FREE SOULS (Mindjack Trilogy, #3)
Author: Susan Kaye Quinn
Published on: December 14, 2012
Genre: Science fiction
Published by: Self-published
When your mind is a weapon, freedom comes at a price.
Four months have passed since Kira left home to join Julian’s Jacker Freedom Alliance, but the hole in her heart still whistles empty where her boyfriend Raf used to be. She fills it with weapons training, JFA patrols, and an obsessive hunt for FBI agent Kestrel, ignoring Julian’s worries about her safety and repeated attempts to recruit her for his revolutionary chat-casts. When anti-jacker politician Vellus surrounds Jackertown with the National Guard, Kira discovers there’s more to Julian’s concerns than she knew, but she’s forced to take on a mission that neither want and that might be her last: assassinating Senator Vellus before he can snuff out Julian’s revolution and the jackers she’s come to love.
TOP 5 FINALIST for 2012 Best Indie Book, Young Adult Fiction – The Kindle Book Review
After the second book, I got hooked on the Mindjack Trilogy. So I quickly bought the next book, eager to find out what happens next. Free Souls didn’t disappoint, but it could have been better. I really liked the characters, especially Kira Moore. She’s pretty much the same caliber of heroine as Katniss Everdeen or Tris Prior.
A few months have passed since Closed Hearts. Kira is now an active member of Julian’s Jacker Freedom Alliance. She’s also discovered new powers derived from her mindjacking ability. In the previous two books, Kira showed that she could jack into her own mind. This enabled her to resist the effects of a sleeper gas designed for mindjackers. Now, Kira has unlocked new abilities that are enabled by exploring her mind further. One of these new skills is shown right at the beginning. Kira and a team from the JFA are on a mission. During the execution, Kira goes into her hyped-up state. That’s what she calls going into her mind to dose herself with adrenaline, as well as convert her muscles from slow-twitch to fast-twitch. This allows Kira to run at superhuman speeds. The skill has a side effect, though. It comes with a blowback, a short period in which Kira’s entire body is exhausted.
Another skill that Kira shows (shortly after the mission) is combining her powers with those of another jacker. She does this with Ava, which greatly extends their range. Kira has been doing this to track down Agent Kestrel, her nemesis. He’s an FBI agent who has been doing horrific experiments on mindjackers. During their mental search, Kira and Ava detect Senator Vellus miles away. He’s another main villain, and the most outspoken anti-jacker politician. Unbeknownst to Kira and Ava, Vellus is about to act against Jackertown. As mentioned in the previous book, Jackertown is a section of Chicago New Metro populated by jackers. It contains the main headquarters of the JFA.
With Jackertown neutralized, the JFA finds itself between a rock and a hard place. Julian deduces that Vellus wants to force them to stay put. The JFA agrees that Senator Vellus is a problem that needs to be dealt with. They plan for Kira to go on a mission to get to her father and use his help to get close enough to Senator Vellus. Patrick Moore, Kira’s father, has been working as Vellus’s mindguard (mental protection against jackers). The mission is soon rendered unnecessary, as Vellus himself arrives at the perimeter of Jackertown. Kira disobeys Julian’s orders and tries to take Vellus down. She fails, which brings bad consequences.
Kira and the JFA now have to plan another mission in order to take down both Senator Vellus and Agent Kestrel. Kira’s new skills will prove essential to success. The rest of the book keeps the excitement going. However, things never seem to slow down. It appeared to me that most of the events in Free Souls take place over a single day. This makes some stuff seem hardly believable. For instance, Kira activates her hyped-up state several times. Knowing that she experiences hard blowbacks afterward, you’d think that Kira would need tons of rest. It seems she can use this ability multiple times in a day without burning herself out or needing to eat extra. Mindjackers, apart from their normal abilities, are just like regular humans. Kira should have been useless halfway through the book, especially after getting shot once. She was wearing armor, but still, the bullet drew blood.
The one-day timeline of events also makes it seem like the author didn’t realize how much time her book spanned. I think these events would have worked better if they had taken place over a few more days. Maybe that was the author’s intention, but she could have had a hard time seeing the big picture. Senator Vellus moving against Jackertown did create urgency, but that much? The JFA plans missions before executing them. One day isn’t enough time to carefully plan the four important missions that took place in the book. MILD SPOILER AHEAD: two of those missions involved taking control of a building covertly. Wouldn’t that take hours to plan?
All in all, Free Souls was a satisfying conclusion to the Mindjacker Trilogy. The book could have been better, but it didn’t disappoint me. The ending was unexpected, although there were few ways the mindjackers could succeed. The way they did it, while questionable, was somewhat fitting.
Pretty good read.
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