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on November 11, 2014
This kind of topic is among my favorite ones, exploring beyond our limits and gaining knowledge and power others would just dream of. I believe we all have some special undiscovered gifts, not exactly what Darren has, but a lot more then we think right now about ourselves and our abilities.

The start of the book was really good, the author doesn’t waste any time to form his main character. It lets you immediately inside his mind and you can join the fun from chapter O. All of his fears, joys, and wonders are revealed and you can find yourself easily emphasizing with him.

Later on, the storyline develops in a nice fashion, Darren teams up with a great partner (no teasers) and discovers more and more about himself and what he can do. I loved new secrets discovered step by step, especially when he finds out about his past, something he never knew about. Also the “switching minds” scenes are very interesting. The rhythm of the book is good, you get all the information’s you should expect from a well written book.

I switched between the audible version and the Kindle version. The narrator is good, but sometimes I felt the dots were too sudden and the story too slow so I switched on my own inner voice together with reading. But if you want to spare your eyes at times - as I do since I am reading huge amounts on a daily basis - or you just love to hear great stories on the road then it’s a great choice. The quality of the recording is good so you can get used to the narrator quickly enough.

I hardly wait the second book!
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on December 28, 2015
After reading the prequel novella, The Time Stopper, I was looking forward to continuing the journey in The Thought Readers. The Thought Readers is told in the POV of Darren rather than Mira and starts off in the middle of the poker game in much the same fashion as the novella.
This series has a unique concept in the mind reading genre that was executed very well. I enjoyed the initial insights into the thoughts of the secondary characters, though towards the end I felt there could have been less random mind reading and more concentration on building character relationships. As Darren mentions throughout the novel, it would have been nice to not be effectively told through mind reading what a character was thinking all the time. The idea behind the mind dimension was well crafted and I took it on face value. There was enough world building to make the concept plausible without spending too much time dragging down the plot.
Despite both The Time Stopper and The Thought Readers being told in first person, Darren had his own distinct voice which I thought was well done because in a lot of books I’ve read with dual POVs, they all tend to sound the same. I didn’t mind Darren as a POV character, mostly because of the great writing, but as a human being I’m not sure we could be friends. Because of his abilities everything in life seemed to come so easily for him and I found myself at times feeling like he was a bit clinical in his reactions to some of the events in the plot. I’m hoping this is a deliberate move on the part of the author and that Darren’s perspective changes as the series goes on.
If I had one issue with The Thought Readers it was the insta-lust/love. I’m not a fan of this trope in any context and was a little disappointed when I came across it, especially given that I liked Mira a lot less in this novel than in her POV novella. Overall though, I really enjoyed the first installment in this series and will look forward to reading the rest and seeing how everything develops.
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on March 19, 2016
I enjoyed reading this; it had an interesting concept, but it also had a few problems. It's a little slow in places, and some characters are more like paper dolls than people.
Darren is the main character, a young man who can step outside time and walk around while everyone and everything is frozen. He finds that he can read the thoughts of others as well.
He finds out suddenly that he is not alone in this ability when he meets a beautiful young woman while gambling in Atlantic City.
The character of Darren was pretty well drawn, and everything is told from his viewpoint. He finds the young woman, Mira, in Brooklyn, (He has no very good opinion of anyplace other than Manhattan, by the way) and is then drawn into her dark world of danger and revenge.
Results: fun to read, not too deep, and ends on a cliffhanger. It's a series, of course, so you can purchase the next episode, (and the next, and the next after that) if you want to continue.
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on December 11, 2016
I wanted to like this book. I've been looking for something different from magic & fantasy and thought the telepathic hook would be a good choice. What I got was poorly-written and frankly boring. The characters drop F-bombs casually. Apparently they're not well-developed enough to have original thoughts in their heads. The main character works in a firm with hedge fund investments. Not much about his job is discussed, especially at the beginning where I was wondering exactly what he did at his job. There were hints that he was using his telepathic abilities there, but the job just seemed like something to do and wasn't really important. He goes to a meeting and rifles through the guy's papers while I was wondering why he wasn't just getting the ideas from the man's head. It was definitely a different idea about using telepathy and I wasn't really sure where the author was going with it. Women in this story are treated as objects. They're described as eye-catching with boobs and butt. It would have been nice to have some depth to the characters, but that's how the MC thinks and the main girl doesn't stand out in any way to make him reconsider those initial thoughts. At one point, the author tried to interject a little science into this story that just fell completely flat. That was the whole "why" explanation for how telepathy worked so it was kinda important... Either his understanding was exceptionally poor, in which case he shouldn't have added that chapter, or he thought his readers were idiots and dumbed the explanation down to basically throwing out some key words. Nothing like adding "dimensions" to the series title and not explaining how this is supposed to work in his universe. Maybe by using those key words he thought we'd like to just look them up ourselves and then come back to his book fully informed? I'd really like to know how a hedge funds (worker? manager? investor? he never said what he did really or what his job title was) would know much about quantum physics anyway. The MC said he had to learn about it for a potential investment, but seriously, you'd ask an expert if that research was something potentially valuable and not just read about it on the weekend and say, "Yeah, boss! Sounds good!" The author details how the MC gets that insider information and I'm not convinced the MC knew much about anything. He's had these abilities since he was a kid and he needs another telepath to show him what to do for really basic stuff he should have figured out on his own years ago. The MC ends up being somewhat knowledgeable in some areas while woefully inadequate in others, potty-mouthed, boring, and has no respect for the opposite sex. Overall, the book was predictable and the science was iffy at best. I wish these other reviewers had given more accurate reviews. Maybe they did like this wreck of a story?
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on June 7, 2018
I downloaded this book because it was free and to be quite honest I wasn't expecting much. I really just wanted something to pass the time. I read this in less than half a day, once I started I couldn't put it down.
I always comment on the characterization because to me, it's impossible to have a good book without interesting characters. To say the characters of this book were interesting would however be an understatement; by the end of the book you'll either be wishing you were one of them or dating one of them...or both. The plot itself was also very creative, giving a fresh and unthought of (atleast for me anyway) take on mind reading. Zales is definitely a best selling author for a reason.
The only thing I would've probably liked added to this book is a sneak peek into the next installment. That would've been icing on the cake. Sneak peek or not though, I don't think I've ever been this eager to read an entire series. Thought Pushers here I come! Lol
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on June 3, 2018
Totally not my normal genre (action/suspense thrillers) but it was free so I thought “why not?”

