Fia was born with flawless instincts. Her first impulse, her gut feeling, is always exactly right. Her sister, Annie, is blind to the world around her—except when her mind is gripped by strange visions of the future. Trapped in a school that uses girls with extraordinary powers as tools for corporate espionage, Annie and Fia are forced to choose over and over between using their abilities in twisted, unthinkable ways… or risking each other’s lives by refusing to obey. In a stunning departure from her New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy, Kiersten White delivers a slick, edgy, heartstoppingly intense psychological thriller about two sisters determined to protect each other—no matter the cost.
Did I hear “heartstoppingly intense psychological thriller”? Because I want in. Mind Games is a refreshing addition to the YA genre, especially when psychological thrillers is often exclusive to adult fiction. White delivered a interesting plot and a fierce female character (albeit she stole the the spotlight from everyone else) all in a fast-paced two-hundred page novel. We’ve seen all the elements before from crazy training schools (Ender’s Game, Insignia, Variant, The Vindico) to exploiting psychic abilities (Minority Report), but White takes these elements and weaves something her own. Unfortunately, despite the compelling premise, the delivery fell short, leaving much to be desired.
Poor Organization: I Usually Like Multiple Perspectives, Shifting Timelines and Fia Stealing The Whole Show
Fia and her older sister, Annie, both speak to us in first person. While usually perspectives alternate, Mind Games didn’t follow a specific pattern: there might be a present Annie chapter directly preceding a 18 month ago Annie chapter. Eventually I gave up trying to do the math to figure out the chronological order between chapters. I often had to flip back to the start of the chapter to find out why a character supposedly imprisoned in the last chapter could be roaming free in the next. I know chapters from the past aid in giving backstory, but the sudden transition confused rather than enlightened. Many times, I didn’t care what mundane stuff happened in the distant past, I want to get back to my “intense psychological thriller” already!