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Reviewed by Stephanie Chapman for Readers' Favorite
"The only way to get through a mind game is to play it through to the end." In Jasmine Gold's book Mindgame, an intense story unfolds in the city of Riviera. The people of Riviera are divided into two groups: Humans and Slaves. The story opens with a naked Mariah being hunted for escaping. She encounters a stranger on the road and is assured he will try to keep the hunters from finding her. Gabriel is a healer from Harmony and is on a mission to aid Riveria's Bearer's daughter. He finds slavery horrid and is upset that all the slaves' treatment is lower than animals. Upon a tour of Riveria, the Bearer promises Gabriel he could have any slave he wanted. As the tour progresses, he sees Mariah being tortured with death by suffocation and declares she is the slave he wants. When Mariah is conscious, she immediately is defensive. Despite Gabriel being kind, she openly believes he is playing mind games with her.
I found Mindgames an excellent character-driven novel with several stories intertwined. The amount of detail Jasmine Gold gave the characters' experiences and inner thoughts made the story come alive. I fully understood why Mariah's distrust was so deeply ingrained. Gold's ability to jump from the past to the present was flawlessly executed. There was never a moment where I had to question the motives or intentions of any of the characters. I recommend mature adults capable of seeing the growth of every character's personal development to pick this dystopian book up. Can trust be built on a foundation that repeatedly has proven to punish such thoughts? Can a human and a slave love one another beyond carnal desires? Read Mindgames, and you will find the revelations to these questions and more.