K H Canobi, Mind Cull, Ford Street Publishing, June 2019, 246 pp., RRP $19.99, ISBN 9781925804232
Mind Cull is a great young adult future thriller with a touch of romance. I would recommend it for people 12 years of age and older, I think that it could be an enjoyable book for anyone, but particularly teenage girls. It is an exciting and fast paced book with a strong, flawed female protagonist and deals with issues such as family loss, technology addiction and mental health.
Set in the near future, everyone is dependent on virtual reality and privacy doesn’t exist. The main character, sixteen year old Eila gets shortlisted in a competition by a global technology giant, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and could make her rich and famous. But everything goes downhill when she is approached by the International Law Enforcement Officers (ILEO) who threaten and force her to spy for them. When Eila finds out about a murderous plot, and someone uses virtual reality engulfing her into the mind of a stranger, she must decide how far she will go to save innocent lives.
In Mind Cull virtual reality addiction and mental health are huge issues. Some people become completely addicted to virtual reality and begin to see things that aren’t actually there and can no longer function in everyday life. They call these people discordants. Eila’s father was a discordant and the way the author portrays such issues as family loss and mental health in Mind Cull is one of the things that makes it so engaging and realistic.
All in all, Mind Cull is worth reading if you are into futuristic young adult novels. It is fast paced and a good size, so there is never a dull moment.
Reviewed by Libby Boas