Friday, May 3, 2013

Review: Mind Games (Mind Games #1) by Kiersten White

Release Date: February 19, 2013
Published by: HarperTeen
Source: Purchased
Author Links: Blog | Twitter | Facebook

Fia was born with flawless instincts. Her first impulse, her gut feeling, is always exactly right. Her sister, Annie, is blind to the world around her—except when her mind is gripped by strange visions of the future. 
Trapped in a school that uses girls with extraordinary powers as tools for corporate espionage, Annie and Fia are forced to choose over and over between using their abilities in twisted, unthinkable ways…or risking each other’s lives by refusing to obey.
In a stunning departure from her New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy, Kiersten White delivers a slick, edgy, heartstoppingly intense psychological thriller about two sisters determined to protect each other—no matter the cost.

Mind Games (or Sister Assassin in the UK) is the first book in White's new series of the same name. I've read her Paranormalcy trilogy, and for the most part enjoyed it's fluffy heroine, Evie. I assumed  Mind Games would be similar, and prepared myself for a book filled with silly humor and sparkly characters. Yeah, not so much.

I'm also bad about ordering a book, forgetting why I ordered it, and then diving in without bothering to read what the blurb on the cover says. Lazy, I know. So I downloaded it thinking something along the lines of, "Two sisters...something, something...government-ish conspiracy...something, something...isn't one of them psychic?". Then settled in for a bit of a light read while the kids were on the playground.

Except it wasn't a light read, and instead of something to kill the time while the kids were playing, I ended up not being able to put it down. I'm pretty sure I fed and bathed them that night, but I wouldn't swear to it in a court of law. It probably sounded like this, "Hey! It's corn dog and french fry night, guys!", and "You smell alright to me, just don't forget to brush your teeth.". So am I a slack parent, or was the book just that good? Obviously, both, but today I'm blaming my smelly malnourished children on the book.

Annie and Fia (Sophia) are sisters, and the story is told between their alternating POV's. Fia was what I would consider the main character, though. Annie's voice seemed to be there more to fill in the gaps of Fia's story. Warning: There are a lot of flashback sequences, and frequent time jumps between the past and present. If this is a pet peeve, you may not enjoy this as much as I did.

Orphaned at a young age by a car wreck, the girls are taken in by an aunt who would rather not deal with Annie's blindness and psychic nightmares. When an exclusive boarding school offers to give Annie a home, she jumps at the chance. Fia immediately feels something is very wrong with the school, but when she voices her opinion, it only serves to intrigue the interviewer and ensure that both girls are given a new home. However, this is not where the story opens (remember the above mentioned time jumps?).

When we first meet Fia she is seventeen, lurking in the shadows, and  trying to figure out a way to save the boy she was sent to kill. At this point, I'm totally sucked in.

And how did a teenager end up working as an assassin, you ask? See, Annie may be psychic, but Fia has what they call perfect instincts. Big deal, right? Well, the more I read, the more intrigued I became. Not only can she tell when people are lying, or which stock is going to skyrocket, she also knows instinctively when to duck so that she can avoid a punch, which way to turn on a street to avoid capture, and what person in a crowd will help her. There's more to it than that, but those are some of the highlights.

As the story progresses, you learn that Fia is working for a shadowy organization that runs the boarding school she and Annie were accepted into. While Annie was the original prize they wanted, it quickly became evident that Fia was far more important. Annie has now become a prisoner in what once was her home, and her life is the insurance policy that guarantees Fia's continued cooperation. Which makes Fia's choice to save the life of  her target, Adam, that much more dangerous. After all, Annie and Fia aren't the only special girls that the school has recruited. With psychics, mind readers, and empaths all around her, how can she possibly hide her plans to save both Adam and Annie?

As if all of this wasn't enough, Fia has to contend with her handler, James. She's drawn to him in spite of every instinct screaming that she needs to stay away. He says he cares about what happens to her, but it could easily just be a lie. After all, he's the son of the very man responsible for what Fia has become. 

Could the heir to such an evil empire really love her? Well, you'll just have to find out for yourself, because I'm certainly not telling you the answer.

I'd recommend this one for readers who like their heroines smart, snarky, and slightly unhinged.

Anne is the newest member to the A2H team!
Expect to see more reviews from her soon.


Lexxie Lin said...

I love Kiersten White, and now, you really got me wanting to read this! Sounds excellent! Thanks for a great review :)

Have a wonderful weekend.


Thanks, I'm glad you liked the review! It's definitely different than Paranormalcy, though. Fia is quite a bit more damaged than Evie, but I think that's what made her stand out to me. I love it when the heroine is just a little bit insane!

Random Sarah C-C said...

I am so going to have to read this! Great review, btw. Hope my hubby picks up the slack when my kids become filthy and malnourished too! lol


Yeah, I'm pretty sure my husband was giving me the stink-eye that night. LOL!

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