Staff Picks: Books
Staff-recommended reading from the
Kiersten White's Paranormalcy books missed the mark for me, but I was pleasantly surprised by her newest offering,Mind Games, which achieves a maturity the Paranormalcy books did not. I think it was actually the UK version title, Sister Assassins, that really caught my attention - as I'm obsessed with assassins, especially female assassins - though, after reading, I feel that Mind Games is a more fitting title. I was also drawn by the description, found below:
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.
A detail that I feel I should touch on is that the book has been marketed as an "intense psychological thriller about two sisters determined to protect each other," and while this may be technically true, I felt that the older sister, Annie, wasn't focused on nearly as much as Fia. I knew she was there in the plot, doing things, but I simply wasn't as concerned about her and I certainly wasn't as invested in her character.
However, I really enjoy Fia as a character. She's a dangerously broken individual that has the potential to turn dark, but she's inherently good. Because she sometimes lapses into immaturity and shows unexpected emotion, emotion that is the very opposite of the cutthroat assassin she's been trained to be, it's easy to see the Fia she could have been if her life hadn't been hijacked by the mysterious group that runs the "school" she and Annie attend.
The atmosphere of this novel (i.e. Fia, her boss, love interest, and the group that controls the sisters) are reminiscent of the characters and plot of shows like ABC's Alias and The CW's Nikita, which I love... and which probably contributed to my liking Mind Games as much as I did. Many of the characters are more than they seem, hiding something, or have the potential to give into the power they yield and use it for evil rather than good.
I feel that Mind Games is a great introduction to Fia and Annie's world. The action really picked up by the end of the novel, which I think bodes well for the next installment.