Title: Mind Games
Author: Christine Amsden
Genre: New Adult, Paranormal
Series: Cassie Scot #3
Trade Paperback, 278 Pages
Publication: April 10, 2014 by Twilight Time Books
Source: I received a review copy from the author in exchange for a honest review.
Beware your heart and soul…
Evan broke Cassie’s heart two months ago, and she still doesn’t know why. She throws herself into family, friends and her new job at the sheriff’s department, but nothing helps. The only thing that finally allows her heal and move on is the love of a new man, mind mage Matthew Blair. Cassie finds him... irresistible
Matthew may also be the only one who can help keep the nonmagical residents of Eagle Rock from going crazy over the murder of a beloved pastor’s wife. It looks like a sorcerer is to blame, but while Cassie tries to figure out who, others take matters into their own hands. With tensions running so hot, a single spark might set Eagle Rock ablaze.
Mind Games is the highly anticipated third book in the Cassie Scot series. In the same vein as the previous two books, Mind Games start off with a bang and continues that way till the end. The action starts immediately from the moment readers open the book, with a murder involving the McClellan, one of Eagle Rock Magical family, a pastor on a witch hunt and an out of town sorcerer new to Eagle Rock with the hope of unifying the magical community all across the continent. And like before, Cassie is on the case for every problem that pops up in Eagle Rock, whether it is magic related or not.
Mind Games had so many plots going on at once that I wonder how Amsden kept everything straight! There was a lot happening in the Magic community, as a new sorcerer comes to town promising to create a legal and fair governing system for anyone with an ounce of magic…but the magical families of Eagle Rock built their home/lives in the town for precisely one reason, freedom; to live their life by their rules and no one else (human and nonhuman alike). Then on the human front, a pastor who has been preaching against magical folks for year is finally acting on his word when he accuses witches of killing his wife when she dies in a fire. He riles up his parishioners and the community to boycott the witches in the town, and goes even farther by suggesting the witches to be burn at the stake like in the medieval times! The hypocrisy of the entire situation was kind of annoying, especially when readers find out the pastor’s somewhat relations to one of the magical family and as man of god, how can he condone violence against the unprovoked, and the women and children?
There were a lot of old and new characters introduced this time around. For the old characters, readers learn something new that they didn’t already know in the previous books, and it’s like peeling an onion as we get to see the different layers of the characters. I enjoyed seeing glimpses of each of the magical family as well because while they are all powerful they are very different from one another. In the book, Cassie’s boss gives her a task of interviewing all of the magical family in regards to McClellan’s murder, and in the short interactions she had with the families, readers learn a lot of history between the families; especially with the Blairs, Blackwood and Cassie’s family the Scots.
With the recent breakup with Evan, Cassie has two ‘new’ men in her life, one a partner and another love interest. Cassie’s new partner is an out of Towner who transferred from St. Louis. I knew something was off when Wesley showed up in Cassie’s life but I couldn’t put my finger on it…and when the big reveal came at the end I was super surprised because like Cassie, I should have seen it coming from a mile away LOL. Then we have the love interest who happens to be Matthew Blair, a sorcerer and a councilman. Matthew, I’m sure, rubbed everyone the wrong way, his character just screamed scumbag. I wasn’t keen on the addition of his character because it created a weird love triangle (using this term loosely, as it isn’t really a love triangle, but felt almost like one) And like Cassie’s family and friends suggested is bad news. Matthew is a mind mage, meaning he can hear anyone’s thought and can influence one’s action without them knowing.
All in all, Mind Games was another stellar addition to the series. I swear each book just gets better and better! You’d think with a series with books written less than 5-6 months apart that it wouldn’t be as good or well written as say the first book, but it is definitely not the case with Amsden. Amsden is a talent writer that knows her craft. If you enjoy character driven novels and amazing strong female protagonists (that don’t necessarily need magic to be kick-ass) then you seriously NEED to pick this series up, I guarantee you will not regret it! I can’t wait to read the final installment in the Cassie Scot series, especially since reader are left with another shocking ending (not really a cliff-hanger); crossing my fingers that Evan and Cassie gets a happy ending!