Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Review - "Mind Games " by Carolyn Crane

Book Description:
Mind Games heroine Justine Jones isn't your typical kick-ass type - she’s a hopeless hypochondriac whose life is run by fear.

She's lured into a restaurant, Mongolian Delites, by tortured mastermind Sterling Packard, who promises he can teach her to channel her fears. In exchange, she must join his team of disillusionists - vigilantes hired by crime victims to zing their anxieties into criminals, resulting in collapse and transformation.

Justine isn't interested in Packard's troupe until she gets a taste of the peace he can promise. Soon she enters the thrilling world of neurotic crime fighters who battle Midcity’s depraved and paranormal criminals.

Eventually, though, she starts wondering why Packard hasn’t set foot outside the Mongolian Delites restaurant for eight years. And about the true nature of the disillusionists.
Carolyn Crane's debut novel Mind Games had me hooked as soon as she introduced Justine Jones. You have to wonder where an author is going with a character who is a severe hypochondriac whose thoughts include -
Fashion magazine disease articles. My personal kryptonite.
The terrific and delightful thing about this is that Justine's character flaw or weakness becomes her greatest strength. This is true of the majority of the damaged characters that populate Mind Games. and who are part of  the disillusionists.

Justine is the lynchpin in the devious scheme concocted by Sterling Packard, but it takes some convincing to get Justine to join. I loved this exchange.
He regards  me carefully, green eyes the color of old moss in sunlight. "You want to join now? You're sure about it?"
Yes, quite." I say nonchalantly as if I'm accepting a mint bonbon from a butler instead of a new vigilante lifestyle from a slightly maniacal mutant.
The maniacal mutant in question (Packard) is what the author calls a highcap, which to us old school science fiction buffs is equivalent to psions, genetically gifted individuals with unique abilities such as telepathy or telekinesis. I loved seeing this SF trope applied to an urban fantasy style milieu where the focus is on a more visceral story and realistic characters. Despite the many abilities revealed, there are no mad masterminds or plans for global domination. Instead it is all kept on a very accessible and believable level which is one of its' many strengths.

Mind Games is full of intrigue and mystery that draws you in and rivets your attention. What is Packard's plan and the secret of the Mongolian Delites? What's with the Brick Slinger serial killer that has the city terrorized? Is the Police Chief more than he seems? There are no shortage of interesting plot threads that keep you guessing and turning pages. But is there any romance involved you may ask? Indeed yes there is. Justine's relationships evolve and become more complicated as her world shifts and the men in her life change. I found her romantic choice at the end quite satisfying.

Call it urban fantasy if you insist (I'm going to call it urban SF), but the label makes no difference. Mind Game's is freshly original and sophisticated with some truly surprising twists. Despite the characters handicaps, the decay and crime of MidCity and other difficult obstacles, Mind Games has a wonderful cup half full feeling of optimism. I didn't see that coming and I loved the positive outlook. Carolyn Crane has crafted an intriguing world and very special cast, especially in Justine Jones. I very much look forward to the next series of adventures with the Disillusionist crew in Double Cross this September. A final note for those that like to know, Mind Games has a totally satisfying ending with no cliff-hangers.


Excerpt of Chapter 1.

Random House/Ballantine
Published: March 23, 2010
Format: Paperback,
Pages: 371
ISBN #: 9780553592610

Justine Jones: Disillusionist Trilogy:
  1. Mind Games (March 23, 2010)
  2. Double Cross (September 28, 2010)


  1. Great review! Mind games sounds awesome, I'll definitely be reading it.

  2. Nice review! Loved this book and totally agree about the satisfying ending. I'm slavering for the next in the series, but I didn't get that "wtf just happened?" feeling at the conclusion.

    Urban SF, huh? Cool tag.

  3. Trillian the series makes my autobuy list now :)

    Jill I agree the next book should be even better now that Carolyn has layed down all the groundwork for the world and main characters. I really do consider this more SF than UF.

