Kat Kennedy's Reviews > Mind Games

Mind Games by Carolyn Crane
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's review
Sep 19, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: kat-s-book-reviews, leaves-awesomeness-behind, favorites
Recommended to Kat Kennedy by: Sharon
Recommended for: Fans of PNR who are looking for something different.

"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 also am tempted to use the word "diabolical" and laugh maniacally at random intervals but that's neither here nor there.

So this book is refreshing. So very, very refreshing. The cover has some dark and mysterious chick (who vaguely resembles Angelina Jolie) dolled up as if she's prowling the streets in sexy garb to rid the world of evil. I can only imagine that this is the publisher's attempt to corner in on the market of Magic Bites, Some Girls Bite,Halfway to the Grave and all those paranormal romance kick-arse heroines who defeat evil with their snappy one-liners, black leather and smoldering sexual tension. Oh and their magical super powers.

Well, Justine uses other methods to defeat evil and the most street prowling she does is during the day on a single shopping spree so the cover leaves me baffled.

*ETA: What the fuck? She's carrying a knife. A KNIFE. I think Justine touches a knife just ONCE in the series. WHY?! Misleading much?! Who the hell did the cover for this book? Had they even been in the same room as the book at any point before they designed this cover? Or did someone describe the book to them except the telephone line kept cutting out on all the important stuff like the fact that Justine is not a leatherclad street warrior WITH A FUCKING KNIFE?

Now, don't get me wrong, I love Kate Daniels, Merit and Cat Crawford but none of them ever defeated evil through fake medical diagnosis and an unreasonable fear of Vein Star Syndrome.

Which is what made me love this book so much. Nothing was more awesome than reading about Justine babble her way out of dangerous situations by sparking the bad guy's fear of their own horrible demise. The sheer number of paranoid facts about skin diseases, muscle atrophy and decreased muscle movement plus obscure medical texts was fantastic.

So she's a hypochondriac, obviously, and she works with a crack team of other "disillusionists" to go after criminals, strip away the crutches that allow them to continue doing evil until they have nothing but themselves and their disillusionment left and then let them rehab and rebuild their lives.

Yes! Something different to the usual paranormal hijinks! Finally! It was getting to the point where I was going to be able to make up a chart for people to recommend books to.

Do you like werewolves? Read: Shiver, Mercy Thompson series, Twilight, Kate Daniels series, Women of the other world Series, the Summoning, Sookie Stackhouse Series, Strange Angels, Deamonica and Anita Blake

Do you like werewolves and mysteries? Read: Mercy Thompson, Kate Daniels, Sookie Stackhouse and Anita Blake.

Do you like werewolves and mysteries and beastiality? Read: Anita Blake.

Do you just like werewolves and beastiality? Read: Anita Blake, Demonica AND Shiver!

See? It is going to be an awesome way to rec today's paranormal romance and urban fantasy books to people! Just follow the chart for 100% success*!

*success may vary according to reading experience. Please consult your doctor before undertaking any strenuous werewolf sex.

There are two love interests in this book, and I'll call them Love Interest 1 and Love Interest 2 for the sake of not spoiling the storyline which actually had me gaping at the end going, "NOOOOOoooooooo Waaaaaaaaayyy!"

Love Interest 1 was hot. Just freakin' hot. Evil, horrible, despicable hotness.
Love Interest 2 was supposed to be hot but some of his descriptions made it so that I just couldn't get into him.

Oh and don't worry, you don't have to wait four books for the schmexy times to start. Crane doesn't believe in the long, hard, wet, drawn out romance which is JUST FINE with me!

So the storyline is refreashingly unique since there are no vampires, werewolves, fae, demons etc. Instead our supernatural element comes from "highcaps" people with specific mental powers that they can use like telekinesis.

Now unfortunately I couldn't quite suspend belief on the highcap ability to seal someone into a house by "speaking" to the structure. Let's put that in the: "You'll understand when you read the book" pile and you can come commiserate with me about that one when you do.

The writing was pretty good. I only saw a few clunky mistakes and other than that it seemed to flow quite smoothly though I'll be the first to admit that it was nothing stellar.

