Sandy's Reviews > Open Minds

Open Minds by Susan Kaye Quinn
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May 03, 12

Read in April, 2012

OPEN MINDS (YA) by Susan K Quinn

OPEN MINDS is the first novel in Susan K Quinn’s Young Adult Mindjack Trilogy. A combination of paranormal and science fiction, Open Minds follows Kira Moore as she traverses her way through a world of mindreaders and zeroes. In a world where mindreading is the norm (due to decades of contaminated water) those without the ability are known as zeroes, but there are a few who possess a power greater than most, and Kira will learn first hand, just how different is she.

At the start of another school year, Kira has yet to change. Without the ability to mindread, she is at a disadvantage with schoolwork, friendships and future employment. In a world where all communication is done through mindreading, she is considered a zero-a nobody. With the support of her family and her BFF Raf Santon, Kira manages the pitfalls of life. But an accidental encounter with fellow student Simon Zagan will reveal that Kira is more than a mindreader-she is a mindjacker like Simon-she has the ability to control others with her mind. And now it is Simon’s turn to help Kira manage her newfound powers.

Hoping to engage Kira one on one, Simon directs Kira into a world of manipulation and power. Practicing the art of control, Kira soon learns that there is more to her mindjacking than control-Kira is special-with powers that have yet to come into their own. But there are others who wish to acquire Kira and it is Simon who has been instructed to bring Kira to the Clan. The Clan, headed by the mysterious Molloy, is an organized family of mindjackers that seeks revenge against those who are kidnapping and experimenting on the mindjacker changelings. In a world of mindreaders, mindjackers are a threat to their peaceful existence-with the ability to control others, mindjackers are perceived as dangerous, and there are those who have the ability to strike out and destroy.

Following a government raid on the Clan, Kira finds herself in a concentration camp for mindjackers. Physical violence, medical experiments and missing friends have Kira and the changelings fearing for their lives. With Simon and the others, Kira discovers that her abilities are growing stronger, and with Molloy’s insistence and threats, Kira and Simon are forced into a life-threatening situation where someone will not survive.

Escape is the only option, but when Kira returns home, she finds her family is now under surveillance. Hoping to contact her parents, Kira soon discovers that she is not the only mindjacker in the family. Knowing that she is risking the lives of her family and friends, Kira makes good on a promise to let the world know what has been happening to those who present ‘outside the norm’.

OPEN MINDS is a wonderful first story from Susan K Quinn. The dialogue is mature, the narration clear and to the point, without any of the condescending ideals of teenage drama. Yes, there is some teenage interplay between the haves and have-nots, but the harassment and high school drama is kept to a minimum and does not overwhelm the story. OPEN MINDS is a study in stereotyping and discrimination-those who are perceived as different, are treated like vermin and discrimination runs deep. The concept of the Mindjack Trilogy is not unique in its’ message but addresses the discrimination against others through the eyes of the young. Using mindreaders as the ‘new norm’ and mindjackers as the ‘minority class’, Susan K Quinn looks at a dystopian world with utopian attitudes.

I would suggest, however, that you read MIND GAMES from the IN HIS EYES anthology by the indie author’s group the INDELIBLES. Mind Games is a small introduction leading into the Mindjack Trilogy that will help explain the premise behind the story. Whether it was intentional by the author or not, the message presented throughout the novel-to keep an ‘open mind’ –when there are others who are different than you. I am looking forward to reading Closed Hearts-Book Two to be released May 23.


see all of my reviews at : thereadingcafe.com
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