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Hive Minds Give Good Hugs  By  cover art

Hive Minds Give Good Hugs

By: Natalie "Thundamoo" Maher
Narrated by: Jessica Almasy
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Publisher's Summary

Dorky, socially awkward entomology student Evelyn wakes up one morning to find herself as some sort of alien-human hybrid trapped on an unknown planet.

Once the initial panic winds down, she quickly learns she's capable of producing more of herself: additional bodies all sharing one mind. Being well-versed in sci-fi tropes, she quickly resolves to not devour the planet and turn into an unflinching biological armada, and instead uses her new powers to try and help as many people as possible.

Unfortunately, it turns out that helping people is often very, very difficult. With dreams of Earth filtering into her mind as she sleeps, the mystery of what she is and how she got here slowly comes to light while her power and responsibility grows ever larger.

For an anxious young woman who was already struggling to get by in a normal life, it all feels like a bit too much.

Hive Minds Give Good Hugs is a story about mistakes, difficult choices, neurodivergency, and cool alien ecology. It's a very human story, even though Evelyn might never be one again.

©2022 Natalie "Thundamoo" Maher (P)2022 Podium Audio

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What listeners say about Hive Minds Give Good Hugs

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Loved every second.

The author Natalie Maher did an amazing job making the main character believable as a real person. It was obvious how much care Natalie Maher put into the main character being someone to relate to and believe in to the point where through their eyes the world itself draws you in. Jessica Almasy read the book perfectly and really gave a voice to the characters deepening the real feelings the characters give.

3 people found this helpful

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Almost prophetic, like with Aldus Huxley

Another review convinced me to give this a try. Unfortunately, I don't remember a review conveying the subtle and integral sense of completion and determination found here. This is not a book that inappropriately idolizes homosexuality. It is not a book on pacifism. It is not a book with true answers to related problems, but it is a deep and genuine examination of these and other issues. To me, this story is a simile of what will eventually happen. The big principle missing from the story is individual agency. It seems to be represented as dignity and accountability, but because it follows a strictly current conventional atheism doctrine, it neglects the form of immediate justice that is apparently very not obvious to most people.

There is a burden accrued when one does something evil. It is like a damn to their intelligence that makes them less stable, less satisfied, and certainly less comprehending. Justice does not come in a proper administered form (not a reference to the state of any specific justice system). Even in the USA, likely the most free country on Earth, people are consistently oppressed and conditioned to think evil and to support evil. We are barely aware of it, so when one who is aware and has power suggested in this fantasy is present, what do you think will happen?

3 people found this helpful

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If Thunda's name is on it, you know it's good

3 chapters in, and having a blast. Also, first on the audible reviews! That's pretty amazing.

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this was eye-opening!

I am one of those people who lay awake at night thinking about the troubles of my world.
but this novel takes it so much further than I had ever contemplated.
to say this novelist thought provoking, does not give it justice.

2 people found this helpful

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Jessica Almasy was absolutely amazing

... at narrating this incredible story that made me reflect on morality and philosophy while engrossing me in her world. a new ATF

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Didn't think I would enjoy a hive mind book.

I was very wrong this book had me listening all day and almost all night. vigor mortis another of thundamoo is fantastic so took a chance on this one an it went wonderfully glad I picked this up.

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amazing wow.

first off this book was far better than I expected it to be I originally bought it because it had the same voice actor. but also finding out that it was the same person that wrote vigor mortis book series I was all in it was a great ride pushing some new ideas and spinning some one I have seen into new concepts. bothe me and my fiance have injoyed this book. plz start the third vigor mortis book to be put on audible I am dying to know what happens well keep up the great work on writing these two series that you have done are works of art to me and can't wait to see what you do next. thanks for your hard work.

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Path to Tyranny

As a fan of Vigor Mortis I had to read this and was not dissapointed. I was given another likable main character, with personal problem with sexuality, mentality and the existential crisis of turning to a monster. With two parallel story of Evelyn on Earth and in a bug planet. While hard to get into at first, it quickly became easy to get lost in. It quickly stop becoming about surviving on a bug planet, and more about trying to remain human and not abuse her power and to do as much good as she can. Which quickly create a dreary, muddy and difficult decision that is in many ways conflicting to the characters. It is just as gut wrenching as her other book that is glue on by a likable and sweet main character that both make it easier and more difficult to digest. Thankfully no one hour torture session like in Vigor Mortis vol.2 thankfully.

So yeah if you looking for dystopian sci-fi with the main character being a sweet heart antagonizing on how to use her almost god like power in a spiraling road of depression and tyranny, go ahead and enjoy.

1 person found this helpful

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So many things to say!

I have strong opinions of extreme pacifistic people, and this book represents a bit of what I think of them. Now is not a bad thing to be pacifist (I'm moderate pacifistic) but this book truly shows the many problems of the concept of "peaceful solutions" in conflicts of grand scales.
I loved it. I could imagine myself in that situation and try do almost the same things as Evelyn.
I also like how it represents people with ADHD with antisocial personality. I felt represented in one way or another. There aren't many characters I've read like that. It is great.

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A Wonderful Find.

I am so glad I took a chance on this book. It was absolutely amazing, and amazingly cute. The ending was also perfectly done, regardless of whether this has a sequel or not, though I would love it if it did.

