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Mind Games (The Disillusionists Trilogy, #1)
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Mind Games (The Disillusionists #1)

3.53 of 5 stars 3.53  ·  rating details  ·  6,792 ratings  ·  906 reviews

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 han
Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published March 23rd 2010 by Spectra
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Mockingjay by Suzanne CollinsSpirit Bound by Richelle MeadClockwork Angel by Cassandra ClareLast Sacrifice by Richelle MeadRoom by Emma Donoghue
Best Books of 2010
165th out of 1,273 books — 2,387 voters
A Game of Thrones by George R.R. MartinPrince of Thorns by Mark  LawrenceThe Blade Itself by Joe AbercrombieLast Argument of Kings by Joe AbercrombieBefore They Are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie
Best Dark Fantasy
100th out of 248 books — 423 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kat Kennedy
Oct 03, 2010 Kat Kennedy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of PNR who are looking for something different.
Recommended to Kat Kennedy by: Sharon
"I don't see how I could possibly move a napkin with the power of my mind," I say.

"All will be revealed," he mumbles.

"Did you just say 'All will be revealed'?"

He looks up. "Yes."

"Who says 'All will be revealed'?"

"I do," Packard says. "Just perform the task."

"The task. Ah, please, forgive me for interfering with your diabolical restaurant supply order."

It will be difficult for me to write a review of Mind Games objectively. mostly because I want to start spewing effigies to is fantasticness. I al
Guys, it is rare that I am so excited about a book that I DELIBERATELY don't keep reading it until 3am so I can savor more of it the next day. Seriously, this book is awesome. I ordered 3 hard copies of it to give to friends, that's how much I loved it!
I'm not sure how to describe Mind Games, it's like neurotic psychological urban fantasy with a dash of romance. The first fifty pages is a BIT confusing because the world that's set up is pretty much different from anything I've ever read. Basical
Stacia (the 2010 club)
Jan 25, 2013 Stacia (the 2010 club) rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who is looking for a fresh take on Urban Fantasy. (thanks TBD girls for this readalong!)
Recommended to Stacia (the 2010 club) by: Regina
mgme_zps46af46e1 photo mgme_zps46af46e1.jpg
My name is Stacia and I approved of this book.
This message brought to you by the campaign for better living through escapism.

I have to give Mind Games two enthusiastic thumbs up for bringing me something unique which I hadn't read before. This book's mismatched team of disillusionists are as close to a crew of anti-superheroes as you can get. They call themselves a "psychological hit squad." These characters sort of remind me of a more neurotic version of Holly Black's Curseworkers.

They're in
Robin (Bridge Four)
Another Buddies Books and Baubles Buddy read with some fun peeps.

I am pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this story. I’m not sure what exactly I was expecting but it wasn’t a group of people with extreme various neuroses and vices being something akin to superheroes. That is what Caroline Crane pulled of here and it was unusual and amazing.

Justine is a mess. At the beginning of this I had no idea how I was going to connect and like a girl with such deep seeded hypochondria so such that e
Sh3lly (Not all those who wander are lost)
I went into this not knowing what it was about. There's a twenty-something woman named Justine who is a hypochondriac and is crippled by it, always having to go to the emergency room because she thinks she is dying. It affects her relationships and takes over her life, no matter how hard she tries to control and fight it.

She meets a man named Packard, the leader of a secret group called disillusionists, who invites her to join his team. What they do is find really bad people (murderers, rapists,
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
With Mind Games, Carolyn Crane somehow manages to take the common tropes of female lead urban fantasy and turn them askew in a very appealing fashion. This book has no vampires, werewolves, or faeries. Nope. All humans here. Even if they are humans who can use their minds in ways that you didn't even really consider possible.

This book took a while to get going. I think it took me about 60 or more pages before I felt invested. After that point, I was engaged. Beforehand, I had to process Ms. Cran

Alright Flannery. Keep your nanna knickers on. Here's your review:

*clears throat*

So. Mind Games ay?

[image error]


Ok so Janice is this outrageous hypochondriac who....

Waitaminnit. Janice? No. Not Janice. Her name is... Janine? No, that's not right either. *looks up protagonists name*

JUSTINE. Right. It's Justine.

See, this is the problem I was having. As good as the book was, I kept forgetting who the effing chick WAS telling the story. Mostly because she had no personality and I wanted to pu

10 April 2015: Free on (meaning you must have an UK address!*wink*)

Actual rating 4.5

Such a wonderful new concept. Fresh, original, often 'laugh out loud' funny, action packed and diabolically fantastic! Oh and with great romantic sub-plot(this is not PNR though). I'm so tempted to round up to 5 stars but it's not full 5 ;). One of the better UF offerings with a female lead.
4.5 Stars. This is such a unique series! I had so much fun reading Mind Games. It is literally laugh out loud funny. The main character, Justine, is a hypochondriac and Ms. Crane writes her in a very sensitive but undeniably amusing manner. Despite her neurosis (and this is an area where it might be a tad bit annoying to read – however it never is), Justine is likeable. In Mind Games, readers get a heroine that is … well … real, she is worried about money, her boyfriend and her health. Justine i ...more