There is nothing TSTL about Justine - which was amazing. She's smart, flawed, creative and intuitive. Besides, where else are you going to find a bunch of superheroes who defeat evil with their manic social and mental disorders? Like Sybil with the ability to strip life of all beauty, or Simon with the ability to aid people into a destructive gambling spree or Jordan who relates to people the depressing "truths" about life. It's hilarious!

The story also brings up a number of moral questions about "right" and "wrong" "good" and "bad".

Is it right to rehabilitate criminals by destroying their lives? Is it right to take money from it? Is it right to take THEIR money from it? Is it right that you get a kind of drug high from depressing the hell out of them? Is it right that if you stop, you'll die?

So many questions... and all I can think about is the really hot sex.

Is it right to ignore glaring theological queries whilst rehashing the romantic aspects of the book? *shrugs* I don't know!

So all up, I felt the plot and pacing was pretty good. It had a high level of mental puzzles, facets of human behaviour and human disorders, personality queries plus a nifty little mystery for all those so inclined.

It also has sex for all those so inclined.

I was very inclined. Very, very inclined.
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Reading Progress

September 19, 2010 – Shelved
September 20, 2010 – Started Reading
September 20, 2010 – Finished Reading
October 7, 2010 – Shelved as: kat-s-book-reviews
October 7, 2010 – Shelved as: leaves-awesomeness-behind
October 3, 2011 – Shelved as: favorites

Comments (showing 1-36 of 36) (36 new)

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Tatiana This surely looks very appealing the way you put it.

Kat Kennedy I bet it does, you saucy minx!

Give it a go. Maybe we can break that horrible bad rec streak I've been on.

Tatiana I don't think you are horrible recommender, I just think you are fonder (and thus more forgiving) of the genre of UF in general. But this one does sound interesting and it's only a TRILOGY, so I might give it a go. At some point.

Kat Kennedy *Kat laughs diabolically*

I'll get you one day, Tatiana, and your little doggy too!

Tatiana Just so you know, you might have a problem with "getting" my doggy. I have a Rottweiler:)

message 6: by Megan (new) - added it

Megan You should have been hired to write a synopsis for this book, Kat. GR description? Boring! Kat's description? On the TBR list! =)

message 7: by Nicole (last edited Sep 21, 2010 07:06PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nicole So true Megan! I went straight on TBD and ordered a copy off Kat's review, she should be on commission:)

Kat Kennedy Megan - thank you so much! I didn't want to say anything because there's a lot of things that I think I should get paid for - like reviewing, reading, writing, eating, breathing, having an opinion about pretty much everything, breeding and having mostly working organs.

So glad to know that I should go with my instinct on this!

Nicole! I goodness! I actually hope you like this one then or that will be very embarrassing for me!

Nicole I'm sure I will, but I'm a big girl Kat, I won't be asking you for my money back:)!!

message 10: by AH (new) - added it

AH Great review, Kat! Now I really want to read this.

message 11: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Great review. I like your writing style, one gets to know what the book is about wihtout any spoiler and huge laugh fits on the way. I will definitly look into it, I am always on the search for something refreshing. Urban Fantasy books all look the same after a while.

message 12: by Wildbriar (new) - added it

Wildbriar One of the banes of my life is when the cover has nothing to do with the contents of a book. Just read the thing and illustrate accordingly. How hard can it be, really?

message 13: by Sandra (new)

Sandra What a great review. I wasn't sure about reading this one, my gf recommened it to me. But after reading your review, i'm go to give it a go. Like you I'm getting tired of reading about werewolves and other things that go bumb in the night. Looking forward to this read

Linzi Loved the review so much I moved off the dreaded TBR pile thanks Kat for the review and for encouraging me to spit coffee over my keyboard with your 'chart' :-) SO damn true

message 15: by Mishelle (new) - added it

Mishelle LaBrash Holy Cripe~ What a kick ass review Kat~ Bravo.