There is action/suspense but it’s also mind-bending and slightly sci-fi. Hard to pigeonhole it into one genre. Would also fit into YA category.

A young 20-something man is able to freeze time and jump into an alternate reality, so he does things with his skill like make money, check out girls etc.
He thinks he’s alone in this experience until one day he runs into a girl who was cheating at the casino right along with him. He tracks her down, discovers he’s not alone, as well as discovering his life is in danger and both his new friends and enemies might want him dead.

It’s a fast, easy and engaging read. My only complaint is that it was over too quickly and of course now I want to read the rest of the series.

I understand why the first book is free—to get the reader hooked into the story and want more. I DO!!! I just wish the first book would have been longer... but that’s just me.

FYI for parents: I consider this ok for older kids, but if it was a movie it would probably be rated PG-13 for language and mature situations.
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Yes, that is how I started this review. Wow.

As soon as I finished the first book I devoured the second and third. I'm only holding off on the fourth because I don't want it all to end. As such, my review will cover the first three.

An utterly fantastic portrayal of the Sci-Fi physic powers trope. I was transfixed. The unique way in which our protagonists can wield their abilities is at once powerfully awe-inspiring whilst filled with risk and dangers.

Rather well-developed characters for such a fast-paced story. I became attached, and some losses were keenly felt. A minor flaw for me would be that sometimes events fell too neatly into place for our main protagonist. Other than that, I have no complaints.

The tale barely gives one time to catch one's breath, becoming bigger and bigger with more surprises and progressions.

I can only hope that whilst I hold off on book four for a short while, a fifth book may miraculously appear.

A rare 5-star rating from me.