The day I stumbled upon this series was a great day, I tell you. The plot was very original, very fresh, very addictive. The first 50 or so pages I'm bouncing along, world building going on, characters being fleshed out...then BOOM! It just took off and I couldn't put it down! This is fantastic UF, utterly fantastic. The premise was so different that I didn't understand what it was about till I started reading. People with neurosis of various kinds somehow, in a very me
Anna (Bobs Her Hair)
Aug 20, 2011 Anna (Bobs Her Hair) rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: urban Fantasy with romance fans
I MUST help make Carolyn Crane known! So, to ALL sixteen of my friends and my devoted group of three followers I say to you that the Disillustionists world is cool!

What is it about?
Justine Jones is a hypochondriac to the extreme. She is in a near constant state of anxiety fearing a blood vessel will burst in her brain and she will die just like her mother. She meets a man named Packard who offers freedom from the debilitating fear by becoming part of his crime-fighting team. Packard's way of fi
Sep 05, 2013 Glamdring rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Glamdring by: Deniz

*Buddy reading with Nikki <3*
*DNF at 16%*

Although I'm not sure I liked the author's voice, I did not really dislike the book. The problem is I couldn't find it interesting enough to read more than few pages at a time. And when cleaning the house has more appeal than the book you are reading, you know you are in trouble.

I only read 16%, so I can't say much. So this is my few thoughts:

--> I thought that the world building was sadly missing. According to the few elements given to us, we suspe
Anzu The Great Destroyer
First, there was Anzu’s brain. Then a little crazy gnome claimed it as his home. That gnome had big plans for Anzu’s brain, and he kept on guiding her book reviews for a long time. Until the day Anzu started reading Mind Games. Then two more gnomes invaded her brain, and confusion reigned.

Each gnome had a different opinion regarding certain parts of the book. In order to please everyone, Anzu allowed each gnome to write its opinion in her review.

The beginning (Gnome 1)
Lots of mentions of a cert
I'm very conflicted about my opinion of this book. Did I like it? Did I hate it? I just can't tell; it seems like a bit of both. That's why I went straight down the middle with my rating.

On one hand I really liked how different this book is. I can't think of another book I've read that similar to this, so kudos to the author for originality. I was a bit confused in the beginning about high caps and vein star syndrome and was waiting for the author to explain what exactly was going on. I did, how
Mrs. Badass
See here: Ode to Carolyn Crane

Ever pick up a book and just think, “Wow, does this book sound…odd” But you figure, what the heck, you need something different, and this sure sounds like it fits the bill. Not only is the book odd, but it’s weird in the most fantastic way possible, it was an extremely interesting, well thought out, and twisty read! Author Carolyn Crane has some serious issues I tell you. In order to come up with this psychological hit squad, and this world filled with mind bending

A psychological hit squad that fights crime by channeling its member’s neuroses into their targets. Wait, what?

There’s a Mongolian restaurant somewhere in Midcity. Its door bears the mysterious symbol of laughing giant, its indoors decoration is the definition of kitsch and it’s filled with the smells of kebab and ouzo. Plus it serves really bad coffee. It is also the meeting point for a group of people who have as many similarities between them as the kids from the Breakfast Club did. A mysteri
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
Sep 16, 2015 ✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans) marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to ✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans) by: Asya
April 11, 2015: free on

Mind Games has restored my faith in the urban fantasy genre. This book made my head spin, heart pound, and legs hurt when I stood up after laying down reading for so long.

Honestly, this book is worthy of 5 stars. I just had a few personal problems with it that ruined the final star, but I doubt most people would have the same issues. This is a rare and precious book that blends action, suspense, and romance perfectly.

One problem I had is with the names. Crane is an amazing writer, but she has
David "proud member of Branwen's adventuring party"
An impressive debut novel from a new author. The urban-fantasy genre is currently saturated with vampires and werewolves, but Carolyn Crane came up with an exciting new concept. Justine Jones is a hypochondriac who is brought into a shadowy group of vigilantes nicknamed "The Disillusionists". Every member of this group suffers from some kind of crippling anxiety issue, and they've learned how to transfer their phobias into the minds of criminals in an attempt to convince the criminals to reform. ...more
Neurosis is a class of functional mental disorders involving distress but neither delusions nor hallucinations. Effects of neurosis can involve: anxiety, sadness or depression, anger, irritability, mental confusion, low sense of self-worth, etc. Neurosis can also evoke behavioral symptoms such as phobic avoidance, vigilance, impulsive and compulsive acts, including lethargy. Additionally, neurosis can cause cognitive problems such as unpleasant or disturbing thoughts, repetition of thoughts and ...more
Justine Jones is a hypochondriac whose mental health is quickly spiraling downward. She’s convinced she has vein star syndrome, the condition that killed her mother. Then she meets the mysterious Packard, who recruits her into his team of Disillusionists. Disillusionists are essentially psychic vigilantes, attacking criminals by zapping their own psychological problems into the bad guy’s energy field. When the criminal has been reduced to a gibbering mass of anxiety, so Packard’s theory goes, he ...more
Sharon ✽ is an emotional book junkie ✽
Justine is a hypochondriac fearing that she will die from the same disease that killed her mother. This has caused people to label her as weird and all she wants to be is normal. That's what her relationship is with Cubby...normal. But one night when they are out for dinner, she meets a group of people and her whole life changes to definitely not normal.

