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Mind Games (Disillusionists Series #1)

Mind Games - Carolyn Crane Courtesy of Smash Attack ReadsThe book opens with Justine at dinner with Cubby, her boyfriend. She is obsessing over a man named Ben Foley, whom she's had a dire run in with in the past and who is currently sitting with a couple across the restaurant. She wants to warn this couple how shady and disastrous this man can be to their life, and she works up the nerve to do so. But not before she has a full-blown anxiety attack. Yes, Justine has a flaw: she is a severe, anxiety-ridden hypochondriac! She's a mental mess! In fact, Crane writes her hypochondriasis so well that you start to wonder whether Crane is a hypochondriac herself. After Justine confronts the scumbag and warns the couple, the restaurant's owner walks up up to her and apologizes for the scumbag's retorts. He also offers Justine an odd proposition: "I want to talk about what I can do for you, and what you can do for me. I'm the one who can cure you..." Justine can't easily walk away from this one, so after an odd run in with "the couple," she ends up back at the restaurant for some serious discussion about this so-called cure with the owner, Packard. Packard offers her a grand solution to her hypochondriasis: push that horrific, debilitating anxiety off on someone else! Yes, Packard can teach her how to invade another's energy dimension and feed her fears into their emotional space. Obviously, Packard isn't talking about dousing anybody off the streets with intense, erratic emotions that aren't theirs. No, Packard has a list of criminals who need to be disillusioned from their world of crime in order to become wholesome once more. Packard has created a gang of people, like Justine, who can make that happen. Justine is thrown into this crazy world of evil humans and more evil highcaps, or high-capacity humans. These individual's power grow out their personality as a baby and it’s a mutation that heightens brain power. Think telekinesis, telepathy, dream invader, memory revisionist, etc. Justine finds herself on a roller coaster ride of events after she agrees to join Packard's gabg, and you never really can tell what's going to happen next. Conclusion: 5/5 Stars! Woohoo! This book is one wild ride and a wildly refreshing concept for the Urban Fantasy genre! Kudos to Crane for creating a heroine who uses her mind instead of her martial arts skills (although I do love that type of heroine too!) The world that Crane has created is quite different from your typical urban fantasy novel. There are no creatures of the night, just high-capacity humans with a little extra pep in their step. And I find it difficult to read the characters in this book - you don't know who the hell to trust! It's a psychological thriller/mystery!