  4. Mind Game such a great fantasy movie in that year 2004 and still yet i watched this movie some time whenever i getting bored. Thank you so much for sharing us such a nice blogs. X Men Quicksilver Jacket


  5. اهم شركات كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام كذلك معرض اهم شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام والخبر والجبيل والخبر والاحساء والقطيف كذكل شركة تنظيف خزانات بجدة وتنظيف بجدة ومكافحة الحشرات بالخبر وكشف تسربات المياه بالجبيل والقطيف والخبر والدمام
    شركة تنظيف خزانات بجدة
    شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام
    شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام


  6. Thanks for the information that has been submitted, it may be useful specifically my reading and writing you :) And there is little hope can be helpful and useful:
    Obat Herbal Batu Empedu

  7. Babel accounting and managing contracting companies Software is the first in the Middle East according to its spreading among contracting companies and clients in the Middle east and the world soon,,,,,,
    I recommenda Babel Software
    ادارة ومحاسبة شركات المقاولات
    برنامج الحسابات العامة
    برنامج ادارة شركات المقاولات
    ادارة ومحاسبة شركات المقاولات
    ادارة شركات الاستثمار العقارى
    برنامج محاسبة مقاولات
    برنامج شركات مقاولات
    برنامج مقاولات
    برنامج مراقبه مخازن
    برنامج مراقبة مخازن
    ادارة ومراقبه المخازن
    ادارة ومراقبة المخازن
    منظومة مراقبه المخازن
    برنامج ادارة ومراقبه المخازن
    برنامج ادارة المخازن
    برنامج مخازن
    برنامج ادارة المشتريات
    برنامج استثمار عقارى
    منظومة الاسيتثمار العقارى
    ادارة التسويق العقاري
    ادارة الاستثمار العقاري
    برنامج محاسبة شركات المقاولات
    المعالجة المحاسبية للاستثمار العقاري
    ادارة التسويق والاستثمار العقاري
    برنامج محاسبة شركات المقاولات
    برنامج استثمار عقارى
    المعالجة المحاسبية للاستثمار العقاري
    برنامج مصنع خرسانة جاهزة
    برنامج ادارة مصانع الخرسانة
    برنامج ادارة مصانع الخرسانة الجاهزة
    منظومة ادارة الانتاج
    برنامج ادارة محطات الخرسانة
    شركات الخرسانة الجاهزة


  8. Babel account & manag contracting companies
    The program includes 12 specialized systems in contracting field and providing explanation library of 145 videos with total of 6 hours of explanation
    and providing more than 200 questions in the field of contracting and group of essays which serve contracting companies
    مكونات الخرسانة الجاهزة
    ادارة ومراقبه المستخلصات
    برنامج ادارة المستخلصات
    برنامج ادارة المستخلصات وخطابات الضمان
    برنامج مستخلصات
    ادارة مستخلصات اصحاب الاعمال
    برنامج خطابات ضمان
    ادارة خطابات الضمان
    انواع خطابات الضمان
    شرح خطابات الضمان
    برنامج اعمال ادارية
    منظومة الاعمال الادارية
    برنامج اعمال ادارية لشركة مقاولات
    برنامج حسابات لشركة مقاولات
    برنامج محاسبة
    برنامج حسابات مقاولات
    برامج محاسبة
    برنامج الحسابات العامة
    الحسابات العامة
    برنامج ادارة شركات المقاولات
    برامج محاسبة شركات المقاولات
    برنامج محاسبة مقاولات
    برنامج مقاولات
    برنامج الحسابات العامة
    برنامج ادارة العقارات
    برنامج محاسبة مقاولات
    برنامج ادارة شركات المقاولات
    برنامج محاسبة شركات المقاولات
    برنامج بابل للمقاولات
    برنامج محاسبة مقاولات
    المعالجه المحاسبية لضريبة القيمة المضافه .


For bloggers comments are like water to a man (or woman) wandering in the desert. A precious commodity. I love to hear from everyone and do my best to respond to every post.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...