Title: Five Minds
Author: Guy Morpuss
Genre: Speculative Fiction / Thriller
Publication Date: 2nd September 2021
SHARING A BODY CAN BE MURDER
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 Artic freighter. Wanting to buy upgrades for their next host body, they decide to travel to a Death Park where time can be gambled like money. But things go very wrong when Kate accepts a dangerous offer, and one of them disappears.
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…
I’m not a big reader of speculative fiction but I was so intrigued by the concept of Five Minds that I couldn’t resist giving it a go – and I’m so glad I did because it is truly a thrilling and fascinating ride. The story takes place in the not so distant (if the world continues the way it is) future where lifespans have a fixed expiration date and at the age of 17 humans must make one of four choices about how they live. Of these choices the rarest is a commune which essentially involves five minds sharing one body, each allotted four hours a day. We follow one such commune with whom things have gotten complicated after one of the commune members disappears under suspicious circumstances.
I loved Five Minds – it is like nothing else I’ve read and the whole premise and execution of the plot is masterfully done. The structure worked particularly well, each commune member only has four hours each to live and cannot communicate directly with one another – so they interact via messages. These messages paint a fascinating picture of how these five human beings ended up sharing a body and how they feel about each other. The idea of someone else being in control of what feels like your body and only being able to rely on what they tell you about their actions whilst they are in charge is frightening but immensely intriguing. I don’t want to say much about the intricacies of the plot because it is best experienced for yourself but the way events unfold is a gripping and immersive journey. Five Minds is original, dark, fast paced, clever and satisfyingly twisty. A brilliant debut!
Thank you so much to Anne Cater of Random Things Blog Tours for inviting me on this tour and organising it. I kindly received a copy of the book from the publisher. My review is entirely my own honest opinion.