SF Reviews background image SF Reviews logo image
Contact SF Reviews   |   Get the Newsletter 

Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews

Sound Mind

Copyright 2006 by Tricia Sullivan

In Association with Amazon.co.uk
SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Awful (1/5)

I first read this on the 16th February 2007.

Cassidy is a music student at Bard college. When it comes in an explosive, earth-shattering roar, Cassidy has just enough time to run. She escapes into the next town, Red Hook, and is reunited with some of her college friends. But no one in the town, even including her friends, has ever heard of Bard College. And the town itself seems to be cut-off from the rest of the world.

Then it comes again, a Specterish wall of sound blasting the space around her and she finds herself back at Bard College.

Cassidy will find herself stuck in a variety of decaying, isolated realities where the inhabitants are aware of the disaster that has struck them yet appear loathe to acknowledge it.

Meanwhile, Cookie, out of a job, out of prison and in need of anger management therapy, is struggling her naive way to work out just how deluded she has been. She is going to try, at the risk of looking completely out-to-lunch to those who know her, to get some kind of a grip on herself.

Well, this was a disaster. I really didn't like it. Both Cassidy and Cookie worry that they are losing their minds. Frankly, I think the answer is yes. What was the idea of capitalising it as 'IT'? That just transforms an anonymous monster into the acronym for Information Technology, and furthermore with depressingly funny connotations of The IT Crowd. Every single time I came across IT in the text, I read it as I.T., then realised it was it but by that time I'd already thought of that TV programme.

Tricia Sullivan is a great writer but she admits this isn't her greatest book. The novel is full of vibrant prose and is stylish and enthralling but was a profoundly dissatisfying read and - to me at least - not SF. Oddly, Tricia has achieved the same result with this book that her protagonist, Cassidy, achieved with her attempted musical composition.

At the very least, the story needs a bit of concretization. I mean the addition of some scientific rationality rather then tying the book to a concrete block and dropping it over Vauxhall Bridge.

So forget this book, read the fabulous "Maul" or "Double Vision", or go way, way back in time and read "Lethe" from 1995.

Loaded on the 29th March 2007.
Cover of Sound Mind

Reviews of other works by Tricia Sullivan:
Someone To Watch Over Me
Occupy Me