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Five Minds

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ONE BODY. FIVE MINDS. ONE KILLER. 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 ONE BODY. FIVE MINDS. ONE KILLER. 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... This brilliant murder mystery blends classic crime with speculative fiction in a stunning debut.


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ONE BODY. FIVE MINDS. ONE KILLER. 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 ONE BODY. FIVE MINDS. ONE KILLER. 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... This brilliant murder mystery blends classic crime with speculative fiction in a stunning debut.

30 review for Five Minds

  1. 5 out of 5

    Pat

    Well this is a tricky review to write! This book was about as different as a book can be from my usual reading material, which is kind of why I picked it. So let’s see - it is definitely sci-fi although futuristic rather than of an alien or galaxy exploring variety. It seems to be set on a near future earth which has finally woken up and implemented drastic measures to preserve the environment. Accordingly the population is tightly controlled and people have set lifespans depending on what optio Well this is a tricky review to write! This book was about as different as a book can be from my usual reading material, which is kind of why I picked it. So let’s see - it is definitely sci-fi although futuristic rather than of an alien or galaxy exploring variety. It seems to be set on a near future earth which has finally woken up and implemented drastic measures to preserve the environment. Accordingly the population is tightly controlled and people have set lifespans depending on what option they chose at age 17. You could choose to be a worker, a hedonist (short but very luxurious life), an andi (Android) almost human body with your mind installed, or a commune. The commune is where five minds inhabit one body as in the title. They each get four hours of each day and their bodies get renewed/replaced every 25 years. Together they have the longest lifespan but can only live for 4 hours each day. It was a very novel concept! This particular commune, currently inhabiting Mike’s body and comprising Mike (fitness fanatic), Sierra (sociopathic hedonist), Kate (sensible and clever problem solver), Ben (gamer extraordinaire) and Alex (pleasant enough former fat boy) decides to go to a death park to try and win some extra time. The story reminded me a bit of Justin Timberlake’s 2011 movie In Time where time was the currency of the day. So it is in the world created by Morpuss. The death parks give players the opportunity to win more time or die trying. The challenges are like virtual reality games. The risk to the commune is minor as they are very close to going into stasis and getting a new body so if they died it would only bring forward the inevitable. Yet they stood to gain quite a lot if they won. Little did they just how dangerous it could really be! Most of the story is set within the death park with just a few flashbacks to provide context. It’s also told from the point of view of the five minds inhabiting this commune. As is often the case things do not go according to plan and it becomes clear that one of the five is plotting against the others. But of course you don’t know which one it is. They can’t communicate directly with each other, only leave messages for the others to read when their turn in the daily cycle arrives. I have to say it was a very unique story, I’ve never read anything like it. I thought it was really well done and the author did a great job with differentiating the characters. They were all very well developed with their own personalities and they were all very different to each other. I can’t imagine how this sort of thing would work for real, I think it would drive me mad but it was an interesting thing to ponder. So with unreliable narrators and plenty of red herrings I had no chance of working out how this was going to end. It took me a little while to get into this one but when I did I started to really enjoy it. Thanks to the publisher via Netgalley for the complimentary copy of the book which I reviewed voluntarily and honestly.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Natalie "Curling up with a Coffee and a Kindle" Rampling

    This is one of my most anticipated reads of the year and I was so excited for the mind blowing premise! Five Minds is an intriguing thriller, and one that demands full concentration! It is not an easy read, and I found I had to have no distractions when reading it. It is a complex and high concept story, and one I would be fascinated to learn about it's creation from the author. How on earth does someone create a story like this?! The characters are clearly well defined, athough I feel I would hav This is one of my most anticipated reads of the year and I was so excited for the mind blowing premise! Five Minds is an intriguing thriller, and one that demands full concentration! It is not an easy read, and I found I had to have no distractions when reading it. It is a complex and high concept story, and one I would be fascinated to learn about it's creation from the author. How on earth does someone create a story like this?! The characters are clearly well defined, athough I feel I would have benefitted from some kind of key or cast list at the start to help me. Without these, it took a while to get used to the language and concept. With all that being said, it is an EXTREMELY clever and well thought out novel, and I cannot wait to see what Morpuss comes up with next!

