Review: The Locksmith by Susan Kaye Quinn

Posted February 23, 2015 by Lola in Coyer, Review, Sci-Fi / 14 Comments


the locksmithThe Locksmith (A Mindjack Story)
by Susan Kaye Quinn

SHORT NOVELLA (STANDALONE) in the Mindjack universe

When everyone reads minds, a secret is a dangerous thing to keep.

In a world filled with mindreaders, Zeph is a mindjacker who wants to stay hidden—even if it means the cute mindreader in his Latin class is forever out of his reach. He locks and unlocks minds for a ruthless mindjacker Clan in exchange for protection and the chance to have a normal life with his parents and little sister. But when a girl he doesn’t know reveals the existence of mindjackers to the world, Zeph is forced to make a choice: unlock—and ultimately destroy—the mind of a young jacker changeling… or turn his back on everyone he loves.

The Locksmith is a short novella (standalone) in the Mindjack universe. It can be read independently of the other Mindjack stories, in any order. It is 11,000 words (or 44 pages) long.

My Review:
I received a copy in exchange for an honest review

When Susan offered the opportunity to read and review this book I jumped on the chance, I love the Mindjack series and it’s fun to be back in this world even if for a little while. And after the story there was an announcement that Susan will be writing more books about this character, yay!

It is a short story, but it tells the story it has to tell without it feeling rushed. The pace was well done, we meet Zeph and get a feel for the world he lives in. I finished it in one sitting, because after starting it, I just had to know what happened. And afterwards I can only say I want more, because this small story back into the Mindjack world isn’t enough I want to know the rets of his story.

Zeph is a great character and in the short story we still get a feel for his character. Like I’ve come to expect from Susan she places him in a situation where he has a difficult choice to make, ruin the mind of a young changeling or leave everything he knows behind. It is scenes like these where you really get a feel for his character. There are some side characters, but they don’t get as much attention. I did like Tessa and I hope he will get to know her better, although I understand why he believes it isn’t possible. I felt a bit sad for Zeph, because of what he is a mindjacker, he feels like he can never have a normal live or fall in love with a mindreader.

As this is a novella there isn’t too much world building, but I am still impressed how much world building Susan manages to pack into this small story. Even if you’re new to this series, you quickly pick up the concept of mind readers and jackers and I like the scene where they mentioned how the teacher was teaching due to imagining things in her head. There is also some addition world building about Zeph his powers, it sounded a bit confusing at first, but after finishing it I feel like I sort of understand what he can do. It was interesting and I am looking forward to hear more about him.

The fun thing is that this novella can be read out of order with the other books, you can read it whenever you want and not miss anything. This story stands apart from the main trilogy, although there is a mention of Kira, you don’t have to know her story to understand what happened. On the other hand if you have read the rest of the books that little mention of her is fun as you know first-hand what happened. And I liked seeing how her decision impacted Zeph.

To conclude: This is a fun little novella set in the Mindjack world where we get to know Zeph, what he can do and the situation he’s in. I read this in one sitting and after finishing it I can only say I am looking forward to more Zeph and am excited Susan is writing more books about him. There is a mention of Kira, but this novella can be read as a standalone or anywhere in between the other novels and novella’s in this world.


You can find The Locksmith on Goodreads

You can buy The Locksmith here:

Do you like it when authors write novella’s in the same world they write full lenght books? Do you feel like they add something to the story and world?

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14 responses to “Review: The Locksmith by Susan Kaye Quinn

    • At first I didn’t like novella’s, but nowadays I enjoy them, although it does really depend on the author who writes them. Susan is one of my favourite authors and I know she writes novella’s well, they really add something to the world and in case of this series they add a piece of background for the characters you wouldn’t have had otherwise. And as I am not reading so much it can feel great to finish a book in one day ;).

  1. I like to read the novellas and I try to get them in order with the rest of the series just in case they add something to the series. My only issues are that they tend to be expensive for the page count and sometimes, the author isn’t good at writing a complete story with a shorter page length.

    Based on what you say in your review, it sounds like Susan did a good job with Zeph’s story.
    Sophia Rose recently posted…The Great Pick Up Line with Shades of Sepia by Anne Barwell #TGPUL #GiveawayMy Profile

    • Same here, I like to read the novella’s in order with the series. I do agree that they are often expensive for the page count, but then again that’s also amazon their fault as they don’t allow anything cheaper than 0.99 and indeed some authors can’t write a complete story with a shorter page count. What I dislike most is when novella’s or short stories feel rushed.
      Luckily there are some authors out there, like Susan who can write short stories as well as full lenght novels.

    • I didn’t like novella’s at first, but since a year ago or so my opinion definitely changed and I will seek out novella’s if they are part of a series. And you really need to read Susan her MIndjack series, it’s so good! I think the first book is free ;). And susan knows how to write novella’s so when she writes a novella I scoop them up as soon as possible.

  2. I really need more time to read more of SKQ’s books! I like novellas and I like writing them too. I’m turning all of REVEALED into a novella and releasing it (with more chapters) later this year. It was fun to write from a different perspective in a universe I only saw through my heroine’s eyes.
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    • Nowadays I like novella’s as well, they are just so short and easy to read in one sitting and still enjoy a nice story or addition to a series. Your Revealed novella’s are another good exmaple of novella’s that are well done and get me back to the Nogiku world for a little while. I feel like novella’s are getting more common lately and I like that. They are a nice way to revisit the world and add something to the story.

    • I also like it when novella’s are part of a series only, but it was really well doen that with this one you could read it as standalone or as part of the series.

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