Sixteen-year-old Maddie Dunn is special, but she needs to figure out how to use her new 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... (edited by author) (Publisher’s summary from Amazon)
I have always been fascinated by the powers of mind: telekinesis, mind reading, and just the mere fact that normal people, who see the same event perceive it differently. In Minder, Kate Kaynak explores the mind’s ability and has created a very exciting story that highlights not only the use of these abilities for good but evil too.
Kaynak’s story immediately pulls you into Minder. Maddie is grabbed off the street by three boys whose purpose is quite clear. Scared and panicky, Maddie not only fights back, but somehow manages to kill all three of her attackers. As a loner, Maddie tells no on about her near rape not even her mother, but she is frightened by the knowledge that somehow she was responsible for their deaths.
Within twenty-four hours after Maddie’s attack she is introduced to the world of Ganzfield, a school filled with teens whose special abilities include telekinesis, pyrokinesis, and mind control. Maddie learns that she is a minder, someone who can read thoughts of others and who has the ability to force her thoughts telepathically. She also quickly learns that the “charms,” people who have to ability to bend others to their will telepathically, are feared mainly because they use their abilities for their own gains. A power struggle between Maddie and the charms begins immediately with Maddie coming out as top dog. Through this interaction with the charms Maddie became a character who I instantly admired. She owns up to her minder abilities, but understands that using it to manipulate others at their expense is wrong and begins to protect those who are being manipulated by the charms unethical use of their powers.
Kaynak’s descriptions of the various abilities were well done, and I found myself liking all of the characters except the charms. Some of my favorite scenes involved the kids with pyrokinesis playing a form of soccer with balls of fire. However, one problem I had with the story was the romance between Trevor and Maddie. I felt the intensity between them occurred too quickly, and although this did not spoil the rest of the story, it did make some of the interaction between them hard to accept. The ending is quite suspenseful, and between the conflicts and the characters, I found Minder to be a fast moving and compelling read.
If you like X-men, Fire Starter, and Carrie, then Minder is definitely a book that will appeal to you. This is the first book of several books in the Ganzfield series. Adversary, the second book is available now and Legacy, the third book will be release next summer. Kaynak has plans to write three more after Legacy. You can visit Kate on her blog and website.
Source: Received copy for review from author