A pre-#RRSciFiMonth Book Spotlight | “Mind of Mine” by C.F.E. Black

Posted Tuesday, 27 August, 2019 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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Acquired Book By: I started hosting with Prism Book Tours at the end of [2017], having noticed the badge on Tressa’s blog (Wishful Endings) whilst I was visiting as we would partake in the same blog tours and/or book blogosphere memes. I had to put the memes on hold for several months (until I started to resume them (with Top Ten Tuesday) in January 2018). When I enquiried about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. I am unsure how many books I’ll review for them as most are offered digitally rather than in print but this happily marks one of the blog tours where I could receive a print book for review purposes. Oft-times you’ll find Prism Book Tours alighting on my blog through the series of guest features and spotlights with notes I’ll be hosting on behalf of their authors.

I received a complimentary copy of “Mind of Mine” direct from the publisher IlliuminateYA Fiction (an imprint of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I felt this might be a good fit for a Futuristic YA novel:

When it comes to reading INSPY Speculative Fiction, I admit, it is a new concept for me as a reader. Something I have only just begun to seek out – whereas I have the tendency of focusing on Fantasy novelists, I decided to take a chance on a novel such as this one which might push me a bit past where I normally wander in Science Fiction, as the Futuristic story-lines generally have the tendency to take me ‘out of the throes’ of their narratives rather than keeping me actively curious inside them.

This particular novel is published by a publisher I have previously enjoyed reading INSPY Romance & Women’s Fiction from – which is why I felt perhaps, this particular novel might be a better for me in regards to the kind of genre exploration it was going to undertake. Plus, the concept behind the collective mind is one that was previously explored in Star Trek: The Next Generation (ie. regards to Hugh and the Borg) whilst I know it is a well-versed topic of Speculative Fiction overall.

What I was interested in is seeing where the story cross-sects with the INSPY roots and where the Futurism aspects of the story push the boundaries of talking about how high tech and humanity do not oft meld well together. The premise itself was quite an interesting one and I looked forward to seeing where the story would develop from that point of focus.

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A pre-#RRSciFiMonth Book Spotlight | “Mind of Mine” by C.F.E. BlackMind of Mine
Subtitle: When your thoughts are no longer private, freedom comes at a price.
by C.F.E. Black
Source: Publisher via Prism Book Tours

Raised to put science over self, V must link her brain with fifteen other people, making her one of the world’s smartest humans. With this privilege comes a life dedicated to continual research inside a secluded facility, a life devoid of freedom.

But V is losing her identity and unable to predict which face will peer back at her from the nearest mirror. Escaping this life will mean freedom to think for herself—and abandoning everything and everyone she’s known and loved.

When your thoughts and speech are no longer private, freedom comes at a price. But for V the price may be her life.

Genres: Realistic Fiction, Science Fiction, Techno-Thriller

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781645261858

Published by IlluminateYA Fiction

on 7th August, 2019

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 302

Published By: IlluminateYA Fiction
an imprint of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas (@LPCTweets)

Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Converse via: #YALit, #iReadYA + #SciFi, #INSPY and #RRSciFiMonth

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About C.F.E. Black

CFE Black

If you're a teen, I work for you.
I write for you. I teach for you.

Seven days a week I seek to shine light into the world-darkened lives of young people, whether it be in a high school Spanish class, a youth group Sunday school class, or a coffee shop with my computer writing my next book.

I want my writing to be a bright spot on a dark shelf, a source of truth among many lies. You guys deserve books like this.

I live in north Alabama with my son, two droopy hound dogs, a cat named Sprinkles, and my superhero husband. No, really, he saved my life once. It’s a cool story.

If you want to know more about me, my writing, or my escapades as a teacher, please visit my blog.

Mind of Mine is my first novel.

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Why i am spotlighting mind of mine:

In this futuristic world, your mind and your life are not entirely your own. They are quasi-owned by others who seek to control your output in regards to the research projects you’ve taken on as your own work. Outside of the work itself, it didn’t seem like there were perimeters in place to carve out your own personal space and time of reflection. If anything, this is a world controlled through different avenues of collective power – every action is filmed on camera, every thought is processed and each individual moment of clarity seems to be something to diffuse than to celebrate.

The confines of the world are elusively touched upon as well – you can tell there is a strict order towards the research designations per each person who is conducting their set block of research protocols but in regards to why there is an advanced team of researches who are still in the cusp of their maturing years is a bit unknown in the opening bridge. All you know for sure is that there are certain expectations of these people and the pressures placed on them are superseded by the need for advancement in their chosen fields.

Until of course, you learn the most chilling aspect of their lives is just how little control they have on themselves – how little they can expect to consider individual and how divergent their lives are from others who were not bourne in this facility. They have a life settled round the vision of the few wherein those few not only control what they are meant to do with their lives but how they are meant to live them, how they think, feel and root out anything remotely unique towards a person’s personality. In essence, they want each of these persons to be willingly able to let go of their individual freedoms in order to maintain the central control of how each of them works like a hive towards a projected goal wherein everyone benefits from the collective work they are doing.

