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Carolyn Crane

Carolyn CraneCarolyn Crane has long been fascinated by hidden worlds — the wiry insides of old gadgets, the strange workings of secret societies, the mysteries of people’s minds and hearts. She’s into that as a reader and a writer, too. Plotty puzzles. Psychological intrigue. Concealed realms. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and two daring cats, and when she’s not writing novels or working at her day job as a freelance writer, she can be found reading in bed, running, helping animals, or eating Mexican food. Read excerpts of her novels at Carolyn Crane’s website.

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Mind Games: Major points for originality

Mind Games by Carolyn Crane

Justine Jones is a hypochondriac whose mental health is quickly spiraling downward. She’s convinced she has vein star syndrome, the condition that killed her mother. Then she meets the mysterious Packard, who recruits her into his team of Disillusionists. Disillusionists are essentially psychic vigilantes, attacking criminals by zapping their own psychological problems into the bad guy’s energy field. When the criminal has been reduced to a gibbering mass of anxiety, so Packard’s theory goes, he or she can start building a new life as a better person.

Mind Games is set in a fictional city where “highcaps” (high-capacity humans) exist alongside regular humans. A few holdouts don’t believe in the highcaps’ superpowers, but most people do. These powers make it difficult for highcap criminals to be caught and incarcerated, a problem that comes up several times in the ... Read More

Double Cross: Characters evolve and develop

Double Cross by Carolyn Crane

If Mind Games is where Carolyn Crane sets up her world, Double Cross (2010) is where she hits her stride. The world has been built and Crane can really take her time to enjoy the plot and flesh out her characters. Usually the second book in a trilogy suffers a bit, but this one doesn’t. Characters evolve and develop. Crane turns flaws into impressive strengths and the twist at the end rather surprised me and added a nice tragic note to everything. It’s a fast-paced book that is sure to absorb readers.

THE DISILLUSIONISTS TRILOGY is intensely psychological, and Crane’s use of various psychological issues in her main cast is incredibly brave. I can’t... Read More

Head Rush: Short and sweet

Head Rush by Carolyn Crane

Head Rush (2012) is a perfect finale for THE DISILLUSIONISTS TRILOGY. The thing about Head Rush is that readers won’t read it to be surprised. You know how it’s going to end; you just don’t know the details. Carolyn Crane makes those details fun, and keeps Head Rush rather short and sweet, which is perfect for the series as a whole.

In fact, Crane seems to know exactly how long each book should be, and she never overstays her welcome. She could have easily made this book longer than it is, but she seemed to know that dragging out events would make readers more exhausted with the book than they need to be. Things move fast, and the period of time covered is short.

While the ending is no big sur... Read More