June 26, 2017

Shattered Minds Blog Tour: Tens List, Review + Giveaway


Shattered Minds (Pacifica #2)
Author: Laura Lam
Genre: Science Fiction/Thriller
Release Date: June 20, 2017
Publisher: Tor Books


She can uncover the truth, if she defeats her demons

Ex-neuroscientist Carina struggles with a drug problem, her conscience, and urges to kill. She satisfies her cravings in dreams, fuelled by the addictive drug ‘Zeal’. Now she’s heading for self-destruction – until she has a vision of a dead girl.

Sudice Inc. damaged Carina when she worked on their sinister brain-mapping project, causing her violent compulsions. And this girl was a similar experiment. When Carina realizes the vision was planted by her old colleague Mark, desperate for help to expose the company, she knows he’s probably dead. Her only hope is to unmask her nemesis – or she’s next.

To unlock the secrets Mark hid in her mind, she’ll need a group of specialist hackers. Dax is one of them, a doctor who can help Carina fight her addictions. If she holds on to her humanity, they might even have a future together. But first she must destroy her adversary – before it changes us and our society, forever.  

Praise for FALSE HEARTS:

“Riveting.” ―F. Paul Wilson, New York Times bestselling author

“A multilayered, suspenseful thriller, False Hearts explores themes of identity and power in a breakneck plot that keeps the pages turning.” ―Ilana C. Myer, author of Last Song Before Night

“An ingenious premise, and Laura Lam executes it flawlessly. Gritty and wise, your own pulse will be racing as you get caught up in this exciting tale.” ―Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo Award-winning author of Red Planet Blues

“A taut futuristic thriller, set in a San Francisco where everybody is beautiful... and nobody is exceptional. Two unusual sisters are caught in a war for control of a society that quietly suffocates its outsiders, rebels, and the damaged. Taema and Tila are all three, and their strange past and unique bond make False Hearts a difficult book to put down.” ―A. M. Dellamonica, author of Child of a Hidden Sea

“A smart debut from someone who's clearly got what it takes.” ―Peter F. Hamilton, author of the Commonwealth Saga

Ten Things You Didn’t Know About the Pacifica Series

I’m writing this assuming you haven’t read either False Hearts or Shattered Minds, so here’s basically a list of cool worldbuilding/character stuff.

1. People all have brain implants. They’re mostly auditory and ocular, though some will also get extra implants to help with memory retention.

2. A lot of people will ‘brainload’ information while they sleep. Education is free, so plenty of Pacifica residents will collect degrees like candy and enter the workforce earlier than we do now.

3. Pacifica is the west coast of the former United States. It consists of Hawaii, California, Oregon, and Washington. The middle states are the Great Plains, the Southern states are the Great South, and the East Coast is Atlantica.

4. Pacifica is an ecotopia in a lot of ways. There are orchard skyscrapers, and there’s a special algae that grows in bays that make them glow green at night. This helps bolster food supplies. Zero waste hover cars are common, as well as very affordable public transport. In Los Angeles, they’ve started creating floating skyscrapers, so that the ground can be greener. Smog is almost gone. People order food and clothing and whatever else they need from replicators, like Star Trek, and a lot of it goes back in to be recycled. Minimalism is cool.

5. Physical perfection is prided upon, with all the unfortunate abled connotations as a result. People have muscle nanoimplants to keep them in shape. They can walk into flesh parlours and change aspects about themselves they don’t like. The irony is they end up changing themselves to largely look the same.

6. Gene therapy means a lot of hereditary diseases have been eradicated. Prosthetics are advanced. People are healthier and live much longer.

7. Cloning has been outlawed. Does that mean it doesn’t happen? That’s less clear...

8. AI is advanced but not sentient (as far as we know). Drones do a lot of jobs and many factories etc are automated. Basic income is in place and most people do elect to work. A forty hour workweek is uncommon—it’s usually closer to twenty, though some work more if they love their job.

9. Dream drugs are all the rage. The main one is called Zeal, produced by Sudice, Inc. It’s meant to be cathartic. You go into a dreamscape, you work out whatever is troubling you, and you come out feeling calmer. You’re also more tractable, less likely to commit crimes.

