Mindjammer by Sarah Newton

MINDJAMMER by Sarah Newton, Mindjammer Press, p/b, US $15.95, www.mindjammerpress.com

Reviewed by Katy O’Dowd

Y’see, I didn’t know this until after I’d read the book and had a look at the website, and I feel it only fair to add a disclaimer in case I miss anything out – Mindjammer is a roleplaying game, in a far future transhuman space opera setting. Well, so is the book, but without the roleplaying bit, though you could, I suppose act out what the characters are doing if you don’t mind the cat looking at you funny. Just wanted to clear that up, as the only games I have any real knowledge of are Crazy Taxi and Tekken Tag. Ahem.

I’m kind of glad though, that I didn’t know, so I reviewed the book as a book, if you see what I mean.

And oh my goodness me, what a book! I haven’t enjoyed, nay loved something quite so much for quite some time. Yes, it is complex, but what a fine example of superb writing and equally superb world building. But it’s not complex in a shutting you out kind of way, Sarah Newton’s pure skill at character and action description makes sure of that.

So, picture this, new worlds, sentient beings – and not just humans – amazing settings, non-stop action, clever twists and turns, morality, religion, politics, war, choice, no choice at all, people who aren’t quite what they seem, and a wonderful spaceship which is an intelligent being in its own right. Sounds good, right? Well, let me tell you, it is.

Spooky as all hell too. There’s the Mindscape which everyone is plugged into, so your thoughts are common knowledge. There’s the Commonality of Humankind, hyper-advanced technologies – it is the seventeenth millennium after all – and the SCI Force special ops team lead by Thaddeus Clay.

And that’s just the beginning.

Add to the mix the creepy ideal of immortality and you’re starting to scratch the surface.

Mindjammer is an exceptionally well written sci-fi/space opera, full to the brim of non-stop action, battles and characters who not only have to question their own motives, but those of others around them in the Second Age of Space.

A complete page turner, if you’re anything like me you’ll whizz through it. I actually felt excited reading Mindjammer, and can recommend it really highly. Special shout out to the cover artist too, haven’t seen anything that good since Chris Foss.

Awesome book, and I’ll look forward to more.

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