by Kate Dylan
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Pub Date 14 Sep 2023 | Archive Date 14 Sep 2023
Hodder & Stoughton, Hodderscape
They saved her life. But at what cost?
Born into a religious cult on the fringe of society, Indra Dyer lives a simple, tech-free existence. But when an illicit trip to the city leaves her with a debilitating - and terminal - condition, Indra must make a choice: die faithful or betray her Order and accept the cure Glindell Technologies is offering.
Forced to sign over full ownership of her life, Indra is horrified to learn the true nature of Glindell's plans. Instead of saving her body, they upload her mind to a first-of-its-kind MindDrive, housed in a fully robotic shell.
On the outside, Indra still looks the same; on the inside, she's not so sure. She keeps finding herself in places she really shouldn't be, with no memory of how she got there, and dangerous abilities she can't explain. So when news breaks of an attack against Glindell's biggest rival, Indra suspects the worst.
With the help of Tian - a research assistant with questionable morals and a smile that won't quit - Indra must uncover the truth behind the procedure that saved her life, before Glindell can use it to change the face of technology, and what it means to be human, forever . . .
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 29 members
Now if you know me, chances are I've probably pushed MindWalker onto you at somepoint since I read it last year.
So when I say I was excited for MindBreaker... that is an understatement. So when I seen this on NetGalley and was approved (thank you to NetGalley and Hodderscape for this) I may or may not have jumped right in (sorry tbr, I'll get to you all eventually)
Now to the story. MindBreaker is set in the same World as MindWalker but instead of Sil and Syntex we have Indra and Glindell and a new type of tech.
Indra is part of an anti tech cult but loves to dapple with tech... when an excursion for this leads to her being terminally ill, Glindell offer her a deal, give over ownership of her life for the chance at a new one... not much of a choice when death is the alternative. Even when this choice will cause her cult, and her family, to shun her.
Left with no other option, Indra submits, but after the process, Indra becomes suspicious of lost time and glitches in her memories so she seeks help from Tian, a research assistant on the programme. Can Indra trust anyone within the company fully, no matter how nice they seem?
Weighing up her options, Indra realises escape is the best option, but whats a former God Girl losing her grip on humanity to do when shes free in the world.... stay tuned to find out!
A whole new story with characters to fall in love with, set in a world we know and love... there might even be mention of a familiar AA from book one!
This bright scifi techy dystopian world has my heart and no pressure Kate but more books in this world would be a delight
Another lightning speed romp through through this post nuke war NYC and I loved all 21600 seconds it took to devour it!
Science light, fiction heavy; this is a book for those wanting to dip their toes into sci-fi whilst maintaining focus on plot and people.
Like Mindwalker, this installment has me wishing to visit a world that, despite being bleak and clinging to shreds of life, is full of human adaption and resilience.
I feel you could read this without having ready Mindwalker but for context of the world and the wider plot aspects, it's worth getting stuck in before picking this up!
Kate Dylan's Mindwalker was one of my standout books of last year. That I got to return to this universe so soon having been taunted with it (in the best way) by Kate on Instagram and on Twitter was such a thrill.
Although Sil and Ryder return in this book, this is Indra's story and honestly I AM LIVING FOR IT. If you love Ghost In The Shell PRE-ORDER THIS IMMEDIATELY. Indra is an incredible character who has a lot to deal with in this book trying to balance her upbringing in a technophobic cult, the faith she was indoctrinated in and her new circumstances as she tries to come to terms with her new cyborg status and what the hell the company who made her new body is up to.
I love her pure sibling like friend ship with Nyx, and the tension between her and her handler/science prodigy Tian and the way it develops as these idiots are too blinded by circumstances to see what's staring them in the face.
Action-packed, thrilling with emotional wrecking balls that gut you Mindbreaker cements Kate as a force to be reckoned with in UKYA and Sci-Fi .
This is the second book in this series. I was blown away by the first, and this book is equally as good, or maybe even better! Each book could be read as a stand alone, but, if you can, I think are better read in order. Action packed fantasy, with humour and gentle romance. Just a brilliantly entertaining read for YA and up. Thank you to Hodder and Stoughton and NetGalley for the ARC. The views expressed are all mine freely given.
“No company deserves the right to trade in human lives.”
“Capitalism worships at the altar of crime.”
