Reviewed by Sarina
TITLE: Healing Minds
SERIES: The Shifters #5
AUTHOR: M.D. Grimm
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 186 pages
RELEASE DATE: July 3, 2013
Josh McPhee always wanted to be an agent. To keep from going crazy at the Agency’s New Mexico substation, he talks to the imprisoned wolf shifter—or tries to. Their one-sided conversations only prove the shifter is not getting the help he needs. After all, he is a victim too.
Wolf shifter Xavier doesn’t remember much before his time with the Knights or the time under their control, where he was brainwashed and used to kill innocent shifters. He wants to recover his memories, and yet he fears what he might find. He would escape were it not for the aide whose voice quiets Xavier’s implanted urges.
Late one night the Knights attack the station to retrieve what’s theirs. Overpowered, Josh cannot stop them before they unlock Xavier’s cage. But Xavier rushes to Josh’s rescue and, sensing his opportunity, escapes, taking Josh with him. When Josh wakes up on the road, they strike a bargain: Josh offers Xavier one month of freedom before he calls in the Agency. Both doubt he can be cured, but something about Josh makes Xavier better. They just have to figure out what before the past catches up to them.
So, I made no excuses for my opinion of the last book in the series; I just didn’t really enjoy it as much as the previous stories. This latest book, however, has completely redeemed whatever lingering doubts I may have had left over from the last story. I loved this! The main draw for me with this book was that it featured a character from the very first story that I never expected to see again; after the little teaser in regards to him from the end of the previous book, I was beyond ready to read his story. Xavier may not have been in the first book a great deal but his role had a major impact and has kind of spiraled out from there. Anyone unfamiliar with the first book or in need of a refresher at this point will be happy to note that there is a small prologue showcasing a flashback from when Poe showed up and took him away that gives a decent refresher of events.
Xavier had it much worse than I’d thought and is still trying to find a way back to himself; with the experiments he suffered and the memory loss that accompanied the brainwashing and his loss of control, he’s having an understandably tough time of things. Josh was a good fit for Xavier, I think; he cares about seeing Xavier healed but isn’t afraid to get in his face when the action is warranted. He’s a genuinely good person and I liked seeing Xavier come to grips with who he was and what he’d done only to then decide he needs to be better, not just for himself, but because Josh deserves that. The road trip aspect of the book was a nice accompaniment to Xavier’s journey back to himself and it was great getting to see Ryan and Caleb from the second book again, if only for a little while. Add in some trouble from the Knights, both at the beginning and end of the book and I was entertained the whole way through.
This was such a great book; I enjoyed everything about it and the set up for the next book is one I’m totally excited for because if features Poe! I’m happily planning on continuing the series and look forward to reading this one again in the future.