“May the targets never see you coming.”
The Disillusionists Trilogy, Mind Games, Double Cross, Head Rush and the spin off novellas, Kitten-Tiger & The Monk (Wild & Steamy) and Devil’s Luck by Carolyn Crane are books filled with elements of adult urban fantasy and supernatural abilities. Dystopia lingers in these books as well. Reading this enticing group of books were like no other and my thoughts were constantly slammed by 'oh shits' with all the mind bending goodness. For reelz y’all, I never said “oh shit” so much while reading a book. I was a complete dirty mouth, LOL. Maybe I should invest in Orbit?
The books in the Disillusionists Trilogy were perfectly titled. Mind Games because book 1 totally toys with your head. Book 2, Double Cross because yeah, there’s definitely some betrayal, and Head Rush- book 3, because your mentality is thrown into a frenzy. But all is wrapped up in a perfectly packaged ending. After reading, my head was still twirling but my heart was all gooey and happy and I smiled for hours. This series was downright righteous!
Carolyn Crane possesses clever writing that glues your eyes and attention to every single page. She takes you on a whirlwind of a ride. You might find yourself getting bitch-slapped – I mean that as a compliment. ;)
Midcity is a town where people walk around with helmets on their heads, or in special suits, or wears gloves, or wears glasses in fear of psycho highcaps- mutated humans with super powers- i.e. dream invaders, precogs, revisionists, telepaths, telekinetics, etc. (Have no fear, there are good highcaps too.) To protect the civilians of Midcity, there is a B.A. group of crime fighters that have special abilities and they zing the shit out of their own disturbed emotion into these highcap criminals to rid them of their illegal ways. The Disillusionists are a psychological hit squad. The author nailed it when she used that term to describe them. Sounds pretty interesting, right? And get this… reading this series was a carnival of angsty fun! I mean, it was like strapping yourself in the Tilt-A-Whirl ride. Spinning, spinning, SPINNING… Weeeeeeeeeeeee!!! Seriously, I’m glad Karen (@teamsheltie) from For What It’s Worth told me to grab myself a pack of Depends!
Not only were the plots, twists and discoveries utterly fantastic- sending you through a reading vortex, but in my opinion, every single one of the characters was filled with mystery and an extra side of awesome sauce. There are characters you love; some piss you off, but you still love them and the ones you didn’t think you’d care for, you grow to love. There was a powerful love triangle that had me questioning its slopes. While I felt stronger for one of the male characters, I didn’t choose between them even though one of them had negative motives. And they both did the main character wrong at some point.
Mind Games, Double Cross, and Head Rush were written in Justine’s POV. Justine suffered from fear and anxiety. On top of that, she was a basket case of hypochondria and obsessed over her believed disease of Vein Star Syndrome. She waited for her brain to rupture, causing her death. But when she met Packard, he made her an offer she couldn’t refuse; to join his elite team of disillusionists and eliminate her fear using it as a weapon to fight rogue high caps and humans in a city full of crime. You could cut the passionate tension between Justine and Packard throughout the entire series with a fricking butter knife. The connection they shared was electrifying- literally! Justine was such an interesting MC and I enjoyed getting to know her; her fears, her strength, her trust. Her character was noble and pretty empathetic considering all she’s been through. She fought for her beliefs, to survive, and to save the ones she loved. With her fear came strength and courage.
Two words. Sterling Packard. A name really, and a very desirable character that sends you into over drive. The beau stood behind his name and was quite ‘packin’. He allures you with his confidence and intensity. He manipulates you, and as a reader you don’t mind it because you are so intrigued by him. He makes arrogance look good. Excitement runs through your thoughts as you read about him. His secrets were mind-blowing. It’s on my bucket list to eat at a Mongolian restaurant and pig out on kebabs. And let me tell you. I wanted to break out my guns, *kisses right and left biceps* (put em’ up, put em’ up) at Packard’s nemesis. When I found out who it was, I seriously crapped myself.
Otto will leave you breathless. He had a purpose that he truly believed in but you as a reader will definitely question it. He was quite charming and the love Otto had for Justine was pure adoration and I couldn’t help but respect it, even though… well, you’ll have to read for yourself.
Shelby was one of my top favorite characters in the series. She was a wonderful, sympathetic friend and offered inspiring words to Justine when she needed it most. Shelby made a great supporting character and was very enchanting.
Carter was full of exuberance and quirkiness when he wasn’t filled with rage. That guy needs to keep zinging, are else you may want to stay clear of him. I totally wouldn’t mind hiring him as a pool boy.
We get introduced to the mischievously, reckless Simon; a clicking time bomb and a total edge of your seat type character. The dude is quite delectable and the best frenemy to have. And I want him, like right now.
I really got to know Fawna towards the end of the series and she ended up having quite an important role. It wasn’t until Devil’s Luck, a companion novella, that I understood her and got to see her spunky side and appreciated her. She had a fun, eclectic nature.
My friend Karen wasn’t lying when she said reading this series was one big, amazing mind fu- [inserts bleep]. I was a very dramatic reader in reading this series- in a physical way. I’d pound my fist against something, or grunt, or do some neurotic tweeting to Karen (@teamsheltie) and Janette (@jderucki). Get to reading these books y’all. Get wigged out and get zinged! Many of “glory hours” was experienced while reading these books.
The disillusionists are so spectacularly, kick-ass and if they truly existed, this world would be a better place. Thank you so very much Karen for lending me the first book Mind Games, and introducing to me to Carolyn Crane and her disillusionary, vivid world and I look forward to seeing/meeting both of you at AAD in NOLA!
Oh, and P.S.- I have a new fond love for Gumby.