Mindscape – Review


Mindscape by Andrea Hairston

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This surreal, intricately woven book deals with an earth that is fundamentally changed by the appearance of a phenomenon called the Barrier, a web of mysterious energy that divides the land into regions that can only be left via seasonal corridors through the Barrier, or under the guidance of mystics who can commune with the Barrier to open pathways through.

The zones thus divided have grown independently, with divergent cultures and technologies, and more than anything, values. And these values lead to conflict.

It is beyond me to summarize this book. It is a fever dream, a mesh of languages ranging from German to Igbo to variations of English and more, a refusal of mere plot, arc or story. It shifts in perception and reality and detail until it becomes less about what is happening, and more about the language itself. There is a beginning, and there is an end. There is a journey here, but the value is in each individual footstep along the way, rather than the destination.

It is a challenging read, and confusion is to be expected, but the value in engaging with the challenge cannot be denied.

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