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Five Minds by Guy Morpuss

Publication Date 02.09.21


The Earth's spiralling 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, each living for four hours at a time. But with a combined lifespan of nearly 150 years.

Alex, Kate, Mike, Sierra and Ben have already spent twenty-five years together in what was once Mike's body, their frequent personality clashes leading to endless bickering, countless arguments, and getting themselves stranded on a Russian arctic freighter. Wanting to buy upgrades for their next host body, they decide to travel to a Death Park where games are played and time can be gambled like money. But things go very wrong when Kate accepts a dangerous offer, and one of them disappears.

It soon becomes clear that someone is trying to kill off members of the commune. But why? Is one of them responsible? Or is an outsider 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...

Five Stars

Wow. Westworld meets Maze Runner meets The Running Man meets Seven Deaths splattered with murder and riddles to solve. Such an immersive experience.

This is such an intelligent novel and so expertly plotted. How did Guy even think this one up? I was all over the place trying to figure it all out. Also the world these characters live in is fascinating - there are so many tiny details that enrich the setting. And the concept? Oh my goodness. Imagine sharing your body with four others. I thought it about it all the time, which shift would I prefer and would it be better just to be a hedonist. I am still not sure!

Let's talk about the games at the Death Park. A place where you gamble time and your life. They were riveting and as they played along you were there with them. Sifting through all the evidence like you were a detective. Trying to figure out the clues yourself and deciding how to win. I adored those games. So inventive.

Then when you were finished you were right back to finding out who was attempting to kill you. Honestly it is like two books in one. The action never lets up. And the narrative is so compelling. You just have to find out what happens in the end.

And how does Guy ensure five characters - that live in the same body - have unique voices? His craft in doing so is astounding. I especially enjoyed hearing about their pasts and what happened before they arrived at the park. I would love to say more but can't for risk of spoilers. Suffice to say the narrative has a rich depth that is often lacking in such a genre. This isn't just about the thrills and spills it's about life and it's meaning. At times it is terrifying, exhilarating and thrilling. But it is also sad and poignant.

Such a mind blowing original book. I have no doubt this will be on cinema screens soon. You should buy it.

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