Mind Games ~ Carolyn Crane

  • Title: Mind Games
  • Author: Carolyn Crane
  • Series: The Disillusionists #1
  • Genre: UF, PNR
  • Format: eBook
  • Source: Own Copy
  • Reviewer: Soo
  • Rating: 3 out of 5

Justine Jones has a secret. A hardcore hypochondriac, she’s convinced a blood vessel is about to burst in her brain. Then, out of the blue, a startlingly handsome man named Packard peers into Justine’s soul and invites her to join his private crime-fighting team. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime deal. With a little of Packard’s hands-on training, Justine can weaponize her neurosis, turning it outward on Midcity’s worst criminals, and finally get the freedom from fear she’s always craved. End of problem.

Or is it? In Midcity, a dashing police chief is fighting a unique breed of outlaw with more than human powers. And while Justine’s first missions, including one against a nymphomaniac husband-killer, are thrilling successes, there is more to Packard than meets the eye. Soon, while battling her attraction to two very different men, Justine is plunging deeper into a world of wizardry, eroticism, and cosmic secrets. With Packard’s help, Justine has freed herself from her madness—only to discover a reality more frightening than anyone’s worst fears.

*Potential Spoilers*

Review:  When I read the summary of the book, I was really excited by the premise of a group going about changing people via psychological manipulation. One of my favorite things to do is to learn about people.

My overall response to the book is mild. I enjoyed the variety of characters that make up the disillusionment group. Packard & Otto are intriguing men. No matter how many times I try, I can’t think of a suave way for a beret to look totally dashing on a man–no matter the occasion. I love the hypochondriac psycho-babble that Justine uses during her “jobs”. It’s rather hilarious! Especially during the scene where she’s been kidnapped by the Alchemist.

There’s a lot of potential for the story to really engage my mind in mysteries and what will happen next?! That’s how I felt when I started the book. Once I finished it, I felt mildly annoyed and thought, “That’s it?” Perhaps I had too much enthusiasm and feel unsatisfied due to my own expectations.

I had a hard time suspending my belief during most of the book. The way Crane talks about Highcaps, and how the zing works kept pulling me out of the story. The manner in which Justine is trained, and how long it takes for her to get ready to work as a disillusionist seems unrealistic.

I really love the ideas in Mind Games, but I’m not satisfied by the execution. The flow of the story seems bumpy to me. A lot of internal examinations with a handful of active sequences, lots of crazy stuff happens in a few chapters, more internal see-saws and then a short resolution with a tidy wrap up.

The kiss Packard and Justine shared was hot! The sex she has with Otto was exciting to read about at first, but grew stale after a while. It just seemed like Justine jumps into bed with any man. At least, with Packard, there’s some sort relationship growth. With Henji/Otto, it just seems like she falls easily for anyone that she is attracted to no matter what her thoughts were about the man beforehand. Come on! For the majority of the book, Henji/Otto was the BAD guy!

I still want to know what happens next. Double Cross has been added to my TBR list.

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