Mind Games (The Disillusionists Trilogy #1) by Carolyn Crane

4 stars

I went into this not knowing what it was about. There’s a twenty-something woman named Justine who is a hypochondriac and is crippled by it, always having to go to the emergency room because she thinks she is dying. It affects her relationships and takes over her life, no matter how hard she tries to control and fight it.


She meets a man named Packard, the leader of a secret group called disillusionists, who invites her to join his team. What they do is find really bad people (murderers, rapists, the scum of the scum) and break them down emotionally and psychologically by using “mutant” mental abilities. The team is made up of neurotics, gamblers, alcoholics, people with extreme anger, fear, angst, etc. They push those neuroses into those people’s energy fields and this inevitably causes the murderer or whoever to reach a point of emotional and psychological devastation, where they realize their wrongs and then turn over a new leaf and live a better life.

the end

Well, there was actually a bunch more stuff that happened, but I thought this was a refreshing premise for an urban fantasy book. There were a few flaws. Mainly, the romances. There were actually 3 romantic interests for the main character, Justine. I didn’t think any of them were developed very well. Things happened too fast and I didn’t really feel any spark. Packard and Otto were written pretty hot, but for me, it was really Justine that was the problem. I didn’t really care for her. I felt a bit meh where she was concerned. She did some stupid things, which I guess can be justified because she was a beginner. I’m just tired of having to use that excuse for heroines in urban fantasies.

The supporting characters were fantastic and made the book, in my view. I totally want Shelby as my BFF. Simon was complex and a lot deeper than he seemed. Packard was mysterious and sexy. You’re not sure if he’s a good guy or not. Same for Otto. I think the secondary characters and unique premise made me rate this higher than I would have.

I definitely liked it enough to want to continue the series.

thumbs up

Review can also be found at: Goodreads

Buddy read with Buddies Books and Baubles.


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