PSYCHOTOPIA. The cover, the synopsis, the title, and the review of a friend all prompted me to request this book from NetGalley. I'm so glad I did!
There are several threads working together in this speculative fiction story. One from the POV of a policeman. Another from a young woman recently used and used hard by a handsome rogue. And lastly, there are chapters from a video game designer, talking about the architecture of a new, interactive, virtual reality experience. Such contrasting views, yet somehow I knew they would eventually come together, and they did.
PSYCHOTOPIA takes a hard look at the world and how it has evolved. Specifically, how humans have evolved. Is it possible that in an age so dark and hopeless a psychopath could be viewed as the natural evolution of mankind? A person who doesn't recognize the feelings of others, is free from the guilt that hurting others can bring. Is that a good thing or a bad thing in this new world?
What would happen if someone invented a machine which could determine if a person was a psychopath or not? Would you want to be tested? What kind of preventative measures could be taken if a person tests positive for psychopathy? Would such a test be a violation of civil rights? Would it become mandatory testing for certain jobs, like police officers or politicians?
I know I'm asking a lot of questions here, but that's what this book did to me. It wasn't a matter of simply reading it and saying "good story!" It made me think a lot about what this world is coming to, and about how we treat each other- not only our equals, but how we treat others both above and below what we believe to be our stations in life. I love books that make me think and this is definitely one of them.
I also loved the creativity and imagination that went into the world-building here, and I especially liked how I couldn't predict how the characters would come together. An urban setting full of psychopaths, (known or unknown), leaves a wide open field of crimes and misdemeanors and Mr. Morris exploits that field to the max. I enjoyed the hell out of it!
*Thank you to Severn House Publishers and to NetGalley for the e-ARC of this book, in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*