Sher A. Hart's Reviews > Closed Hearts

Closed Hearts by Susan Kaye Quinn
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Jun 01, 12

bookshelves: my-reviews
Read in May, 2012

There's nothing like finding an author whose books are so exciting you hate to put them down. Meet Susan Kaye Quinn, who mindjacked me with the awesome opening book of the Mindjack Trilogy, Open Minds. The follow on, Closed Hearts, is a keeper, a fully fleshed out story with plenty of page turning excitement. I love how it treated me to more cool technology along with the action. Susan Kaye Quinn is now my favorite author and her Mindjack books are my favorite reads both last year and this one.

Closed Hearts opens with Kira and her dad hiding in plain sight, working as mind guards for a wealthy businessman. Then it becomes even more of a future political thriller than book one when a politician, Senator Vellus, stirs up public sentiment against the jackers. Since Kira couldn't let go of Raff, they're an easy target. Raff makes the easiest target of all after they end up in Jackertown.

The jackers have a new leader, the hottie Julian. He's an enigmatic mage, a jacker with special talents, but is he good or bad? It's certain he wants something of Kira's, her hard head. Although he doesn't appear to hate Kira for outing their kind, he controls a large group of jackers. And they use Raff to cause her heartbreak.

By the end of Open Minds, we knew Kestrel wanted all jackers as guinea pigs for his laboratory/torture chamber. Molloy also had to show up for revenge, but how these things happen makes for some tense and scary moments. Julian is surprised when Kira doesn't want to use her talent to rescue Kestrel's jacker captives, and so was I. But her priorities are protecting Raf and her family--even when her dad's loyalties are thrown into question. Except she can't protect Raff from jackers who consider him an inferior pet.

Kira ends up forced to rescue the captives to save Raff and proves she's not strong enough to beat Kestrel. She does better fighting him mentally than physically, but she weakens. Suffering under Kestrel's torture, she would be lost if not for Julian, his sister, and jacker help. Given the chance at freedom, Kira again acts like the heroine from Open Minds. Many mages look to her as their savior, someone to lead a jacker rebellion, but there's another that seems more capable. And it's not who you might expect.

Of course, Kestrel gets away. There is no complete victory in a middle book. The battles are tough, the losses are devastating, and the victories are bittersweet. There's a terrible surprise at the end where the heartbreak happens. I'm too altruistic to hope a mindreader and jacker stay together in a society like theirs. I grew to like Julian during the course of the book, and he may have feelings for Kira. His name for her, keeper, might mean more than what he says.

I hope the de facto jacker leader inspires Kira to toughen up for the final battle. I doubt she would act like Katniss and betray her beliefs by taking revenge on children or stand around snarling at the enemy like Bella. Not that I want gore. I don't. I want the smart kind of futuristic thriller written by a real rocket scientist like Susan Kay Quinn. In her hands, the future is sure to explode with excitement.
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