Published Date: June 18th, 2010
Finished Date: July 7th, 2011
Publishers: Spencer Hill Press
Series: Ganzfield book 1
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 Review: Long story short: Maddie Dunn killed 3 teenage boys(unintentionally but well deserved on the guys' parts) and was about to be questioned in the interrogation room when one Dr Jon Williamson and Cecelia walked into the room, made her feel some weird things in her head, and swiftly escorted her to this camp for people with special abilities called Ganzfield.
Sidetrack for awhile. Wow, this really reminds me of SO many other books..Percy Jackson, Born at Midnight,(in a way) Cherub by Robert Muchamore..and the list goes on. But oh well.
Back to story: When she's at the camp, she learns that she is a G positive(people with special neuro abilities), and that by taking dodecamine shots, she's able to use her abilities which is telepathy. so yeah, she finds that she's one of the rare minders(short for mind-readers) AND she's one of those really powerful ones who can blast/fry other people's minds by transmitting large quantities of brainwaves and stuff and overloading theirs. Other G positives are the charmers, remote viewers, sparks, and healers (aka hypnotize-rs, GPS-ers, fire controllers, and yeah self-explanatory, healers).
She gets to class, quickly learns the ropes and familiarizing herself with her newfound abilities(i stress on the quickly. I'll get to that in a moment). However all's not well and good in Ganzfield. For one, there's this group of charmers who are more..sexually-high?/perverted than others that they kept charming(hypnotizing) girls into stripping and stuff, and the more pressing matter is of this group of "terrorists" who wants to vivisect and annihilate the G positives(whether you're one of them, or just a carrier of the recessive genotype) cause apparently they thought that G positive people are monsters! Dang dang dang!
Sooo, Maddie solves the first problem and the second is left for the sequels to cover.(wow, big surprise)
Ok, it's not that i didnt like the book, but the sarcasm is just a part of me so it kind of comes naturally....so dont blame me!
Anyway, about the book. The story started out with Maddie running away from this group of 3 teenage rapists. It's cool(not the rapist part, the thrilling fugitive running away part), fast-paced and attention-grabbing. Since Kaynak is a friend of Jennifer L. Armentrout at SHP's, i cant help but wonder if it's like an influence from each other to write the intro with someone running away from something/someone/someones. In Half-blood, it's Alex running away from daimons. In Minder it's Maddie running away from teenage rapists. Similarity is there, but i cant help but notice the name and villain difference. Alex sounds a little more macho and independent-heroine-type, Maddie just sounds like a mad person who's a girl because of the -die at the end like a suffix, and what's up with the Dunn? I dont know why, but it makes her sound clumsy, and the first time i saw it, i thought of a dustbin(dont ask me why..it just happened. And no offense to the Dunns out there^^"). The "villains" actually explains a lot about the book already actually. Armentrout's(sorry if you find the constant comparison irritating. I just need the juxtaposing to emphasize my points) daimons, or demons really, kinda shows that the book is more..how d'ya say this..more boom boom pow action. Kaynak's rapists..well, there were many guys in the book who kept mentally stripping girls(Maddie would know, being a minder and all) and having pervy thoughts. I dont know how true is that since im a girl, but its just that i picked this up and wanted to share it.
As i was saying, the initial pace was really fast, almost like we're swooping thru the entire escapade. Kaynak did it really well, and im not one to like to dwell on a certain point very long, so i really enjoyed it and i all but glued my eyes to the pages. wow, painful imagery. It wasnt draggy(nuh uh not at all), and i applaud her for being able to capture my full attention in just that few short pages.
