The Mind's Eye
by K. C. Finn
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing
Page Count: 247
Release Date: March 30, 2014
How got: personal library; bought from Amazon
First attention getter: historical fantasy aspect and Nazi occupied Norway setting
A girl with a telepathic gift finds a boy clinging to his last hope during the war-torn climate of Europe, 1940.
At fifteen, Kit Cavendish is one the oldest evacuees to escape London at the start of the Second World War due to a long term illness that sees her stuck in a wheelchair most of the time. But Kit has an extraordinary psychic power: she can put herself into the minds of others, see through their eyes, feel their emotions, even talk to them – though she dares not speak out for fear of her secret ability being exposed.
As Kit settles into her new life in the North Wales village of Bryn Eira Bach, solitude and curiosity encourage her to gain better control of her gift. Until one day her search for information on the developing war leads her to the mind of Henri, a seventeen-year-old Norwegian boy witnessing the German occupation of his beloved city, Oslo. As Henri discovers more about the English girl occupying his mind, the psychic and emotional bonds between them strengthen and Kit guides him through an oppressive and dangerous time.
There are secrets to be uncovered, both at home and abroad, and it’s up to Kit and Henri to come together and fight their own battles in the depths of the world’s greatest war.
Star Rating - 4
I found myself really intrigued with the mechanics and possibilities of Kit’s gift. Maybe it’s the fantasy geek inside but I think that was my favorite part of the book. I loved seeing the limitations of her gift (i.e. how far she could travel or the cost on her physically), the different ways she could gather information with it, and the possible role it could play in the war. I think that will probably be the carrier for my interest in the rest of the series.
I enjoyed Kit herself as well. She’s a well-rounded young lady who has some serious trials in life to overcome. Not only having to evacuate from bombed-out London, but dealing with a serious, debilitating illness that requires constant medical care and serious readjustment of how Kit goes through her daily life. She shows courage and fortitude in facing all her trials that I admired.
At times, Kit came off as very juvenile and immature. How she utilized her gift at times and her focus on herself for parts of the book were off-putting to me. Yet, as the story progresses, Kit shows more and more maturity in how she interacts with the world. I think all the trials of WWII and how her world was affected by it helped her to grow up and become a woman rather than a teenage girl. I loved that journey.
The secondary characters were as vibrant and three-dimensional as Kit. I think I especially loved Doc Bickerstaff. He’s irritating, condescending, and socially awkward. However, he’s also a very dedicated doctor, a sufferer of depression, and courageous soldier, stopping to rescue his fellows rather than run to save his own skin. He, along with the whole Price family, made this book even more of a joy to read.
The historical aspects of the book were more muted than I was expecting. We do see how evacuation to the countryside affected the various parties involved, some aspects of the battlefront in North Africa, and occupation in France and Norway. The author shows her research in these areas. But, I think I was expecting more, especially in Norway. One of the characters being from Nazi occupied Norway was one of the things that originally drew me as that area of WWII Europe isn’t explored in fiction as often as other areas. However, there was enough of a historical emphasis that I didn’t feel lacking in that regard.
An intriguing way of exploring WWII, this book combines great characterizations, good historical details, and a fantastic psychic system to draw the reader in. This is book one of a trilogy, and I look forward to exploring the rest of this series.