Review: Countermind by Adrian Randall

In a postprivacy future, secrets are illegal and all communication is supervised. Telepaths are registered and recruited by a government with no qualms about invading the minds of its citizens. Fugitive psychics are hunted by the Bureau of Counterpsychic Affairs, or Countermind.

Alan Izaki is one such fugitive, as well as a hacker, grifter, and thief.
Countermind agent Jack Smith is hunting him through the twisted underbelly of Hong Kong.

But Alan possesses a secret so dangerous and profound it will not only shake Smith’s loyalties, but the foundations of their society.

And Alan isn’t the only one on the run. Rogue psychic Arissa binti Noor escapes Countermind, in search of brilliant game designer Feng Huang. She hopes that together, they can destroy the government’s intrusive Senex monitoring system.

Their goals seem at odds, and their lives are destined to collide. When they do, three very different people must question their alliances and their future, because everything is about to change.

I’m going to go with my initial rating and feelings about this story. I’ve had a bit of time to consider the story, and while I’ve recognise the holes in it, I still really enjoyed this and think this deserves this rating from me.

I binge read this story with only work in between. I really enjoyed the concept of it, and the characters that are part of this story were really intriguing to me.

Futuristic fantasy sci-fi can be a bit hit and miss, and while there were some bizarre bits thrown in, I was so absorbed that it melded into the overall plot in a way that satisfied me.

Alan was a surprise. Extremely intelligent and secretive, we learn more about him through Countermind’s Jack Smith than from himself. The clues are there for the picking, but the unveiling happens slowly, as Jack hunts him as a rogue psychic.

Countermind as an agency was interesting and fairly easy to follow. The supporting characters helped to weave this story together, including Noor and Feng. This subplot created a wider net for this story to encompass, which kept me completely absorbed.

The scenery was a bit two dimensional and didn’t convince me this was set in Hong Kong. I had some difficulty placing the story due to the lack of visual descriptors and world building. Outside of Countermind and the chase for Alan, nothing really stood out to me, which is why this didn’t get a five star rating.

But this story did excite me, and I felt really good while reading it. I enjoyed the characters, the ideas, and the overall story plot. The details were given out slowly enough that I didn’t guess all the secrets right away, and that made me happy. I enjoy following breadcrumbs, but I don’t like to know everything until near the end. I like surprises in my stories and this story satisfied that part of me.

Recommended for those interested in sci-fi and futuristic fantasy. This is not really a romance so ignore the Goodread tags.

A review copy was provided for an honest opinion

Find on DSP Publications or Goodreads!

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