WIP of the Week: 10/11-10/17

October 11, 2010

Empires of the Mind by Hibbleton78
Review by 4string

Rating: M
Genre: Mystery/Supernatural
Characters: Bella & Edward

Summary: Graduate student Bella Swan is hiding her special gift, but two groups are aware of her. One wants to use her for less than noble purposes and the other wants to nurture her gift and protect her from the enemy. It becomes a tense game of cat and mouse trying to dodge The Volturi.

First off, let me say that I have an affinity for fics that have supernatural elements. I love the mystery and excitement that can stem from a well written mystical story. I also like it when stories dive right into the plot, rather than taking a painstaking, circuitous path that makes the reader lose interest before the good stuff even happens. Empires of the Mind is one of the good ones that sinks its teeth right in. I’m so glad that I was asked to review it because I would have never heard of it otherwise.

The story starts out with a mysterious pair watching a group of five people with special powers to gauge their weaknesses and conquer them in order to bring them into their organization, The Volturi. They are sort of like the mafia but with powers. They also discover that another gifted one lives nearby, a telekinetic named Bella Swan. Those with powers can sense when others like them are near and they tend to sense those who are around their own age which in this case is the early to middle 20s.

The group of five is obviously Alice (a clairvoyant), Jasper (an empath), Edward (a mind reader), Rosalie (power of astral projection), and Emmett who has the ability to gain knowledge out of the blue whenever he needs it. He puts it simply that he is a genius. It almost makes me think of The Matrix and when if Neo needed to learn how to do something, it was simply downloaded into his brain.

We meet Alice first as she is the one who notices a bored Bella in her class playing with her pen using her powers.

A small gasp from the next desk startled her. She slapped her hand over the pen, immediately halting it in its place. Bella looked over to see a small girl with short, almost black hair arranged in artful spikes. Had she been wearing the wrong clothes and no make-up, the girl could've easily passed for someone in her early teens, but Bella was sure that they had to be about the same age.

She was prepared to offer her canned response, but the look on the girl's face stopped her before she could utter the first word. Her heart pounded in her chest as a numb feeling washed over her while she pondered the implications. There was recognition in her neighbor's eyes, and although there was no reason for Bella to think that the girl could be certain of what she saw, she somehow knew that her standard explanation wouldn't be blindly accepted.

After some push and pull, Bella is taken into Alice’s group. Emmett, Alice and Jasper take to her immediately where Rosalie and Edward are a bit hesitant. It is explained that Rosalie likes people to earn her respect and I’m still not quite sure what Edward’s problem is (the fic is only up to chapter 10 so far), but we do know he’s got some trust issues.

My favorite part so far is when the group starts training Bella. After some more trial and error, it is discovered that Bella is actually psychokinetic meaning that she can also work with the mental as well as physical. Emmett tries nicknaming her Psycho, but it doesn’t quite stick.

Jasper scooted forward in his own seat and casually rested his elbows on his knees. "It's basically the same thing as telekinesis, but with a wider scope. From what we can tell, you aren't limited to physical objects. Your ability seems to work on the intangible as well. So, just like you can control the things around you, you can also control anything we might be throwing at you with our abilities."

"You're blocking us." Bella's head jerked to the side in surprise, not expecting Edward to speak. "You're blocking us, and whatever we try to do to get into your head is deflecting right back." His words were short and bluntly stated, and Bella's eyes narrowed at him in response.

We get to see Emmett don a ridiculous bright red safety suit and get thrown against walls and down wrestling mats by Bella. She stretches her abilities and while tussling with Edward, they discover she can actually levitate. If she can move other people, why not try to move herself? It makes total sense.

We can’t forget the folks that want her for their own personal gain, The Volturi. Demetri and Felix finally discover who she is and basically stalk her, but our dear Bella is not going to take that lying down. This Bella may be trying to be on the down low, but she’s not above some good snark at her stalker’s expense.

They continued their trek across campus, the silence between them not nearly as uneasy as before. The small shift between the two kept Bella's mind so occupied that she almost missed Felix in his usual spot. In fact, the only thing that alerted her was a low grumble from Edward as he used his hand at her back to urge her to move faster. She looked at him in confusion and followed his gaze over to the bench where Felix was sitting with a textbook—his standard prop—sitting open on his lap and a cocky smirk on his face.

She wasn't sure what prompted her to do it, but she was tired of seeing Felix day after day seeming to enjoy her discomfort. Looking directly at him, she lifted one hand and waved it dramatically, as sarcastic and insolent as she could manage. Her blatant and shameless display drew the attention of a number of her fellow students who all looked over at the bench. She smiled smugly when she saw Felix shift uncomfortably under the scrutiny.

I am totally enjoying this story and can’t wait for chapter eleven. So if you love a good supernatural fic that keeps you wanting for more, I highly recommend this one.


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