Book Review: Five Minds by Guy Morpuss

The Earth’s growing population has finally been controlled. Lifespans are limited to eighty years, except for those who make an extreme choice: to become a commune. Five minds sharing one body, living for four hours at a time. But with a combined lifespan of nearly 150 years.

Alex, Kate, Sierra, Ben and Mike are a commune. They have already spent twenty-five years together, arguing, reconciling, alliances shifting and re-forming. They travel to a Death Park where games are played in which extra lifespan can be gambled like money. The plan is to win time to upgrade their next host body. But then Kate accepts a dangerous offer, and one of them disappears.

Someone is trying to kill off members of the commune. Is one of them responsible? Or is someone else playing a deadly game? It’s hard enough to catch a murderer. It’s almost impossible when you might be sharing a body with them…

I picked up this one in a bookshop on a whim. Something about the cover caught my attention, the blurb did the rest.

This was one of those books that I found immediately captivating, the whole idea of choosing the type of life you want to live, and how long you will live for when you are 17 was really interesting. Seeing the results of those choices play out for our main protagonists was equally gripping.

This was cleverly crafted with parts of their history together dropped in before you got the full story and each person given their own chapters when it is their turn to be ‘awake’. The fact the five of them can only communicate via written messages that can only be accessed during waking time added a nice element to the story as they tried to work together to figure out what was happening to them.

This book is clearly science fiction in background but the main plot is a very clever whodunnit which leads the reader on an interesting journey – and I have to say I didn’t work all of this one out either.

A clever, well put together plot with interesting characters, I enjoyed this one a lot.

Five Minds is available now.

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