arc book review: mind games

Mind Games (Mind Games, #1)Mind Games by Kiersten White (release date: February 19, 2013)

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A quick, adventuresome read. I won this arc from Pitch Dark Books; thank you again for the entertainment!

It had flavours of both Holly Black’s Curseworkers series (angry Fia reminded me of Lila, as did the government-related ploys that were going on), and the X-Men (school where kids with special powers hone their skills).

The book switches back and forth from Fia’s viewpoint to her sister Annie’s. Fia is special; she can effotlessly always make the “right” decision based on pure instinct. Annie, blind since the age of four, is a “Seer” – she has visions of possible futures, often difficult to interpret or place within a timeline. Both girls live at a special “school” where they are being used for nefarious purposes by some kind of agency. The book also switches from present to past, often in a jarring way. I found it difficult to keep the timelines straight, as it didn’t just switch from now to then, but rather there would be: today, five years ago, six months ago, ten years ago, tomorrow… etc. I basically just simplified it in my mind to “past chapters” and “present chapters” for ease of reading.

At the start of the story, Fia is sent on a kill mission, which she’s unable to complete (he’s cute). This starts a chain of events in which both sisters’ lives are put in danger.

The plot wasn’t anything extraordinary, but I did enjoy the narrative style. Kiersten White had an interesting “voice” for both Fia and Annie, and it was easy for me to keep track of who was narrating each chapter. Also, the two sisters’ characters were fairly well-developed, I felt. The rest of the characters seemed a bit like a supporting cast, without much development beyond their main points: James = sexy + dangerous. Adam = handsome + sweet. Keane = mysterious + dangerous, etc. None of the minor characters really did anything out of character, or surprising. They just played to their type.

The most intriguing thing in this book was the idea of Seers and Readers (was there a third talent?). When I first started reading, I was unsure about where this book was taking place: an alternate present? A far-future? I basically decided on a near-future, when psychic abilities are being studied more closely (although come to think of it, who’s to say they aren’t being closely studied/utilized right now?? Ahhh….).

It took a bit of time for the whole Seers/Readers thing to make sense, since it was just sort of thrown out there at the beginning with the assumption that it would be more fully fleshed out later. And then it wasn’t. But you know- I actually appreciate that, in a way. Sometimes I enjoy when a book doesn’t just lay everything out, but rather hints subtly at things in the hopes you’ll catch on. (Like Fia’s tapping. I wondered about it for quite a while before finally understanding its significance). However I would love to know: how did these talents come about? And how have they been “discovering” the girls? And why, for that matter, are only girls the ones with the abilities? I’m not sure we’ll ever know.

Overall, this was a fun read. I’d recommend it to those looking for something quick, without a lot of detailed descriptive passages. I wonder if the story is going to continue…?

View all my reviews

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