Unusual Minds by Tracie Hollis

Unusual Minds by Tracie Hollis is about the next evolution of humans. Angela Mathers is brilliant. Her mind works at speeds unfathomable to most of us thanks to a top-secret government program she was sent to when she was a child.

The program implanted humans with neural chips in order to correct disorders and enhance intelligence. These people became known as Lumans.

When the program was shut down Lumans lost any human rights and now live like machines with no real autonomy.

Angela is fighting to give herself and her fellow Lumans basic rights. She is trying to use the American political system to this end.

On the flip side, we have an underground group of Lumans who are using extreme measures to free their fellow Lumans from the political regime that is pressing them. 

Isabella Dodge works for Control, an agency tasked with tracking and recovering Lumans who have escaped the system. She is smart, fast and incredible at her job. What everyone doesn’t know, though, is that she is an undocumented Luman herself and she is working with a group of other undocumented Lumans to try and free as many as they can.

When Angela and Isabella meet there is an instant attraction. Something that seems to be bigger than either of them. But with them working on seemingly opposing sides there are questions as to whether they can ever be more than just acquaintances.

This book takes you on a wild ride that you need to hold onto with both hands through unexpected twists and turns and a raw look at the concept of what makes us really human.

Wring and Story

The writing itself is beautiful. The use of language is emotive and the descriptions are vivid. The story is unique and interesting and I believe that lovers of science fiction will probably adore this book.

As a science-fiction-light reader, I found the characters to be a little cold. It was hard to get to really know them enough to be invested in their success or failure. The storyline was intriguing enough to keep me reading, though.


It’s an interesting take on humanity and it’s beautifully written.

The story itself is worth the ride.

Heads up

This is a love story more than romance. It doesn’t have romantic beats but it does have an attraction and connection between the lead characters.

Heads up that there is a torture scene, a threat of rape and some violence in the book.

The Conclusion

This book is a little bit like a fever dream. It feels like it can almost be real but also not quite.

It’s gorgeously written, the world-building is incredible and I was interested in the story. The plot was twisty in the best way and the moving pieces were fun to watch in motion.

The characters, while interesting, left me a little cold emotionally and the book ends on an end beat but leaves the big story open, meaning that you don’t get a final conclusion to the bigger story. I suspect there are more books coming in this series and the ending sets up for that.

Excerpt from Unusual Minds by Tracie Hollis

Chapter One

Angela Mathers

The day Angela had been waiting twenty-two years for was finally here. Unable to sleep, she got up, gazed out the window overlooking the compound, and watched the city streetlights slowly flicker out as a weak palomino sunrise woke the hazy D.C. skyline. The compound was in the heart of the city. It felt vague and foreign to her, less like a home and more like a concrete cage. She was born in the small town of St. Edenville, Louisiana, her family transplanted there from the north. Her father was a lawyer and her mother a housewife. They had money and were once well respected by the locals, but Angela’s predicament had changed all that. For her, for them, and, in due course, the whole country. Sometimes at night, she could still hear the river’s angry churning.

She touched the windowpane and felt the hum of the city vibrating under her fingertips, a constant reminder that she was suspended as the world changed around her. Her fight to regain what was lost seemed ill-omened, but like a robbed treasure hunter she would risk everything to find it again. And this morning, she felt it reverberating all around her. “Redemption,” she whispered to the four walls.

In a sports bra and shorts, she stepped onto the treadmill and pressed Start. The treadmill and music came to life, and so did her heart. Redemption. Angela felt it deep in her bones, banging hard with every footfall. She raised the speed of the treadmill and then reminded herself of the task at hand. She grabbed her tablet, propped it up on the treadmill, touched the screen, and worked on the speech she would give today. As the sun breached the US Capitol’s broken half dome, she pushed herself harder, moving her legs faster as her fair complexion shone with sweat. The tattoo on her left hand caught the sunlight and reflected a rainbow of colored teardrops across the ceiling that fell like rain down the wall. As a child, she had loved the smell of rain, but then it rained the day he took her, and the petrichor was replaced with the bitter odor of tobacco on Deputy Davis’s breath. “Angela Mathers, by order of the federal government, I place you in custody.

The smells that marked her past were turning points in her life: before Camp I/O and after. Like the odor of old fruit when Sister Agnes dragged her from the back of Davis’s police car and into camp.

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Bits and Bobs

ISBN number: 978-1642474343

Publisher: Bella Books

Tracie Hollis Online


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