Thursday, July 29, 2010
Sixteen-year-old Maddie Dunn needs to learn how to use her special 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...
Minder is a YA paranormal that takes on a different element: that of teens that possess extrasensory abilities. As a fellow writer and one that is moving along the same professional trajectory as the author, I read this book and reviewed it with a more critical eye than I normally would. I previously read some of Kate's first pages when the story was still in its manuscript form and so, was very interested in the final product.
I really like the premise of teens with special extrasensory powers. This is an element that hasn't been worked to death in the YA genre and has fresh appeal and is wide open with potential. Now let's talk about the execution of that potential.
The first chapter opened with a very dramatic scene. I don't want to give away any spoilers, so I won't tell you what it is, but that scene was ripe with possibilities that left me with questions about the characters that were involved. I would have been interested in knowing more about this group and the extent of their exploits. It was like a very juicy orange that was squeezed, but there was certainly more juice that could have been extracted. Shortly thereafter, Maddie leaves home to enter Ganzfield. Initially, I questioned the credibility of her making such a sudden and dramatic move with the full approval of her mother, but as the powers in question were explored in the story, my skepticism was addressed and I was able to understand how this would be so.
Based on the above issues in the first and second chapters which are quite short (which is okay btw!), I questioned if the story was one in which I could really sink my teeth into. I'm pleased to say, my concerns were unfounded! As the story continued, I got pulled into it and what initially seemed to stretch credibility, made a lot more sense as the powers of the protagonist Maddie, as well as her peers were explored. There are groups of kids who have formed cliques of sorts based on their abilities and they often don't see eye to eye. This is not just an issue of personality, but powers and how they mesh or don't--with those around them.
I love a romance, and it figured prominently in the story. This certainly piqued my interest...especially when Maddie and her love interest were forced to spend their nights together in an abandoned church--wanted to know how that was going to play out!
The author mentioned an "off-screen" character early on. When I discovered what became of the person, I recall my mouth literally falling open...lol...definitely wasn't expecting that! Minder is a page turner and I see a lot of potential for the series. I look forward to Kate only getting better and stronger as a writer as the series continues. Now for the best part--who's going to get a chance to check it out for themselves?
You can learn more about the author and the series by going here.
Giveaway ends Thursday, August 5th and is open to residents of the US only.