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herpetfrog

herpetfrog

Mind Games - Carolyn Crane Mind Games is a welcome addition to the UF genre. While the book isn't perfect - Cubby verges on being a complete MacGuffin, and Aggie's contribution to the end of that relationship seemed forced and awkward - it is innovative enough that I was willing to be a little less judgmental about the flaws.

The book's true strength is in its bad guys. From the very beginning of Justine's work with the disillusionists, she's asking questions about the nature of evil, and how they can justify what it is the disillusionists do - questions that become more and more important as the book goes on. The moral ambiguity of the male leads is probably what kept me at the edge of my seat to the end of the book.

At times Justine is one of the more realistically flawed heroines I've read. Her hypochondria is sensitively and convincingly written. This portrayal is not so consistent though, and sometimes Justine just comes across as whiny and two dimensional.

The main antagonist is certainly no great surprise and I was quite disappointed at how obvious it was. However, I wasn't expecting what Justine did with that information and I wonder if that was the intent of the author. Telegraph the who so the how takes the reader completely by surprise?

The main message behind the story is that everyone is redeemable and I really liked that. It was refreshingly different to the more common 'bad guy must die' (or at least suffer some form of punishment) mentality. Suffering, in Mind Games, is a step on the road to personal growth and everyone is worthy of redemption. The plot hinges on finding solutions to conflict that specifically do not include killing one's enemies.

On the whole, this was a very enjoyable read with some likable characters, some consistency issues and a satisfying conclusion that leads nicely into the next book in the series without any sort of arbitrary cliffhanger. I will definitely be reading book two.