Closed Hearts by Susan Kaye Quinn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
What can I say about Susan Kay Quinn, except that she really just knows how to write a book! I was greatly anticipating this book since I read Open Minds and I was not disappointed. This book had the same action and adventure that Open Minds brought to its audience.
In book two of the Mindjack trilogy, we once again see the story through Kira's eyes. Things have settled a bit. She is rooking as a waitress at a diner while also work mind guard security with her dad. Suddenly she gets taken, along with Raf, her boyfriend, by a group of rebellious jackers trying to save other jackers from the likes of Kestrel and Vellus.
I really enjoy Quinn's world building. She shows you the clear separation and fear of the jackers from the rest of society. She aptly identifies how humans innately fear change and difference. She captures what it means for people to be different, to have biases, to have "racism" perse.
Kira's character is a great heroine. She is so strong and confident. She doesn't let anyone control her. She knows what's right and wrong. She knows what she needs to do to help herself, her family and her friends to be safe. Her jacker abilities make her wanted because other jackers cannot get into her mind. We see her sweet love for Raf, and how she would sacrifice her life for him if it means he will remain safe.
And we meet a new character, Julian. He is the leader of the rebellious jacker movement. He recruits Kira, well, really, he kidnaps her at first, to join his team and fight against the government who are trying to convince the public that jackers are dangerous. At first Kira does not agree, but once she gets to know Julian, she understands where he's coming from and sees that helping him will help other jackers. And there is certainly some kind of attraction between the two, although I'm not sure that Kira fully realizes it is there. Julian introduces the idea that not all jackers are the same; that some jackers have different abilities than others and working together they can help each other.
And we are reintroduced to all the characters we came to know in Open Minds: Raf, Kira's Dad, Kestrel, Dylan, Molly.
My heart broke at the end for Kira, as she loses people she loves when she decides that her being near them puts them more at risk then if she were to just be out on her own.
This story is fast paced and mind gripping. It is dark and the characters are put in dangerous situations that keep you on the edge of your seat. Quinn builds believable characters in a believable world wear fear is the mainstay of government control. Where fear of the unknown or those who are different is what motivates people to discriminate. An interesting take on how society can be cruel to those who are not like minded.
I really enjoyed reading this second installment and cannot wait to see what Quinn has in mind for the next book!
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