Double Cross (The Disillusionists Trilogy, #2)

The Rift Walker (Vampire Empire, #2)

Double Cross by Carolyn Crane
Pub­lisher: Spectra
Pages: Kindle Edition, 326 pages
Series: The Disillusionists
Pub­li­ca­tion date: September 28th 2010


Justine Jones has lived her life as a fearful hypochondriac until she's lured into the web of a mysterious mastermind named Packard. He gifts her with extraordinary mental powers-dooming her to fight Midcity's shadowy war on paranormal crime in order to find the peace she so desperately craves.

But now, serial killers with unheard-of skills are terrorizing the most powerful beings in Midcity, including mastermind Packard - and his oldest friend and worst enemy, Midcity's new mayor, who has the ability to bend matter itself to his will.

As the body count grows, Justine faces a crisis of conscience as she tests the limits of her new powers and faces an impossible choice between two flawed but brilliant men . . . one on a journey of redemption, and the other descending into a pit of moral depravity.

I zing for public safety, to save Otto's head, to save myself.

Get it? Bazinga! Heh.

First impressions

After reading the book description, I was expecting a fast-paced book full of action, murder and romance.
Justine faces a crisis of conscience as she tests the limits of her new powers and faces an impossible choice between two flawed but brilliant men - one on a journey of redemption, the other descending into a pit of moral depravity.

This gave me high hopes that the love triangle will finally die. I did not consider Justine’s crisis of conscience part. Big mistake.

The cover seems nice enough. I like the colors and the cover model does match my version of Justine. However, something bugs me.

This guy here!

Why is the mysterious knife still there? There was no mention of that knife in any of the first two books. Remember, Mind Games had it as well. It would make you think that Justine wields a knife like a pro, doesn’t it? A tad misleading.

The plot

Double Cross starts rather abruptly with Justine trying to zing a weird woman called Ez. It seems that Ez can control people in their sleep. Yes, I’m talking about mind-control. Pretty cool, huh? Through a minor incident, Justine drags Packard into the mess as well. Now, not only can the two of them be mind-controlled, but they can share dreams. However, the dreams they share are far from sweet. It seems like Packard has a dark past, darker than anyone would have thought. Will these dreams bring Justine and Packard together or tear them apart?

Even so, the problems don’t stop here. A group of evildoers called the Dorks [really??] is going around murdering highcaps. To make matters worse, it seems that they have a talent of telling if a person is a highcap or not. Dangerous waters for our favorite dissilusionists.

My thoughts

You would think that Double Cross will be full of action, right? Well, that’s where you’re mistaken. Justine is stuck struggling through an inner battle between what’s right and wrong. And I mean 70% of the book stuck. Yes, I had to go through her whining for most of the book.

If only one could slap a fictional character. Life would never be the same again.

This is the main reason why I’m taking two stars away from my rating.

I was also hoping that Otto was dead or on a long vacation away from the book. Wrong. He was still alive and present throughout the book. I was trying my best to act mature and not make fart noises each time Otto appeared in a scene. Anyway, Justine is still madly in love with him aka isn’t done with her hero worship yet. I’m counting down the pages until she dumps his sorry ass.

Another discovery I made is that Justine isn’t the brightest bulb out there. She’s supposed to be a strong lead having awesome superpowers [quote the book description], and yet she’s not even using them throughout the book. As for the strong part. No. Just no.

Why is Carolyn Crane giving so many details during Justine and Otto’s sex scenes and close to none during Click to view Spoiler ?It’s just wrong. It disgusts me. Otto disgusts me. Why are you torturing me like this??

And the ending.

Really Mrs. Crane? REALLY??

What’s all that even supposed to mean? I mean. Why?? It’s like destroying everything you worked so hard to build. Is this your way of making up for the dull story? Because it bloody worked. It made me super angry and super sad. The scene with Packard in front of the restaurant when he found out that Click to view Spoiler was heartbreaking.

Humph. Mind Games. I guess the title is fitting because Carolyn Crane likes to play mind games with us.

A short conclusion

Mind Games was most of the time uneventful except for the dream from Packard’s childhood and the cannibal sleepwalkers’ attacks. Justine was a bit too whiny for my taste. I hated Otto with all my heart and fell for Packard even more than before. However, the ending makes up for all the negative points. It simply threw me off my tracks and made me start Head Rush, The Disillusionists #3, right away.

Favorite quote
"There was a time when all I could ever see was the way people were doomed to behave--their tendencies, their reactions to their own idiotic histories. Misery, delusions, compulsions, all of it. I would use that to control them. But you're not like that. The way you look at people, the questions that you ask--you make me remember that people can be more than all that. You make me remember that nothing's decided. Nothing's known. That is what you gave me."

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