“People can be flawed and messy. Astound and disappoint you in unexpected ways.”
Kate Dylan has done it again: delivered a thrilling, punchy, feel-good feel-anxious script, packed full of action, verve, and characters you will love.
The narration is perfectly smooth, seating you in the heart of the action as you ride along with Indra, a girl who’s been transformed into a marvel of technology. But is she still… Indra?
Punctuated with sly, clever references, and sneaky Easter eggs for the observant, Dylan’s prose is a delight. She ramps up the tension and plays the speed skilfully, peppering the action with perfectly on-the-beat humour.
But it’s also thoughtful, probing at deeper questions we should be asking ourselves and society: when did we start valuing human lives in terms of money? How much can I change, and remain truly myself? Whom can we trust in an age of misinformation?
The answers are for us to find out: but there’s one thing we can be certain of:
“No more quiet rebellions.”
P.S. Someone make this into a film!!!
High speed chases!
Extremely dangerous stunts!
Heists going wrong!
A team coming together!
Thank you to Hodderscape and NetGalley for an E-ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Holy christ-that-was (yes I'm starting this review how I started my Mindwalker review). This book is everything I could have hoped for and more. After reading Mindwalker, I wanted to know more about this tech-centred world and what other advanced tech is floating around. So, when Kate announced there would be another book, to say I was over the moon is an understatement.
In Mindwalker, we followed the story of Sil Sarrah and Syntex. In Mindbreaker, we follow Indra Dyer and Glindell. In a tech-filled world, Indra was born into a cult who are very much anti-tech, however, she likes to occasionally play around with the tech the world has on offer. One day, Indra takes a trip into the city which ends with Indra developing a debilitating and terminal condition. Glindell Technologies offers a cure and she has to make the choice to either betray her Order and get the curse or die a faithful. Barely eighteen, Indra signs over full ownership of her life to Glindell and is shocked that they are not in fact saving her life, her mind is being uploaded to a MindDrive housed in a fully robotic shell. Indra continuously finds herself in places she shouldn't be with no memory of how she got there. When news breaks about an attack against Glindell's biggest rival, Indra suspects the worst and goes on the run.
When I tell you that I devoured this book, I absolutely devoured it. I could not put it down. Like Mindwalker, I was hooked from start to finish. We meet some old friends in this book and the squeal that left my mouth had heads turning my way haha.
Indra was absolutely amazing, and Nyx, omg I loved him so much. His friendship with Indra was to die for. Tian, although I hated her at first, I grew to absolutely adore her. Let's just say that Indra and Tian go on a journey of their own and I loved it.
There was not one thing I disliked about this book. I defo need to find and read more books with cyber-punk vibes to fill the void Mindbreaker has left.
I'm sad that this is the last book planned in this world but I cannot wait for what Kate writes next.
Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for an e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review!
I absolutely adored Mindwalker, so I was jumping out of my seat to read Mindbreaker too. I was immediately sucked in, just as I had been with the first book set in this world. It's such accessible sci-fi, as action packed as any Marvel movie, so easy to read but very hard to put down.
There's an enemies-to-lovers sapphic romance, dangerous and evil corporations, cool tech, a fast-paced adventure plot and explosions! I'd recommend it to anyone who thinks Black Widow deserved better, and who loves the idea of a thrilling, hi-tech adventure in a neon, post-apocalyptic city.
Mindbreaker is a mind-blowing sci-fi read with an action-packed plot, an intriguing main-character faced with an unimaginable reality, and ground-breaking science mired in moral dilemma.
I read the book in one sitting, finishing in the early hours of the morning because I don't think I could have slept not knowing how it ends. Just like Mindwalker, it's the kind of sci-fi story that got me absolutely hooked.
The two novels are set in the same post-nuclear war New York, and while there are references to the events of Mindwalker, as well as some appearances from characters of the first novel, Mindbreaker could be read as a stand-alone. However, if you love a plot to bring down the evil tech corporations, then you'll enjoy both.
In Mindwalker, we followed Sil Sarrah as she brought down tech giant Syntex. In Mindbreaker, anti-tech cult girl Indra Dyer faces off against Glindell Technologies, whose cure for her terminal condition turned out not to be saving her body, but instead uploading her mind to a prototype MindDrive housed in a humanoid robotic shell. When news of an attack against Glindell's biggest rival coincide with Indra starting to experience memory lapses, she suspects the worst. Indra goes on the run to uncover the truth behind the procedure that saved her life, before Glindell’s new technology changes humanity forever.
