Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Author: Carolyn Crane
Publishing Date: March 2010
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Book Disclosure: I purchased a new copy at the RT book signing. I was able to meet Carolyn Crane at RT. I will say that I consider CJ a good friend and it's possible my review might be biased :)
Mind Games is the first book in a new trilogy by Carolyn Crane. It is told in first person by Justine Jones, a very unusual character indeed. Justine is a hypochondriac who swears she is on the verge of having a vein star rupture in her brain. See her mother was also a hypochondriac who believed she suffered from vein star syndrome. Ironically enough Justine's mother died from the exact thing that she feared. Justine is approached by a man named Packard who mysteriously knows more about Justine than their first meeting would warrant. He asks Justine to be a part of his vigilante crime fighting team.
Mind Games pleasantly surprised me with its highly unconventional plot and characters. It has a comic book, superhero kind of vibe to it. Only the superheroes in this book don't have superpowers. They have varying degrees of hypochondria that allow them to take down bad guys by transferring their fears into their evil opponents/victims. These superheroes are a group of misfits who never seemed to belong until Packard gave them a home and a focus - a way to channel their fears to let them live reasonably normal lives. Most of the characters are unusual, but Crane is able to walk a fine line between interesting and quirky. Yes, they are strange but not caricatures of strangeness.
Mind Games has a definite heroine, but two possible heroes. Justine has to determine which one is good and which one is bad. What is interesting is that things are not defined by black and white, but varying shades of grey. This makes Justine's decision all the more difficult, but makes for a much more interesting read. Hard core romance readers might not like that the hero is not clearly defined and by the end of the story it is still not determined who Justine will be with. I am very curious to explore this interesting world Ms. Crane has created.
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This book can be purchased in print or kindle format from Amazon.