The Mind Readers by Lori Brighton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The Mind Readers (book 1)by Lori Brighton
This is a novel that stands as verification of the notion that I like good character development. It’s a YA Paranormal, possible romance, that comes out of that same cookie cutter structure that many of these types of novels come from. It's not a bad thing in the sense that it means that the author has to work harder to make the characters stand out and they must write well to make this all work. And this book does all of that and I really do love it.
When I say cookie cutter, I mean that the plot and themes are quite familiar. Let me explain; they always start with the main character, often a young girl, who is about to discover her whole life has been a lie. She's an orphan, as they usually are, and is living with her grandmother. In most instances it might be a grandparent or aunt or uncle or someone somehow related to the family. She’s about to discover that she has a special place in the world as the chosen. She'll also discover her parents might have been leaning toward the evil side (but then don't most teens think that once in their life) and the boy she's interested in is possibly working for the enemy.
Cameron Winters is a mind reader and for once in this trope, she knew this well in advance of events that catapult her into her adventure. She’s a mind reader as is her grandmother and they have been hiding and running in fear of something or someone that has never been full explained to Cameron. Soon she'll fall for a man who claims to be there to save her, which is just great since everyone keeps telling her that everything they do is to keep her safe. Cameron figures she can take care of herself until things start to get dangerous and she realizes it's time to move again and this time she has a new friend who is also a mind reader who wants to train her; and she's beginning to wonder why her grandmother hasn't properly trained her to use her abilities.
The people she befriends coax her into doing things with her abilities that she knows are wrong and she has to deal with the moral dilemma that it creates and she has to decide if she'll compromise her principles in trade for the safety they offer her. There's a war going on between the mind readers that work for the government and the ones who claim they are trying to gain their freedom from government control. There is always something hanging in the air and it doesn't take long for Cameron to begin wondering if these rivals are just two sides to the same coin.
Cameron is a complex character who has been sheltered all her life and never trained to use her abilities. She's been moved around enough to have few friends and to have to be somewhat self-reliant while left somewhat naive through her grandmother's overbearing control. And she's about to discover she might have more abilities that she doesn't yet know about because her grandmother has chosen not to train her. As Cameron’s new friends draw her further into the politics of the mind readers, she allows herself to extend beyond her own moral sense until she's almost too deep to stop and escape. Other characters that claim to be helping her prove to be that much more complex in their willingness to use her and her power to their own ends, while claiming they are trying to keep her safe while training her to use her powers.
This world of mind reading and teleportation and telekinesis has its own complex set of rules and limitations that seem internally sound. And, until she is trained, Cameron has to learn that her mind is like an open book to the others like her and that many of them can shield their thoughts and even project false thoughts to make her believe what they wish. That makes her far more vulnerable than what one might expect of the usually talented chosen, and she's about to discover that there are few people she can trust.
This novel is full of twists and turns that are revealed in a building suspenseful tale that leads the reader further into the story as Cameron becomes committed closer to a point of no return.
Solid YA Paranormal with some romance with the extra treat of being well written.
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