Bibliophile | Guy Morpuss presents a twisted reality with ‘Five Minds’

Five Minds
by Guy Morpuss

In the future, with the eradication of disease and people continuing to reproduce, the Earth is a crippled planet with dwindling resources. An ingenious way of solving the population problem is making people choose how to live and when to die.

At the age of seventeen, you could choose to become an android by having your mind downloaded into a synthetic body and you would have eighty years of life. You could select to be a hedonist with unlimited money and leisure but only have forty-two years of life. Those who opt to become workers have a natural lifespan but those who opt to live as a commune can live for 150 years.

A commune is where five minds share one body and only get to be awake and in control for 4 hours a cycle. You can send messages during your part of the cycle but you cannot speak to each other directly or read each other’s thoughts. Alex, Kate, Sierra, Ben and Mike have already spent twenty-five years in Mike’s body – arguing reconciling and shifting alliances.

They vote four-to-one to visit a Death Park, to have some fun and play games where time can be won and lost. When Kate accepts a dangerous challenge in the city of bars and arenas, one of them disappears. It is hard enough to catch a murderer but almost impossible when you share a body with them and cannot confront them.

Amid the mind-blowing concept of the different personalities existing on one body without being able to communicate directly, there are the challenges in the arenas of the city surrounded by razor wire that ramp up the adrenaline. Throw in the possibility that some of the characters are not playing by the rules and you have the ultimate whodunit.

Guy Morpuss says that his favourite books have always involved twists on reality and he has certainly created a twisted reality in his debut novel. Going back and forth in time, the tense narrative is written by very compelling characters all fighting to survive in a dark warped future.

Lezly Herbert

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