Justine knows she's going to die. Any second now.
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.
Listen to more of the Disillusionists trilogy.
©2010 Carolyn Crane (P)2011 Audible, Inc.
"Mind Games is a violent U-Turn in a fresh direction, signaling the dynamic and welcome arrival of both Carolyn Crane and the most unique urban fantasy heroine I've seen on page in a long while, Justine Jones. And like Justine, Midcity is brightly imagined, beautifully dangerous, and perfectly flawed. Flashy and stylish, this is urban fantasy's new shot-in-the-arm." (Vicki Pettersson, The New York Times)
"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library." — Jorge Luis Borges
Games: Disillusionists, Book 1 by Carolyn Crane narrated by Rebecca Wisocky. Great original idea but only average performance and story telling 3/5 for both. The good is that I loved the concept of this book. Justine Jones has debilitating hypochondria which is destroying her life and may eventually lead to the loss of everything she cares for. Then a stranger in a bar offers her not only salvation but salvation in a form that will turn her weakness into a weapon and allow her to help others. Now she just has to figure out how to live with the consequences. The plot alone kept me interested for the first part of the book as Justine is such an unlikely but likable heroine but the storytelling really lets it down and by halfway through the book I found myself completely unconvinced about any of it. The narrator does a great job getting us into Justin's mind and neuroses but the accents she uses for some on the men are just so over-blown, it became really annoying. Not one I'd bother coming back to or buying any more books from this author.
I prefer modern/contemporary/urban fantasies and some paranormal fantasies. I like quirky/unusual magic or superpower use in books.
I adored this trilogy, my favourite fantasy of its type.
The premise is tenuous, but unusual enough that I didn't mind. A woman with massive, crippling health anxiety is recruited to join a band of vigilantes (or, "reverse emotional vampires" according to Simon) who, taught by their enigmatic leader, channel their destructive emotions into criminals, working as a team to disillusion the target. Essentially, they are hired as a psychological hit squad, to mentally break a target. In reality, this would probably just cause massive longterm psychological damage, but in Mind Games this process causes the target to 'reboot' back to factory settings, filled with newfound empathy for their victims and remorse for their criminal behaviour. That's the tenuous part.
It's more superhero fantasy than magic fantasy, as the other fantasy element is "highcap" high capacity humans; humans with mutated mental powers beyond the norm. Telepaths, telekinetics, dream-invaders, and the like. There are some new ideas I haven't seen before in the genre, unusual powers which have some fun, inventive applications.
I think the reason I liked this it so much, though, was because I identified so strongly with the heroine. I suffer from social anxiety rather than health anxiety, but I felt that the subject was treated seriously and handled sensitively, and I found myself really liking the heroine.
She really struck me as a realistic person, instead of the kicking-ass-and-taking-names alpha-bitch type heroine in so many books of this genre. It's written in 1st person and Justine has a very strong voice in the prose, and her wry sense of humour as well as mad panic is conveyed absolutely perfectly by Wisocky, who captures the voice and keeps up with the book's fast pace.
The whole trilogy is a perfect meeting of great book and great audio performance. Absolutely worth five stars.
"Great Start to New Series"
Great narration. I like to list this first as it can make or break a story.
Just finished this series and highly recommend all 3 stories. But definitely read/listen in order.
I really enjoy it when readers with similar reading interests list their favourite authors and series. It really helps me find new authors too follow. Mine are Charlaine Harris, Jeaniene Frost, Jennifer Estep, Faith Hunter, Molly Harper, Ilona Andrews, Kresley Cole, Deborah Harkness, Nalini Singh, Coreene Callahan, Stacia Kane, Kelly Medding and Sherrilyn Kenyon.
"This story really grabbed me and wouldn't let go."
I don't normally read science fiction but this book grabbed me right away; the reader is fantastic and really conveys the humor of the heroine, who is a hypochondriac and meets a man who shows her a way to use her hypochondria for good, or is it?. It is romantic and erotic without being a formula romance, and is set in a dystopian world filled with interesting characters.
I've never read anything like it but I don't read a lot of science fiction. I loved "Hunger Games."
No, I haven't listened to others but I would buy one with her narration.
"What if you could use your worst quality to save people from a life of crime?"
"Definitely original, but..."
*** NO SPOILERS ***
Ok so this story is definitely original, intriguiging and thought provoking but I had a hard time really finding any type of connection to any of the characters until the end of the book and still it wasn't a strong connection. I also got confused a lot on the characters, like who is that person again? Oh yeah that guy, wait no I was wrong! That irritates me when the characters are inconstant. The narrator does a good job though.
Would I recomend this to my followers??? Meh... I will hold off until I finish the series.
It was steady and kept my attention but it was not an absolute must have. I will finish the series though and write reviews for those books too. It is the originality of the story line that caught my attention. It did pique my interest enough to read the rest of the series. Hopefully the characters will be better written in the next two books.
"Unique Story Idea."
I really enjoyed This narration. Wisocky did an fabulous job. I would listen to other books narrated by her.
I'm planning on listening to the rest of this series.
"Original concept, horrible characters."
At about 2 hours into the story I gave up. The main character was just soooooo annoying, maybe I just know too many real hypochondriacs. I could have lived with that personality but what really bugged me was the fact she was lusting after her new boss while she had a boyfriend. I don't like cheating at all, and while it hasn't happened in the story yet and it may not happen, she was doing it in her head and that is the same thing to me. Maybe I'm a bit harsh on this book, but I wasn't enjoying it, which is a disappointment because I like the concept of mind vigilantes. Narrator was okay, she did manage to put a little pep into the main character.
Not bad. Interesting take on crime and punishment. I wonder if the author has a bit of hypochondria.
"Is that a headache, or a tumor growing in my head?"
A fantasy Stephanie Plum? Sure, why not? Perhaps not quite so funny as Janet Evanovich, but its a fun romp nonetheless.
Justine's hypochondria (is it imagined - or real?) is very entertaining.
I will definitely read the other books in the series.
Original premise. The heroine is sure she will die of Vein Star Symdrome at any minute. She knows it is an unreasonable fear but even hypocondriacs die of something! She discovers a group of people who can help her use her fears to benefit society. I wasn't sure about the narrator at first, but she grew on me. She captured Justine's moodiness. Good start to a series.
Overall it was a great story! The only downside was some gratuitous bodice ripping and histrionic heroine.
"Inside the mind of Anxiety Attack"
I couldn't get by the first 30 mins of this. I suffer from depression and anxiety and while the drugs are effective this book is written in such a style that the reader feels that they are within the mind of a suffer of anxiety. It could be a interesting story but given the mood of the book I suggest passing.
The title is correct the main character really is suffering from the games of her own mind.
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