Friday, January 18, 2013

Playing Games with Your Mind

Mind Games
Any sister knows that regardless of how much you may fight or argue, you would walk through fire or step in front of a bullet for your sister. Sisters are a force that no one truly understands unless they have their own sister. In Kiersten White's Mind Games, the girls may have special abilities, but their bond as sisters defies all, including an evil corporation that wants to use them as tools against the world.

Fia has done everything to protect her blind and telepathic sister, Annie, after their parents are killed in an accident Annie foresaw. That includes joining a school that is less school and more training facility for young girls with abilities the "school" plans to use for whatever nefarious activities their need. Over the years they have convinced Fia that if she doesn't follow orders, Annie will be the one to suffer. For a sister, there is no bigger threat.

When Fia and her flawless instincts are sent to assassinate someone, she sees her target bend down to pet a dog and can't imagine herself ending his life. On a whim, she whips him away, leaving enough evidence to convince her bosses that he is indeed dead. She squirrels him away and returns to the school, but she isn't prepared for what she learns upon her return. It was her own sister who sent her to murder this boy. Now Fia doesn't know who to trust and where to turn. The boy she saved, Adam, is the first person Annie has truly wanted to open herself up to, but any contact with him would put him in danger. What Fia doesn't realize is the danger is much closer to home than she ever could have imagined.

Mind Games is told in four perspectives: both Fia and Annie now, and Fia and Annie as they transitioned into the school starting a few years earlier. This may seem like a great way to get back story without an information dump, but for me it clouded this otherwise great story. It made it incredibly confusing to figure out who you were reading about, and I found myself jumping back to the beginning of the chapter to see who was speaking and when more times than I should have had to. I think this could be frustrating for a younger or weaker reader, and I know it frustrated me. I almost wished this story was told in two books- start with the action of the "now" for this book, finish your series (because it is to be a series), and then write a prequel with the expanded back story. Otherwise, it was just too difficult to keep up with at times, especially when you were flipping the pages like mad because you couldn't wait to find out what happened.

I hope this idea of four perspectives won't carry over into the next book now that the history has been established. I loved both characters as they were clearly frustrated, disturbed, and yet so caring at the same time. They struggled with their relationship as sisters, but they also cared about one another. The sacrifices they made (Fia especially) were a true testament to their bond as sisters. On a whole, I really liked this story, but I found the four perspectives distracting. I am excited to see where the series goes from here, but I hope the flashbacks are limited. In particular, the ending of this story opens up for the sequel to be phenomenal! Can't wait!

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