'Stranger Things' Season 3 preview: Everything we know about Millie Bobby Brown's Eleven from prequel book 'Suspicious Minds'

Written by Gwenda Bond, 'Suspicious Minds' is set in 1969, in a mysterious lab run by a sinister scientist, and reveals a secret history that was kept hidden for years.


                            'Stranger Things' Season 3 preview: Everything we know about Millie Bobby Brown's Eleven from prequel book 'Suspicious Minds'

The mystery of Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) is slowly unravelling on Netflix’s ‘Stranger Things,’ and even as you wait for season 3's premiere on July 4, more details about this strange teenager have been revealed.

Pegged as a prequel to ‘Stranger Things,’ the first official novel from Del Ray Books titled ‘Suspicious Minds’ came out on Tuesday, February 5.

Written by Young Adult novelist Gwenda Bond, the book is set in 1969, in a mysterious lab run by a sinister scientist, and reveals a secret history that was kept buried for years, and references everything important that happened in that era -- from The Beatles to the moon landing.

More importantly, ‘Suspicious Minds,’ reveals the history of Eleven’s biological mother, Terry Ives (Aimee Mullins), whom we met briefly in season 2.



 

Major spoilers for 'Suspicious Minds' ahead

In the show, Terry was limited to being in a catatonic state, and all we know about her is that she was considered crazy after claiming her daughter Jane was stolen from her shortly after she gave birth.

In the book, however, we see a more lively version of her, one in which she is a bright, college girl, who is lovesick and signs up for a science experiment that seals her fate as well as that of her daughter.

Terry, who was living on a tight budget and waitressing, wanted to make some extra dough and signed up to become the subject of a hush-hush project helmed by Dr. Martin Brenner (Matthew Modine). As part of the program titled MKUltra, she takes acid, and during one of her trips, she is able to visit ‘The Beneath,’ or as we know it better, ‘The Upside Down.’

Kali aka Eight is one of the test sujects of Dr Brenner who managed to escape, and got dragged down the road of revenge (Twitter)
Kali aka Eight is one of the test sujects of Dr Brenner who managed to escape, and got dragged down the road of revenge (Twitter)

Even though Eleven was fathered by Terry’s loving boyfriend Andrew (not seen in the show), he never knew of her existence. Dr Brenner’s vile experiments prevented Terry from showing her pregnancy, thus successfully hiding it even from the expectant mother.

When she does find out seven months in, Terry tries to reach out to Andrew who has been drafted into the army, only to be told that he is gone.

This could have been orchestrated by Dr Brenner as well, who had started referring to Terry’s baby as “ours” right from the beginning, and was hell-bent on raising the baby in the lab and explore her “mind’s potential.” Terry, meanwhile, fought hard to keep her daughter, but in vain.

Another great piece of information we learn about Eleven from the book is her mother’s friendship with Kali (Linnea Berthelsen/ Vanathi Kalai), who we met in season 2. Having powers of her own, Kali who was five-years-old at the time, used illusion manipulation to help Terry and her friends escape from the lab. Post Terry’s escape, Kali, who was called Eight at the time, took care of Eleven.

However, Dr Brenner separated them, and Kali escaped the lab when she was strong enough to do so. The duo reunited in season 2 of ‘Stranger Things.’

By sharing the story of Eleven’s origins, Bond retells the story of a perseverant, strong woman who was duped by an evil scientist, along with that of friendship and loyalty in the face of true evil.

‘Suspicious Minds’ is available in all major stores, and is a must-read for all ‘Stranger Things’ fans.