1 person found this helpful

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  • P. Towse
  • 11-29-22

A cut above

Fascinating story. Great concept. Perfect narrator. I am truly impressed with this author. The book is deep and dark and funny and sad. Definitely a cut above the usual examples of this genre. On a par with the wandering inn series and He who fights with monsters in terms of quality. If you enjoy science fiction and fantasy that is more Star Trek than Hogwarts, this is for you.

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  • DW
  • 11-04-22

Not badly written but terribly narrated

The narrator has a Whining valley girl voice which she uses to constantly tell you off as you listen. This in spite of a fairly interesting story but it is so invasive that I couldn’t finish it.

Unfortunate but I’ll not be finishing this one.

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  • Mr. Ir Pinch
  • 10-19-22

Fantastic

I loved this book so much. The way the MCs neurodivergent thought process is recounted is so well done imo. Just so good thanks for writing this.

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  • K Mich
  • 10-17-22

Best characterization of an MC with A.D.D. yet

I was amazed! I came for the hivemind, stayed for the amazing characters, character progression and slowly becoming both less and mroe human.

I've read some of Thundamoo's previous work and was taken by her portrait of morally 'grey' characters in a 'grey' ethical world.

But here she ventures into the moral minefield of what I would mean to loose your individuality and the change in perspective that would bring. All done with some amazing and endearingly unique main characters.

Deals very well with social anxiety and a.d.d. both with an understanding and level headedness rarely seen in books, let alone SciFi.

I wish there was more!

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  • Rach A
  • 11-30-22

Refreshingly unique perception

Loved the perspective of the evolving mind and the reflections of complex duality. Great use of a parallel and flashback flip in gaining empathy and moral sympathy.
The only bad: somewhere starting around chapter 42, there are audio anomalies (the vibration of a silent message alert, traffic noise surges, and an edit splice point that had double audio) that seriously detract from a great oration.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-17-22

An incredibly entertaining story!

The story has entertaining characters, unique premisis and is paced well, the performance is unique in the voices. The dual narrative is exceptionally well done and I'm never bored or impatient to get to the other half of the story. Usually, I'm not too fond of first-person narrative, but it works incredibly well.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 11-12-22

Thought Experiment, Mental Illness, and Dread

SPOILERS





Plot summary
Starts as a
"Alone on an alien world, in hive mind alien bodies doing their best to survive and evolve"
to "Poltical drama between a powerful, pacifist hive mind vs theocratic, militaristic, territorial, caste societies of space ferret-moles"
to "Political thought experiment where a hive mind/ a collective of hive minds dictate sentient and sapient live throughout the universe in "benevolent" dictatorships"

Themes, tropes and messages
It is very political, discussing current problems in the world via flashbacks such as famine, disease, disparity, religion and their problems in the first and third world, while talking about the responsibility and repercussions of pacifism while having power, and the problems with different government systems in the present. The books solution to which is, as stated above, "benevolent" interventionist dictatorships via a collection of hive minds.

The novel also focuses on mental illness and neurodiversity, with a main character having adhd, a serious case of general anxiety (major breakdowns) and probably autism. It later shows the insanity the main character develops from loneliness, their hostile environent, alien physiology and breaking of her morals.

Lastly, this novel touches on existentialist and transhumanist themes. With the main character now being alien, a hive mind of many bodies, able to change their thoughts and mental chemistry with a thought, and having their first body die, are they human and how can she stay human. With more issues later such as what is soul and does it exist, whether the copy of a being is the original and whether destroying one is killing, being involuntarily becoming part of a collective consciousness, etc.

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  • mcrackar
  • 10-29-22

wow

would give 6 stars if I could. best depiction of a character with social anxiety disorder that I have seen

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  • Embrakh
  • 10-18-22

Insanely Good

I’m incredibly happy I decided to purchase this audiobook as its now a personal favourite.

The author always manages to keep me engaged and asking uncomfortable questions. While I’d love a second book or an epilogue this book pretty much had the perfect ending.

Would highly recommend.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 10-11-22

Heart warming and endering.

Lovely just simply lovely throughout the whole thing the narrative performance was also perfect a fit for the protagonist as well. 👏

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  • Danielle Wicht
  • 10-02-22

A fascinating story read by a brilliant narrator

tl;dr: Natalie Maher is a genius, Jessica Almasy is a fantasic narrator, definitely buy this book.

Hive Minds Give Good Hugs follows along in the tradition of Vigor Mortis, by being a story in which things will go upsettingly wrong and, instead of ever really being fixed, are just sort of made more complicated by the loveable, well-meaning and increasingly morally grey protagonist, generally to the astonishment and abject horror of those around her.

The novelty of the protagonist being a hive-mind actually makes the story cover similar ground to books like The Murderbot Diaries, or Ancillary Justice- if you liked the excitement and chaos of a character having to split their focus and worry about multiple crises at once in those books, this one does a fantastic job with the concept.

It's really nice to see Jessica Almasy narrating this one- she goes out of her way to read with this energetic and natural style that gives the impression of a friend who just ran to your house and pounded on your door until you opened it for them, then immediately started telling you about their awful day before they even crossed the threshold. Needless to say, it works extremely well here.

Buy the book.