Mind Games (Disillusionists Series #1)

Mind Games - Carolyn Crane 4.5 Stars. This is such a unique series! I had so much fun reading Mind Games. It is literally laugh out loud funny. The main character, Justine, is a hypochondriac and Ms. Crane writes her in a very sensitive but undeniably amusing manner. Despite her neurosis (and this is an area where it might be a tad bit annoying to read – however it never is), Justine is likeable. In Mind Games, readers get a heroine that is … well … real, she is worried about money, her boyfriend and her health. Justine is a very cute girl and likes to dress nicely. But somehow, despite these very real world characteristics, Justine gets caught up in a supernatural struggle. The book begins with the heroine trying desperately to be normal. She hides her neurosis and her fear; she does not want others in her life to fully understand how scared she is about her health. This desire seems so relatable, despite not being a hypochondriac, who doesn't want to bury their faults? I too want to bury my own perceived defects. Justine is pretty, Justine is weird, but she is also very honorable and this is what makes her stand out among other heroines and as a character in Mind Games. The setting of the book is a metropolis on Lake Michigan, but the metropolis is not Chicago. Ms Crane has created a fictional city with fictional problems. The premise is so out of the ordinary that it could have utterly failed in the hands of the wrong author. Luckily, Carolyn Crane wrote this book and she really hits her mark! Being an urban fantasy fan, I have read the full range that books in this genre have to offer – vamps, were creatures, angels, demons, witches, fae, skin walkers, ancient gods, the ability to see dead people and well, if you read a lot in this genre then you know the themes. And I am not criticizing those themes, I love to read them too but it is nice to read something so new and different. So, Mind Games is none of that – not any of that; what it is, is completely unique. There are a team of people – the disillusionists – who have the power to alter the way other people feel and think simply by touching them. I do not want to spoil the details of how, because discovering the how of the supernatural power is very fun.Having now read and completed the trilogy, I highly recommend it. It is a fun series, with an interesting cast of characters whose personalities are well developed. The dialogue between the characters is often funny and/or insightful. There is a love triangle, but it such a unique triangle and it is done in a way without jealousy, without the over bearing possessiveness and male territorial marking that is present in so many paranormal books. Once you finish this book, you will be rushing to get #2 in this series – Double Cross.I enjoyed the ending, the resolution and the positive spin the book took. However, I thought it was wrapped up a bit quickly and a bit too conveniently – perhaps the ending should have lasted a little bit longer. I guessed that Otto was the “nemesis” aka or fka Henji long before his revelation, but I assume we were supposed to figure that out.