(Synopsis from Goodreads)
JUSTINE KNOWS SHE’S GOING TO DIE. ANY SECOND NOW.
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 hands-on training, Justine can weaponize her neurosis, turning it outward on Midcity’s worst criminals, and finally get the freedom from fear she’s always craved. End of problem.
Or is it? In Midcity, a dashing police chief is fighting a unique breed of outlaw with more than human powers. And while Justine’s first missions, including one against a nymphomaniac husband-killer, are thrilling successes, there is more to Packard than meets the eye. Soon, while battling her attraction to two very different men, Justine is plunging deeper into a world of wizardry, eroticism, and cosmic secrets. With Packard’s help, Justine has freed herself from her madness—only to discover a reality more frightening than anyone’s worst fears.
Want to take a bit of a diversion from the typical urban fantasy? Want to take a handful or urban fantasy and a handful of comic book and smoosh them up into a little ball? Want to get vicariously involved in a love triangle? Then why aren't you reading Mind Games?
Carolyn Crane's debut novel was absolutely wonderful! It did take me about 80 - 100 pages to really connect with Justine and get to the point of "I must read this book until I'm so tired I fall asleep with it on my face", but once I was there I was HOOKED! The story is set in an alternate Chicago-type city called Midcity, where high capacity humans possess secret supernatural powers and those with extreme anxieties/fear/issues can sometimes 'push' those characteristics into another person by 'zinging' them. Justine's anxiety resonated with me because I have my own personal connections to anxiety, however Crane writes her fear and hypochondria well enough that anyone can feel what she is going through. Even though she knows she is being ridiculous, when she's "in it" she just can't stop herself from thinking wild thoughts about bursting veins and brain bleeds. She can't turn it off.
“Normal is a precious kind of freedom, and if you don’t have it, it’s all you ever want.”
And Justine is plain screwed up all together. She is just the kind of "Dear god, WTF are you doing that for?" type of character that I drool over. A heroine with extreme anxiety and hypochondria? Not in any other book I've read!
As I said before...this book is love triangle city and once you choose your man you will not budge because they are very different. On the one hand we have Packard, who is secretive, demanding, overbearing, overly confident, and will use you to get his means to an end. Of course I love him.
“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.”
The attraction between Justine and Packard is hot and wrong, just how I like it. Now, this other fellow...not a big fan of his, although some of their scenes together do get rather steamy in the very best way. And I can't really even explain more because his entry into this triangle takes place later in the book. So, just know that I am Team Packard, not Team Boring. And, oh yeah, there's also Justine's kind-of boyfriend, Cubby. Does that make this a four-way?
The other disillusionists on Packard's 'team' are entertaining, especially Shelby. She becomes Justine's BFF in a sense, as well as her sounding board for everything that happens in the story. And what a story! Many plots and mini adventures take place here! There is not just one long plot line that the characters investigate for the better part of the book...there are several disillusionment missions that take place and many twists and turns.
Thank you to all that recommended this series to me! I am so in love with the Disillusionists! And finally, I have never had pictures of actual people in my head while reading a book...but I did for this one! Below are some of the characters from the book: Justine, Packard, Otto, and Shelby.