by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

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