by Gwenda Bond
Series: Stranger Things #1
Narrator: Kristen Sieh
Length: 8 hours and 56 minutes
Genres: Science Fiction
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Narration: 4 .5 cups
A mysterious lab. A sinister scientist. A secret history. If you think you know the truth behind Eleven’s mother, prepare to have your mind turned Upside Down in this thrilling prequel to the hit show Stranger Things.
It’s the summer of 1969, and the shock of conflict reverberates through the youth of America, both at home and abroad. As a student at a quiet college campus in the heartland of Indiana, Terry Ives couldn’t be further from the front lines of Vietnam or the incendiary protests in Washington.
But the world is changing, and Terry isn’t content to watch from the sidelines. When word gets around about an important government experiment in the small town of Hawkins, she signs on as a test subject for the project, codenamed MKUltra. Unmarked vans, a remote lab deep in the woods, mind-altering substances administered by tightlipped researchers . . . and a mystery the young and restless Terry is determined to uncover.
But behind the walls of Hawkins National Laboratory—and the piercing gaze of its director, Dr. Martin Brenner—lurks a conspiracy greater than she could have ever imagined. To face it, she’ll need the help of her fellow test subjects, including one so mysterious the world doesn’t know she exists—a young girl with unexplainable, superhuman powers and a number instead of a name: 008.
Amid the rising tensions of the new decade, Terry Ives and Martin Brenner have begun a different kind of war—one where the human mind is the battlefield.
Stranger Things was our first Netflix series binge, despite owning Netflix since its inception. I was excited when Suspicious Minds by Gwenda Bond, a prequel to the series came across my desk. The story takes us to 1969, Indiana and into the Hawkins National Laboratory where Dr. Martin Brenner is conducting LSD tests on college students for the CIA. Come along and meet test subject 008.
While fans of the series will appreciate getting the backstory to Eleven’s mom, Terry Ives it isn’t necessary to have watched the series to enjoy this. Bond offered an engaging tale set during the Vietnam War and the drafts. The story introduces to Bloomington college student Terry Ives, and her classmates Alice, Gloria and Ken. Each is a participant in Brenner’s tests and those tests, and the lab lead to abilities, discovers and danger.
If you love Stranger Things, you’ll slip right in to this storyline with its paranormal and urban fantasy vibe. The tests are trippy but a discovery of a young child with incredible abilities soon have Terry and her friends investigating what exactly is happening within the walls of the institute. Danger, men in suits and unthinkable twists and outcomes kept me listening into the wee hours. Everyone’s gifts were unique but what happens to Terry will send chills down your spine.
Suspicious Minds was a fantastic prequel, but it also left the door open for another book or two before Stranger Things. I hope that more are in the works. I would also love to see this brought to Netflix. *fingers-crossed*
Kristen Sieh narrates, and it was my first experience with her. I thought she did a splendid job of delivering the tone and voices for the story and characters. I like when a character speaks and I immediately know by tone and mannerism who is speaking. Such was the case here. I would not hesitate to listen to Sieh again. I listened to the first chapter and normal speed, then bumped it up to 1.3X.
Fans of paranormal, urban fantasy, and suspense thrillers will enjoy this. While aspects were scary, I would not classify this in the horror genre, but light science fiction.
[bctt tweet=”Suspicious Minds by Gwenda Bond takes us back to 1969, where we meet Terry Ive’s and Subject 008. #StrangerThings #iloveaudiobooks #Sci-Fi #Netflix” username=”kimbacaffeinate”]
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: