Jun 22, 2010

Posted by in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Mind Games by Carolyn Crane (The Disillusionists Trilogy #1)

Urban Fantasy
March 23 2010
Mass Market Paperback
371 pages
Spectra Books

Kick Ass Chick – Justine Jones

From the Publisher

“Justine knows she’s going to die.  Any second now.

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.”

“Mind Games” is the first book in debut author Carolyn Cane’s ‘Disillusionists’ trilogy.  And if this instalment is any indication, this series is going to be fantastic!  The story is a wild ride from beginning to end.  Just when you think you’ve figured out where you’re headed, something else happens that takes you by surprise.  But then you think about the new development and agree that it totally makes sense!  Carolyn Crane is a very talented writer.  She’s created a dark yet cool world where people with special ‘mind based’ abilities exist.  The concept is very interesting and adds a rich flavour to the plot and to the characters.  It can be easy for an author, while writing a fantastical world, to try too hard and jumble up the story with too many details.  Yet Ms. Crane writes it with ease and flair.  Incredible!

The main characters are really well written.  They have real depth to them.  The heroine Justine Jones is a hardcore hypochondriac.  When her ‘attacks’ are described, you feel like you could see every sweat drop and every panicked glance in her eyes.  It’s fantastic.  Justine is inexplicably drawn to Packard, and who can blame her.  Packard is the good guy in this tale – or is he?!  For the entire book, you wonder on what side he belongs.  And again, just when you think you’ve got him figured out, something throws you for a major loop and you are left re-thinking everything you’ve learned so far.  That not only happens with Packard, but with Otto too!  Now none of these revelations cause you to smack your forehead out of frustration.  They make you jump up and down and cause you to not want to put the book down to see if your newest theory is the right one.  Let’s go back to Otto.  I must admit that, when he was first introduced as a sexy man who wears a beret, I was a little “say what?!” because I have never considered ‘sexy’ and ‘beret’ to belong in the same category.  But after a while, you just accept it and you thank goodness it’s not a beanie — and Otto becomes almost as yummy as Packard.

By the end, you are left wondering if you really found all of the pieces of the puzzle, or if there are still a few missing.  And that’s the perfect way to end a book belonging to a series.  It leaves you wanting more without leaving you frustrated.  And I love that this is a trilogy – you know you won’t have to wait through 27 books for everything to be resolved.

The second book in the ‘Disillusionists’ series, “Double Cross”, is due out in stores September 28th 2010.  If you enjoy slightly dark urban fantasy tales with a quirky edge to it, you’ll really enjoy “Mind Games”.

5 stars

Giggle worthy quotes

“It’s a dress rehearsal, so that’s casual.  However, it’s still the opera, and there’s dinner after, so that’s dressy.  But then, it’s not a date, so that swings it back to casual.  But then there are Otto’s many charms, which swings it to pretty, and then there’s the fact that he’s a dangerous killer, which swings things to casual, if not dowdy.”
“My pulse pounds in my ears, and I try to fumble my way back to my righteous anger.  But all I can locate is our easy intimacy, and how alive he makes me feel.”

  1. So glad you loved this one…I think it is my fav of 2010 so far!! 🙂

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