Open Minds (Mindjack Trilogy #1)

Rated 4.08/5 based on 12 reviews
When everyone reads minds, a secret is a dangerous thing to keep. Sixteen-year-old Kira is a zero who can’t read thoughts, an outcast who has no chance with Raf, the mindreader she secretly loves. When she accidentally controls Raf’s mind, Kira hides her ability. More
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Words: 91,540
Language: English
ISBN: 9781465896506
About Susan Kaye Quinn

Susan Kaye Quinn is the author of the bestselling Mindjack Trilogy and the Debt Collector serial, as well as other speculative fiction novels and short stories. Her work has appeared in the Synchronic anthology and has been optioned for Virtual Reality by Immersive Entertainment. Her business card says "Author and Rocket Scientist" but she mostly sits around in her PJs in awe that she gets to write full time.

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Review by: Jessie Lyn Pizanias on March 02, 2015 :
I enjoyed the premise of this book a lot more than the book itself. It kept me entertained enough to finish it, but not enough that I need to run out and grab the sequal. Predictable but fun nonetheless.
(review of free book)

Review by: Lynxie on Aug. 18, 2014 :
How would you feel if I could read your mind?

If I could see every thought you had, your deepest desires and all your motives for doing the things you do each day?

Would you feel violated? What if you could see the same in me? Would our shared insight into each other be a blessing? Could we finally know if we could really trust each other?

Now, imagine if everyone in the whole world could do that, read and share each other’s thoughts. How would that make you feel?

How would it make you feel if you were one of only a handful of people who couldn’t?

Sixteen year old Kira is struggling through her teenage years (which we all know was hard enough on its own) but she’s also dealing with the fact that she can’t read minds and share her thoughts. She’s one of the lowest classes of people, an untrustworthy ‘Zero’.

This isolation instantly endeared me to Kira. Anyone who was ostracized throughout school would probably be able to relate to what Kira goes through at school. This was a great ploy by Susan to make you feel something for Kira. It’s too often when reading we might not quite feel for the characters.

That is almost where my attachment to the characters ended. ALMOST…

I liked Raf, but the other characters just didn’t mean anything to me. There’s a scene where the reader should be gutted; snot-covered face and bright red puffy eyes and all, yet I was not. Not even a sniffle or a single tear was shed. This was because I didn’t really care for most of the characters. If there was one thing I’d like to see Susan work on, it’d be the characterisation of the other characters so that the reader can connect with them more.

The story unfolds quite quickly and leads to the revelation that Kira is actually not a ‘Zero’, but a ‘Jacker’. Inevitably, things get out of control; Kira ends up in a world of trouble and makes a tonne of small and large mistakes that progress the story.

Some of her decisions were a little silly and I didn’t really think they were plausible, or even rational, but generally speaking, the way the story progressed made logical sense to me. If you keep in mind that this is set in the future (2110) you can just imagine what the world would be like, Susan did well building a sense of futurism into the story. I would have liked a little more exploration into the science behind how humanity got to where it is in the story, but it worked as it is, if you take it as some light entertainment and don’t take the whole thing too seriously.

I was a little confused with some of the new terms used to describe other words (mesh, pravers etc) but after reading them a couple of times and looking at context it became apparent what they were meant to mean. I think a glossary would be useful just to help readers getting frustrated when it doesn’t immediately become obvious what the words mean.

Pick this one up if you like the Young Adult genre or enjoy less science-y dystopian themes. The language used is quite young, more aimed to young adults rather than adults who enjoy the Young Adult genre, so if you don’t enjoy that style of language, perhaps steer clear or go in knowing it’s not really skewed to adults.

I would probably describe this as a mix of The Hunger Games, Alias and The Secret World of Alex Mack.

A few things I noticed:
Chapter 28: He'd had (delete had) been beaten...

Chapter 33: make him to (delete to) tell me...

**Note: I received an electronic copy of this book in return for an honest review**
(review of free book)

Review by: Raina Nixie on May 08, 2014 :
This book was really a page turner for me. The idea was really cool, and I especially liked the first person narrative. Kira was a very human character who was easy to relate to.

