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Book Review: Stranger Things: Suspicious Minds By Gwenda Bond
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Stranger Things: Suspicious Minds by Gwenda Bond

Stranger Things: Suspicious Minds
Hardcover | Kindle | Paperback | Audiobook
Stranger Things, Book 1
Written by Gwenda Bond
Publisher: Del Rey
Release date: February 5, 2019

Stranger Things: Suspicious Minds is the first official book to be published that’s set in the fictional world of early 1980s Hawkins, Indiana, from Netflix’s Stranger Things and features some of the characters we have come to know and love from the three seasons of the hit streaming series.

But for this story, we travel a bit further back. To 1969, in fact. This is when Dr. Martin Brenner (Matthew Modine’s character) and his young ward, Kali (or “008” as we’ve come to know her), arrive at Hawkins National Laboratory to expand upon his experiments on the human mind. To aid in his tests, he recruits four college-aged kids chosen because of promising capabilities they’ve displayed.

But for the four kids — Terry, Ken, Gloria, and Alice — the experiments take a dark turn and the laboratory and doctors they work with become much more sinister than they could have ever expected.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t know what to expect going in. Reading books that expand upon on a known television or film entity is risky. Some are great, some are terrible. But isn’t that the case with any book, really? At least it always has been for me.

This book blew me away. Gwenda Bond‘s writing kept me glued to the page and wanting to keep going. This is unfortunate because I read a lot during lunch breaks at work and I think my employers would frown upon me continuing to read beyond my allotted hour. Sigh. I digress. Bond has created a fantastic set of characters that I found myself empathizing with completely and entirely. I also looked forward to seeing their future progression as the story continues.

Well, I did finish and I highly enjoyed Bond’s expansion upon the world of Hawkins and can’t wait to read how it begins to incorporate other personalities we love. Being that we only get approximately 8-10 hours of screen exposure to Hawkins every year or so, the Stranger Things universe is ripe for the picking for novels such as this. I just hope they don’t get over-exposed.

From the publisher:

It’s the summer of 1969, and the shock of conflict reverberates through the youth of America. As a student at a quiet college campus in the heartland of Indiana, Terry Ives couldn’t be farther from the front lines of Vietnam or the protests in Washington.

But the world is changing, and Terry isn’t content to watch. 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, code-named MKULTRA. The remote lab, deep in the woods, contains a mystery Terry is determined to uncover.

Behind the walls of Hawkins National Laboratory—and the piercing gaze of its director, Dr. Martin Brenner—lurks a conspiracy greater than Terry could have ever imagined. To face it, she’ll need the help of her fellow test subjects, including 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: Suspicious Minds arrives on Paperback on October 8, 2019, and is currently available in Hardcover, Kindle, and Audiobook.

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