Saturday, May 7, 2011

Review: Minder

Series: Ganzfield, #1
Author: Kate Kaynak
Reading Level and Genre(s): YA Sci-Fi, PNR
Features: Telepathy, pyrokinesis, telekinesis, mind control
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Publication Date: May 6, 2010
Source: Author for review

Sixteen-year-old Maddie Dunn is special, but she needs to figure out how to use her new abilities before somebody else gets hurt. Ganzfield is a secret training facility full of people like her, but it's not exactly a nurturing place.

Every social interaction carries the threat of mind-control.

A stray thought can burn a building to the ground.

And people's nightmares don't always stay in their own heads. But it's still better than New Jersey. Especially once she meets the man of her dreams...
This book started off with a gripping intro that gave you some chills and fright. Kaynak was able to capture the voice of a teenager very well and I felt like Maddie was a real person. She was very funny, and her ability, which was mind reading, also allowed the reader to read the minds of characters, and enhanced the plot and the other characters. A lot more of this book contained the thoughts, rather than the words of other people. There are many unique people, some friendly, some indifferent, and some just plain creepy. Another outstanding character would be Trevor, Maddie's love interest. While I really enjoyed his personality, I felt like there was an overload of Maddie-and-Trevor. Their moments together seemed repetitive, and Maddie was always whining whenever Trevor wasn't around (which was quite rare).

Another thing that bothered me was the perverse nature (and thoughts) of most of the boys in these novels. I'm really, really hoping boys don't truly have these types of thoughts every single, living moment. While Kaynak portrayed and made Maddie a wonderful protagonist, and I'm not so sure with her supporting characters. However, there are exceptions.

Dr. Williamson was a very likable character, only I kind of felt like he wasn't in the story enough, which didn't make him seem like a very father-like character, even though Maddie thought of him as one. However, if he's out there in the outside world, saving some other people's butts, then I guess that's fine with me, too.

This was a very enjoyable book, and I will definitely be reading the next one. It's a story of self-discovery, growth, friendship, and love. Fans of the paranormal genre will enjoy this one.

Personal Thoughts (What I thought as a teen reader, not a reviewer)
Mmm. Back to the boys. While I understand they tend to have some... thoughts... I'm pretty sure not all boys think about sex. Every. Single. Second. Or even go to the point of using mind control to make them play strip poker. Sorry, that kind of bothered me.

First Line/First Paragraph/Beginning Excerpt: 

I felt the eyes on the back of my head, like a too-warm itch within my skull. Someone was watching me. 
Hunting me. 
Cold dread splashed through my chest and my pace quickened. I’d gotten flashes like this before—I knew to trust them. I needed to find other people. More than a block away, cars whooshed along the main road. 
I pulled my bag in close and started to run, cutting across the suburban lawns in the fading late-afternoon light. Perhaps I could flag someone down or even step out into traffic and cause a scene. 
I didn’t make it. 
I glanced back at the rumble of the approaching engine and a white van thunked over the curb behind me, screeching to a stop halfway on the sidewalk. The side door rolled back with a metallicscrape. Quick footsteps slapped the sidewalk and thudded in the 
grass behind me. Rough hands grabbed my arm and closed over my mouth, stifling my scream. 
The driver pulled out so fast the tires squealed. Someone tried several times to close the side door of the lurching vehicle before the latch finally caught. The large hand of my attacker remained clamped over my mouth and my breath ripped through my nose. 
Oh my God…oh my God…oh my God.
His weight crushed my chest and my hammering heart pounded against the pressure. The smells of stale cigarettes, cheap beer, and a slightly rancid locker room overwhelmed the small space. I nearly threw up. 
The driver laughed. I knew that laugh—I’d heard it in the lunchroom and halls at school. Delbarton Evans was a junior—like me—although we weren’t in any classes together. His friends called him Del, and I wasn’t one of them. The other two in the van also looked familiar. 
Disclaimers: Per the FTC regulations, please note that iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books does receive books for review for free by publishers or authors. For every book reviewed – whether sent by publisher, author or books purchased, it will be graded with a clean and open mind. A free book received will not influence any opinion of the contents of the book.
Spoilers may or may not have been present in this review. While iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books does review honestly, reviews are not specifically checked for spoilers. Attempts at avoiding spoilers are made, but not all are removed or fixed. This disclaimer is a general statement placed on all reviews as a warning to those who read them.


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