Once I started the book, I couldn't put it down. The storyline goes somewhat as follows:

Kira is a 16 year old girl who lives in a futuristic Earth, wherein the population has evolved the ability to read minds. Every normal person grows into their mind-reading abilities as they enter adolescence. But Kira isn't a normal person. She's a Zero, one of the bizarre freaks who can't read thoughts, nor can other's read their's. But when Kira's life starts going on the fast track to the bottom of the social ladder, she discovers a disturbing fact. She's not a mind-reader and she's not a zero. She's something much more powerful than anyone could ever have imagined.

I would recommend this book, but for those who are interested, there is some kissing involved. I would have preferred less, but the plot really pulled the story along, so fortunately it didn't linger in that area of the story so as to be unbearable. :)

Happy reading! :)
(review of free book)

Review by: Sarah (Workaday Reads) on April 18, 2014 :
This was an exciting story that started as a high school paranormal drama, and morphed to a high-powered thriller. The action comes fast and furious, and caused me to stay up late just so I could finish the last 50 pages. I couldn’t put it down without getting to the end.

I loved Kira. She was a likable heroine whose internal dialogue was easy to relate to. Her soft heart and strong moral compass are great attributes that helped make her character easy to support.

Kira’s ability, or disability, had very realistic reactions within her high school. This was especially noticeable by how her teachers reacted to the situation. Some teachers handled things well and tried to make the situation easier for Kira, while others were pretty clueless and just didn’t know what to do. This realistic portrayal of the way people react to situations was great to see as it brought more realism to a paranormal story. I like my paranormal to be believable, and small details like this go a long way to creating that believability.

I did find that the vocabulary and slang used in the story took a bit of getting used to. It was actaully worked into the story quite naturally, and once I got the hang of it, it was fine, but the first few times were a bit offputting.

Overall, this was an exciting and fun story. I loved that there was an unpredictable air to the story; just look at the surprise twists involving Simon, very unexpected. The story stood well on it’s own, but with lots more ground to cover, this is a great start to the series.
(review of free book)

Review by: Kala Ranger on April 10, 2014 :
Unique dystopian read. I was intrigued and curious for a couple of chapters, then I was hooked all the way through to the end despite a few (necessary) dragging points.
Look forward to reading the sequel.
(review of free book)

Review by: Maria Sansalone on Dec. 01, 2013 :
I think this book is as close to perfection as you can get for the first of a YA trilogy. It has suspense and intrigue and secrets the military doesn't want the world to know built around a world full of extraordinary beings. Jackers should rule readers---instead, they're hunted to extinction and for illegal experimentation. Kira is a perfectly imperfect "zero" to hero with swoon-worthy male counterparts.
(review of free book)

Review by: Alysa H on Oct. 26, 2013 :
The first half of this book is nicely done, though a bit slow. It's a good "What if?" story, about a mildly dystopian future that -- at least from what little we see of the main character's tiny world -- looks almost exactly like our present, but for the fact that the majority of the human race has evolved to read minds. Only those people who can't read minds are considered abnormal. There's also a "Superhero/Supervillain Origin Story" thing going on, as Kira discovers she's not, in fact, a "zero" (non-mind-reader") but something else entirely. Something powerful and dangerous: a "jacker" who can control minds.

I also enjoyed the bits of made-up future slang, and the explanation for why some of it is based on Latin. Nice touch! But apart from that, there is not much world-building because all we see is filtered through Kira's extremely limited, sheltered perspective.

The second half of the book was, unfortunately, REALLY slow. The way the story drags is particularly inexcusable because the stakes are supposed to be so high: saving people, uncovering a government conspiracy, confronting loved ones about uncomfortable truths. The setting at this point switches away from high school, where the story had the benefits of metaphor (and raging teenage hormones). Once these things are left behind, Kira's narration is not as engaging and her relationships not as developed. For instance, she spends a lot of time wanting to save a younger jacker girl, Laney, but since we're never really made to care much about Laney as an individual, that plotline just doesn't hold the right level of suspense. (Incidentally, Laney is one of a very few females that Kira encounters in the whole book, which is otherwise a bit of a sausagefest).

Also, it turns out that Kira is not only special, she's the Most Special. She's not only a jacker, but a Super Jacker. The Only One In The World. And of course, from the moment she discovers her powers she's almost instantly mastering them. And the whole novel takes place within about 2 months. This sort of thing is not uncommon in YA, sci-fi and fantasy novels, but that's not an automatic excuse.

