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Shattered Minds

(Pacifica #2)

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  383 ratings  ·  118 reviews
She can uncover the truth, if she defeats her demons

Ex-neuroscientist Carina struggles with a drug problem, her conscience, and urges to kill. She satisfies her cravings in dreams, fuelled by the addictive drug ‘Zeal’. Now she’s heading for self-destruction – until she has a vision of a dead girl.

Sudice Inc. damaged Carina when she worked on their sinister brain-mapping pr
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published June 15th 2017 by Tor Books UK
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Laura Lam I have ideas for more, but it depends on the will of publishing.

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Average rating 3.79  · 
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Emily May
Jul 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, 2017, sci-fi
Their goals should align, in theory, but she can guarantee they won’t like her.
No one ever truly likes her. They all sense that, deep down, she’s broken.

I am really loving Laura Lam's dark sci-fi novels set in a future filled with drugs that can transport you to a fantasy world, corporations dabbling in twisted and illegal experiments, and encrypted messages hidden away in a person's cerebral cortex.

It's so creative and nasty. This book is set in the same world as False Hearts, but it is a
Jun 07, 2017 rated it liked it
* Thank you to Shotsmag for supplying me with a paper copy of Shattered Minds for which I have given an honest review*

A futuristic sci-fi thriller where technology rules peoples daily lives - and even manipulates their dreams.

Carina is a former neuroscientist with a massive drug problem, and to compound matters further, she also has uncontrollable urges to kill. To counteract those urges, she takes a drug called Zeal, this drug enables her to satisfy those dangerous urges in dreams, rather than
Miriam Smith (A Mother’s Musings)
"Shattered Minds" by Laura Lam is a futuristic sci-fi thriller that's probably not my normal reading genre, but I have to say that this book with its beautiful shiny cover and interesting blurb really caught my attention. Set in a time when dreams can be manipulated and ocular implants are in your everyday use, you have to stop and think just how much of the author's creation could actually occur in the future - a very frightening thought indeed!
Laura Lam is a tremendously imaginative author who
Jul 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2017, sci-fi
The world created in these Pacifica novels is the perfect setting for a dark futuristic thriller. Although I loved the characters in the first book, it's awesome how this one reads as a standalone. It just goes to show how many awesome stories could be created within this world. I still feel like there is so much more to explore. My intrigue hasn't died down. So here's to hoping Laura Lam writes more!

The story follows Carina who is currently an addict to a drug that takes her into dreamscapes (
Laura Lam
Nov 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Edit June 15th, 2017. The book is out! A few bits of news: listed it as an editor's pick as one of the best SFF books of the month!

Also, if you crosspost your Goodreads review to a book retailer (Amazon, B&N, Waterstones, etc), I'll send you a signed bookplate and a bookmark as thanks. More info here:


This is the next Pacifica thriller after False Hearts. It's a standalone set in the same world, so it can be read in any order, though you'll le
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
Full disclosure: I did not read the first Pacifica novel.

Having said that, I do not think that this novel loses much if you haven't read the first book, and it can easily be read as a stand-alone. There is also provision made at the end of the book for another installment in the lives of Carina and her friends, promising that there will be at least 3 books in the Pacifica series.

The plot is a riff on a well-used SF trope. An evil Corporation/Government in a far-off future land, that used to be
Aug 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stars-4-0, r2017
Here is another dark scifi thriller from Laura Lam set in the futuristic world of Pacifica. Although the action takes place in Los Angeles with a different cast, it is still the same atmosphere. Different city, yes, but same universe of Flesh Parlours and Zeal Lounges.

The point of view has been shifted to that of a Zealot, aberration in this perfect society. Carina has demons to fight in the shape of a debilitating thirst for murder, which she can only do in the safety of the virtual world for
Dannii Elle
Ex-neuroscientist Carina doesn't know which is more disturbing, her addiction the virtual reality drug, Zeal, or her real-life compulsion for murder. Forgotten by her former colleagues and over-looked by the government meant to protect her, Carina believes what is left of her life will be spent in the haze of a drug-trip where she can shape reality to her own choosing. But reality has other plans for her.

