From Indie e-book Review, June 13, 2012:
When I started reading Mindbenders I wasn’t entirely sure it was my kind of book. And I’m still not sure. However it started with a bang with the murder of the man that Greg, the main character, calls Uncle Dave, and the first paragraph pulled me right in as ‘Uncle Dave lay in the tub dead: blank-faced, stupid-looking, lights-out-nobody’s-home dead’.
Greg is not your typical hero type. He’s a war vet who doesn’t speak. He lives with Dave and an assortment of other war-damaged vets. As the story progresses he starts to emerge from his shell and he not only speaks, but also develops mind bending skills, although not to the same degree as Max Renn, who takes him under his wing.
Max Renn appears shortly after the murder of Dave, and he and Greg go on the run to escape from the killers. Greg’s confusion is well depicted, as is his mistrust of Max Renn. He can’t understand why Dave was murdered, or why the killers appear to be hunting him and Max. All he knows is they are on the run and they have to find some other people. Greg is the only one who knows who these people are but he can only give one name at a time. Apparently Dave has implanted these names in his memory.
As the story progresses he comes to realise that Max Renn can read minds and implant suggestions into the minds of others. These are the skills he also starts to develop, and the group of people they are looking for possess mind bending skills as well. But that is not all. The killers on their trail are also mindbenders.
The chase part of the book is full of action and suspense as Greg and his band of mindbenders try to outwit the killers on their trail. And then the book seems to take a different direction, developing a conspiracy theme involving a company called L Corps, at which point the hunted become the hunters. I felt the narrative slowed down a bit when this phase was entered, however it picked up again before the end and finished with a nail-biting climax involving the battle of the mindbenders.
My overall feeling about the book was that it was an interesting premise, and I accepted the initial mind bending skills of the characters, however, as these skills grew in variety – lightning rays thrown from fingertips and so forth, I felt it was testing my suspension of disbelief. That may be just me, and if you can accept poltergeists and the paranormal, you may not have this problem.
On the whole, it was an interesting read with plenty of pace, and it kept me guessing. So it satisfied me on all those points, although I’m still not sure it was my type of book.
Reviewed by Chris Longmuir
This is an interesting review. The writer’s few actual comments are pretty positive. ‘Started with a bang’ and ‘nail-biting climax’ works for me. He spends most of the review describing the story and grappling with his own limits for suspension of disbelief.
One of my best friends, who loves my writing, can’t get through ‘Mindbenders’ because he just can’t accept mindreading, telekinesis, etc. Nothing wrong with that. But one of the tricky limitations of being a professional reviewer is, you have to read all kinds of books you would never choose on your own. And that limits the usefulness of your review for the book’s most enthusiastic readership, since ‘not bad, considering it’s not my kind of book’ is about the best a writer can hope for in that situation.
Which is why, over the course of the last year, I’ve come to see reader reviews as actually more useful and interesting.