  3. 5 out of 5

    The Cats’ Mother

    Five Minds is an ingenious blend of sci-fi, speculative fiction and murder mystery, set in a disturbing future where global resource shortages have forced the population into accepting a drastic form of rationing, where the key currency is time. I came across it through recommendations in a couple of book groups, and was intrigued by the premise, but found the extended game sequences detracted from my general enjoyment of the main plot. Alex, Kate, Mike, Ben and Sierra are a commune - five person Five Minds is an ingenious blend of sci-fi, speculative fiction and murder mystery, set in a disturbing future where global resource shortages have forced the population into accepting a drastic form of rationing, where the key currency is time. I came across it through recommendations in a couple of book groups, and was intrigued by the premise, but found the extended game sequences detracted from my general enjoyment of the main plot. Alex, Kate, Mike, Ben and Sierra are a commune - five personalities, forced to take turns sharing one body in four hour shifts every day since the age of seventeen. They can only communicate through internal messages, and only one can be “awake” at a time. All of them except Alex have agreed to enter a Death Park, where contestants participate in simulated role-player games to compete for additional time alive. Communes - known as “schizos”, have an advantage over other contestants - if they lose their current life, they have four more bodies to inhabit for their extended lifespan, but when one of them disappears after losing a game, they come to realise that someone is changing the rules, and they are now playing for keeps. I’m not much of a sci-fi fan, but my husband is, so I have seen a lot of the more popular movies & TV shoes in the genre, and this combined elements of Altered Carbon (I gave up after one episode - too dark, too confusing), In Time, Westworld, Blade Runner and Ready Player One. The world-building was well done if not entirely logical, and the characters convincing if mostly unsympathetic. Each one describes their own experience as they cycle through their day, in past tense until they enter a game, when they shift to present tense narration - I get why, it doesn’t mean I have to like it. I’ve never been into any kind of role-player game, so found these sections a bit boring, apart from Sierra the Sociopath’s submarine simulation - probably because to me psychology is far more interesting than puzzles. I didn’t guess what was going on until the final reveal and enjoyed being wrong-footed by the clever ending. I’m at a stage just now where I’m craving novelty in my reading choices - and this certainly delivered on that front, it was especially impressive for a debut author - I’ll be on the lookout for whatever he comes up with next. Thanks to NetGalley and Viper books for the ARC. I am posting this honest review voluntarily. Five Minds is available now.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    Five minds by Guy Morpuss is a dystopian novel set in the future. The earth is overpopulated so the government has given the choice to the people. At 17, you must decide how you want to live the rest of their life. So, the main characters in the story decide to be a ‘schizo ‘. Five minds in one body. But when an offer is made by a woman called Amy Bird to do play some games in a death park and in return, she will give them an extra 20 years to live. Things don’t go as they thought it would. Thank Five minds by Guy Morpuss is a dystopian novel set in the future. The earth is overpopulated so the government has given the choice to the people. At 17, you must decide how you want to live the rest of their life. So, the main characters in the story decide to be a ‘schizo ‘. Five minds in one body. But when an offer is made by a woman called Amy Bird to do play some games in a death park and in return, she will give them an extra 20 years to live. Things don’t go as they thought it would. Thank you for the publisher for a copy of 5 minds. If there was one book, I find hard to describe to review is this one. Don’t get me wrong this is not a bad book. It has very unique storyline and its very imaginative. How would you cope living with 4 other consciouses in one body for the rest of your life and only have your own time as a person in a certain time slot? It gave me mixed emotions. In one hand it was an intriguing story and had a great storyline and the other hand made me quite claustrophobic. If you want to read something completely different to anything you ever read. Read this you will not be disappointed.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Liz Barnsley

    LOVED LOVED this. Really clever, wildly entertaining with an intelligent speculative narrative that is utterly addictive. Five Minds. One Body. One Killer. It's like a few books in one with some challenging puzzles, perfectly pitched character drama and a strong intriguing mystery element. Doesn't drop the ball either with a satisfying finale that will make you want to revisit this world. A possible entry into my top ten for 2021. Coming September don't miss it. Highly recommended. LOVED LOVED this. Really clever, wildly entertaining with an intelligent speculative narrative that is utterly addictive. Five Minds. One Body. One Killer. It's like a few books in one with some challenging puzzles, perfectly pitched character drama and a strong intriguing mystery element. Doesn't drop the ball either with a satisfying finale that will make you want to revisit this world. A possible entry into my top ten for 2021. Coming September don't miss it. Highly recommended.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Annarella

    One of the most brilliant and original mix of speculative fiction and thriller i've read in a long time. Gay Morpuss is an excellent writer and delivers a story that keeps you on the edge and entertain at the same time. The world building is detailed and you can think that could be our future. The characters are well developed, the five minds that inhabit the same body are distinct and well developed. You get to know them during the books, their stories and their present. It's a thought provoking a One of the most brilliant and original mix of speculative fiction and thriller i've read in a long time. Gay Morpuss is an excellent writer and delivers a story that keeps you on the edge and entertain at the same time. The world building is detailed and you can think that could be our future. The characters are well developed, the five minds that inhabit the same body are distinct and well developed. You get to know them during the books, their stories and their present. It's a thought provoking and fascinating read, strongly recommended. Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine

  7. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    Five Minds By Guy Morpuss In the not so distance future Earth's growing population has become a problem and Lifespans are limited to eighty years and here our story begins. I loved the start of the book getting to know all the minds that inhabit the body and how things worked this was really good writing, the world building was really strong and had a unique atmosphere that I enjoyed and the whodunit element of the book was also really well thought out and enjoyable that I didn't guess so this was Five Minds By Guy Morpuss In the not so distance future Earth's growing population has become a problem and Lifespans are limited to eighty years and here our story begins. I loved the start of the book getting to know all the minds that inhabit the body and how things worked this was really good writing, the world building was really strong and had a unique atmosphere that I enjoyed and the whodunit element of the book was also really well thought out and enjoyable that I didn't guess so this was also a bonus. So why the slight negativity in this review? I found the book relied to heavily on the games in the death park and it started to feel like a bit of a poor mans Ready Player One which I'm a huge fan of so after a couple of the games I started to get a little bored and the book started to become a little repetitive for me. Overall this is a good read just not a great one I did enjoy spending time with this book and I shall look out for more works from the Author. Just about worth your time and hard-earned cash. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for this ARC I also like to thank Guy for allowing me to spend time in his creation in return for an honest review.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lou

