Wednesday, September 22, 2010

[Review] Minder by Kate Kaynak

Title: Minder
Author: Kate Kaynak
Publication: June 2010
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Review Copy: Paperback, won (Thanks, Cari!)
Pages: 250
My Rating:

Blurb from Goodreads:  
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: 

When I won this one at Cari Blogs, I didn't exactly know how Minder was going to fare with me. Fortunately for me, this one was pretty good. :)

Kaynak illustrates in her novel a world (within our world), Ganzfield, full of superheroes. The superpowered groups mentioned include:  
- minders (can read others' minds) 
- charms (can manipulate others through their charming words) 
- "pyros" (can make fires) 
- "movers" (can move objects with their minds)
(I don't remember the official names of the last 2).

The main character, Maddie, believed she was an ordinary person -- until she blasts out the brains of 3 (?) guys from school who were up to no good. Thus, her normal life is over and she is shipped off to Ganzfield, where she is introduced to a whole other environment. She quickly builds a close relationship with Trevor, the only "mover" in Ganzfield, as her minder powers grow ever-stronger. But trouble is afoot, and outsider forces (threatened by the powers of those at Ganzfield) get in the way...

The descriptions used to paint each scene was so well done and elaborate, but, to me, necessary and not excessively used. I mean, the story is a TAD slow going at the beginning, but as most novels are for me, I tore through the second-half of the novel.

The plot and premise are unlike anything I've ever seen before. After reading Minder, I was left wondering Damn, wish there were a real Ganzfield around here...I came to like the many relationships that Maddie forms with many other characters, such as with her and her mentor (another minder)-- the mentor becomes something of a father figure to which filled that void of her absentee father. I liked her relationship with Grace, a newcomer, a charm, there's that innocent glow of a fragile budding friendship . . . you know the type. Grace appears to be, in Maddie's POV, the only good charm that is worth mentioning individually. The charms are kind of like Ganzfield's version of "the jocks" in high school, though these "students" don't really get to choose their powers.

However, one problem I did have with Minder was that the relationship between Trevor and Maddie was, well, where do I start? It was a bit repetitive in that Maddie's mind continually fills with thoughts of What is Trevor thinking/doing? or Where's Trevor? or I can't hear Trevor's thoughts . . . Also, the justification behind their relationship, the reasoning, it didn't ring through for me. It seemed a bit silly or fabricated. I needed a bit more of an oomph on that part, but that may just be me.

I'd definitely re-read Minder in the future, and I definitely recommend it!!

[One quote for page 50, and another for halfway mark page.]
I considered getting a snack or something to drink, but the idea of going back to the dining hall made my appetite vanish. Perhaps I'd discovered a new form of weight loss: the humiliation-avoidance diet. (p.50)
 The sickly, orange glow from the near-dead batteries faded further when I jostled the casing. I sat on my cot, alone with the dim light and my turbulent thoughts. Without the touch of Trevor's mind, I started to feel exposed and insecure. What had happened between us? I'd never experienced anything like it.
My heart caught when I felt him returning. (p.125)

Amazon | The Book Depository

I am in no way affiliated with the above sites, nor with Kaynak or publisher. I do not receive any money for reviewing or linking.

Learn more about Minder and read more reviews at Goodreads!


Alissa said... [Reply]

Haven't heard of this one. Sounds different. I might have to check it out. Thanks for the review!

Disgruntled Bear said... [Reply]

Thanks for reviewing, Cass! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

PS - "sparks" and "telekinetic" (no special name, since he's the only one). :)

Claire @ YA Bookie Monster said... [Reply]

Awesome review! This book sounds really interesting!

BTW, I tagged you! You can check it out on my blog here!


Amber said... [Reply]

Thanks for the review. I'm glad this novel felt original to you but it stinks that you didn't believe the relationship between Maddie and her love interest. I'm excited for this novel!

Unknown said... [Reply]

Great review, i love how you added quotes from the book. that's such an awesome idea!

Felicity Grace Terry said... [Reply]

Also participating in the September Spectacular Challenge. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. A great cover don't you think?

Cass said... [Reply]

@All: Thanks for visiting and (hopefully) reading my review! I really need to read the next books of the series... I really have to thank Cari though, since without her help, I wouldn't have been given the chance to read it, at least not until much later.

Unknown said... [Reply]

Yay I know I'm late but thinking about Legacy, book 3, I was wondering if you had reviewed the book :)

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