Customer Reviews for

Mind Games (Disillusionists Series #1)

Average Rating 4
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 36 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Posted April 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Love these Mind Games

    This book is GOOD! Carolyn Crane has not only given her main character a new angle, a different flaw than most urban fantasy heroines, but she has worked it, used it as part of the plot. Justine has hypochondria and constantly worries about all kinds of ailments, but specifically worries about something called Vein Star Syndrome. I haven't looked this up to see if it's real or not. I'm happy to just sit back and enjoy the book<br/><br/>Justine is trying to deal with her boyfriend, who is having a hard time dealing with her hypochondria, while she's living in fear of dying when she comes across the owner of a Mongolian restaurant. He get's her involved in a "psychological hit squad", helping to fight crime in mysterious ways. She makes friends and learns to use her own fears as a kind of magical power. As you read you learn a little more about this magical world, mixed in the everyday life. In fact, things come to life, such as kids wearing bicycle helmets while they are outside playing, to protect their heads from telekinetic terrorists, or "highcaps".<br/><br/>One of the things I enjoyed about this book is that I learned about a variety of magical differences (between our own reality and this novel's reality) as I went further into the book. I didn't notice any long, protracted paragraphs of information coming at me (commonly known as info-dumps). While I don't mind a little bit of info-dumping, I recently read a book where it totally took me out of the story so I appreciate the way Carolyn Crane handled the gifting of information in her novel. <br/><br/>(please newer writers, don't info-dump right in the middle of an action scene! Please- especially if you want some of your older readers to stay engaged in the book; we might forget that we are reading an adventurous book, think we're reading a textbook and in MY case, put the damned thing down. Done with textbook learnin', long time ago)<br/><br/>Justine also has some reservations about what she is doing, but throughout the book she's working on these reservations. There's one moment where she almost lets anger take over. It works here. I'm also okay with characters that aren't perfect, because then we would have to be reading about saints, all the time, and we centainly aren't all saints.<br/><br/>More things I liked/loved in this novel - dialogue (wonderful!), humor (throughout the book, but not overdone), the sex fit (sometimes, most of the times, it seems inserted for the sake of having it in there - OMG major punnage there-sorry, I can be a little juvenile at times), and great plot twists. I liked the ending also - it's not completely "happily ever after", but not depressingly "things will never be better". You know people will have work to do, relationships are going to shift around and there's going to be sequels (yay! at least two, it's a trilogy). In fact from the beginning of the book to the end, Justine herself had gone through some changes, at the way she looks at herself and the world, as well as how she views others.<br/><br/>Great debut novel, looking forward to the sequels.<br/>

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 10, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Fresh Concept, Great Characters and Plot

    This is the story of a psychological hit squad. Members of the squad have special abilities and targets that they "disillusion." The squad is run by Packard, a man with special abilities and secrets. Justine is the newest squad member. My description here is very simplistic and does not even begin to convey how truly good the writing is. The characters are very flawed, yet believable and real. The plot is definitely fresh and new and so enjoyable. Highly recommended! I loved it and will definitely re-read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Unexpected and GREAT

    As has been mentioned in an earlier review, this is a book with a unique storyline, unlike any other UF book I've read. Having read so many, often they all seem the same, but this one stood out. Enough so that I'm writing this review. Interesting characters and premise is just the beginning. Since it is quite unusual, it may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I found it an unexpected gem. It was fresh and an intersteing new take by a new author on the scene.

    I'm eagerly awaiting the next story, Double Cross, scheduled for release in September.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 26, 2010

    insanely fun to read

    Wow. Okay people, not even kidding: This novel is insanely fun to read. The hours will fly by. I think it might actually be a time machine--it's cool, funny as hell, page-flipping, emergency-ignoring exciting.

    As a man coming to this book from the literary / sci fi / comic book side of things, I have to admit I was surprised by all this, and especially the writing, whcih is tight, crisp and polished. The characters are original, idiosyncratic, neurotic and brilliantly complex.

    I've read a lot of raves about this book that discuss the "gray areas" and it's true--the characters are both downtrodden and highly dangerous. The plot touches important ethical ideas and meaty moral dilemmas, but it doesn't take itself too seriously.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 16, 2010

    Wow! This book is so fun to read, you never want it to be over.

    I loved Justine, the heroine - she's smart, funny, slightly nerdy hypochondriac whose life is run by fear. Except deep down, she's very brave, and struggles to do the right thing.

    She ends up being lured into the vigilante life by the shadowy, tortured Sterling Packard, who has mutant powers. Packard's strange vigilante "psychological hit squad" is hired by crime victims to zing their anxieties into criminals. Result: a total collapse. It's a weird idea for a book, but it really works. (The scenes where one of them is fighting a criminal are both bizarre and brilliant).

    I love the world of this book, which is a fictional rust-belt city beleaguered by mutant criminals (and nobody will admit they exist). Oh, and the relationships...I shouldn't say more: There are so many surprises and fun sexy moments in this book - I don't want to spoil it. Just read it.

    Carolyn knocks it right out of the park. YAY!!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2012

    Very interesting book!

    I really enjoyed this novel. This was something original in a sea of the same. I couldn't recommend this book enough.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2012

    Wow!

    I was thrown into this urban fantasy world on the first page, and i didnt know if it was going to work. Stick with it, you wont be able to put it down!