    Five Minds is a brilliant and wholly original speculative crime thriller and Morpuss’ debut murder mystery set in the near future where, to solve the planet’s population problem and lack of earthly resources, human bodies play host to multiple minds. But it then begs the question: what if you might be sharing a body with a murderer? One body. Five minds. And one of them is a murderer. Alex wakes up. Alex brushes his teeth. Alex has breakfast. Three hours are left until Sierra takes over the body Five Minds is a brilliant and wholly original speculative crime thriller and Morpuss’ debut murder mystery set in the near future where, to solve the planet’s population problem and lack of earthly resources, human bodies play host to multiple minds. But it then begs the question: what if you might be sharing a body with a murderer? One body. Five minds. And one of them is a murderer. Alex wakes up. Alex brushes his teeth. Alex has breakfast. Three hours are left until Sierra takes over the body. He hopes she doesn’t damage it. And where has Mike gone? The Earth’s population explosion has finally been controlled. At the age of seventeen, every child must choose how to live the rest of their life – as a Worker (where you remain the same as you are - Human), an Android or Andi (upload your mind into an artificial body), a Hedonist (live a life of luxury but die aged 42) or to live in a Commune (live to 142 but share your body). The choice is not only between the way in which you live but your lifespan, too. Alex, Kate, Sierra, Ben and Mike are a commune: five minds sharing one body, living for four hours each per day; they have been together for the past 25 years. Time has become a commodity to be traded and spent. In the death parks, disturbing simulated virtual reality games are played in which time can be gambled like money and won to increase lifespans, but it can also work inversely and you can have your life cut short should you lose. Every quarter of a century a commune can also play to attempt to win time to upgrade and find their next host body. During a game, one of them disappears. Have they been killed? And if so, by someone outside their body or by another member of the Commune? They are all in danger, and as they search for the answer old animosities resurface and they must find out from whom – and why – they are all under threat. This compulsive, immersive and refreshing read is a superb classic murder mystery set in a richly imagined speculative near future world. It takes a traditional premise and doubles down – how do you catch a murderer when you might be sharing a body with them? There is plenty of action, drama, intrigue, excitement and twists throughout, and the author makes great use of misdirection to throw you off the scent; it's cleverly woven and poignant, too. This is a tale that twists reality and plays with the consequences and features multiple minds, changing allegiances and revenge. But Five Minds is not just a high concept thrill ride, it also makes you think and raises some interesting dilemmas: would you be willing to die at 42 if you never worked and lived a life of leisurely luxury? Would you trade living to 142 for being forced to share your body with four other people? Pacy, thought-provoking, character-driven noir told from the perspectives of each occupant of the body, this is a fascinating, exhilarating and entertaining read. Highly recommended.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Laura’s Little Book Nook

    I thoroughly enjoyed this one. We’re thrown in at the deep-end from the first pages - into a futuristic world with no pre-amble or build up as to how we got there, but within a few chapters I felt like Morpuss had settled us firmly in a world I could clearly envision and, for the most part, understand. This is a real psychological page turner that I could have easily read in one sitting. Although Morpuss built a truly dynamic and unique, futuristic playground, I didn’t find it overly complex and I thoroughly enjoyed this one. We’re thrown in at the deep-end from the first pages - into a futuristic world with no pre-amble or build up as to how we got there, but within a few chapters I felt like Morpuss had settled us firmly in a world I could clearly envision and, for the most part, understand. This is a real psychological page turner that I could have easily read in one sitting. Although Morpuss built a truly dynamic and unique, futuristic playground, I didn’t find it overly complex and was easy to get lost in this well developed world. His characters were all well developed, each bringing their own diversity to the story. It was easy to connect and relate to each, as they took their turns in control of the communal body, trying to figure out what was happening to them! Although, around a third of the way in, I had an inkling as to what was going on, I didn’t get it quite right and thoroughly enjoyed the twists and turns and the quick pace of this one. I did feel the ending was a little rushed, and not sure how happy I was with the outcome - but only because I wanted there to be more! If you love a sci-fi mystery, who-done-it, then I’d definitely recommend you giving this one a go!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Adah Udechukwu

    Little words can describe the beauty that is Five Minds. The entire novel was fascinating and the shizo concept was pretty nice.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Eva

