Friday, July 29, 2022

Series Review: "Mindf*ck" by S.T. Abby

Series Title: Mindf*ck
Author: S.T. Abby
Genre: Dark Romance
Reading Order & Individual Ratings:
  1. The Risk - 5/5 stars
  2. Sidetracked - 5/5 stars
  3. Scarlet Angel - 5/5 stars
  4. All the Lies - 5/5 stars
  5. Paint It All Red - 5/5 stars
Overall Rating: 5 // 5 stars

TW: Please check trigger warnings for the book at the end of this post!

Oh boy was that a ride! I think my feelings can be best described as the phrase, "I support women's rights. But more importantly, I support women's wrongs." 

This series is like if Criminal Minds met Dexter with a splash of romance. It's dark, it's graphic, it's thrilling, it's obsessive, it's amazing. We follow Lana, a serial killer (but one who's side you're on), and Logan, an FBI agent working on her case (but who doesn't know who she is) and their romance over the course of five short books. Overall the series is only about 700 pages long and I read it in one night in one sitting. I stayed up until 8 AM to read this series when I was supposed to be getting up early the next day. 

I'd love to say that the romance was why I loved this book so much but that's not the case. The romance was great, don't get me wrong, but it's not as front and center as I thought it would be. This series truly thrives off the plot and the thriller vibes. There's plenty of mysteries to unravel, like why Lana is killing people, the other cases Logan works on, the true history of the town of Delaney Grove, and more. Then there's the consistent underlying thrill of wondering if or when Lana will be discovered. And, of course, the romance was enjoyable and added just enough lightness to keep the series from being too dark.

This series is not for the faint of heart. It is very graphic and holds nothing back. There's rape, sexual assault, pedophilia, graphic torture and graphic murder, amongst others (full trigger warnings at the end of this post). It can be sad and upsetting and rage-inducing. But it's also about getting justice for those wrongs. Lana is out for revenge and she will make sure vengeance is had. 

The writing was astounding. I've read other books by this author (under a different pen-name) and they were also just as addicting and well-written. I think this series far outshines the other I read, though. I was hooked and couldn't turn away, in part because of the writing style and in part because of how deep the plot and background goes. 

The characters were stunning. I loved Lana so much. My heart would break for her at times but I was cheering her on throughout the entire series because you're truly on her side for why she's killing people. She goes through immense character growth, both from flashbacks of who she previously was before to when the series started and throughout the series itself. She's phenomenal. Logan, our other main POV character, was enjoyable to read from. I think he was very well-written and I enjoyed getting to see him figure things out across a variety of cases. We also have Jake, Lana's best friend and partner in crime. He's a computer genius who helps Lana behind the scenes with her murder revenge. And I have to give a shoutout to Hadley, who was a surprising favorite by the end. If you'd asked at the beginning of the series if she was going to be a favorite I would have said no but now I would protect her with my life. 

This book series was amazing. It's full of heartbreaking and dark revelations on the world but there's also revenge and the desire for things to be made right and the sense that things are going to be better after the end. The relationships formed and grown across the five books drove the story hard, but the actual plot was phenomenally written that the characters could have been worse and I still would have loved it (which is rare as I'm a big character-driven person). 

Overall, I loved it. It was dark and unsettling but it was amazing and full of heart. I will definitely be picking up the paperback bind-up and rereading this series in the future. Originally I rated these four stars each but after truly thinking on it and writing this review I realized I loved these and have no faults with them that makes them deserving of anything less than five stars. And it truly is heartbreaking that the author passed away before seeing how popular her books got and how much love for the series there is. 

TW: abuse, assault, blood, castration, gore, kidnapping, murder, molestation, pedophilia, rape, torture, violence

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