New Mindbenders Review on Amazon this morning. I’m blushing!
The story opens in the Florida everglades with the murder of an ex-CIA spy who was running a sort of group home for mentally affected vets of the Gulf War. Our narrator Greg was one such person. A one time journalist who no longer speaks or remembers due to Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, Greg witnesses the assassination of his mentor first hand. What Greg does not know is why this has happened or why a neighboring man suddenly shows up to rescue him, or why this man seems to be able to speak without using his voice, can render hostiles unconscious with taser like electricity from his hands, or why he can drive with his eyes closed and describe what is about to come way before it happens. Most disconcerting is the fact that Greg’s mentor has placed a list of other defunct agents from the CIA Mindbender programs inside of Greg’s mind that their neighbor Renn can unlock piece by piece. What ensues is an excursion up and down the East Coast rounding up psychic spies of various talents in an effort to save the world from a shadowy group of assassins bent on destroying hope.
Sounds messy, but the adventure suits Greg as he slowly comes out of his shell and rediscovers the power in words just as he discovers the innate powers within himself. With each page Greg grows more sure footed and, as our narrator, becomes more entertaining. His short, somewhat awkward descriptions that open the book become more verbose and chocked full of literary devices as the book continues. Which is not only a great device, but really helps move the story forward as our team of misfit psychics band together to attempt the impossible.
Mr. Krever is a skilled writer. What could have been a terrible mess ends up being entertaining and thought provoking. He is tackling some very big subjects while trying to maintain a thriller’s pace and, for the most part, he succeeds. There are times when he attempts to inject the science behind the powers that threatens to tip the balance the wrong way, but he manages to right the ship each time. His small band of psychics each have strong well developed personalities and they stand out as unique characters on the page. Many lesser authors would have focused so much on the powers that they would become the “characters” but Mr. Krever focuses on the person first, their talents second. He avoids the cliches that you expect to happen and churns out a page-turning yarn that will appeal to many.
This could have easily been a 5 star effort, but in my mind the ending could have been slightly stronger. I also would love to see a suggested reading list in the next Mindbenders (due in 2012) with some of the titles referenced by Mr. Krever. But really, these are very small complaints and I can promise you I will definitely be reading future installments in what I hope is a series.
Let me close by saying that I picked this title up free for the Kindle during Krever’s December 2011 giveaway. Add to that his e-mail offer that allowed anyone who picked up Mindbenders to receive a free copy of his critically acclaimed 9/11 short story collection “After” and you have the best deal ever on Amazon! Read Mr. Krever’s Amazon commentary on any book you purchase by him to find free offers, but above all, read Ted Krever, he is a talented author!
To read other ‘Mindbenders’ reviews, click here.