    Well, if you’re looking for a book that will make your head hurt and make you feel like your brain is leaking out of your ears … here it is! Oddly enough, I totally mean that in the best way possible. At its core, ‘Five Minds‘ is a murder mystery. Plenty of those around, I hear you thinking, what’s so special about this one? Let me enlighten you. The killer might quite possibly be sharing a body with their victim. Yes, you read that right. And no, it’s nothing like party central in there. Earth’s Well, if you’re looking for a book that will make your head hurt and make you feel like your brain is leaking out of your ears … here it is! Oddly enough, I totally mean that in the best way possible. At its core, ‘Five Minds‘ is a murder mystery. Plenty of those around, I hear you thinking, what’s so special about this one? Let me enlighten you. The killer might quite possibly be sharing a body with their victim. Yes, you read that right. And no, it’s nothing like party central in there. Earth’s population had been growing completely out of control and the powers that be (whoever they are) came up with a solution. At the age of seventeen, Earthlings must choose how they will spend the rest of their lives. Alex, Kate, Sierra, Mike and Ben opted to live in a commune. Five minds sharing one body. The five visit a Death Park, a place where games are played in which you can win – or lose – lifespan. The five want to win time to upgrade to a new host body. But then Kate accepts a dangerous offer and things start to go very, very wrong. Sounds complicated, doesn’t it? To be fair, I struggled at the beginning of this book. It was somewhat of a strange experience where I quite liked what I was reading, but I had no clue what was going on and it frustrated me. Part of me wanted to throw in the towel. Luckily, the other part was too stubborn and kept going because despite the synapses in my brain misfiring all over the place, this extremely addictive story had me utterly immersed. It was totally worth it and I’m so glad I kept reading because ‘Five Minds‘ is one of the most original and complex stories I’ve ever read. What a genius way of turning the crime fiction genre completely onto its head! You’re going to need your full concentration for this one. These five minds work in cycles of four hours so there’s quite a bit of switching back and forth. Yet, it never gets confusing as all five have very distinct voices and attitudes. Could one of them, in a most complicated way, be a killer though? For the longest time, I was unable to figure it out. This is one of those books where the less you say the better. I really don’t want to give anything away. You just need to dive in and discover everything for yourself. ‘Five Minds‘ is incredibly clever, full of intrigue and suspense. But also immensely thought-provoking. You can’t help but try and decide which option you would go for if they are presented to you at seventeen years of age. Heck, most days I can’t even decide what to have for dinner and that’s a far less impactful life decision to make. Pretty sure I wouldn’t want to be part of a commune though. Read the book and get back to me with what you would choose. In the meantime, immerse yourself into this amazing world Guy Morpuss has created and be in awe when you realise that this is a debut! A debut that blows most of the current crime fiction books straight out of the water. I have no idea how Guy Morpuss is going to follow this one up but I sure am excited to find out.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Khira Allen

    Yep, definitely my favourite book of the year and way ahead of many of the sci-fi novels on the current best-seller lists. I've tried to summarise why this novel appealed to me so much and these are probably the main things: - There is a fantastic premise, which allows for extensive world-building: over-population leads to alternative existence models, including sharing of one body between several minds or uploading of a mind into an android body. There are so many things that stem from this: the Yep, definitely my favourite book of the year and way ahead of many of the sci-fi novels on the current best-seller lists. I've tried to summarise why this novel appealed to me so much and these are probably the main things: - There is a fantastic premise, which allows for extensive world-building: over-population leads to alternative existence models, including sharing of one body between several minds or uploading of a mind into an android body. There are so many things that stem from this: the day-to-day practicalities, the relationships between the 'roommates,' their interaction with other people who have a different mode of existence, mutual interdependency, and so on. The social structures are presented in a very credible way, which allows the reader to buy into this alternative universe. - The story is interesting and well-crafted, presented as a sci-fi crime novel. I can just about visualise the complex plot structure on a drawing board and the work that went into making sure that events fit together, providing sufficient clues that come together into plot twists. - The description of the games in the 'death park' is a page turner that accelerates the narrative in otherwise slower parts of the narrative. That is a great plot development technique. - Last, but not least, the voices of the characters come through very clearly and naturally. There are five individual personalities sharing one body, and yet the change between them is seamless and natural, including the perceptions of each character by the others. (I saw that the author's page doesn't have the option for asking questions to author, but if it did, mine would be about the technique used to develop the individual character voices.) A great novel and fantastic writing skills.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jules

    To manage the number of people on the planet, aged 17, all human beings must make a decision on how they’ll live the rest of their lives. One option is to become a commune - five minds in one body - living together for 142 years. Alex, Ben, Kate, Mike & Sierra made this decision & have already lived together for 25 years. They play escape room type games in Death Parks to try to win more time, which can be bartered & exchanged like money. One day, Kate is made an offer she can’t refuse in exchan To manage the number of people on the planet, aged 17, all human beings must make a decision on how they’ll live the rest of their lives. One option is to become a commune - five minds in one body - living together for 142 years. Alex, Ben, Kate, Mike & Sierra made this decision & have already lived together for 25 years. They play escape room type games in Death Parks to try to win more time, which can be bartered & exchanged like money. One day, Kate is made an offer she can’t refuse in exchange for an additional 20 years. But was it too good an offer to be true? She & the others will soon find out, as one of them fails to appear the following day. What happened to them? Is one of the others in the commune to blame? Or is there someone else involved? This kind of set up has the potential to cause confusion, but Guy Morpuss’s clever plot is so well written that it’s perfectly clear which of the five in the commune is awake (each one is awake for 4 hours a day) at any time. It’s such a brilliant take on a crime thriller too - to have five minds in one body. There are some elements I didn’t expect but they were totally relevant to the plot. So as I say, well written, great plot, unique, and totally not the way I’d want to live my life (when would you ever get any reading done if you were only awake for 4 hours a day?!). Great stuff!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    Five Minds By Guy Morpuss In the not so distance future Earth's growing population has become a problem and Lifespans are limited to eighty years and here our story begins. I loved the start of the book getting to know all the minds that inhabit the body and how things worked this was really good writing, the world building was really strong and had a unique atmosphere that I enjoyed and the whodunit element of the book was also really well thought out and enjoyable that I didn't guess so this was Five Minds By Guy Morpuss In the not so distance future Earth's growing population has become a problem and Lifespans are limited to eighty years and here our story begins. I loved the start of the book getting to know all the minds that inhabit the body and how things worked this was really good writing, the world building was really strong and had a unique atmosphere that I enjoyed and the whodunit element of the book was also really well thought out and enjoyable that I didn't guess so this was also a bonus. So why the slight negativity in this review? I found the book relied to heavily on the games in the death park and it started to feel like a bit of a poor mans Ready Player One which I'm a huge fan of so after a couple of the games I started to get a little bored and the book started to become a little repetitive for me. Overall this is a good read just not a great one I did enjoy spending time with this book and I shall look out for more works from the Author. Just about worth your time and hard-earned cash. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for this ARC I also like to thank Guy for allowing me to spend time in his creation in return for an honest review.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Kirkman

    Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for this ARC in return for an honest review. Five Minds by Guy Morpuss is a dystopian type sci-fi novel where 5 minds inhabit one body. When I first read the description of this book, I was intrigued about how it would work. Let me tell you - I LOVED THIS BOOK. It was such an interesting concept and I loved getting to know all the characters! It was very entertaining and I loved the 'games' as they were like a little side adventure! Definitely recommend! Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for this ARC in return for an honest review. Five Minds by Guy Morpuss is a dystopian type sci-fi novel where 5 minds inhabit one body. When I first read the description of this book, I was intrigued about how it would work. Let me tell you - I LOVED THIS BOOK. It was such an interesting concept and I loved getting to know all the characters! It was very entertaining and I loved the 'games' as they were like a little side adventure! Definitely recommend!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sean Randall

    Wow. If I had to recommend just one book from this year, Five Minds could well be it, certainly tied up there with Andy Weir. The execution feels flawless, and so many of the books elements – the mental incongruity of being in a different body, the reliability (or otherwise) of each flawed narrator and the thought-out structure of a postdeath society all fall so neatly into place that the worldbuilding feels effortless. The games, the bars, the kingpins and the desperation of the sad societal dre Wow. If I had to recommend just one book from this year, Five Minds could well be it, certainly tied up there with Andy Weir. The execution feels flawless, and so many of the books elements – the mental incongruity of being in a different body, the reliability (or otherwise) of each flawed narrator and the thought-out structure of a postdeath society all fall so neatly into place that the worldbuilding feels effortless. The games, the bars, the kingpins and the desperation of the sad societal dregs all hit their spots. I was engaged from the offset, enjoyed every twist. One to reread someday and no mistake.

  17. 5 out of 5

    The

    (No spoilers.) An absolutely brilliant idea that sadly turned into a convoluted pile of teenagery rubbish at the three quarters mark. I loved everything about it at the start, this was a fresh and exciting kind of storyline and it started off in such a promising way. The more you read, however, the more confused you become, and by mid way you are already speed reading or flicking through the pages. What promised to be a great mystery turned out to be a pile of silliness, and this is yet another b (No spoilers.) An absolutely brilliant idea that sadly turned into a convoluted pile of teenagery rubbish at the three quarters mark. I loved everything about it at the start, this was a fresh and exciting kind of storyline and it started off in such a promising way. The more you read, however, the more confused you become, and by mid way you are already speed reading or flicking through the pages. What promised to be a great mystery turned out to be a pile of silliness, and this is yet another book consigned to the "why did I bother" shelf. Ugh.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    My mind is officially blown by this immersive, speculative thriller. I haven’t been able to stop asking myself: what would I choose? Worker? Commune? Android or Commune? This clever, twisty debut really delivers - gripping, well- written and intriguing on every level.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Karen Barber

    From the moment I’d seen the teasers about Five Minds appearing on Twitter, I was eagerly awaiting my opportunity to read this. I’d trawled Morpuss’s website and played the games (I struggled to even think about which option I’d go for). Eventually I struck lucky and was granted access by NetGalley to read this before publication. All I had to do was write my honest thoughts. That sounds straightforward, but having just finished Five Minds my mind seems incapable of coherent thought! So, let’s lo From the moment I’d seen the teasers about Five Minds appearing on Twitter, I was eagerly awaiting my opportunity to read this. I’d trawled Morpuss’s website and played the games (I struggled to even think about which option I’d go for). Eventually I struck lucky and was granted access by NetGalley to read this before publication. All I had to do was write my honest thoughts. That sounds straightforward, but having just finished Five Minds my mind seems incapable of coherent thought! So, let’s look at what we are told beforehand… Five Minds is set in an alternate future. In an attempt to control the Earth’s growing population lifespans are carefully monitored, and people are made to choose their life at seventeen. Some become workers…they are educated for the next five years and then take their chance as to what comes next. Some become andis…their minds are uploaded into a body requiring little physical maintenance. They are granted a lifespan of eighty years. A few become hedonists. This group have wealth and are granted free choice…but they die at forty-two. The last group are, perhaps, the hardest to understand. The schizos. Five minds are merged in one body, each having control of it for a four hour period in the day. Each mind is granted a lifespan of twenty-five years, and the host can be updated regularly. Their life ends after the fifth mind has had their twenty-five years. Our focus is on one schizo group, or commune. Alex, Dan, Kate, Sierra and Mike have been together for some time. They regularly compete in the Death Parks, underground competitions allowing people to try and win additional time. When Kate is offered the chance to win an obscene amount of life, she takes it. Unfortunately, it results in one of their group disappearing. No one seems to know what’s happened, but all too quickly it becomes apparent that someone does…and until this person is caught, the commune is at risk. The concept of a group under threat isn’t new. But the idea that the murderer could well be one of the minds within the commune lends it a chilling feel. As soon as the murder element comes to the fore it becomes a very different style of book to read. I was gripped, and found myself wholly immersed in the story as I tried to work out who was behind it and how - or if - they would succeed. Huge thanks to NetGalley and Viper books for letting me read this early, and thank you to Guy Morpuss for a fascinating debut that makes me wonder what on earth could come next.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Bookswithacuppa

