Mind Games by Carolyn Crane

Hypochondriac Justine Jones was intrigued when a random guy in a Mongolian restaurant suggested an alliance with him would change her life. Hoping that listening couldn’t be construed as a Faustian deal she decided to hear what else Packard had to say. Justine decided Packard was insane as he proposed transforming her portable prison into a highcap ability and join his crime fighting hit squad.

Justine’s excitement over Packard’s training, her new achievements and subtle changes made her more who she wants to be and increases her confidence. Life’s good her hypochondria’s in control and she has the boyfriend she wants. Her attraction to Packard makes her want to slurp him into oblivion and she fall under delectable Otto Sanchez’ spell as he gives updates on the notorious brick slinger.

Justine’s now complicated relationship with Packard reveals hard truths that aren’t easy to hear or live with. Discovering Packard’s personal hell puts her in Otto’s path and drives Justine to undertake a dangerous mission with life altering consequences. Mesmerized by rivals with opposite goals and a definite huge ripple effect, Justine has to choose and time has run out.

This foundation tale was a mixed bag for this reader. For instance Justine’s quirky inner dialog was enjoyable but I wasn’t her fan especially in a first person POV or of the forced triangle. This conceit of making your neuroses pay off was outrageous fun but muddy at times. Who knew mental diversity could be manipulated into a super power?
Rating: 3.5stars

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