Mind Of My Mind by Octavia Butler
In Mind Of My Mind, Octavia Butler has written a straight up, linear, accessible and exciting science fiction story about telepathy that could happen in your own backyard – if your backyard was an L.A. ghetto anyway. This novel is in fact so accessible that for most of it I didn’t realize I was reading the second book in a series.
Although Mary, a teenage telepath, is the main character of Mind Of My Mind, the central thread of the Patternist series is actually about Mary’s “father” Doro, a four-thousand-year-old immortal with psionic abilities so strong he can live forever by transferring to a new body at will. For thousands of years, Doro has sought out telepaths around the world, collecting them, ruling them, and ultimately breeding them to strengthen the genetic lines of inherited psionic abilities.
Mary is a black teenager living in the ghetto with a prostitute mother, but she is the product of one of Doro’s strongest bloodlines, and scared but excited to find out what abilities she has inherited when they start to become active around age 18. Themes of racism are subtly explored simply by virtue of setting the book in South Central Los Angeles. But when the book moves from the physical world of the streets to the mental world of telepathic powers, prejudices continue to be examined as the oppressed suddenly gain access to their dormant telepathic powers and are in a position to become the oppressors.
If a random book from this series was this accessible and this exciting, then I am definitely reading the rest of them.
For four thousand years, an immortal has spread the seeds of an evolutionary master race, using the downtrodden of the underclass as his private breeding stock. But now a young ghetto telepath has found the way to awaken – and rule – her superhuman kind, igniting a psychic battle from L.A. mansions to South Central slums, as she challenges her creator for the right to free her people … and enslave the Earth.