Pub Date: March 2010
Publisher: Spectra (Random House)
FTC: Purchased this book myself
Genre: Urban Fantasy
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.
Mind Games was probably the most hyped book of Spring 2010. Bloggers everywhere were raving about it. Even those who don't normally wax rhapsodic over anything. So when I spotted this book at a bookstore, I picked it up intending to read and review it over the weekend.
Three months later, I finally finished it.
I can't remember another book that took me this long to read that didn't end up a DNF. I struggled through the first 2/3 of this book for months. I would pick it up, read a few pages, then put it back down again. Meanwhile, I've been reading dozens of other books all while this book sat on the end table, waiting for me to return to it.
My primary problem with this book was its narrative style. I love first person narration. But I have discovered that I'm really not all that fond of first person PRESENT. I really, really don't like it.
Yes, that might make me a narrow-minded, shallow reader, but I find first person present to be too distracting and counterproductive to good, fast pacing.
It was the narration more than characters or plot that caused me to struggle with this book. I couldn't stay emotionally plugged in. The writing is actually quite good. The characters and plot are so original. You aren't going to forget the characters in this book. They will stay with you. The book is just that unique.
And the plot. Well, I'm not going to say anything about the plot other than to say it managed to outsmart me. Big time.
The last 1/3 of the book I finished in 2 days. It flew by. I had a hard time putting it down. I'm not sure why that is, but I hit a certain point and the momentum kept me flipping pages until the end.
Despite the incredibly difficult time I had with this book, I am still going to pick up the next book in the series. The world Crane has created here is rich, unique, and unbelievably fun.
My Grade: B-