This was an absolute thrill-ride: fast-paced, utterly compelling, and with the right balance of science and fiction. It’s Mindwalker technology on steroids, with a sapphic plot thrown in. The book threw up so many questions about how we value life, and what makes us human – it’s bound to stick in my mind for a long time, and I already look forward to finding out what Kate Dylan writes next.
I love that is a sequel to mindwalker, but can also be read (and thoroughly enjoyed) as a standalone. All that sass and dry humour that I loved in the first one is seen here too, which allows that fantastic blend of dystopia and doom and gloom, but with light moments and showing that even when the world is a mess, people still just carry on and find a way as they must. I finished this book so quickly and loved every second. It didn’t feel clunky or too info-dumpy, however at no point I did I feel lost o confused. Everything just made sense! The characters are amazing, and I loved every one, even those I hated, I loved to hate them. I feel like I want to be part of some of the friendships and honestly, whether you’re new to sci-fi, or read it all the time. This is the book to pick up!
After reading Mindwalker, Kate Dylan’s debut YA cyberpunk Sci-Fi, injected full of fast pacing, vivid world building, solid themes involving our technological world, and fleshed out characters, I knew I had to pick up the follow up companion book, Mindbreaker, and dive back in this world. And I got to indulge in it before release, and it delivered as much as I expected to, with much of the same, world expansion, but fresh enough to keep me engaged from start to finish.
This one has Ghost in the Shell and Battle Angel Alita vibes, considering that our protagonist, Indra Dyer, was converted into a “cybot” in order to save her life after nearly dying from a rare condition. She’s interested in technology to her almost death, despite her religious cult arguing against technology, but overall, she’s exploring who she is with her new status, and through a lot of revelations, she’s questioning aspects of herself, especially since saving her life required her to betray the basic tenants of her life. And some haunting realistic dreams she’s having as of late. She’s quite a mess, but a determined mess.
I really enjoyed Indra’s interactions with Nyx. It’s rare in YA to see a boy/girl relationship not turn romantic (both are gay), and it was so refreshing to see the two rub off each other in a platonic sense, the hacker boy and the good god girl. I also like how Indra interacted with Tian, her handler turned love interest, and how Tian herself grows as she realizes the truth about her company. The other characters, new and old, were interesting and fleshed out, with a few surprises that I will not spoil. I love the bonding of the cast as well, through all that they go through.
Once again, the pacing was brilliant, things were happening every chapter and none of it was filler, all of it exploring another aspect of Indra’s new status as a “cybot” with a hard drive for a brain instead of flesh and bone. There’s plenty of action sequences and they were all done well, feeling like an action thriller movie. Yet it has enough scenes to really get to know the characters and their situations. I couldn’t wait to see what kind of trouble she would get into next. Again, the prose is super smooth.
I love the world building of this cyberpunk world, and even if you read book 1, there’s plenty more to explore with new technology and the consequences of book 1’s events. The post apocalyptic world of cyberpunk New York is still interesting and I still want more of it. Even if sci-fi usually isn’t your thing, it’s not too heavy on the technology, and fairly easy to follow along, as most concepts are explained in the story itself.
The themes were fleshed out well, with the exploration of faith, finding your own path, rebellion, tech company control, and what makes someone human when you’re all metal. Made me think about the possibilities of the future, both good and bad, considering if we can even trust technology sometimes. No more quiet rebellions is practically an arc word for this book. I was really happy that religion wasn’t vilified; while the cult Indra was in wasn’t exactly a great place, religion wasn’t seen as evil by the protagonist, despite the rest of the world having moved on from it after the world ended centuries ago, believing that any god would have not allowed this to happen, with some of the creative swears.
There are callbacks, references, and characters from the first book, Mindwalker. While there’s enough information in this book to stand on it’s own, you will be spoiled for Mindwalker if you haven’t read it, so I highly suggest reading Mindwalker first. Also, there’s plenty of swearing, some graphic violence and some sensual content (nothing spicy), so be advised.
I’m really sad to find out that a third book in the Mindwalker world is unlikely (for now), but I’m really hoping for more stories in this universe, especially with a small ending hook. I will be on the lookout in what Kate Dylan has for us next.
