Can an uprising continue when one of its public faces has her memories altered to believe it’s terrorism?
In this sequel to Mindwalker (2015), Lain, now 18, wakes up in a white-walled room with no memory of how she got there. Soon, unfamiliar people in holomasks, claiming to be her allies, come to rescue her. The truth emerges: Dr. Swan, Lain’s guardian, wiped her memories so she would forget the atrocities his organization, IFEN, committed. After taking a pill to restore those memories, Lain escapes to the Citadel, the Canadian stronghold of the Blackcoats, a majority-teen resistance group. There, as Lain learns more about government-sanctioned IFEN’s illegal experiments and the Blackcoats’ plans for catalyzing political upheaval through violence, Lain questions which group really has the best interests of the United Republic of America at heart. Is freedom “the easy choice” or “a contract signed in blood?” Part Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, part Hunger Games, this plot-driven, romance-laden tale of youth empowerment will surely please genre fans. Though characters remain on the extreme side, Steiger (When My Heart Joins the Thousand, 2018, etc.) better develops the sequel’s dystopian United States and more deeply interrogates the systems of oppression it uses to isolate its citizens based on mental health. The cast assumes a white default. The Blackcoats’ leader, Zebra, uses a wheelchair but is rarely seen.
A relevant read for the youthquake generation. (Dystopian romance. 12-adult)