Sunday, September 26, 2010

New Release & Review: Mind Games

Mind Games
The Disillusionists Trilogy #1
Author: Carolyn Crane
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Spectra
Released March 23, 2010
Available in print and digital on Amazon

SUMMARY: 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.

I have been wanting to read Mind Games since before it was actually released. I've been following the author on her blog and twitter, enjoying her wit and intelligence, but had to wait til this month to buy it. I knew it would be a story very different from anything I had read previously, and I was not disappointed. Mind Games is an urban fantasy unlike any I've ever read. In many ways, I can related to Justine, the heroine in the story. While I am not a hypochondriac, I have suffered from anxiety and mild panic attacks for most of my life. It wasn't until I was almost 40 that my family doctor suggested the idea of anxiety disorder to me. Once I left Denial Land, I knew he was right. Reading Mind Games was weird for me because I recognized so many emotional things in the story, nodding my head as I read along. Of course when the supernatural elements kicked in, I stopped identifying and started really getting into Justine's adventure.

Mind Games is fast paced, fascinating, witty, and completely amazing. The author has created a world that takes the idea of the power of the mind to a new level. She also challenges the reader to look beyond black and white to the grey area of good and evil. Is it really so cut and dried? Can someone have motives that are selfish, yet still serve a greater good? For me, there is also a theme of acceptance running through the story. Do we want a relationship where we have to pretend to be something we're not? These are just a few of the ideas running through Mind Games.

I don't want anyone to misunderstand and think that these thought provoking themes slow down the story for the reader. I couldn't put Mind Games down once I started it; staying up way too late reading once began. The characters are complex and quirky. In some ways, I was reminded of going to a large shopping mall and sitting on a bench for an entire afternoon to people watch. What if we could do that but see inside the minds of some of the people who walk by us? Instead of guessing what their story is, we'd get a glimpse into their mind. Reading Mind Games was much like that to me, and I will be reading it again and again, catching new details each time. Perhaps I'll even take it to a mall one afternoon and read it as I sit and people watch.

CAT scan
horse book
stun gun
glory hour
open door

The second book in The Disillusionists Trilogy, Double Cross, is coming out this week on Tuesday, September 28th! I think it's going to be even better than the first book in the series. Here is the blurb from the author's website:

Justine Jones has lived her life as a fearful hypochondriac until she's lured into the web of a mysterious mastermind named Packard. He gifts her with extraordinary mental powers-dooming her to fight Midcity's shadowy war on paranormal crime in order to find the peace she so desperately craves.

But now, serial killers with unheard-of skills are terrorizing the most powerful beings in Midcity, including mastermind Packard - and his oldest friend and worst enemy, Midcity's new mayor, who has the ability to bend matter itself to his will.

As the body count grows, Justine faces a crisis of conscience as she tests the limits of her new powers and faces an impossible choice between two flawed but brilliant men . . . one on a journey of redemption, and the other descending into a pit of moral depravity.

Double Cross is available for in paperback, and for the Kindle on Amazon. Visit the author's website here: .

~Happy Release Week:) Brenda