10. If you’re someone that society deems a high risk of becoming a criminal, you’re highly likely to become addicted to it. Many of them slowly waste away, and society turns away, pretending it doesn’t happen. Shattered Minds starts with Carina constantly plugged into Zealscapes, using them as her own form of suicide. Yet when an old colleague interrupts to dump encrypted information in her head that could take down the corporation they both used to work for, she’s forced to return to real life and try to overcome her serial killer urges.
Shattered Minds is the second book in a thrilling dystopian science fiction series. I haven't read anything quite like this in quite a long time, so it all felt fresh and original to me. There were a ton of fascinating details the author wrote into this world and I loved learning about them all and daydreaming what it would be like to live there. They have a lot of cool things (see the guest post above for more!) like dreamscapes, brain implants, body upgrades, replicators to create just about anything you could want, and gene manipulation to pretty much wipe out diseases - to name a few. Every detail was thought out and vividly imagined. It was interesting to see this world and think of how true it might be for our own society in years to come.

Carina was an interesting choice for a main character. She was more of an anti-hero than a heroine - more flaws than positive qualities. I did find her realistic and could empathize with her most of the time. Except when it came to her Zeal addiction -which is a huge part of her character. I understand that an addiction takes over someone's life if they allow it to, but I personally have never experienced that - and I found it hard to identify with that aspect of Carina's character. She had good traits too - she was strong, smart, determined, and hellbent on exposing the horrible things her old employer was doing behind closed doors. Oh - probably should mention her blood thirst. She has a yearning to kill pretty much everyone she comes across - thanks to the aforementioned previous employer. 

The book is told from three different characters' perspectives - Carina, Dax, and Dr. Roz. Dax is a hacker/doctor that Carina gets to help her take down the corporation. He can also help with her addiction, and is even a romantic interest. Dr. Roz is basically the villain in the story - the doctor at the corporation who's behind it all. I loved that the author chose to write the book from each of these perspectives, but one thing I didn't like was the third person point of view that was used. I completely understand why she chose this style - main to avoid confusing the reader (I think), but I personally prefer the first person. I never feel as connected to the narrator when the third person is used, and this happened here as well. If it had been done in the first person, I'm pretty sure I would've identified with the characters more easily and had a little bit better experience. This is solely my own personal opinion and preference and has absolutely nothing to do with the writing or the story itself. Overall, this was an edgy thriller that fans of science fiction, urban fantasy, dystopian, and fantasy will definitely want to pick up. Highly recommended!

Laura Lam was born in the late eighties and raised near San Francisco, California, by two former Haight-Ashbury hippies. Both of them encouraged her to finger-paint to her heart’s desire, colour outside the lines, and consider the library a second home. This led to an overabundance of daydreams.
After studying literature and creative writing at university, she relocated to Scotland to be with her husband, a boy she met online when they were teenagers and he insulted her taste in books and she insulted his right back. She almost blocked him but is glad she didn’t. She is now a dual citizen, but at times she misses the sunshine.
While working a variety of jobs from filing and photocopying endlessly at a law firm to library assistant to corporate librarian, she began writing in earnest. Her first book, Pantomime, the first book in the Micah Grey series, was released in 2013, which was a Scottish Book Trust Teen Book of the Month, won the Bisexual Book Award, was listed a Top Ten Title for the American Library Association List, and was nominated for several other awards. Robin Hobb says “Pantomime by Laura Lam took me into a detailed and exotic world, peopled by characters that I’d love to be friends with... and some I’d never want to cross paths with.” The sequel, Shadowplay, followed in 2014, as well as several the Vestigial Tales, self-published short stories and novellas set in the same world. The third book in the series, Masquerade, will follow in 2017.
Her newest book is False Hearts, a near-future thriller released in June 2016 by Tor/Macmillan and in three other languages. Peter F. Hamilton calls False Hearts “a strong debut from someone who’s clearly got what it takes.” Another thriller, Shattered Minds, will be released in 2017.
She is still hiding from sunshine in Scotland and writing more stories.

 You can purchase Shattered Minds at the following Retailers:
(3) Winners will receive both FALSE HEARTS and SHATTERED MINDS by Laura Lam
Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter 


1 comment:

  1. As a child I would go to my parents bedroom to read by myself.