NEUROTOPIA: Geppetto’s Chains by Tony Mohorovich begins in a future version of Detroit, where the government actively scans its citizens for unlawful or destructive thoughts. After falling victim to a debilitating neurological hack, Sky Marion works as a free-scanner, spending her days dropping in on the thoughts and lives of her fellow citizens, evaluating them for reprogramming. Crippled by anxiety, Sky is unable to leave the apartment she shares with her mother until a hacker from a lunar colony infects her mother and many others with a deadly neurovirus. To save her mother, she must travel to the moon to search for a cure, a journey that transforms her from a neurotic shut-in to an interplanetary heroine.
In the capitalistic off-world colonies where the only law is that of consent, anything is possible, and people can do as they please as long as all parties are in agreement. When Sky comes in contact with a colony of telepaths, she struggles with the concept of connecting her mind to those of others in a two-way connection, much different from the one-way connection she usually experiences. NEUROTOPIA: Geppetto’s Chains examines the freedom that comes with fully sharing yourself, rather than hiding behind the filters and masks that we wear in our lives in an attempt to be accepted by those around us.
Life on Apollo is easy to picture, and Mohorovich’s descriptions of the lunar landscape and environment are what readers will be expecting–from the lava tubes to the regolith dust, the cold, and the darkness. This world is populated by a wide range of characters, many of which are comfortable having a computerized Brain Operating System. In contrast, others won’t even use the holographic tech that precedes these systems and rely instead on physical screens like what we have today. This distrust for new technology adds a layer of realism to the story and extra depth to the characters. Also present are morphing spaceships, androids, space elevators, mind and memory storage, brain programming, stasis pods, and a variety of other futuristic tech bound to keep science fiction fans happy.
Readers may feel lost through the first few chapters, as explanations of unfamiliar technology and events are not always offered immediately. While this approach is a natural unfolding, it also feels more like eavesdropping than being immersed in the world. Given the themes and nature of the story, this may be an intentional experience engineered by the author, but readers should be prepared to have unanswered questions through the first few chapters.
Tony Mohorivich’s NEUROTOPIA: Geppetto’s Chains is an exciting science fiction adventure exploring the concepts of interplanetary politics, self-sacrifice, and personal freedom, complete with a neurotic female protagonist, androids, space fights, mind control, and off-world colonies that science fiction fans will enjoy.
~Katherine Ripley for IndieReader