However at the front part, i felt that Maddie was too detached. A kind of flaw. hmm, actually i feel rather conflicted about this point. Some authors, like *ahem*Lilith*ahem*Saintcrow*ahem*, delves too much into the protagonist's thoughts, inner commentating that sometimes sounds bitchy and whatnots that is totally overrrrrrexcessive. I mean come on, enough is enough man. But in Maddie's case, she's just too "i killed you people and im in the police station. ok..what next?", y'know? Previously i mentioned the word "quickly" as in, she's taking it all too calmly and really just..quickly that it sometimes feel a little surrealistic. But im afraid that IF Kaynak did elaborate, it would minus off some of the adrenaline-pumping factor.
Trevor was........not really eye-catching. I mean, he's cool and humble, complete with the terrible past and all(not that im being some mean, insentive b*tch, i'm just stating the facts matter-of-factly:)), but he's a little too passive and timid for my liking. Maybe he wont be in the later books, but first impressions are important, and yeah, he didnt stick out on my potential-protagonist's-love-interest-radar. Good-looking, yeah. Awesome, one-of-a-kind powers(telekinesis), yeah. But man-wise, not really.
The main conflict in the book is the part where Trevor gets kidnapped and Maddie goes after to rescue him with the aid of a spark, a healer and an RV(remote-viewer). Before the kidnappers whisked him away, Maddie got a good read on them and she knew that their intention was to vivisect Trevor to get a better understanding of his grey matter's anatomy(like how it works to perform telekinesis). Maddie goes all batshit crazy with worry and fear(totally understandable), and enlists help from friends to help, and were off. Im not gonna dwell much on it cause even tho i like to spoiler, i cant spill all the good stuff right? so go read it and stop being a lazy pig!! But i'll let you in on a bigggg secret.
I said that the book was fast-paced right? Well it worked for me for the most part, but the romance part didnt. Like many other YA fiction novels, the instant loving thing was TOO fast, and TOO intense in TOO short a period of time that is totally unbelievable; It's not even improbable, it's impossible! Especially i dont have a very good first impression of the male protagonist(now that im reading the second book, ADVERSARY, yeah he is, but at that point, no. period), and that Kaynak dwelled TOO FREAKING LONG on the mushy, "you are my soulmate, the love of my life, the point of my existence, i love you soo much that my ribs are going to f-ing rip thru my chest from the pressure of all the love", is just too much for me. She droned on about it for, what, half of the book?, that i almost stopped reading the book. That's why i took a star away at first.
It all ended with a kind of a beginning, which is totally cool and poetic when phrased as such. Dr Williamson, head of Ganzfield, approved of Maddie and her rescue-mission friends, along with Trevor and a charmer(who would be really valuable and indispensible in future missions), to form a group to go out on missions, becaue apparently, Williamson thought that Maddie&co did a more than superbly fantasticle job rescueing Trevor, the damsel in some gruesome distress(when Maddie found him, it was kind of disturbing what the bad people did to him). Total awesome-ness and anticipation. It sure gets the hype up in me for the next few books!!woo!
I was really inclined to give this book a 4, maybe even a 4.5, but when it got all lovey dovey and draggy, i pushed it down to a 3. But then i think of the all the action and the awesome plot, i pushed it to a 4 again. The action was fan-freaking-tastic. I swear, it was sick. My heart started spazzing on me and thumping so hard at the climax during the rescue-Trevor-mission. Wow, such conflicting emotions.. It's a wonder i didnt grow a white hair or two. Or maybe i did..oh gosh. haha
Overall: It was a wicked ride of adrenaline-pumping action, i literally gobbled down the book in my haste to find out what happened next. It was eventful and filled with so much of the unexpected. I will definitely continue reading this series. (you should too!)
PS. Ms Kaynak should really stop using abbreviations, or maybe spell out the whole word out with the abbreviations at the side in brackets and then use the abbreviated forms. It got a little confusing and annoying at some parts of the book. For example, what the hell is "MO"? If you know it then fine, but hello? Different countries would have their own different slangs. It took me about 10 seconds to guess "method of operations", but then again, it may be wrong. So you see where the frustrations comes after encountering such things a lot of times.
But it was a good book! Keep it up! Loved Maddie and the entire plot!:D