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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

106) Mind Games by Carolyn Crane

The pain keeps coming back and hypochondriac Justine Jones is convinced it is a blood vessel that is about to burst in her brain. Her 'illness' has taken over her life and it is ruining any relationship she tries to build up. Then one evening she is approached by a man. A man who has a private crime fighting team. With his help, he is convinced, that Justine can push her neurosis on to criminals and feel free from her symptoms in return.

So she teams up with Packard, who has some problems of his own, and learns how to use her unique powers. Her first mission, taking down a nymphomaniac husband killer, goes well. However while working on her debut case she realises that her new job isn't what it seems and the consequences were not explained to her in detail. She finds herself drowning deeper and deeper into a strange world and even though she is managing to keep her head above water, it is only a matter of time before she has to deal with the reality that has become her life.

The blurb for this one sounded extremely good. I read the reviews and they were all positive. I ordered the book and it has sat on my shelf for a while. I finally got to it the other day and within a few chapters felt disappointed. I thought this was going to be Paranormal but in my view this was more science fiction. So I got with the plan and thought that this was going to turn into a great superhero story but it didn't quite reach that expectation.

This book has been described as edgy and having memorable supporting characters. Obviously I was reading this book all wrong or missed something because these are not the words that were popping into my head as I was struggling through this book. Sure the new angle was unique and different but that is about all that I thought was positive about this book. Usually I would have given up but the reviews and premise of this debut novel really made me hope that things would improve and I was just experiencing a slow start.

The main character was boring and showed hardly any emotions. She went through the book like a zombie and the supposed memorable characters meant nothing to me at all. I didn't feel any connection to anything in this book and even though it had so much potential there was only some small evidence of that potential actually being brought out into the light. It was only the last 80 pages or so that I really felt that this was the book I expected. It was a surprise but I did find a small reward for reading this to the end.

I hate writing negative reviews and know that there are other readers out there who have, or will, enjoy this book. So even though this wasn't what I expected it could be, that someone else, will enjoy this. While I am not going to be rushing out to buy the second book in this series, if a copy at some point appears in my hands, I will give it a try. There is something that makes me what to give this author and series a second chance.


Vickie said...

This is making its way to me from a friend I trade UF and paranormal with. I will take your review into consideration when I read it. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't buy it after reading your thoughts on the book. You are one of my 'trusted agents' when it comes to book choices. Thanks Amber!

Unknown said...

@ Vickie - Wow! A trusted agent! That sounds like a cool job :)

You really have to let me know what you think of it when you get around to reading Mind Games. I may even go searching around to see what others wrote about it. I only saw the blurb reviews.

Jackie Uhrmacher said...

I was one of the reviewers who loved it. : ) Do you think you were displeased with it because it WAS more Sci-Fi than paranormal, or were the characters really that cardboard to you? I'm having a hard time fathoming someone not liking this book. : )

Unknown said...

@ Jackie - The Sci-Fi bit didn't bother me. The whole hypochondria angle was a big selling point for me (was interested to see how this could be a 'power') and if it had been the genre then I would have given up and not read the book till the end.

Cardboard is the right word. The characters were nothing to me. I didn't feel like I got to know them at all.

As I mentioned, I would give the second book a chance if I came across it. However it certainly isn't one I am going to buy. Also I know there must be people who liked this, otherwise there wouldn't be a second book :)

shaunesay said...

Now see, I absolutely love this trilogy and really bonded with Justine. So many times the things she was thinking are things I could identify with. So it just goes to show that people have different tastes and what some can't stand or are bored by are meaningful to others!