A girl living in a dystopic future United States divided into castes has the ability to enter other people’s brains and erase selected memories.
Lain, 17, may still be in high school, but her future career as a Mindwalker seems set, and it’s exactly what she wants to do with the rest of her life. At school she meets Steven, an odd boy designated Type Four and required to wear a collar that monitors his bodily functions and tranquilizes him if he becomes violent. Lain, deliberately walking in her late father’s footsteps, truly believes she provides a necessary psychological service by eradicating painful memories. When Steven, the victim of atrocious child abuse, asks her to erase his memories illegally, she reluctantly agrees. When Lain learns that her activities have been detected, however, she must choose between her longed-for career and escape to Canada. Meanwhile, she finds herself far too attracted to Steven, a boy with whom she could not possibly have a future. Steiger creates extreme but mostly believable characters and a vivid future world with just enough familiar elements to lend it credence. Although some of the drama hinges on a standard mad-scientist plot rather than the dystopia within which he operates, on the whole the book manages to balance plot with thought-provoking contemplation about what makes personalities complete.
An intriguing read that sets genre fans up neatly for its sequel. (Dystopian romance. 12-18)