Mindbreaker does not disappoint! If you loved Kate Dylan's first book Mindwalker then this will be right up your street. I snapped this book up in just a couple of days (a sign of a great book for me). It's full of action, sarcastic characters that we love and is well-paced.
Mindbreaker is set in the same world as Mindwalker, but follows a new character. A person could easily pick up Mindbreaker before Mindwalker and not feel like they're missing out and read it as a standalone. There are references to the first book, which is nice for those that have read Mindwalker. It's set a few years on from the events of the first book and follows Indra, a girl from the outer sectors with not a lot of tech knowledge and is thrown in to the world. I loved her narrative voice and while she still had some great sarcastic lines, she felt distinctively different to Sil from Mindwalker. Indra felt authentic, she was limited in her knowledge of the main sector and made decisions that felt befitting to her background. The character development was 10/10 very authentic and made sense.
I loved the twists and turns of this book and I just couldn't put it down. I honestly don't want to give out more because it would spoil it. I've already preordered this. Kate is becoming one of my Must Buy authors ! :) If you love sci-fi, with the whole what is it to be human theme, seriously pick this up.
I downloaded this book before a 4 hour Amtrak ride and devoured the entire thing before reaching my final destination, which I think goes to show just how compelling a story Mindbreaker is.
I didn't realize until honestly just now that Mindbreaker is the second novel set in this world by Kate Dylan because for the most part, it works perfectly well as a standalone novel. I do think any potential feelings I had in the beginning of the book about how quickly I felt thrown into such a complicated and fascinating world are now answered by the realization that this is not the first in the series. But even having said that, I do think the incredible first person narrative voice helps compensate and break up some early parts of the story where a lot of world-building information gets thrown at the reader quite quickly.
Mindbreaker follows a teenage girl who has grown up as part of an anti-technology, religious cult in a world dominated by advanced tech, who, in order to have her life saved, is sold to one of the leading tech companies as Intellectual Property and has her mind uploaded into a proprietary "cybot" body. The book was not just full of compelling twists and turns, as well as interesting characters, but dealt throughout with some very real and interesting questions about what it means to be human, what it means to be a society, what obligations we have to one another, and what it might mean to see technology taken too far. I also enjoyed the way the author portrayed the cult that the MC was raised in. I felt that rather than rely on the reader's expectations of what a cult should be, it asked us to pause and consider that perhaps, in this world she has created, their positions weren't entirely unreasonable. Certainly there was more nuance to that issue than I was expecting from the back cover summary, and I enjoyed that a lot.
Having read Mindbreaker, I am very much looking forward to going back and reading the first world in this universe.
Mindbreaker by Kate Dylan
Rating: 4.5/5 ⭐
Special thanks to Hodder & Stoughton for the ARC via Netgalley!
First things first, I'd recommend reading Mindwalker before diving into Mindbreaker—it's not a prerequisite, but it does give you a more rounded understanding of the world in which these novels are set.
Mindbreaker is not just a sequel—it's a step up. It takes the familiar territory of a dystopian future with omnipotent corporations from Mindwalker and ramps it up, portraying the bleakness and brutality of corporate greed in raw detail. It's a stark contrast to the slow reveal in Mindwalker and there's no hiding from it here.
The main character, Indra, is a force to be reckoned with, more 'Hulk' than 'Black Widow' if we're speaking in Marvel terms. Her struggle with becoming more robot than human is tangible and draws you in, creating a stark contrast to the more discreet approach of Sil in Mindwalker. Yet, each character's unique approach adds a distinct flavor to their respective books.
But what really surprised me was the subplot romance which I found myself truly enjoying—a rarity for me, indeed! The book was also loaded with twists—some I saw coming, others took me by surprise, but each added another layer of intrigue to the storyline.
Dylan's writing style is fantastic, akin to the fast-paced, action-packed thrill of an action movie. It's engaging, easy to read, and keeps you turning pages at lightning speed.
On the world-building front, while it's less focused on in this book compared to Mindwalker, it's still sufficiently detailed. However, new readers might find it a bit confusing without the background knowledge provided in the first book.
Overall, Mindbreaker is a thrilling read that I'd love to see on the big screen one day. It's popcorn worthy and just an amazing sequel. I can't wait to see what Dylan comes up with next!
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