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  • Posted July 12, 2012

    a comic book in novel format

    I’ll be honest. I grudgingly started Mind Games by Carolyn Crane. The cover didn’t attract me–no sexy half-clad men on the front, just a kickass gal with a knife. The back blurb wasn’t catchy. Hello? This didn’t look anything like the paranormal romances I loved to read. So, I avoided it. It certainly wasn’t a book I’d pick up in the bookstore. So you might ask why I bought the book in the first place. Well simple, it was recommended by twitter peeps. Stepping out of my comfort zone is hard a times, but I finally gave in and decided to give it a try.

    The first thing I noticed about Mind Games was the first person present tense narrative. Not a style I’ve seen often, so it immediately intrigued me. I have to admit, I didn’t really like the present tense. Each time I picked up the book after a break, I had to reorientate myself to the style. But that’s okay, cause the book itself made up for not conforming to my personal and highly selective preferences.

    The entire book was one big surprise for me. It was like getting on a roller coast without the preview of the previous riders. Each turn was a thrill, and I never knew what to expect. Ms. Crane threw things at me that made me want to read more just to figure out the big picture. It was excellent! And the plot–what can I say about the plot. It was like an onion with each layer being peeled away piece by piece.

    Justine was odd to say the least. She definitely wasn’t the typical heroine with external issues ruining her life. No, Justine’s biggest problem was herself. Her obsession with vein star syndrome made her dysfunctional in so many ways, it amazed me she was able to live life at all. I absolutely loved this atypical heroine. She was refreshing and even a little bit wicked. In this novel, Justine has to dig deep to answer Jordan the Therapist’s question, “When is good not good?” It’s certainly a thin line.

    As for Packard, the conniving bitch, he was a character I loved to hate even as I almost felt sorry for him but couldn’t quite muster the feelings. Throughout the novel, I couldn’t tell if he was a good guy or a bad guy. In the end, I just settled for the thin line, because he certainly walked it.

    I also loved the group dynamics. The disillusionists were like a bunch of kids playing games–immature but full of good times while being naughty.

    Overall, this was a most excellent read! I felt like I was reading a comic book in novel format. Other times, it had me laughing so hard, I couldn’t continue because the tears blinded my vision.

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  • Posted February 29, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A New UF Heroine that keeps it Real

    At first Mind Games was sluggish to read through, with the constant reminder of the main characters fear of her veins star "illness" I was not sure if I would be able to finish the book, that was until Parker.
    Reading more into the story I really enjoyed Mind Games, because what it brought to the reader was a group of people using their powers to fight evil or redemption from crimes committed. I loved the concept of "touch therapy" and it was a totally new UF angle that had not been present in other series

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  • Posted July 10, 2010

    Fabulous Read!

    I read several other reviews before I read this book, and they all said something like "Wow, I loved this book. It's such a unique twist!" and I thought, Hmmm...what could be so unique? Well, I hate to sound like a broken record, but it really is different. It's an incredible read with an unusual premise. And I don't quite know how to review it without giving it all away, but I'm going to do my bestest.

    Justine Jones is at a good place in her life, if you don't count the fact that she's dying. Or at least, she thinks she is. You see, she's a hypochondriac. She imagines she can feel the symptoms, becomes convinced she's dying, seeks medical care until she's reassured she's not dying, and then she imagines she's having the symptoms again. She knows it's a cycle, and yet she can't break it. While having dinner at Mongolian Delights, she meets the mysterious Packard, who sees what she is and offers a way to escape the cycle...by ''zinging" her fears into criminals, rendering them unable to function normally due to the debilitating worries of hypochondria.

    I loved this book! Justine and her fellow disillusionists were all imperfect people trying to make the world a better place. Using their various neruoses to fight crime was a brilliant and unexpected take on traditional vigilante crime-fighting. I enjoyed the camaraderie between Justine and her new friends, Justine and the criminals (surprisingly), and the many layered relationship between Justine and Packard. Packard's situation was...interesting. The bigger story behind it kept me on the edge of my seat waiting to see what Justine would do.

    Several times I wanted to shake the book and yell "No, Justine, No!!!" ,"Be careful!!" and "OMG!!!" The end of the book, while not a cliffhanger per se, definitely left me wanting more. I can't wait for the next book in the trilogy, Double Cross, which comes out September 28.

    I give Mind Games 5 out of 5 stars; this one's going onto the keeper shelf!

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  • Posted March 26, 2010

    The book you have been waiting for, the one you don't want to put away.

    When looking for a book of suspense there are a plethera of them, but not so many with the unknown involved, with other dimensions and ones that include within them erotic qualities with drama, suspense and intrigue. The writer may be new, who knows, but she has found a way to get inside your head and is writing to a new reader, someone who has found a book that is different from other suspense books. It has a little of everything in it and it certainly is the kind of read that carries you into the middle of the night when you should have gone to sleep hours ago because you have a long work day ahead. You do not WANT to put it down. This is a refreshing read, and the kind of book that is different from the rest. What a nice change for us all. She deserves a review from more than jut us on Amazon. She needs her book to be reviewed to the masses so that people out there have a chance to find it and read it. A National book review would be better for this writer. We all need to hear about her. She has GREAT potential.

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