The synopsis of this promised a fast-paced, high-intrigue read and that is exactly what it d
Sep 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
I enjoyed returning to Pacifica, Laura Lam's future California, and an entirely new set of characters. (Well, almost entirely.) Great plot with lots of turns, and a very interesting heroine at the centre. ...more
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The world building of the Pacifica series is really quite fascinating. Wax workers can change your body in anyway you desire. Implants in your brain (your actual brain!!) connect you to the internet projecting what you see onto walls near you. Bored of your hair colour, have those genes altered. It's really quite inventive.

Then there's the plot. The huge company who can download to your implants is corrupt, leaving a trail of bodies on its path for wealth and glory. A group of 'vigilantes' want
Jun 16, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: sci-fi
Really couldn't get into this one and DNF-ed it at 40%. It seems to me that Shattered Minds is aimed at a younger audience.

(Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC).
Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁
Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

This book . . . Gah.

I didn't know what I was getting into.

I didn't know the outside world would cease to exist the moment I started it until the moment I finished it (at roughly 3am, FYI). I didn't know I would be haunted by the images from Carina's dreamzealscape.

Speaking of Carina, I didn't know I could like a heroine as messed up as she is. I'm talking Dexter-level messed up. So I guess I did know I could like a character as messed up as Carina b/c I bloody loved
DNF @ 67%

I really liked the first book in this series but I just could not get into this one. They are basically standalone books set in the same universe so this is not a continuation of the first book and that isn't really the problem I had with it, I just found this one much harder to follow. There seemed to be a lot more characters and POVs in this one and I just couldn't keep track of who was doing what and why I was supposed to care. I liked the first one because I think the structure was
Jun 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review-copies
A dangerous, gifted young woman flees a successful career and is well on the way to killing herself with addiction, until a former colleague gives her the keys to bring down her former boss. Fighting the addiction and her urges to kill, Carina must win over an underground cell of malcontents and help them unlock the secrets that will destroy Sudice, the supposedly benevolent megacorp who has hardware and software embedded in every head in Pacifica. But Roz will stop at nothing to find and destro ...more
The world of "Pacifica" is reason enough to indulge in this series.


⇝Ratings Breakdown⇜

Plot: 4.3/5
Main Characters: 4/5
Secondary Characters: 4.2/5
The Feels: 4/5
Pacing: 4/5
Addictiveness: 4.2/5
Theme or Tone: 4.3/5
Flow (Writing Style): 3.8/5
Backdrop (World Building): 4.7/5
Originality: 4.5/5
Book Cover: 4/5
Ending: 4.3/5 Cliffhanger: Nope, but
Steam Factor 0-5: 3
Setting: A Futuristic Los Angeles, CA (Pacifica)
Source: Kindle eBook (Library)

Total: 4.2/5 STARS - GRADE=B+

⇝My Thoughts⇜

The world of Shatte
Kari Rhiannon (Moon Magister Reviews)
4.5 stars

Set in the same dark future as 'False Hearts', the newest offering from Laura Lam is a very different book. Whereas 'False Hearts' was a book of neon warmth and arching redwoods, 'Shattered Minds' is a story filled with clinical chrome and the buzz of electronic instruments. It is a harder, colder book, less forgiving, with characters that take a little bit longer to love. But love them you definitely do.

Centring around a hacking group that is attempting to bring down a large, corrupt
Greyson | Use Your Words
Jul 06, 2017 marked it as dnf
Shelves: all-ntbr
my link text: 4 ★'s
Shattered Minds: Lost Interest in Series

The first book was really good! The second book is from a different POV and I'm not really interested in that character.
Cora Tea Party Princess
Jul 16, 2018 rated it really liked it

Well that was DARK. And a little grim. And pretty damn excellent.
May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
In a dark and malevolent futuristic world, a drug-addicted ex-neuroscientist Carina satisfies her urges to kill within drug-fueled dreams. Within her mind sections of data are planted which she can only unlock by recalling her early memories. So she bands together with a group of hackers in order to take down an evil corporation. The writing is fluid and vivid, often darkly violent and brilliantly portrays a frightening high technology near-future. I loved the blend of crime, psychology, sci-fi ...more
Britta Böhler
A good, fast-paced read.
Suzanne (Under the Covers Book blog)

