© 2014 Douglas E Richards
A man wakes in a dumpster, covered in blood. He has no idea who he is, but there are men trying to kill him. This dumped stranger isn’t completely defenseless, however. he wakes to find the killers’ and everyone else’s minds wide open to him. He can read minds, and what’s more, his brain has its own wireless connection, allowing him to dive into the internet and pull up any bit of information he needs, all without blinking. The man soon discovers himself to be the victim of an arrogant bioengineer whose motives are utterly sinister, and the fantastic expansion of his mental abilities will be desperately needed as the man flees and fights mercenaries, false friends, and the US military. At its best, The Mind’s Eye offers a look at the fascinating possibilities and problems that widespread cranial implants could present humanity; at its worst, the writing veers to the awkward, and the villains indulge in those “I’m about to kill you, so why don’t I tell you my ultimate plan?” kinds of speeches. (The uber-villian’s ultimate motive is also wholly unbelievable — the mad scientist/technocrat unmasks himself as a crusader for a completely unrelated cause, and there’s been no hint, not even a shadow, of the other identity. )
The only reason I made it through this novel was the technical concept. I can only hope the characterization and dialogue improve in Richards’ later novels..