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Mind of the Phoenix: A Memory Collector Novel By Jamie McLachlan Pub Date: September 28, 2015
Moira is a powerful empath, a psychic graced with the ability to read emotions and memories. Her skill is as much a curse as a gift, for in the harshly stratified city of Braxton empaths are slaves. Clever and beautiful, Moira has learned to rely on no one but herself. Determined to escape life as a concubine, she kills her master, and is imprisoned for the crime.
This could be the end for Moira, but the government has need of her skills. A mysterious serial killer known as the Phoenix has been planting suggestions in his victims' minds that drive them to murder and suicide. To gain her freedom, Moira partners with Keenan Edwards, a handsome young detective, to stop the killer.
Hunting the Phoenix will bring Moira on a more dangerous road than she imagined, forcing her to confront dark minds, twisted moralities, and her growing feelings for the detective.
Mind of the Phoenix is a fast paced fantasy/mystery with a strong female lead. It isn't a novel for younger readers, as there is considerable depiction of abuse, although it is not graphic. Moira is a captivating lead. Although she is wounded by her past and hesitant to trust, she is confident in her abilities, as well as able to turn weakness to strength.
The world of Mind of the Phoenix is harsh. Empaths are enslaved and placed in one of three positions based on their abilities - memory blockers, dream weavers, or concubines. Subject to the whims of those who own them or pay for their time, empaths have no rights.
Moira is a powerful empath who did the unthinkable. She murdered her abusive master. Languishing in prison she is given a choice - execution or assisting the police in investigating a series of mysterious murders. Members of the Elite are being killed, and the deaths are linked to a mysterious figure called the Phoenix. Moira pairs with Detective Keenan Edwards, a man with a keen intellect and a surprising measure of understanding.
I enjoyed Mind of the Phoenix. The abuse experienced by the empaths is troubling, and plays an important role in the novel. Justice is not a clear cut issue, as many of the victims are oppressors with violent pasts. Mind of the Phoenix is a stand alone novel, although it's end is a bit abrupt. That is a small flaw in a novel that is clearly only the first in a series.
I received a copy of Mind of the Phoenix from the publisher and netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.