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Reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers' Favorite
Mind Control: Episodes 1-7 is a compilation of short stories, each written by Alvin Atwater. As a member of the Mystery Club, sixteen-year-old Matt is far from impressed by their latest acquisitions. Mysterious jewels from the school’s Archaeology Club are on loan to Mystery Club members, in the hopes that they will unveil each jewel’s secret. Unbeknownst to both club’s members, Gemini knows quite well what they are; having descended from the great Iyans, she not only has the knowledge, but also the power to wield the magic which each jewel possesses: Demand, Love, Kindness, Hate, Invisibility, Hero, Evil, Seduction, Colorless – all unique magics which strip another person of their own free will in the blink of an eye. Unfortunately, Matt becomes the target of most of Gemini’s mind-control games, having unwillingly declared his love for her, kissing her and proposing to her in front of large crowds. When Gemini gains the power of invisibility with a newly acquired ring, Matt is suddenly too afraid to even take a shower in his own home. As each person utilizes the jewels for their own selfish means, emotions start to spill over, causing friendships to dissolve and creating powerful enemies among those who would do anything to gain full control of those around them. In a race against time, Matt spends all of his time and energy trying to track down and destroy the gems before his friends ultimately destroy each other, not realizing that a secret player is manipulating them all.
Whilst assembled in a unique way, with sequential short stories instead of chapters, Alvin Atwater has written a fantasy of what life would be like amongst friends if supernatural forces intervened. Mind Control presents seven stories about Matt, Gemini, Chelsea, Rachel and Brandon – all members of a club which aims to get to the bottom of any mysterious events which transpire. After writing off his best friend, Gemini’s family as crazy, Matt is shocked and awed by the truth regarding their legendary heritage. He is equally dismayed to see so many people in one family drawn to instruments of evil, turning them into the maniacal, self-centered monsters that they are today. With Gemini slipping more and more into her family’s ways, I can’t help but wonder what the future brings for her. When some of the club’s members discover that there are some emotions that magic cannot manipulate, I could not help but smile. Cleverly written, Mind Control is filled with fun, adventure and fantasy, combined with mystery, drama and social issues that are not easily tackled. I very much enjoyed Alvin Atwater’s short story compilation and recommend it to those who enjoy light-hearted reads filled with a balance of good and evil.