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Mind Games: Disillusionists, Book 1 | [Carolyn Crane]

Mind Games: Disillusionists, Book 1

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (292 )
5 star
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2 star
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Overall
3.7 (248 )
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Story
3.9 (253 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Rae Meandarra, Australia 05-18-12
    Rae Meandarra, Australia 05-18-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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.

    Happy Reading


    20 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ginny Georgetown, Texas, United States 01-30-13
    Ginny Georgetown, Texas, United States 01-30-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This story really grabbed me and wouldn't let go."
    What did you love best about Mind Games?

    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.


    What other book might you compare Mind Games to and why?

    I've never read anything like it but I don't read a lot of science fiction. I loved "Hunger Games."


    Have you listened to any of Rebecca Wisocky’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, I haven't listened to others but I would buy one with her narration.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    "What if you could use your worst quality to save people from a life of crime?"


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa United States 10-22-13
    Lisa United States 10-22-13 Member Since 2014

    Paranormal-urban fantasy book lover!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    460
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    80
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    Story
    "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.


    HAPPY LISTENING!!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gina Drayer Lafayette, IN 02-21-13
    Gina Drayer Lafayette, IN 02-21-13 Member Since 2015

    Author. Audiobook lover. UberGeek.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Unique Story Idea."
    What does Rebecca Wisocky bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I really enjoyed This narration. Wisocky did an fabulous job. I would listen to other books narrated by her.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm planning on listening to the rest of this series.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Coral Mississauga, ON, Canada 01-01-13
    Coral Mississauga, ON, Canada 01-01-13 Member Since 2008

    I hold a BA in History from York University of Toronto; a 3yr Diploma in Computer Networking from Sheridan College in Oakville Ontario. I have been "reading" audio books sinces the late 80s and a member of Audible back to 2004. What a really like is a good long story preferable over 30 hours. :)

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    joanna 03-17-13
    joanna 03-17-13 Member Since 2010
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    "A great unique series!"

    I am so happy I found this series. It is unlike anything that I have read in awhile. I really enjoyed this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ronald 03-09-13
    Ronald 03-09-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Is that a headache, or a tumor growing in my head?"
    Where does Mind Games rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    A fantasy Stephanie Plum? Sure, why not? Perhaps not quite so funny as Janet Evanovich, but its a fun romp nonetheless.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Justine's hypochondria (is it imagined - or real?) is very entertaining.


    Any additional comments?

    I will definitely read the other books in the series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jaye 03-03-13
    Jaye 03-03-13

    Audible Addict. I listen to 2-3 books a week, depending on my schedule. I've been a member since 2008 and feel like I have a personal relationship with my I-Pod! I'm an ecclectic reader but have been hooked on "romance" (I hate that term) and paranormal books lately.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Likeable Hypochondriac"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kimmythegreat 07-09-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fangtastic story!"

    This book is so mind blowingly fabulous and original that I'm having a hard time coming up with words! I would describe the genre of this book as Urban Fantasy. There is a romantic thread in it, but it's not the foundation of the story, and there is an HEA, with a To Be Continued...NOT a cliffhanger, just left open in a way you know there is more to come.

    Justine has Vein Star Syndrome, so she thinks...She is such a hypochondriac that she can't hold a steady boyfriend or friends because of it. Her current boyfriend, Cubby, has only been with her for a very short period, but is half way out the door already. While Justine and Cubby are having dinner at their favorite restaurant Mongolian Delights, Justine spots the sleaze ball Foley, the scam artist that took her father for everything they had. This encounter is how Justine gets introduced to Sterling Packard. Packard is a Highcap with the ability to see peoples psychological structure, and he has profiled Justine down to a tee. Packard propositions Justine, and the most hilarious, anxiety driven, ride of her life begins...

    OK, let me just say why this book was so funny for me. I am the total opposite of being a hypochondriac, so to listen to a book about someone who believes so much that they have something wrong with them, that they have no proof of actually having, and obsess about it, is just hilarious! The characters in the story are so phenomenal, I absolutely adore them, and the world building was like nothing I have ever known, but also very interesting. The "weaponizing her neurosis" is what they called zinging in the book and the side effects to zinging someone brought the "Glory Hour". Oh the glory hour...it, I can only imagine is like being on the drug Ecstasy. Glory hour can tend to be tricky with certain people and situations, and make the moment even more funny. The character Aggie whom Justine had the job of disillusioning, totally gave me the creeps, ewww! My skin crawled when she was trying to seduce Justine and the dude she thought was her brother, gross Aggie! OK, try saying and spelling disillusionist five times in a row, go!

    The plot and plot twist was so far unseen that it did blow my mind. The deeper the character development, the more I wanted. I totally love this book and must read them all! I highly recommend this book for anyone who loves, urban fantasy, action, suspense, romance and of course a happily ever after!

    Narrator Review

    The book was provided by the author, however because of time issues for me, I switched to the audio version, which I did purchase myself on Audible.com.

    Rebecca Wisocky is the narrator for this book and will be the first time I have heard her narrate a book. When the book first started I felt a little unsettled by her voice, BUT once I understood how she was acting out the character Justine's personality, I fell in love with her! My first thought was, "who does she sound like?". I know that voice...It's Laura S.!! OMG! Laura is an acquaintance from work, lol. Once I put that together, it made the story even funnier! The other part I loved about Rebecca was her voices for the other characters. I was LMAO during the scene with Justine and Aggie and it was because the voice she choose to use for Aggie heightened the comedy of it all and I was DYING! I thoroughly enjoyed Rebecca's narration! Excellent job Rebecca!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Farrell 09-22-14
    Farrell 09-22-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    59
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    407
    220
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    5
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    "Interesting"

    Not bad. Interesting take on crime and punishment. I wonder if the author has a bit of hypochondria.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • nicole
    United Kingdom
    9/8/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Original idea, average storytelling."

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Anastasia
    Colchester, United Kingdom
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "Wonderfully entertaining, original & witty."

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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