A young adult historical thriller with paranormal elements and a dash of dystopia thrown in? YES, PLEASE. Communist Russia meets 1984 with mind control and spies and the space race. *dies* This is definitely not something I’ve seen before in a young adult novel and I might have to go begging to see if I can get my greedy little hands on this one pre-April. (Although, truth be told, I have very few contacts. Sad but oh well!)
Besides all that, the cover is fantastic. “An empty mind is a safe mind.” Goosebumps, seriously. What an amazing tagline. Then there’s the faded photograph and the deep, dark crimson title and those great fonts. The whole thing just works for me. Subtle but insidious.
Yulia’s father always taught her that an empty mind is a safe mind. She has to hide her thoughts and control her emotions to survive in Communist Russia, especially because she seems to be able to read the minds of the people she touches. When she’s captured by the KGB and forced to work as a psychic spy with a mission to undermine the U.S. space program, she’s thrust into a world of suspicion, deceit, and horrifying power where she can trust no one.
She certainly can’t trust Rostov, the cruel KGB operative running the psychic program. Or handsome Sergei who encourages her to cooperate with the KGB. Or brooding Valentin who tells her to rebel against them. And not the CIA, who have a psychic so powerful he can erase a person’s mind with his own thoughts. Yulia quickly learns she must rely on her own wits and power to survive in this world where no SEKRET can stay hidden for long.
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