I would give this 2.5 stars. Guess I have to round down. This book had many good points and a lot of potential, but the execution was just okay.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Rose Wallin on Aug. 07, 2013 :
In a world where everyone can read minds, it's an oddity to be disconnected from everyone, and have to actually talk to someone to communicate. For Kira Moore, that's exactly what she's dealing with. She's been labeled a Zero, as if being different wasn't bad enough. She's holding out hope for just being a late bloomer though, and changing this year. Being disconnected from everyone seems like the biggest thing going wrong in her life...til she falls into Simon's lap...literally.

Simon's a mind-jacker...someone completely different than everyone else, but much more powerful...and dangerous. Kira quickly finds herself on the government's wanted list for being a mind-jacker herself, and almost over night, her world is torn apart.

Fighting between the need to do what she feels is right, and the need to survive, she goes up against seemingly unbeatable opponents to reveal the truth about the world, and the mistreatment of so many people.

The writing in this book flows fairly well, and with a highly entertaining story, this is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

I took off a star, because the beginning of the book starts out confusing, throwing the reader into a world with new words that aren't explained, and I had to go back and re-read parts several times to be sure what the author meant, which was frustrating. After giving educated guesses to the words that were made up/changed, the book flowed better, but the changing of important words, to made-up words that didn't make sense, and weren't explained, made the first few chapters frustrating, and I almost didn't keep reading after chapter 3.

I'm glad I did though, because it is a good book. This story is gripping and new, and had me both laughing and crying. I certainly recommend this book to any YA fan.
(review of free book)

Review by: Linda Runkle on June 09, 2013 :
I absolutely loved this book. Please write more books like Open Minds.
(review of free book)

Review by: Haneen Ibrahim on Feb. 25, 2013 :
I cried, from deep inside my heart I cried with Kira at the beginning of this novel, how the atmosphere was so grey and dismal in the first few chapters, as she shows her disappointing hard life as a zero, how the future of her and her likes looks bleak, as if she’s carrying the whole world on her shoulders and how small are the shoulders of a sixteen years old girl are. And how I related, being a part of a minority -when teenager- I went through a lot. I still do.
It’s been a while actually since a book had this effect on me. To force me to cry.
I run too so wow! I loved her so much so I decided to keep on reading, and I was surprised how this YA science fiction was almost lyrical! There were some beautifully poetic lines there I just couldn’t ignore I had to stop at, absorb it completely and still think of it as I moved on.
Yes there are some parts that puzzled me and seemed rather rushed,
And frankly I got annoyed by the constant repletion that sometimes sounded like “in the last episode this & this happened” or the‘Supernatural’ “Then & Now” thing. I don’t think we really needed to read Kira’s complete chain of thoughts.
But really all in all that was one novel I certainly did not regret reading. Susan Key Quinn is a very, VERY good writer, thanks for writing such a special book, or let me rephrase it; such a mesh not demense book :P
(review of free book)

Review by: Meag on Jan. 03, 2012 :
A great addition to YA dystopian fantasy. This was a great read that had me coming back until I finished. Ms. Quinn has some awesome world-building skills. I enjoyed the main character's voice a lot, and felt that she was fairly believable as a teenager and a heroine.

What kept it from being 5 stars was a few minor things. One, that the main character was, as is found fairly often in YA lit, unbelievably good at her extremely new-found talent. She didn't seem to do much in the way of practicing (and she had no previous knowledge of what jackers could do), but still managed to lay all of the bad guys that crossed her path, and with little to no effort on her part. Two, everyone apart from the main character was fairly static and boring--not too many surprises or changes in character for them. And three, although the world-building was mostly well done (interesting, fresh), there were still several places where it either didn't feel as thought-out or the author brought in some new thing just to serve the plot.

Otherwise, though, an excellent book. I have already recommended it to several others and look forward to the next book in the series.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Rachel Morgan on Dec. 28, 2011 :
Sometimes you can tell when a book is self-published. In this case, you can't.

OPEN MINDS is a unique story with wonderful world building. I love (really love!) that Susan made up new words and slang to go with this imaginary futuristic world. She also surprised me in a few places when the story took unexpected turns - gotta love a story that's not predictable!

I'll definitely be reading the sequel, CLOSED HEARTS, when it comes out in 2012.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

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