Mind Games by Kiersten White
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a much edgier and darker concept than White's Paranormalcy trilogy. It's not cutesy with vampires who are clearly misunderstood except for the one. He's just a Creepy Vampire Guy. It's completely different.
In this book we meet Fia, age 17 and her older sister, Annie, who is blind. They are orphaned as young children and shipped off to an aunt who raises them for a couple of years before the girls are taken in on scholarship to a private school. You can smell something diabolical about that, of course. First of all, boarding schools in the United States are few and far between unless they are reform schools.
It is not a reform school or a real educational boarding school since this is YA paranormal fiction. As we continue on the timeline, the reader realizes that both Annie and Fia have paranormal abilities. Annie is a seer. Fia is something else altogether. The school is a training ground and they don't play nice. Fia has perfect gut reactions. She is trained in the fine art of fighting with knives and whatnot. She's an assassin against her will.
Much of the book is told in past tense with the present tense playing a smaller part until the end. Essentially, it is setting the stage for upcoming conflicts. The master of the school is keeping Fia in check by keeping Annie locked up and under guard and key. Fia becomes disturbed to distraction by what she is turning into. Enter incredibly suave and handsome son of the master of the school. Meet James. Does he work for his dad or is he working on his own? What are his allegiances? He is using Fia but so was his dad. You don't know whether he is good intentions or not so good.
Although written in White's signature clean style, I would add a couple of parental warnings. Violence is apparent since Fia is trained to fight and use knives. This is clearly purposeful and essential to the book's conclusion. Swearing is reported but not quoted so negligible. Sex is absent but innuendo is not. Language is clean. Dialogue is clean despite the innuendo.
I loved the story. I loved Paranormalcy and expected more of the same. It's not the same. It's very different. I can't wait to read the rest of the books.