This was a really interesting spin on getting inside someone's head who's a hypochondriac. All the fear that Justine goes through was incredible
Milda Page Runner
4.5 stars

What a pleasant surprise! I am baffled by a low GR rating.
Is it because it's so untypical an doesn't have any werewolves or vampires? ^^


I wanted to finish the series before writing this review to make sure it doesn't disappoint me in the end. Well - it did not.

Although it fits in an urban fantasy genre - this book reads more as a psychological suspense thriller with sci-fi/fantasy element and romantic subplot. Very unusual premise. There are no vampires or werewolves or any other ma
Monique ~ Sinfully... Addicted to All Male Romance
I now fully understand, just why this book is called 'Mind Games'!!! Hell my mind was f**cked trying to anticipate what was going to happen next.....only to be hit by another twist taking me off in a different direction!!!

It is a great book and I thoroughly enjoyed it....however I was exhausted after being in Justine's mind for so long....she is totally neurotic and suffers from hypochondria and is constantly questioning herself. As this is told from her perspective and in a voice that is totall
I don't know why so many people love this book. For me it was just awful! The only reason I gave this book 2 stars is because the plot was fresh and unusual. The whole hypochondria thing was interesting, and I enjoyed reading these panic attacks the main heroine had. But this was all that was good in this book.
I can’t criticize language, construction of sentences or right words using, because English is not my mother language. But writing was horrible! First of all, the book is written is presen
I just can't take seriously a love interest who (view spoiler)!
Buddy read with Buddies Books and Baubles

Mind Games is the first book in Carolyn Crane's Disillusionists trilogy and I have to give props to the author for coming up with such a unique concept. The Disillusionists are a great group of anti-heroes, they all have unique abilities and together they have formed a psychic hit squad who take down the bad guys by fundamentally changing them on a psychic level. They can take your fears and insecurities and ramp them up to turn you into a complete bask
Mimi Smith
3 stars


Justine is a pretty different and unique heroine. She is a hypochondriac. Her fear is so extreme it prevents her from having a normal life. It's the result of the tragic death of her mother from the Vein Star syndrome(some kind of a vascular disease), after being labeled as a hypochondriac and misdiagnosed. So, Justine now has the constant fear that a vein will burst in her head. She has frequent episodes when she think she's having an attack(or something) and she goes to the ER
"I can't say I've encountered anybody with your level of anxiety outside of a straightjacket," Packard continues.

Justine is a hypochondriac, which is what makes her a ideal "dissilusionist." A a dissilusionist she helps to restore criminals to non criminal behavior by inadvertently "zinging" her health anxieties on to them mentally. These "zaps" bring criminals to their rock bottom forcing themselves to have empathy for their victims therefore assisting them to alternatives besides crime f
Aly is so frigging bored
My expression while reading the book: mild disgust with a lot of pity thrown in(the pity is for my eyes btw)

After the one day pause I hoped that my memory was just bad or that I was mean with the poor book, but no, still the same... goods.

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Me, the 2nd time around, looking at the book

A little list with things I liked and didn't like about the book:
The "+" list:
Didn't forgot about it, I just had nothing to add
The "-" list:
the heroine: she should be in a mental institution, not free to walk around
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After spending her youth thoroughly obsessed with Nancy Drew and Harriet the Spy and convinced that her suburban neighborhood was awash in dangerous secrets, Carolyn Crane grew up to become a RITA-nominated author of romantic suspense, urban fantasy, and other tales of adventure and love; she also writes erotic romance about bank robbers as Annika Martin.

Her books have been published by Random Ho
More about Carolyn Crane...

Other Books in the Series

The Disillusionists (3 books)
  • Double Cross (The Disillusionists Trilogy, #2)
  • Head Rush (The Disillusionists, #3)
Double Cross (The Disillusionists Trilogy, #2) Head Rush (The Disillusionists, #3) Against the Dark (The Associates, #1) Off the Edge (The Associates, #2) Devil's Luck (The Disillusionists, #3.5)

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“You're right. I'm not the kind of woman to do something foolish out of defiance. I am, however, the kind of woman who would do something just to prove that you can't tell me what kind of woman I am.” 86 likes
“I don't see how I could possibly move a napkin with the power of my mind," I say.
"All will be revealed."
"Did you just say, 'All will be revealed'?"
He looks up. "Yes."
"Who says, 'All will be revealed'?"
"I do," Packard says. "Just perform the task.”
More quotes…