The Mentalist is a series told from Gemma Green's point of view, about her life as an Averter. This prequel is the story of her parents. A story that is explored in small detail in the other two books, and a story that I have always wanted to know more about. Therefore, I was definitely intrigued at the prospect of this prequel and I had high expectations.
I was not disappointed. This short novella is told from the point of view of both Paul Colt and Nora Brice, Gemma's father and mother, in their teenage years. I really appreciated this as it allowed me to see inside the minds of two characters who are somewhat a mystery in Aversion and Sentient. Obviously, I know how their story tragically ends but learning the details of how they met and what caused Paul to run away with Nora was really interesting.
The story is short but sweet. I finished it in under two hours as I just could not stop reading. The characters are both engaging and likeable as they discover the excitement of first love and make the foolish teenage choices that we all have made at one point or another. This allowed me to relate to them immediately as I am a teenager myself. Udogu successfully created two believable and real teenagers.
However, there is a dark undertone in the story that I was not expecting: the bruises Nora seems to constantly have from her mother. This aspect was definitely shocking as it is not something mentioned in the other two books and it compelled me to keep reading as I wanted to find out more about Nora's home life and what causes her mother to do this to her. However, this shocking twist was not really explored in much detail and the many questions I have did not get answered. I am disappointed about this as it would have been a very interesting plot point that could have been explored in much more depth, and I wish it had been.
Even so, I still thoroughly enjoyed this story as it allows a little glimpse into the life of Paul Colt and has helped me to understand his character. The ending was abrupt but excellent and left me wanting more. It is because of this that I have rated the story 5 stars and to anyone that has read The Mentalist series or is wanting to read The Mentalist series, I completely recommend Broken Ties.
(review of free book)