MIND GAMES by Carolyn Crane [Review]

The first book in The Disillusionists trilogy, Mind Games is about a group of neurotic “superheroes” that use their flaws (hypochondria, gambling) to fight bad guys. Their town, Midcity (think Chicago), is in the midst of an eight year crime wave, and they have banded together to fight the criminals. Well, technically Justine and her fellow crime fighters aren’t superheroes—they’re just regular people. They’re the minions of Packard, and he’s the one with the power. Packard is what’s known a “highcap” or someone with paranormal abilities. He has taught Justine how to take her crippling hypochondria and channel her fears into a target (usually a murderer), leaving her feeling calm and refreshed. Unfortunately, this comes at a price and Justine is horrified when she learns the cost.

After I read a sample of Mind Games on my Kindle, I was instantly hooked. The unique premise sucked me in right away. I mean, who wouldn’t want to zing their anxieties into an enemy and walk away feeling refreshed? And how funny is the idea of a neurotic group of “superheroes?” I really liked to world building too—it’s urban fantasy without the usual vampires and werewolves. The highcaps (high capacity humans) have a genetic mutation that allows them to develop abilities as a child. But despite a ton of evidence to the contrary, many humans refuse to believe they exist.

Not only is the premise great, the characters and story are memorable too. Justine is unique as a hypochondriac heroine, but she’s also funny and her desire to just be a normal girl is very relatable. Packard is also a cool character that will keep you guessing. And that’s what I really liked about this book—everyone seems morally ambiguous so you’re never really sure who are the heroes and who are the villains (I guess the book is called Mind Games after all). And that makes the book unpredictable and exciting. Seriously, I can’t think of another book I’ve read recently that surprised the hell out me like Mind Games.

And I haven’t even mentioned the romance, which is plentiful. So, needless to say, I highly recommend Mind Games. I can’t wait to get my hands on book 2 of the trilogy, Double Cross, which is available now.

Check out the book trailer for Mind Games below:

Quotes from Mind Games by Carolyn Crane:

“Do you think you have time for dessert before you depart for the hereafter? The chocolate fondue looks excellent…”

“Mongolian Fondue,” I say. “Very authentic.”

“Normal is a precious kind of freedom, and if you don’t have it, it’s all you ever want.”

Choice is an illusion, same as happiness and freedom.

Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars | Publisher: Spectra | Pages: 384 | Source: Purchased | Buy on Amazon

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