Authors: Carolyn Crane
Pages: 371 Pages, Paperback
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Release: Already Out
Received from an author for winning a contest
Author info: Carolyn Crane's website and blog
Spoiler Alert: Small plot spoilers
Goodreads Blurb: Mind Games follows the adventures of Justine Jones, a hopeless hypochondriac who longs to be normal. Instead, she is recruited to join a psychological hit squad in a city terrorized by criminals with strange powers…only to fall for her most dangerous target!
This book is an absolutely unique entry into the urban fantasy genre and I loved every word of it! The heroine of this story, Justine Jones, suffers from an affliction that I'm passingly familiar with, hypochondria. She is convinced she has vein-star syndrome, and this fear leads her to late night trips to the ER, scans, and disbelief when the doctors tell her she's okay. She has a life changing event when she stalks a childhood enemy with her boyfriend Cubby into a Mediterranean restaurant and meets the enigmatic Packard. Packard offers Justine something she cannot refuse, a chance at a normal life without fear. When Justine gets one hit of what Packard has to offer she eventually comes back for more and agrees to join Packard's team of disillusionists - people with heightened phobias, anxieties, and vices that have learned to channel their fears into others as a way to break down criminal's illusions so that they reform. And Packard is no normal vigilante group mastermind - he is also a highcap that due to genetic changes has extra-human powers. And we quickly learn that Packard isn't the only highcap out there and that there are others with supernatural powers, criminals and otherwise.
Justine is the epitome of the reluctant heroine, she is constantly questioning her involvement with the dissillusionists and the motivations of Packard. Which is good because the more we learn about Packard, the more murky his intentions and dealings with Justine seem. Though that doesn't stop him from being mysterious and sexy even while he is sneaky. While Justine struggles to maintain her normal and stable relationship with Cubby she is constantly tempted by Packard who thinks she needs something more, and those two aren't the only potential love interests for Justine. I think Justine is the first urban fantasy heroine that I've read who is part of a love square perhaps or rectangle...maybe a love parallelogram. Such tough decisions! Justine also has a huge crush on Midcity police chief, Otto Sanchez, who is trying to save the city from an evil serial killer.
Although the beginning of the book was a little slow for me, the ending more than made up for it. I was never quite sure what was going to happen and there were so many interesting twists and turns, both in the plot and in Justine's love life that I raced through the last pages hungry to see what happens with Justine. I loved the side stories of vein star syndrome and the Osiris virus as the diseases that Justine disillusions others with - they definitely kept me a little twitchy while reading them. And with the ending of the book I can wait to read what happens next in Double Cross which comes out in September.
4.5 out of 5 stars for me, Love a hypochondriac set-up as the heroine in a world with a Gotham city vibe - and a love square!
Don't miss Double Cross when it comes out September 28th!