    What in all that is holy have I just read??! First up, I would give this book more than 5 stars if I could. I don’t think I will do this book justice but by god am I going to try…. A dystopian thriller which I can only describe as In Time meets Running Man, meets Hunger Games (but far more brutal), meets Seven Deaths but at the same time it’s own unique world of utter brilliance. I was sucked in by this book at the first page and if I didn’t have a toddler, I would have finished it in one sitting What in all that is holy have I just read??! First up, I would give this book more than 5 stars if I could. I don’t think I will do this book justice but by god am I going to try…. A dystopian thriller which I can only describe as In Time meets Running Man, meets Hunger Games (but far more brutal), meets Seven Deaths but at the same time it’s own unique world of utter brilliance. I was sucked in by this book at the first page and if I didn’t have a toddler, I would have finished it in one sitting. This is, by far, the most compelling, immersive, intricate piece of mind blowing suspense I have read this year and I am experiencing some serious book hangover here. The world Guy has created is devious, it’s brutal, it’s ingenious - and I need more of it. What a choice to make at 17 - do live the life of luxury as a hedonist and die at 42? Do you live as an Android and die at 80? Do you live as a worker and basically work your way into a grave? Do you give up control of your life (apart from 4 hours a day) and slot into a commune body with four others and live for 142 years as five minds…? (I did the quiz on Guy’s webpage, and as someone who likes order and control, I got commune - who knew!!) Anyway, back to the story. I loved Guy’s writing style and I can’t believe this is a debut. His writing is whip-smart and punchy. The pace is uncompromising and will leave you in a soggy heap so keep up. His characterisation is on a masterful level - I may as well have been part of this commune for the level of investment I had in these characters - all five of them! Even the supporting characters brought so much life to this book - not a single character was a waste. The suspense was layered brilliantly and as I got into the last third of the book, my twisted mind really wanted it to go in a certain direction - and it did. I was absolutely delighted!! What a humdinger of a twist at the end guys. This is my favourite book of this month, it will absolutely be in my top five of 2021, and Guy Morpuss’ future books will automatically sit on my TBR. There is something seriously wrong if this book doesn’t make it into our screens. Do yourself a favour and read it!!! I will be recommending this book to whoever will listen. Huge thanks to NetGalley, Viper Books and Guy for the advanced digital copy. My review is voluntary and thoughts entirely my own.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Alex Jones

    In Five Minds, Guy Morpuss has written something very different and quite unique. Billed as ‘The Debut Speculative Crime Thriller of 2021’ and I can find very little to disagree with that tag line. The story focuses around a dystopian world, where a type of population control is now implemented. At the age of 17 you must make a choice, to be one of 4 types of people, each with a different yet limited life span. One of these choices is to share a body and your mind with 4 other minds, hence the ti In Five Minds, Guy Morpuss has written something very different and quite unique. Billed as ‘The Debut Speculative Crime Thriller of 2021’ and I can find very little to disagree with that tag line. The story focuses around a dystopian world, where a type of population control is now implemented. At the age of 17 you must make a choice, to be one of 4 types of people, each with a different yet limited life span. One of these choices is to share a body and your mind with 4 other minds, hence the title. Each day you are allotted 4 hours but a lifespan of 125 years. It’s extremely intriguing and at times very intricate and complex, but the plotting of the story is superb, as the story of the five minded ‘commune’ find themselves taking part in games to win more time at a ‘death park’ Without saying anymore and spoiling the book, it’s highly addictive, fast moving and very clever, I raced through this in a couple of days and it really is one of those books that really messes with your mind. It’s a highly original concept, carried out very well, and I had a lot of fun reading this one. 🔥🔥🔥🔥

  22. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Tait

    Five Minds has loads of different aspects that make it totally readable across different genres. It's a dystopian, sci-fi, mystery thriller with lots to grab your imagination. Written from the different perspectives of the members of a commune (5 minds living together in one body, each having control of the body for 4 hours a day) the action is pacy & the characters compelling. It does take a little getting used to as the story is quick & occasionally I had to take a breath & remember who was in Five Minds has loads of different aspects that make it totally readable across different genres. It's a dystopian, sci-fi, mystery thriller with lots to grab your imagination. Written from the different perspectives of the members of a commune (5 minds living together in one body, each having control of the body for 4 hours a day) the action is pacy & the characters compelling. It does take a little getting used to as the story is quick & occasionally I had to take a breath & remember who was in control of the body at that moment. I love the premise of the different options you are offered at 17, if you're intrigued head over to Guy's Five Minds website to take the test for yourself & see what would suit you. There's Commune, Hedonist, Worker or Android. I got Commune which I thought was a great choice, now I'm not so sure. Within the story there are games that the commune play in the Death Park (somewhere you can go to accrue more time) & I loved these elements as it brought another dimension to the story & provided a little addition to the action. Overall a fab debut that would suit lots of different tastes & I think it would make a fantastic movie, although how they distinguish the different characters within one body I'll leave up to someone else.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Bekah B

