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Amanda Shofner

Grand Mistress of On a Book Bender. On the path of least revision. Wine supplier for grammar pain sufferers. #BecauseWine. Idea wrangler. Wielder of words. Black coffee drinker.

Currently reading

Jayne Castle
Diana Peterfreund
Bad Behavior
Jennifer Lane
The False Prince
Jennifer A. Nielsen
Light of the Moon (Legend of the Dreamer, Book 1)
David James
Amaryllis (St. Helen's Series #1)

Mind Games (Disillusionists Series #1)

Mind Games - Carolyn Crane Original review: http://onabookbender.com/2012/08/22/review-mind-games-by-carolyn-crane/Oh, this book! The only reason I pulled the rating for this book from an 8 (4 stars) to a 7 (3.5 stars) was the romance. Not because I hated it, though. More so because I’m not really sure WHAT to think about it, since it is more on the unconventional side when it comes to romance. Each man represents something different in Justine’s life. I get that. But I don’t know what to think about it. So I’m not going to think. Instead, I want to talk about the rest of the book!Considering this review is part of a mystery event, I do want to touch briefly on the mystery aspect here. It is far from the main focus of the book, but there is mystery here. Specifically, who is Packard’s nemesis? And, what is the cause of the Midcity crime wave? Both answers twisted and tied me up. There are no real big shockers in Mind Games, but there is a lot of deception, with lies and omissions that build up continually throughout the book, forcing Justine to pull and tug at them all until she finds the truth. And the truth is far, far more complicated than perhaps Justine bargained for.The characters in Mind Games are simply amazing. Carolyn Crane makes a hypochondriac main character work. In many ways, Justine learns to use her fear “for the better” and so being hypochondriac doesn’t take over or overshadow Justine’s entire character. I also adored Shelby. As a language nerd, I appreciated how dropping articles (a, an, the) and occasionally sentence subjects highlighted Shelby’s accented English. Without changing the pronunciation of words, Shelby’s accent could be “heard” loud and clear. It was a very simple tactic, but it made a huge difference in Shelby’s characterization. The men in Justine’s life are an entirely different matter. We don’t actually know much about them, other than their role in Justine’s life. But in many ways, this makes them even more intriguing to us.With just a hint of mystery, this book has psychological undertones and a large dose of suspense. Justine is both con artist and victim, allowing us to experience and perhaps even appreciate how lines are crossed and blurred on a routine basis in real life. If you like a little emotional turmoil in your urban fantasy, Mind Games is one you will want to check out.