A game for the times we live – and die – in. Enter Psychotopia, a dark new dystopian novel from the author of the acclaimed Silas Quinn mysteries.
PSYCHOTOPIA, LEVEL ONE. Create your own boutique psychopath, then deceive, manipulate and be ruthless, spreading mayhem and destruction to reach the next levels.
It’s the computer game for our times. After all, the amount of crazy in the world is increasing. Senseless violence on the streets is becoming the norm. Can Dr Arbus’s ground-breaking device identify and neutralize psychopaths before it’s too late? In this increasingly dysfunctional world, surely Callum standing by Aimee after her devastating encounter with Charlie is proof that real love and goodness can still win in a world that’s increasingly rotten . . . Or can it?
What I Thought:
For an author who is primarily known for historical fiction to take a leap into a futuristic setting is a brave one, but for R. N. Morris and Psychotopia it largely pays off.
The interesting thing about this novel is that there are elements that are clearly futuristic, but many things are not too disimilar to today – it’s not a great leap to imagine the dystopian future Morris has created coming true sooner rather than later.
The premise of the book – that psychopathy is becoming more and more widespread, and coming out of the shadows and into the mainstream – is easy to identify with, especially given current issues with terrorism and a surge in knife crime and even, to some extent, psychopathy among our current elected officials would not be hard to imagine.
Choosing a game as the focus of the book is an interesting one, given the media insistence that games fuel reckless behaviour – despite research indicating otherwise – and asks the question of whether the game fuels the behaviour, or if art just imitates what is going on in the wider world – not sure it’s something we will ever be able to truly answer, but this book offers one possibility.
The different character voices are unique, but there is something really sinister about the game developer – perhaps knowing what you know about the book and what you infer about him from how the book is set up aids this, but also some of his ideas for the Psychotopia game could only come out of a very sick mind!
This book is an interesting, yet bleak, look at a possible future fuelled by an over-reliance on technology, big corporations and an increase in the media fuelling the flames of hatred and leading many people to care only for themselves and their near family. It’s my sincere hope that this vision of the future never comes to pass – uncomfortable reading, but compulsive all the same.
Psychotopia is published by Severn House.
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This post is part of the blog tour for Psychotopia. For more exclusive content and reviews, why not check out the blogs below?
Please note: I was sent a copy of this book for review. All opinions are, as ever, my own.