Is a must read! Seriously. I bought it when it came out, but hadn't gotten around to reading it because my e-reader was acting badly and overheating. Plus, it came out when all the shit hit the fan in my house, and there was no way I was going to read it when I couldn't handle getting up in the morning without a panic attack. I wanted to be in a place where I could actually enjoy it.
I started it this morning at about 8 a.m. and finished it at about 6 p.m. tonight (give or take - I was not keeping track of time by that point). I did nothing but read - screw laundry, dishes and grocery shopping.
What can I say about this book? Hell, how do I describe this amazing series?
Well, Justine is a Disillusionist. "A what?" you ask. A disillusionist - a person who has a fear that's out of control (in her case its hypochondria enhanced by dying from a rare brain aneurism) and a psychic ability to pass that fear onto someone else. At the beginning of the first book, Mind Games, she's a nervous wreck of a woman. Until she meets Packard - head of an organization that rehabilitates criminals by using their ability to use fear to 'zap' them. Justine begins working for him. Packard is not what he seems.
Then there's Otto Sanchez, Justine's crush. He's a police officer bent on fighting crime the right way. But he isn't all he seems either.
And there's a history between Packard and Otto - a history that will cause Justine to question everything.
Yes, it sounds like a crazy premise, but its not. The very bizarreness of it is part of what makes it so good. It's written first person present tense from Justine's point of view - so you learn as Justine learns. And that POV works perfectly with this story. Can I say Carolyn Crane is a brilliant writer? Justine, with her obvious flaws and lack of faith in herself despite her capabilities, is an amazingly well thought out character. I dare you not to root for her - to gasp when things go wrong - to squeal with delight when good things happen. In fact, I dare you not to love every character in this series - even the bad guys.
The second book - Double Cross - was one of those books where the end knocked me on my ass. I had to go back and reread the last chapter a second time because I couldn't believe it ended on such a cliffhanger. (Like rereading it was going to change things *face plant*). It took me from a joyful high to an oh no moment so fast I was stunned. (I may have cried a little - I sure as hell yelled at the book for at least a few minutes.)
And then there's Head Rush, which picks up where Double Cross left off. I didn't think it was possible that this book could top the last one for delicious goodness, but damn! It did!
My poor son, who is 17 and endures my rants about books with the weariness of an 80 yr. old man rattling off his ailments, knows the Disillusionists stories because I have to talk to someone about them. They're that good. So, with this book, I kept stopping in my reading to relay what was happening. (Okay, I didn't relay the sex scenes - that would be creepy and weird.) By the time I reached the last few chapters where all hell was breaking loose, he had squeezed into the chair beside me and was reading along with me. I don't know who said "oh shit" more, but we were both definitely saying it.
When we finished, he looked at me and said "That was EPIC awesomeness! Wow. Are all the books you read like that?" Heh. (Yes, he reads Rob Thurman's books, but they're about guys) And sadly, no, not all the books I read have that amount of epic, action-packed, panic-enducing, emotional goodness.)
So, bravo Carolyn Crane. Not only did you hook me in, you hooked my 17 yr. old son. You should have seen him! He was INTO it.
Now, I'm going to say, Headrush is only out in e-reader format right now. The paperback of it comes out on Sept. 5th which is a long way away. (Yes, I will be buying it to add to my 'real library' just like all three books are on my e-reader, they will also be on my shelves). But if you don't have an e-reader, you know you can download e-reader software from Amazon for free and read it on your computer, right?? And if you haven't heard of or read this series, WTH? Go out and buy it.
ps. There's a Simon (gotta read to find out about Simon who is deliciously delinquent and naughty) novella you can download, too. I'm going to read that tomorrow.