Review: Mind Game — by Christine Feehan

Other Reviews: Goodreads

Intro:

This is not the first Feehan paranormal series that I have read, however I enjoy the depth of plotline found within.  I almost did not finish the first book, Shadow Game and almost gave up on the series.  I had a problem getting behind the female lead of Lily Whitney, not really liking her and had no buy-in her happiness.  However, when I read the back cover of Mind Game, I found the plotline interesting and Nicolas had always been my favorite in book 1.

Basic Plot:

The GhostWalkers are military teams who have had their innate psychic abilities artificially improved.  Nicolas Trevane is sent on a mission to retrieve Dahlia Le Blanc, one of the orphaned children that Dr. Whitney experimented on years before.  But when he begins to take Dahlia to the other GhostWalkers, another team strikes her sanctuary.  Who can they trust and will they be able to control their passion for a happy ending?

Background:

This is book #2 of the GhostWalkers Series, and while you can read the books independently, there is an over-arching storyline that you might miss if you skipped.  It is hard to discuss the background of this series without giving away some of the plot.  However, the female lead from book 1 (Shadow Game), Lily Whitney’s father is Dr. Peter Whitney, this brilliant but evil scientist who began the GhostWalkers Program.  Now that Dr. Whitney has died, Lily inherited his work and now tries to use the money and power for good.  Lily attempts to find the lost orphans he experimented years before.

Mind Game begins after Lily and Ryland have gotten together and they have learned a bit about betrayal and Team 1 is now strongly unified.

Female Lead:

Dahlia Le Blanc is one of the orphans that Dr. Peter Whitney experimented on, his experiments more like torture than anything scientific.  She is beautiful and fragile in appearance:

Dahlia Le Blanc was the kind of woman most men would want to protect.  Very small, very slight, with enormous sad eyes and flawless skin.

We see her as a victim early on in the novel, someone who becomes sick when she uses her powers and when violence erupts around her.  She feels alienated from the world, never fitting in:

No one knew about her or her home.  She was human, yet not normal, so different she could never be accepted in the world.  Nor could she ever fit in and live comfortably.

If I had any complaints with Mind Game, it would be how she is portrayed as the weak victim.  Yes, she does have powerful psychic abilities, but they always seem not worth using without making her comatose.  Yet, Nicholas seems not to have any of these weaknesses.

Male Lead:

Nicolas Trevane is the epitome of my image of the Alpha male warrior.  He is quiet and has all appearance of being cold-blooded, but inside he is deeply passionate and faithful to his men and duty. Lily’s impression of him:

Nicolas Trevane always seemed to be in the shadows, and he was one of the GhostWalkers who made her nervous.  He sat in such stillness he seemed to blend in with his surroundings, yet when he went into action, he exploded moving so fast he seemed to blur.

He is lethal in everything that he does, but he does not take life lightly.  Both of his grandparents, the Lakota shaman and the Japanese warrior, equally spiritual in their own cultures have raised him with a respect for life.  This respect for life and Zen reflection is something Nico inherits:

Nicolas, already a part of the deepest shadows, was halfway on the other side of the room.  He returned a single shot, whispering the death chant as he did so.  His grandfathers had taught him the value of life – all lives, not just the ones he approved of – and that taking a life was no small matter.

To me, Nicolas is perhaps the most complex male character in this series.  He certainly is my favorite.

Theme Summary:

We are who we are, and we might find our yin to our yang as we search for our other half.  As Dahlia says:

She accepted people for who and what they were.  She accepted him.  Nicolas realized at that moment that Dahlia had led such a different life, so apart, she would never feel the need or desire to judge another for their peculiarities.

There is no need to hide who we are, and if we are a little different there is no need to be ashamed.

Strong Points:

Ms. Feehan is such a strong writer, with in depth plotlines and beautiful descriptions.  She manages to keep my interested in the situations, even fight scenes where often other authors cannot fully arrest the reader.  I love the philosophy that she brings into the novel; often I have marked quotes that strike me as powerful.

What could be better?

Normally, I have problems with how one-dimensional the male Alpha lead is in a Feehan book.  However, in this case, Nicholas is not your typical sniper, but has a rich background and spiritual philosophy that colors his actions.  However, I did find Dahlia rather flat, a typical “female in peril”.  I got a little tired of her whining about how dangerous their relationship would be and she could never be “normal”.

Conclusions:

Overall, I loved this book and it is one of my favorites in the series.  I recommend this book for any reader who loves paranormal romance with well-choreographed fight scenes and hot romance action.

Bea

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