    REVIEW: ..... Five Minds blew my one and only mind AWAY! Set in a future dystopian type world where the population of people is a huge problem, when they turn 17 humans are given a number of choices on how they will live the rest of their lives. Each option has an set number of years that the person can live dependant on how many resources they will use. Humans can choose to be a worker, a hedonist, an AI, or a commune. Our five protagonists are people who have chosen to live in a commune whereby REVIEW: ..... Five Minds blew my one and only mind AWAY! Set in a future dystopian type world where the population of people is a huge problem, when they turn 17 humans are given a number of choices on how they will live the rest of their lives. Each option has an set number of years that the person can live dependant on how many resources they will use. Humans can choose to be a worker, a hedonist, an AI, or a commune. Our five protagonists are people who have chosen to live in a commune whereby they all live in the same body and each mind takes turns being conscious for 4 hours per day. Each mind doesn't know what the others know or did or felt and their only way of communicating with each other is by leaving messages. One of the minds disappears and the others can't understand why or how but they start to suspect that one of the others is to blame. Then bizarre things start to happen in one of the death parks where people go to compete against others in virtual challenges in an attempt to win their remaining years of life from them. The loser of the game dies. Cue a disjointed and dangerous investigation where no one knows who to trust in this genius mix of sci-fi and thriller genres. The online gaming and virtual reality stuff gave me Ready Player One vibes but the commune and AI aspects gave it such a unique twist. I really liked how the author wrote it so that the ending wasn't super obvious from the start despite us as readers being able to know what all the minds were doing and thinking. I think I pretty much ended up having suspected each of the five by the time the reveal came along ha ha ha.... I also really liked how each of the five were very distinct which made it easy to transition from one perspective to another and to understand why they behaved the way they did and the decisions they made. I genuinely loved this book far more than I had thought I would. I was excited to get back to it each day and was a bit sad when it ended. And speaking of endings, this did not end the way that I thought it would. I would never have guessed that ending but it felt just right. Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for an advanced copy of this book

  24. 4 out of 5

    Tom Mooney

    More a 3.5 than 4 but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt as it's a debut. Amazing concept with bags of plot that is something like a mix of Ready Player One and Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, and contains some really great ideas. I particularly liked the game playing in the death park and the tag team mystery elements work really well. Sure, there are a few flaws - the main one being how easily and quickly the characters accept drastic changes of circumstances and death. Though I guess ma More a 3.5 than 4 but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt as it's a debut. Amazing concept with bags of plot that is something like a mix of Ready Player One and Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, and contains some really great ideas. I particularly liked the game playing in the death park and the tag team mystery elements work really well. Sure, there are a few flaws - the main one being how easily and quickly the characters accept drastic changes of circumstances and death. Though I guess maybe if you existed in this world you wouldn't view death as such a big issue. Overall it's lots of fun to read, really fast and I'll be interested to see what Morpuss writes next. Recommended.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Chaannttt

    The book is described as science fiction however I wouldn’t say this is overly science fiction like some books, it’s got a subtle theme so don’t be put off by it being Science Fiction. I love how it started from the beginning, explained the concept of the how you come to share a body, giving details of all the people and their bodies before. The story is set in a ‘death park’ which is where people go to earn more years of life from others who are involved in games and lose (eliminating them perma The book is described as science fiction however I wouldn’t say this is overly science fiction like some books, it’s got a subtle theme so don’t be put off by it being Science Fiction. I love how it started from the beginning, explained the concept of the how you come to share a body, giving details of all the people and their bodies before. The story is set in a ‘death park’ which is where people go to earn more years of life from others who are involved in games and lose (eliminating them permanently) Kate is offered a change to win a large number of years and takes this, however this starts a chain reaction of negative events, including murder of one of the persons within the body. But who did it ?! You’ll have to read to find out! I would recommend this book for anyone who enjoyed The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, enjoys sci-fi and murder mystery

  26. 5 out of 5

    Rowena Hoseason

    In this over-populated future, you can live a time-limited natural life or opt to inhabit an android body. Or live your life four hours at a time, sharing a single body as a Commune with the five minds of the title. The author anchors his not-too-distant future in an assembly of engaging personalities – five individuals who quite literally share headspace. And then spins an outrageously enjoyable story which absolutely hammers along. The story is revealed from each distinct perspective, as their In this over-populated future, you can live a time-limited natural life or opt to inhabit an android body. Or live your life four hours at a time, sharing a single body as a Commune with the five minds of the title. The author anchors his not-too-distant future in an assembly of engaging personalities – five individuals who quite literally share headspace. And then spins an outrageously enjoyable story which absolutely hammers along. The story is revealed from each distinct perspective, as their shared existence rapidly unravels in a tangled tumult of increasing risk and reward. Our protagonists are initially playing for a slightly extended slice of life – and they think they have little to lose – but they’re manipulated into deadly games with far higher stakes. Someone is trying to kill them, and they can’t even trust each other… Events are told in short chapters from each person’s perspective, a wily destabilising device which speeds the story and adds all the uncertainty of multiple unreliable narrators to the mix. This brilliantly builds the bewilderment and intrigue. Morpuss also skilfully delivers five fully-fleshed personalities – people you’re intrigued to spend time with; conflicted, complicated and definitely not to be taken at face value. The succession of life-or-death games is rather less successful, however. Our protagonists engage in a series of potentially lethal puzzles and while this device is initially entertaining, eventually it wears a little thin. Even so, Five Minds is an innovative and inventive ‘what if?’ thriller. The plot weaves and whirls in bewilderingly unpredictable directions. The ending might be its weakest aspect – there’s perhaps one twist too many in the mix – but the author confidently pulls together a complex net of plot threads into a hugely satisfying read. Loved it. More please! 9/10 There are more reviews of similar books over at http://www.murdermayhemandmore.net - do drop by!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Leigh's Little Library

