Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Book Review: Open Minds, by Susan Kaye Quinn

Open Minds explores a world where everyone, well almost everyone, is an open book. People can read each other's minds if they are close enough to each other. There's no conversation necessary.

Kira, however, is a zero. No one can hear her thoughts when she walks into a room, and she can't hear anyone else's. This pretty much ruins her opportunity at any kind of normal education, or job, or family. Zeros are outcasts. Since she's only sixteen, there's still hope that she might change.

Raf, who is Kira's best friend (and she wishes for more), is very supportive even though he can read minds like everyone else. He wants to continue a normal relationship with Kira, even though everyone else has shunned her.

Simon takes an interest in Kira, and she doesn't understand why. It turns out that Simon knows more about Kira than she does herself. Kira can "mindjack." She can get into people's minds and control them -- push them to do things and believe things. Simon is also a mindjacker -- and no one knows. Because of this ability, Kira can make it appear that she is reading minds. She can push her thoughts to others, so they think they are reading her mind. Kira is no longer a zero.

OK. I need to take a break here, and talk about my minor difficulties with Open Minds. I don't really want to think about a society like this. Can you imagine being in a room and knowing what everyone is thinking? And they know what you are thinking? Lots of potential for conflict, me thinks....but that isn't an issue in this book.

Also, I was a bit confused about "mindjacking." It took me a while to figure out why it wasn't the same as reading minds. I don't think it was explained well at first, at least to my satisfaction. Once I got it straight (and I tried to explain it above,) things made more sense. I didn't get the sense of secrecy, and even some panic, about being discovered, since I thought mindjacking just solved all Kira's problems. Unfortunately, this ability added many more serious problems than Kira could ever imagine.

There's an underground society of mindjackers that Simon wants Kira to join. Kira is resistant, and as she's exposed to these people all hell breaks lose, and we discover that Kira might be even more powerful than usual mindjackers. There are people who want her -- for experimentation or extermination -- she isn't sure -- but her life isn't her own any more.

There's a perfect build up of tension throughout the book. We learn about Kira, we learn more about the world of mindjacking, and then things get dangerous. Then, even more dangerous. The pacing is really excellent and you won't be able to put Open Minds down. I also loved that Quinn isn't afraid to kill people.

The romance, which at times seems like a triangle, is apparent but not the focus of this story of sheer survival. The ending of Open Minds had a nice wrap up, but I'm definitely anticipating more of the Mindjack series. Fans of dystopians with strong female characters will enjoy Kira's adventure. I've read several books involving manipulating the mind and memories, and Open Minds is a worthy addition.

Published by CreateSpace, 2011
eBook obtained from the author for review
338 pages

Rating: 4/5

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  1. That sounds scary! Having people hear my thoughts? wow. :) Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  2. I love the premise of this one. I am on a bit of a YA break, but will have to read it when I get back in the mood. Thank you for your review.


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