3.5 Stars

Carina is trying to escape the horrors of her rewired brain after being experimented on against her will and without her knowledge. Carina’s brain, which was used to be calm and unfeeling is now filled with murderous intent, with every day a battle against the urge to kill those around her. The only thing that seems to help her? A drug called Zeal. Now an addict on the brink of death she is given one last chance to get back at those that destroyed her mind. Her former employers.

I de
Well that was pretty twisted! What a ride. I would love to read more Pacifica novels in the future.
Tracey the Lizard Queen
Originally reviewed here:

*Thanks to Tor Books UK for providing me with an ARC*

Set in the futuristic corporate state of Pacifica, Shattered Minds tells the tale of Carina. A drug addicted young woman with murderous impulses. In this future, crime is virtually non-existent. Instead, citizens can live out their fantasies in a virtual reality, known as the Zealscape.

For the most part it has been a huge success. After all, who wouldn't want to punch their bos
charlotte, (½ of readsrainbow)
Galley provided by publisher

Rep: gay side character, trans li, non-white characters

I think it's safe to say that me and present tense narratives do not get along. That's not to say that's the sole reason for my low rating of this book, but it's a big one. And when it's present tense for both the present and past (besides Carina's memories), that just makes things even more confusing. I don't know exactly why I have a problem with present tense narratives, but I can't name any books that have use
Jessica Strider
Jun 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pros: diverse cast, interesting plot

Cons: minimal world-building

Carina is a zeal addict, living her life plugged into her dreams where she slowly kills virtual people. When a former co-worker uploads coded packets of information into her brain that will help take down her previous employer, she’s not sure she’s capable of sobering up and not becoming a monster in the real world.

This book is set in the same world as the author’s previous novel, False Hearts. While some characters overlap, Shatter
Originally published The Curious SFF Reader


Carina is a former neuroscientist with a drug problem, she constantly has urges to murder people and, to prevent that, she is destroying herself by taking Zeal, a drug allowing humans to enter a virtual reality where all their dreams are materialized. For Carina, Zeal is her only opportunity to kill people without actually murdering anyone and, in her Zeal space she can summon murderers and kill them slowly, just like she wants it….Until the day he
Emma (howlsmovinglibrary)
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
*I received this ARC from the publisher via Netgalley in return for an honest review*

Shattered Minds is a sequel to False Hearts, although the stories and characters do not really overlap. What connects the two is the setting, the concept of Zeal (a drug which allows people to plug into fantasy dreamscapes and live out any fantasies or unfortunate ‘urges’) and Sudice – a corporation that is tied into the very infrastructure of Pacifa, and so obviously evil that they might as well have an secret
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
--- I received this book through NetGalley against an honest review. ---

The first volume was a good surprise and I was more than happy to receive this second one in preview.

I think that the most important point in this book is the universe, it is futuristic and plays on very current matters such as freewill, the influence of companies on the government which results in conflicts of Interest and sometimes worse. I liked this resonance to our current world where technological advances and laws are
Shattered Minds is a near future, science fiction thriller set in the same world as Laura Lam’s False Hearts. However, it’s a completely separate story with its own plot and cast of characters. The two books can be read in any order.

Carina’s mind is unraveling. Once a talented neuroscientist, she’s now a drug addict who struggles to contain her cravings to kill with the immersive reality drug “Zeal.” Then when she’s under she sees something that’s not one of her own fantasies – it’s a message se
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Please contact me via the contact page on my website as opposed to GR mail.

Laura Lam was born in the late eighties and raised near San Francisco, California, by two former Haight-Ashbury hippies.

After studying literature and creative writing at university, she relocated to Scotland to be with the partner she met online when they were teenagers and he insulted her taste in books and she insulted hi

Other books in the series

Pacifica (2 books)
  • False Hearts (Pacifica, #1)

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