    I read the blurb for this book and thought it sounded like a really fun read. Five minds sharing one body living in four hour increments. I've not read anything like this before but it was a really interesting and quite gripping read. I managed to read this in one sitting too. In a world, where at 17 you have to decide how you want to spend the rest of your life, we are following Sierra, Mike, Alex, Kate and Ben as they share Mike's body in what is a commune or Schizo. People also deal in time r I read the blurb for this book and thought it sounded like a really fun read. Five minds sharing one body living in four hour increments. I've not read anything like this before but it was a really interesting and quite gripping read. I managed to read this in one sitting too. In a world, where at 17 you have to decide how you want to spend the rest of your life, we are following Sierra, Mike, Alex, Kate and Ben as they share Mike's body in what is a commune or Schizo. People also deal in time rather than money which has definite "Black Mirror" and "In Time" vibes. I could see this being a good big screen venture with the stunning visual effects that could be done. There's a few twists and turns and the "games" they have to play in order to gain more time, keep you wanting to read on. I was a little disappointed in the ending, I think it went on a little too long but I would still recommend this one if you're looking for something a little different.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    Very clever and entertaining. Review to follow shortly on For Winter Nights.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Karen Cole

    In Five Minds, Guy Morpuss combines two of my favourite genres, crime fiction and speculative fiction and combines them far more successfully than the five minds who have been brought together in his fabulous debut novel. The book is set in a future where, in response to the ever-growing, resource hungry human population, measures were brought in to control the spiralling rates. However, forget anything as conventional as prescribed birth rates as here children are permitted to live normal lives In Five Minds, Guy Morpuss combines two of my favourite genres, crime fiction and speculative fiction and combines them far more successfully than the five minds who have been brought together in his fabulous debut novel. The book is set in a future where, in response to the ever-growing, resource hungry human population, measures were brought in to control the spiralling rates. However, forget anything as conventional as prescribed birth rates as here children are permitted to live normal lives until they are seventeen but then have to decide how they will live for the rest of their time - and that includes knowing when they will die. Their choices are limited and immutable - do they opt for a longer lifespan with less freedom or fully enjoy their much time alive, with the understanding that their life-span will be significantly shorter. Our five protagonists; Alex, Kate, Mike, Ben and Sierra have chosen the most extreme option and have become a Commune. They share the same body which means they will live for 142 years but with their daily time split between them, each has only four hours a day to live, with four hours of downtime. When the book opens, they have already lived as one for almost twenty-five years and are nearing the point where they will have to choose a new host body. Imagine a house-share where your fellow residents are chosen for you, where you have no way of ending the tenancy agreement and you are entirely reliant on your housemates for taking proper care of your shared abode, and the issues become clear. From hungover awakenings to passive-aggressive notes shared, it's not surprising that relations between the five are frequently quarrelsome and in a book which has such a singular premise immediately grounds them - their situation might be extraordinary but their responses are often reassuringly familiar. With the novel taking place at a time when the rules have already been in place for many years, there is an initial period where everything feels a little confusing but speculative fiction in the right hands gradually explains how things work and Guy Morpuss does an exceptional job of putting the pieces of the jigsaw together, allowing readers to understand what they are seeing without knowing what the full picture is until almost the very end of the book. As with any society built on division, suspicions and pejorative terms abound - communes are more commonly described as schizos while androids (andis) are widely thought to be coldly superior, no longer human but believing themselves to be better. These exterior schisms echo the interior disharmony within the commune but the five have to work together to survive, especially as they have come to a death park in order to gamble their time for upgrades for their next party. The simulated challenges in the park bring high stakes - win and gain extra years but losing equals immediate death. There's a wonderfully grim list of the death park's terms and conditions at the start of the book but it's really only as the story progresses and we've grown to know the characters that we really understand what it means for the five protagonists. However, potential death in a Westworld meets Ready Player One extreme amusement park isn't their only problem when one of them - apparently impossibly - disappears. This futuristic underworld brings all manner of dangers as they attempt to discover what is really happening despite not ever knowing who they can trust. Cinematic in scope and bristling with edgy tension, this nihilistic, neo-noir world is richly brought to life and is the perfect setting for a traditional locked-room mystery. Despite sharing a host body, each character is clearly defined and the action zips along at breakneck speed ensuring this is a 'just one more chapter' novel that I raced through in just a few hours. I loved Five Minds and am excited to recommend it; innovative and unpredictable throughout, this electrifying debut thriller effortlessly melds genres and loudly heralds that this is an author to watch. I can't wait to see what Guy Morpuss writes next!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Tiki-Tami

    This book was fascinating! Great suspenseful read.

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