Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Series Review: Mindhunters

**This is an overall review of the original first six books of Kylie Brant's Mindhunters series.**


by Kylie Brant
Book #1: Waking Nightmare | Goodreads | Rating:  4.0 Stars
Book #2: Waking Evil | Goodreads | Rating:  3.5 Stars
Book #3: Waking the Dead | Goodreads | Rating:  3.5 Stars
Book #4: Deadly Intent | Goodreads | Rating:  3.0 Stars
Book #5: Deadly Dreams | Goodreads | Rating:  4.5 Stars
Book #6: Deadly Sins | Goodreads | Rating:  2.5 Stars

Average Series Rating:  3.5 Stars

See Also Previously posted short reviews of:  Waking Nightmare | Waking Evil
See Also Reviews for newest Mindhunters installments:

The Mindhunters series follows investigators from a private firm known as Raiker Forensics--unofficially they are known as Mindhunters, because the grapevine notes that these investigators are able to get into the minds of criminals in order to capture them.  Adam Raiker is the founder of Raiker Forensics and former FBI agent who is a legend among his ex-colleagues as one of the best agents and profilers known.  After a scuffle with a maniac criminal, Adam sports scars from that incident and is now also known to be quite ruthless in his work.

As a romantic suspense and crime thriller series, each agent who works for Raiker Forensics is proclaimed as being the best of the best, the only reason why Adam Raiker would have offered them a position with his firm at all.  But even with their own skill sets in law enforcement, forensic sciences, or any other aspect of investigation, Adam Raiker makes it known how important it is for his investigators to be good at everything--pretty much, they have regular evaluations and re-training.

All of this we get to see as each book presents us with another dark and gritty crime: serial rapist, serial murders, kidnappings... all the nightmares of this crazy world wherein the fight against human evil never seems to cease.

It hadn't been until I got to Deadly Dreams, I think, that I started seeing the Mindhunters series as one of my personal favorites.  So in reality, it really was probably thanks to Deadly Dreams that I ended up loving this series so much.  Because while the first three Mindhunters books were quite riveting, the fourth book was kind of mediocre, I loved the fifth book (Deadly Dreams), and then the last book (at that time, Deadly Sins) was kind of meh as well.

The books began to become less romance-centric, which really isn't a bad thing, honestly, but at the same time, I also felt like the characters became more detached.

But after a few weeks of going through other romantic suspense series, I had found myself looking for similarities and making comparisons.

The biggest thing I found that I loved about Kylie Brant's Mindhunters series, aside from the procedural aspect and the slightly in-depth look into profiling, was the fact that each and every book included a strong female main character who never really ever needed her man to save the day.  And, at the same time, while some actions might be construed as TSTL, I honestly don't believe that.

The female characters in these books are investigators, each having been part of some form of law enforcement before being offered a position with Adam Raiker's organization.  And there is also an emphasis on how much Raiker requires of his operatives be able to do: profiling, investigative skills, knowing how to handle weapons, physical combat...  It is mentioned many times over that all of the agents working for Raiker Forensics is just as well trained to handle any situation as any and all law enforcement entities.  And then some.

So a lot of times when our heroines run themselves into situations, they are typically situations that our girls are prepared to handle thanks to all of their training.

Which brings me to why I ended up loving this series: the strong female characters who can handle themselves, handle the people around them, do their jobs the way they need to do their jobs, and don't require a white knight to save the day.

Side Tidbits:
  • As the ratings already state, my favorite of the first six Mindhunters books is Deadly Dreams, which also includes my favorite couple, Risa and Nate.
  • My second favorite couple is from Waking the Dead, Caitlin and Zach--most probably because Cait is a forensic anthropologist, the exact career that I had wanted to go into when I was a lot younger and had dreams.  Probably also because Zach is ex-military and I have a soft spot for military guys.
  • My second favorite book in this series is Waking Nightmare.  Fun fact:  I actually thought little of this book in the beginning, but after looking back on it, I decided that the first book of this series really DOES hold sentimental value for me, if only because I loved seeing the partnership of Abbie and Ryne as they bounced ideas for the serial rape case off of each other whilst lounging naked in Abbie's bedroom and eating fried chicken.  It was a memorable scene, for some reason.
  • My next favorite coupling are Ramsey and Devlin... for superficial reasons.  Almost a year after finishing the series and thinking that it was a completed series, I stumbled upon a new set of audio books for the Mindhunter books.  Upon listening to Waking Evil, I discovered that the narrator did an awesome job with Devlin's voice and made the charming southern boy even more charming than I'd remembered him from before.
  • Then there's the Macy/Kellan pairing.  When I first read the book, I found them boring.  When I listened to the audio book, they became much more charming.  The two of them might actually have the best banter of all the couples.
  • I was okay with the final book, Deadly Sins and actually found the romance lacking.  The Adam/Jaid paring wasn't a bad one.  I just feel like we left out a lot of developments in lieu of the murder investigation... and maybe also because the two already have a history.

Some Final Sentiments:
When I found out that Kylie Brant was going to continue writing for the Mindhunters series, I totally freaked and I might have even gotten up out of my seat and did a little dance.  I was really looking forward to new installments.

Two new installments later, and while I'm not entirely impressed with the two newest additions (reviews linked at beginning of this post), I'm still looking forward to seeing more books in this series.  Secrets of the Dead had excellent couple chemistry, but a haphazard story line.  What the Dead Know had great story progression, but managed to sacrifice the couple chemistry for investigation partnership...  I'm not quite sure how to feel about that, but I'm hoping that the next books will hopefully fulfill both sides better?

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