Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Scott Kensington lives happily without magic; prayer is all he needs to worship the gods. Then he starts his studies at the University of Frannesburg, and not only is he suddenly surrounded by eccentrics—those gifted with magic—but his own latent ability begins to surface, with consequences that could tear his soul and family apart.
Nick Barns is grieving for his lost mother and desperate for distraction—usually in the form of limited-edition action figures. As a telekinetic, he’s no stranger to magic, so he offers to help Scott adjust to his new powers. They quickly learn how their magics interact, their shared passions soon growing beyond superheroes and immortals. But Nick’s not taking his studies seriously, and his father threatens to pull him from the university. Overwhelmed by his own crumbling family, Scott’s convinced he can’t handle a relationship, but he doesn’t want to let Nick go.
With grief, guilt, and magic complicating everything between Nick and Scott, it seems that not even the gods—or a new comic book—can save their relationship now. Sometimes, even reading someone’s mind won’t help you understand what they want.
Kelly Haworth has packed Read My Mind with many interesting elements and laid the foundation for a universe that’s waiting for some major drama to unfold. She has created some great young characters, given them background that I believe people can connect with, along with developing talents that make their lives and story more exciting. Plus a romance and a religion that seems to flow into popular culture via comic books and collectibles which I found intriguing. But somehow with all that it just didn’t take off.
Maybe because I kept expecting some major drama to happen because of all the heavy hints thrown about The Empire and the drafting of certain gifted young people. But that never came to fruition. There was drama going on with Nick and his father but that seemed to settle out as well towards the end as Nick sorted out his grief over his mother’s death. Ditto Scott and the complications with his family issues. We never really know what happens there. Everything sort of settles out and goes away and the boys end up boyfriends and on to their sophomore year in college.
And we end up with tons of exposition concerning the religion (and collectibles via Nick), almost nothing about the Empire and world history (which we could have used more of), too much imo of pulling Nick back into the religious side. Unless this is going to play a huge part of things in the future, which it never really did here, this could have been elevated to be more powerful and cut down. Either way, it’s sort of a left down narrative wise. However, it made his boyfriend happy, so there’s that.
There was your typical teenage first time relationship dynamics, family stress and paranormal talents thrown on top which was handled nicely if with too much verbiage and density. Here less would have been more. I would image that book two picks up during the sophomore year in college and hopefully more drama and information about The Empire is forthcoming. I’m interested enough to check out the second installment.
Cover by: Natasha Snow works for the story and is lovely.
ebook, 294 pages
Published October 2nd 2017 by Riptide Publishing
SeriesUnder the Empire #1