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Between Two Minds: Awakening by D.C. Wright-Hammer

book cover of Between Two Minds: Awakening

There are so many interesting ideas in this book that I feel like I should have enjoyed it more than I did.

The story follows Ryan, a paraplegic in a nearish-future setting who decides to go through a mind migration – that is, his consciousness will be transplanted into a new, lab-grown, non-disabled body. Once the migration has been conducted, though, he is plagued by a series of vivid dreams (and eventually hallucinations) that appear to reveal to him the life of a completely different person: a military veteran turned accomplice of organised crime named Charlie.

The mystery is interesting albeit not entirely resolved because it seems certain details had to be reserved to justify a sequel, and a lot of the world-building is interesting. The world we see here is one where capitalism has been allowed to squeeze the ordinary person even harder than we see today, and there are plenty of things going on – the US has intervened in an India-Pakistan war, a disease called spotted lung has spread nastily through the population, and the unnamed city in which the story takes place has seen widespread ethnic cleansing (which weirdly only gets a brief mention late in the book) and a long period of dominance by criminal gangs.

So why this didn't fully click for me, I don't really know. I guess the characters just lacked a certain something to really grab me (and the romantic subplot was particularly ehhhh). Some of the writing in certain parts seemed a bit unpolished, although that might just have been my lack of engagement at some parts. If the concept sounds interesting to you I'd certainly encourage you to give it a chance, because there is some good stuff here. It just didn't grip me as much as I'd hoped it would.

★★★

a cartoony avatar of Jessica Smith is a left-wing feminist who loves animals, books, gaming, and cooking; she’s also very interested in linguistics, history, technology and society.