Book Review: Point by Thomas Blackthorne (series, #2)
Mysterious cutter circles are showing up in the Britain of the future. Thirteen teenagers gather in a circle, then slice the wrist of the person next to them all the way around the circle. The MI5 recruits a neuroscientist to help figure out the circles before they reach epidemic proportions. Meanwhile, her boyfriend, Josh Cumberland, finds himself sucked back into his old special forces unit when a civilian job reaches a mysterious end. Are the two events connected?
I received an ARC of this book through the Angry Robot Army, and I sort of wish I’d noticed it was the second in a series. I just dislike reading books out of order. Also, I think perhaps if I’d read the first book in the series, I wouldn’t have been so misled by the cover.
In case you can’t see the cover, it says, “Britain, tomorrow. The latest craze: cutter circles. Thirteen kids. Each has a blade. On a signal everybody cuts. What else is there when life has no point.” This makes it seem like this will be a book about depression and suicide in a post-apocalyptic world, right? In fact the people committing suicide have been brainwashed by music in an emotiphone to further a political power move. Which has…..nothing to do with real suicide or depression.
There’s nothing wrong with being a political intrigue book, but I am a bit disturbed at how Blackthorne utilizes psychology, psychiatry, and neuroscience in the book. He makes it look like in the future we’ll be able to just….program people out of it or to do whatever we want them to do. The brain is much more complex than that, and I just don’t like the message that such a plot device sends.
When looking at the book as the political espionage it actually is, as opposed to a book about mental illness in a dystopian world, it’s not a bad book. I have the feeling that those who enjoy political intrigue books will enjoy it. Josh is your typical wounded hero, and I did enjoy the scenes of him training. Blackthorne creatively incorporates reality tv into the plot-line that many readers will enjoy. The characters aren’t flat, but also aren’t particularly well-rounded. That’s ok, though, because the focus of the book is the action and political intrigue.
Overall, the book seems to be an average future political intrigue action flick…in written form. I recommend it to fans of that genre, but others will probably be bored.
3 out of 5 stars
Source: ARC from publisher