message 16: by Yui (new) - rated it 4 stars

Yui I agree with Shell. kick ass review. You should get a commission for your efforts. I order my books online and I have this rule to only order books by author I haven't read before or not recommended by someone I really3x trust if I can order it within my schedule. LOL. it's complicated I'm sorry I don't want to give you a headache with my babbling. Suffice it to say this review made me broke the rules that governs my reading/book buying world.

message 17: by Sandra (new)

Sandra What a kick ass review! If I hadn't read the book all ready, your review would have me going out to pick it up. What I loved about the book is the lack of werewolves, vampires, and everything else that goes along with them. It was different, and that is what I enjoyed about the book the most.

message 18: by Bry (new) - rated it 3 stars

Bry Fantastic review Kat! I just finished it, and was totally shocked by the love interests at the end! Personally I am pulling for Love Interest #1! LOL! But I was inclined as well so it all worked out! Except for when she talked about Love Interest #2's "cucumbery cock" That just made me laugh till I cried!

Kat Kennedy Keep pulling for Love Interest #1. Believe me, there are more Mindfucks to come in the second book.

message 20: by Bry (new) - rated it 3 stars

Bry Kat wrote: "Keep pulling for Love Interest #1. Believe me, there are more Mindfucks to come in the second book."

Yay! And seriously what is up with the knife on the cover? She never uses a knife! She doesn't want the damn stun gun she is given at the beginning. Why can't they make the cover eye catching and engaging without totally misrepresenting the main character?

Kat Kennedy I know! This is my biggest gripe! Why?! Since when does the MC become a knife-weilding, leather-wearing, street-prowling predator of justice? WHEN!?!?!?!?!

message 22: by Varian Rose (new) - added it

Varian Rose *jaw drops*

No vampires/wereworves/demons/fairies AND a female main character that isn't TSTL?

*adds to TBR pile*

Zarah You have me in stitches! I keep reading parts of your reviews out loud to DH and he agrees: you're one he**a funny chick! :D

*success may vary according to reading experience. Please consult your doctor before undertaking any strenuous werewolf sex. had me literally gasping for air. I laughed so hard!
I will now be .4 months older before I die, thanks to you. Much obliged! *curtsies*

Kat Kennedy I'm very glad you enjoyed it, Zarah!

message 25: by Megan (new)

Megan You and you alone have convinced me to read this!

Kellye Kat.... I'm not sure I can finish this one. If Justine makes another stupid decision I might choke her. I think this might be the first one we disagree on. Back to stormdancer.

Kat Kennedy Oh dear! That's too bad, Kellye! Oh well. Can't win them all.

Jaelyn Rae Perhaps given the premise of the book, the cover is meant to add to the "Mind Games", a paradox if you will. ;)

message 29: by Pat (new) - added it

Pat Patterson Hey Kat! PERFECT review as usual! thanks. But which "Shiver"? There are like 50. Just "Shiver" is a straight mystery and "The Wolves of Mercy Falls" is YA.

Can you give me an author? I'd love to try it. "Do you just like werewolves and beastiality? Read: Anita Blake, Demonica AND Shiver!"

Kat Kennedy I meant Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater.

message 31: by Shari;-) (new)

Shari;-) Btw, its Cat Crawfield. Not Crawford. I friggin love you by the way. Not only have you led me to many an awesome book but you never cease to crack me up with your witticisms!:-)

message 32: by Blue (new) - added it

Blue Bates Oh my goodness. Can you please stop writing hilarious reviews? It makes every other review I read pale in comparison. I just sit back and giggle at all of your awesomeness.

Kat Kennedy Very well, Blue! I shall stop writing reviews immediately. I apologise for any injury my reviews have caused.

message 34: by Blue (new) - added it

Blue Bates Lol that's all I ask.

David - proud Gleeman in Branwen's adventuring party In the cover artist's defense, Justine did once use a knife in the book...when she was having dinner with Otto and cut up her steak...okay, you're right, the cover is beyond lame!

But one thing that's not at all lame...YOUR REVIEW! Awesome review, Kat :D

Wayne Thank you for this review. You convinced me to give it a try and I really liked it! Thank god because I had just about given up on urban fantasy but this has renewed my hope in it

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