Highly recommended.
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on March 16, 2015
I don't give many 5's, but this one (and the sequels) really captured my interest. Well written with likable characters. There is a subdued man/woman love/hate aspect that's amusing. But the three things I found the really fascinating were a) the ability of the lead protagonist to "stop" time, a least for him. With their time stopped, he can do anything and everything that happens In real time. But nothing physical that happens during this "quiet" time as he calls it, carries over when real time starts. So the hero could stop time during a test to go look up the answers, look where the bad guys are, or just assess a situation before deciding what to do next.
Then b) the hero can read other people's thoughts, even experience what they're experiencing ( which get interesting when he is in his girl friend's mind while she's having sex with him!) In any case, he can "read" what the bad guys are thinking before they do it.
Finally c) he learns he is not alone - there is a group of others like him - he's not crazy. But he then learns there are a group of "bad" guys who don't read minds, they can control others' minds. They are the Thought Pushers. He is told to hate them, until he learns he can do that himself. Lots of twists and turns. A great story. couldn't wait to read the sequels. ( which I'll tell you now are just as much fun as the first!)
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on June 1, 2015
This is a fascinating, fast-paced, urban fantasy roller-coaster ride set in today’s New York, with mind readers, Russian mobsters, kidnappings, murders, and betrayal. We first meet Darren, a 21 year-old genius of remarkable accomplishments. Graduated from Harvard at 18, works at a hedge fund, massive bonuses, the whole package. But Darren has a secret. We soon learn that although he’s smart and capable, his real secret to success is that he can stop time, enter a zone he calls “the Quiet”, and move around and inspect everything unimpeded, read secret documents, and look at the cards that everyone else is holding, both figuratively and literally, while everyone else is “frozen”.

Darren has been able to freeze time ever since he was a young boy, but he’s never found anyone else who could do what he does, until he meets Mira and her brother Eugene, who are hiding out in Brooklyn from another mysterious group. After resolving some initial trust issues, Mira and Eugene introduce Darren to a hidden world of new powers, where he can not only read minds, but travel through past memories of the “normal” people he joins within a “Coherence state”. It turns out that Darren’s abilities are much greater than Mira and Eugene’s, which may open up a new realm of possibilities.

Darren learns that there are two groups of people who have been in conflict throughout history, The Readers, people with mental powers like Darren, Mira, and Eugene, and The Pushers, who can plant commands in other people’s minds. The conflict between these two groups takes up the second half of the book, and is even more intense and extreme as we race to a dramatic conclusion. (Don’t worry, there’s more. There are three more books in this series.)

The first half of the book sets the stage with lots of action. Darren begins to learn who he is, and begins to put together some personal mysteries he’s been living with all his life. This world is deep and rich, and there is a lot of exposition, but never once is it less than engrossing and mesmerizing. You can’t help but wonder what surprise will Darren find out next.

The second half of the book is a mad rush of bad guys chasing the good guys who are then chasing the bad guys. There is even a mad car chase through the streets of Brooklyn, where our team has to use their mind-reading and time-stopping abilities to navigate city traffic, which only adds to the tension and suspense.

The author, Dima Zales, has created a very believable world of mind readers and mind invaders that exist alongside our current world, yet have a entire existence outside of it, creating their own society and pursuing their own agendas. This is an intriguing concept for a story line, and one that pulled me in right away. Even though this is a five-part series, this book can be read as a stand-alone adventure, although you will want to read the entire series. This is a great adventure urban fantasy series, and I will be reading all of it.
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on November 13, 2014
I personally feel let down when a book doesn't really have an ending - when it just sort of stops arbitrarily without bothering to wrap up the plot and action so far. Unfortunately, "The Thought Readers" is one of those books. Sure, there will be one or more sequels which will act as an ending to this part, but still, it makes this more of a partial book or sub-book.

Other than the lack of an ending, I found it very engaging and interesting and would have given it 5 stars (like the vast majority of other reviewers at this point). It's genre is at the border of science fiction and fantasy where the fantastical "powers" of the characters have a science fiction basis and is fairly unique and thought-provoking. The characters are well done - interesting and believable. The plot (except for the lack of ending) is engaging and compelling. It's an easy read but the words flow nicely and the word-smithing is well done and there were very few typos.
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