Thursday, June 3, 2010

Review of Mind Games by Carolyn Crane

Title: Mind Games (The Disillusionists Trilogy, #1)
Authors: Carolyn Crane
Pages: 371 Pages, Paperback
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Standalone/Series: Series
Release:  Already Out
Publisher: Spectra
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!


Unknown said...

This just sounds SO good - I also won a copy and Carolyn signed it for me too! I really want to read this but have a few books to get through first. Great review! :)

Patti (@TheLoveJunkee) said...

I loved this book and can't wait for Double Cross! Great review.

A Buckeye Girl Reads said...

I wasn't sure if I was going to like or not, but ended up falling in love with it. I can't wait for the second book in the series to come out this summer.

Heather (DarklyReading) said...

@BCC - It's an awesome book with such a unique prospective on paranormal - one of my fav reads from 2010 so far!

@Patti & Buckeye Girl Reads - I can't wait till Double Cross!

Sophia (FV) said...

Oh nice review Heather! I really want to read this. I swear I'm going to lock myself in my room on weekend, ignore my kids and hubby and just read this. It sounds awesome!

Heather (DarklyReading) said...

@FV - I know the feeling - there are so many books at the top of my list that I feel like I have to trade sleep for reading time ;)

Mandi said...

Loved this one. Best heroine..and Packard? Me wants.

Heather (DarklyReading) said...

@Mandi - not going for Sanchez with the beret? Berets are so sexy ;)

Janna said...

If you loved every word of it, I have to go get me a copy! Great review :)

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Oh, I need to read this one. It looks so good. :)

Tori [Book Faery] said...

I keep hearing good things about Carolyn's book, but I don't have the money to buy it lol. Awesome review, you're making me want to go get a copy despite my TBR pile.

Michelle said...

I agree - the beginning was a bit slow, but once things got moving - but did the action go into high gear. I am amazed at Carolyn's storytelling. Fabulous stuff.

Midnyte Reader said...

Another one on my TBR list!

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