Author: Kate Kaynak
Publication: Spencer Hill Press (June 18, 2010)
Description: 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...
My Thoughts: Minder was an entertaining page-turner of a book. The story begins with a bang. Maddie is snatched off the street by three louts from her high school who intend to rape her. Maddie, somehow, manages to summon some mental ability that she never knew she had and kill them. Naturally, she is in shock. When the police bring her in for questioning, she is removed from the police station by a man named Dr. Williamson who can read her mind and a young woman named Cecelia who uses mental talents to convince the police that Maddie wasn't involved.
Maddie soon finds herself at a school for young people who have a variety of mental talents. The "charms" are able to convince anyone to do things they wouldn't otherwise do. The RVs are remote viewers who can see where people are no matter how far away they are. The Sparks have control of fire. The healers can do just that. And Maddie is a rarer sort of talent. She is a "minder" -- a receptive and projective telepath.
Maddie is coming to grips with her talent and trying to fit in at her new school. The "charms" are abusing their powers. They are abusing the other talents. Maddie is not only immune to the charms powers but she has the ability to stop them. She begins to think of herself as "the new sheriff in town" and Dr. Williamson encourages her in this. The one thing that bothered me about this story was how quickly Maddie adjusted to being a telepath.
Maddie also meets a boy. Trevor is the only telekinetic in the school. The two of them form a mental connection when they discover that they both use the same abandoned church to get away from the other students. Maddie can't block out their mental voices and is sending them nightmares of her assault. Trevor has a tendency to throw things in his sleep and is afraid of hurting others. The two of them fall in love. He isn't freaked out by her mind reading. She can read that he is a wonderful human being. The romance in this story is a typical teenager's wish fulfillment fantasy: The one you love understands you completely and loves you just the way you are. It was very romantic.
But, even more than the abuses of the charms, all is not well at the school or for the talents. There are many exciting adventures in this first book in a new series. I recommend it for lovers of the paranormal and for the lovers of teen age romance.
Immediately after finishing this book (which I borrowed from a friend), I went to Amazon and downloaded Adversary for my Kindle. Luckily, Legacy, the third book in the series, will be published on Jan. 28, 2011 so there isn't a terribly long time to wait. I want the whole story now.
I felt the caffeine take effect and my soul reconnected to my brain. Ah, caffeine--the other drug that enhanced my mental powers.