As V and Marcus start to remember what it is like to live outside of the ordered perimeter, to take steps towards self-enlightened freedoms, they begin to question the authority over their lives but with the telling truths of being worried about the consequences they do not wish to see repeated. The harder bit there is how fragile their lives truly are at this junction – they are conformed to an ideal that isn’t their own and their confined to live their lives just as they are dictated without retort or escape. In essence, what is directed is what is law and that is where Ms Black chooses to explore the finer points of this world.

How hard do you go after someone’s agency and how far are you willing to go to erase their own individual essence to where there is nothing left they can self-own as themselves? The people in control of this world are elusively disconnected from the gravity of what they are causing – as I don’t think they are seeing it in the same proportional ways as the teenagers they are raising to rise technology, engineering and medical science to new levels of creative innovation. I think to them, the means is the route towards the goal and that whatever befalls the interim is not as important as the end results. In essence, they don’t foresee how their actions are the wrong course of action to take because they are singularly narrowed on their own route of achievement. They are forsaking a few lives if only to secure the future of the majority and therein lies the problem.

And, despite having a good footing towards reading this story – I found myself a bit less invested the more I came to understand V. She’s one of the harder characters to feel warm towards as she has such an aversion to her own circumstances yet instead of making you feel like she’s a rebel with a cause, she comes across more like a bully whose lost her own sense of rebellion. There is also a stark coldness to the presentation of the overseers – how cold-hearted they are or appear to be for having created this sub-culture of advanced researchers. Whilst as you see the counter-culture of how these advancements are viewed in their regular society, you start to see how fractured the world has become from the elite status of the hive minds and where society has been left to speculate on their behalf. There isn’t a merger of understanding between the two and in effect it created a wedge between both halves of the world.

Part of this story reminded me of my readings of Watcher and a few other stories as well – where there were certain aspects of the story which were interesting to read but overall, I simply recognised Mind of Mine was a miss for me as a reader. I definitely feel this would be a better fit for readers who are more invested into these kinds of story arcs rather than the tentative reader who is attempting to cross into them.

On the age depictions of the characters:

One of my first observations about the styling of Ms Black in her novel Mind of Mine – is that somehow Marcus and V come across far older than they’re meant to be appear in the story-line. This might be attributed to their roles in their society and how they are pushed forward towards living a life that is most likely meant for someone older, as their are situations that most teenagers would not be privy to being inclusive; however, for me, it was how they were rounded out in presentation that made me consider them at least a decade older than they were presented. It was how they were comfortable with each other in their relationships – both professional and personal, how they carried themselves and of course, how they spoke towards one another. Something gave me the notion they were either in their early to mid-twenties and finding out they were teens was a bit jarring at first as it didn’t seem to match the tracking of how their characters were being observed.

I didn’t consider this a negative – if anything to note at all – is that literature is subjective and interpretative. For each reader, there are many routes of enquiry into a story and for each writer, there are whole worlds to be discovered. Perhaps the way I am reading this novel is going to be different than another reader’s interpretation that is alright, too.

Fuell Your Sci Fi elements:

→ Collective hive sharing of thoughts, memories and experiences

→ Hyper-alert security and surveillance systems

There is a lot of high tech in the novel – I credit Ms Black for not only keeping you entertained by the technologies explored but for also how she chose to write about them. It is a very reader friendly exchange of dialogue and cheekily humourous references to the science behind the context of the story as well. For readers who like Speculative Literature in the realms of Soft Science Fiction – where there is a lot of tech and a lot of empathsis on the relationships of the characters, this is definitely an entry in that Futurism sub-niche that would be entertaining to read.

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This blog tour is courtesy of: Prism Book Tours

Prism Book Tours

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Mind of Mine blog tour via Prism Book Tours

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End of the Blog Tour badged provided by Prism Book ToursBy clicking this badge you can find out about the giveaway associated with the tour;
my particular tour stop doesn’t host the giveaway as I’m a review stop, however,
you’ll find many other bloggers who are hosting the information!

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I look forward to reading your thoughts & commentary!
Especially if you read the book or were thinking you might be inclined to read it.
I appreciate hearing different points of view especially amongst
readers who gravitate towards the same stories to read.
Bookish conversations are always welcome!

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Reading this story counted towards my 2019 reading challenges, specifically:

2019 New Release Challenge created by mylimabeandesigns.com for unconventionalbookworms.com and is used with permission.

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{SOURCES: Cover art of “Mind of Mine”, book synopsis, author biography, author photograph of C.F.E. Black, blog tour banner and the Prism Book Tours badge were all provided by Prism Book Tours and used with permission. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets embedded by codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Book Spotlight banner and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2019.

I’m a social reader | I tweet my reading life

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Tuesday, 27 August, 2019 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Book Spotlight, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Human & Computer Interfaces, Indie Author, Life Shift, Prism Book Tours, Realistic Fiction, Science Fiction, Soft Science Fiction, Speculative Fiction

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