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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Mind Games, Book One, The Disillusionist Trilogy by Carolyn Crane + Happy Release Day!!

Publisher:  Spectra/Random House
Pages:  384

(Released:  March 23, 2010)

From the Cover:


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.

Justine Jones has a problem and she's been dealing with it her whole life... since she was 13 and watch her mother die.  Now, almost 30, she's worse than ever before and it's ruining her life, her relationships, and her job.  She's a hypochondriac, frightened that any minute she'll suffer from a vein star rupture, leading to her death, just like her mom.  Her boyfriend, Cubby, is sick to death of hearing about a supposed brain bleed.  The girls in her shop, watch her with that look in their eyes, the poor sick crazy look, she can't continue to live this way.

Sterling Packard, a highcap intuit, has his own set of problems, mainly that he can't step outside of his restaurant, Mongolian Delites, trapped there eight long years by his nemesis.  He'd like nothing more than a stroll on the beach.  Instead, he forms a gang of sorts, a gang responsible for disillusioning the criminal element that's come to make Midcity their home.  How do they do this, you may ask?  His gang are all those sick crazy people and they force their fears into those who become their prey.  But, are the prey the only bad guys?

Otto Sanchez, Police Chief of Midcity, has problems too, one of which is the growing worry of his own possible vein star rupture, and not only does he have those fears to contend with, but also, maintaining his will over those he deems a threat to the citizenry.  He appears to be all goodness and strength, but is there more than what the eyes can see?  Could be he a dangerous mastermind stirring up the criminal element, only to contain it, prop himself up before the cameras to become the darling of Midcity?

Mind Games by Carolyn Crane is the first book in the Disillusionist Trilogy, and it's a great beginning.  Our heroine, Justine Jones starts out with hurdles to overcome, decisions to be made, and a life to live, if she can get passed her hypochondria, and that's a big IF.  She wants a normal life with normal problems, not hours spent sitting in emergence rooms and doctors looking at her like she's lost her mind.  In walks Sterling Packard, who swears he has all the answers to her problems.  The hypochondria can be controlled, a better job with more money, and a better boyfriend, namely him.  And, he'll give all this to Justine for a small price, her free will.  She has to become one of disillusionist hit squad, taking on the criminals by taking away their illusions, stripping them down to where there's no place to go except up.  He's disillusioning them and reboot them, from the goodness of his heart, oh, and for money.  But, what he really wants, is to be freed from his cage, and he'll need Justine to do it.  Otto Sanchez, Police Chief extraordinaire, want to citizens of Midcity to be free from the crime spree set in place by the collapse of the criminal underground some eight years ago, and he's working himself dizzy, as well as worrying about his own vein star problems.  And, he's afraid he's losing his grip on his bound criminal element.  When Packard sends Justine to disillusion the Police Chief, he's playing with fire, because either Justice will prove be his greatest accomplishment or his most dismal failure, and only time will tell.

Mind Games is a fast paced urban fantasy with just the right amount of pararomance, a little eroticism, and James Bond, all rolled up in a neat little package.  Justine has no idea what she's letting herself in for when she agrees to become a disillusionist.  There's more going on in Mongolian Delites than she knows about, and when she meets her idol, the one who's going to make Midcity safe again, Otto Sanchez, she doesn't know what to believe.  She can see the goodness at his core, but she's also seen the pictures of torture and death at his hands.  Can this be real?  Who is Packard and for that matter, Sanchez?  Who will gain her trust and her heart?  Mind Games provides a roller coast ride, and just when you want to believe Sanchez or Packard, the story twists, and Justine (and the reader) have left hanging by the seat of their pants.  There's a weird like kink in the DNA that allows children to become paranormals, mayhem abounds either from the disillusionists acts or those they're trying to disillusion.  The characters themselves are quirky and fun, some are dangerous and have an evilness just below the surface.  Carolyn Crane has made a great first start here with Mind Games, her world found in Midcity sounds like life in any big city, except for the supernatural twist, and I enjoyed it immensely.  I recommend it to lovers to urban fantasy (light or dark), pararomance (several juicy man candies), and those who love a good mystery/thriller, you'll find it all here in Mind Games.

Happy Release Day Carolyn!!

Congrats and Many More!!

Double Cross, Book Two, The Disillusionist Trilogy

Publisher:  Spectra/Random House
Pages:  336

(Release Date:  September 28, 2010)

From the Cover:


Justine Jones lived her life as a fearful hypochondriac until she was lured into the web of a mysterious mastermind named Packard, who gifts her with extraordinary mental powers—dooming her to fight Midcity’s shadowy war on paranormal crime in order to find the peace she so desperately craves.

But now serial killers with unheard-of skills are terrorizing the most powerful beings in Midcity, including mastermind Packard and his oldest friend and worst enemy, Midcity’s new mayor, who has the ability to bend matter itself to his will. 

As the body count grows, Justine faces a crisis of conscience as she tests the limits of her new powers and faces an impossible choice between two flawed but brilliant men—one on a journey of redemption, the other descending into a pit of moral depravity.

Ohhh, rubbing hands together.... I feel another buying frenzy coming on.....  Congrats CJ!!!
I picked up Mind Games for my own enjoyment.  All opinions expressed are my own.


Sassy Brit @ said...

Mind Games sounds fantastic to me! I'm SO glad I saw this. THANKS.

Blodeuedd said...

Been meaning to buy, but waiting for xmas :) Must save money

Carolyn Crane said...

Hey!! Thanks SO much for this lovely thoughtful review!! I'm so tickled you enjoyed it!! xxoo

Becky LeJeune said...

Sweet! I just bought Mind Games last weekend. I'm looking forward to reading it. I've heard really good things.

Lea said...

Great review Dottie!

Wasn't it good? Yah Carolyn!! I know book II will be just as good.

You really brought the story back for me.

Thanks for sharing.


Unknown said...

Hi Sassy!

It is an excellent book, and you know what, I cracked up over all the situations that Justine finds herself in and usually of her own doing.. even her hypochondria... it was all so good!

Dottie :)

Unknown said...

Hi B!

Go ahead and pick it up, you'll love it!! It was an excellently told little tale.

Dottie :)

Unknown said...

Hi Carolyn!

Girl, you can write!! LOL Your personality shines through, it was such a fun, enjoyable urban fantasy, I found myself laughing out loud, even when Justine should have been scared mindless... I loved it!

((big hugs))

Dottie :)

Unknown said...

Hi Becky!

You're in for some good reading, I'm picking up Double Cross right away!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, it was fun, sweet in some parts, scary in others, and all together, a wowzer read, LOL.

Dottie :)

Unknown said...

Hi Lea!

It was an excellent read, I was laughing one minute, in suspense the next, and wondering how she was going to get herself out of some definitely sticky situations! LOL

Yay Carolyn!


Dottie :)

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