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review 2017-10-24 18:10
Review: The Delphi Resistance
The Delphi Resistance (The Delphi Trilogy) - Rysa Walker

This is the hardest type of review for me to write, one for a subsequent book in a series and one that I did enjoy but have a few issues with.  Fair warning - this review may contain spoilers for "The Delphi Effect". 


Overall I enjoyed this book, it kept my interest and I never found the pacing to lag.  I really like the main character - Anna, and her group of friends, as well as her other allies.  In general they are believable characters.


In this story we learn more about the Delphi project and those behind it.  The major plot has Anna and her friends on the run and in hiding, while at the same time working toward rescuing other children and young people who have been kidnapped and are being held by this nefarious group.  As a middle book of a trilogy it's a solid read, advancing the plot, ending with a resolution of the immediate, but not yet wrapping up the larger issue.  Obviously there's more to come.  It also ends with an enigmatic bit of information that leaves the reader wondering and intrigued, but not to the point of being a cliff hanger.


There were a couple things though that had me rolling my eyes.  One of those things has to do with the head of security, Miller, hired by the woman bank-rolling Anna and her friends, Magda.


Magda has been presented as someone with apparently inexhaustible funds, but also someone who micromanages and does background checks so detailed it's nearly laughable.  However the man in charge of security she hired treats those he's hired to protect as if they are enemy combatants, and the ones he needs to guard as such, not as those he's been hired to protect from outside threat.


Granted, these people do have abilities that are potentially dangerous, however they are also children, children who are there to be protected from others who mean them harm.  While it's believable that there are those who would feel animosity simply because these children have abilities than can be dangerous, it's not believable to me that Magda would hire someone who was this incompetent as their security. This guy is ex-military.  Seems to me Magda would have hired someone who could be aware of the children's potential as dangerous while at the same time being calm and professional in handling his actual job of protecting them.  It just didn't seem believable to me that Madga would not have vetted him better.


As an example, one child sleepwalks and is in imminent danger of falling down a flight of stairs.  What does Miller do? The ex-military guy hired to keep these kids safe? He freaks out because the kid is up, and nearly causes the kid to fall down the stairs after being startled.


'"Hey, it's all right,' Aaron says, taking a few cautious steps toward the boy. 'Your dad is downstairs. I think you were sleepwalking. Why don't we move away from the stairs and--'
'What the hell is he doing out here?' Miller roars from the doorway. His body is a dark outline against the light from inside the house, his face illuminated only by the red dot of light at the base of his taser.
The boy flinches and screams as he loses his balance. His arms pinwheel in a futile attempt to stay upright. Aaron reaches out just in time and snags the collar of his T-shirt, yanking him back to safety. Had Aaron been a split second slower or a few inches farther away, the poor kid would have hurtled head over heels down the stairs to the lower deck."


It's not that I can't believe there'd be people who act like this, but the way Madga has been presented I find it hard to believe she'd hire one.


Another minor quibble - Anna and her friends have a puppy. 


"We're judging these kids in the same way that Pruitt and Miller judge all adepts, and I really don't think any of them would hurt the puppy on purpose. But he's still relatively helpless, so the rule stands: they can't play with him unless one of us is nearby. Just in case."


That's just being a responsible pet owner. Kids and dogs playing together *should* always be supervised, especially if either is very young.


They wisely decide to leave this puppy behind when they go off...somewhere (avoiding spoilers).  So far so good.  However while there are others where the puppy is being left, including a couple responsible adults, everyone who's previously been mentioned as helping to care for the puppy is leaving.  There's no mention of ensuring someone is going to be looking after the dog while they're gone.  Sure, it can be assumed someone will, but it's a missed detail, and Ms. Walker usually doesn't miss details.  And yes, I'll admit when it comes to pets in stories I am hyper-aware of their well-being.  So, a minor quibble.


This book also makes use of the tired trope of throwing in someone who believes in God only when a convenient bigoted character is needed, as a lazy way to explain their bigotry.  And it does so not just once, but several times.  I'm weary of such tactics.  We all know there are people like this, but there are also many people who believe in God who are not bigots, even to the point of finding reasons and justifications to not be bigots within that belief.  But here we are yet again only throwing in a character who believes in God when we need a bigot.  It's beyond tiresome at this point.


So, overall, a good and enjoyable story, with a few things I think could have been better but are relatively minor. I look forward to the final installment, and do plan to read it.


For those of you who'll want to know - the puppy is never in any danger and makes it to the end completely safe and unharmed.


*I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley.  I purchased the Audible version with my own money.*

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text 2017-10-21 12:52
Currently Reading: The Delphi Resistance
The Delphi Resistance (The Delphi Trilogy) - Rysa Walker

Thanks to Netgalley I've got a copy now, although I have preordered an audio copy due to be released on the 24th.


Typically I have a hard time getting to reading print books, but I couldn't wait to start book #2.


One thing I appreciate about Ms. Walker is that her books are professional quality, but still priced low as a self-pub.  That's a win-win for a reader like me.

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review 2017-10-21 02:16
Review: The Delphi Effect
The Delphi Effect (The Delphi Trilogy) - Rysa Walker

I'll admit I snagged this one mostly on the strength of the author's name.  I've already read previous books by Rysa Walker, and very much enjoyed them.  From the blurb it sounds potentially interesting, but not particularly original.  But I trusted the author, and I'm glad I did.


Anna Morgan is a seventeen year old who is jaded by the foster care system.  She also has the ability to communicate with the dead.  However in this story her communication is facilitated by a dead person attaching him/herself to Anna inside her mind.  She calls them "hitchers". And typically it's one at a time.


At the beginning of the story Anna is playing host to Molly, a young girl who had been murdered and wants Anna to communicate with Molly's grandfather, a retired police officer, in order to provide him with information that will hopefully catch her killer.


But there's more going on here than a simple murder mystery.  Molly's murderer was tied to a much larger scheme involving kidnapping and experiments. And Anna's contact with Molly's grandfather brings her, and her gift, to the attention of this nefarious group.


Anna, along with her younger former foster brother Deo, are both in danger.  Along the way they do have some allies, including Anna's therapist and Molly's grandfather.


I'll admit the basic plot isn't terribly original, although I did really like how Anna's gift was handled and the way it worked.  But it's much better and more engaging that it may sound.  What takes what might have been well-worn ground in another's hands and turns it into an interesting story is Ms. Walker's skill in writing a well paced story with believable characters and likable protagonists.  


And while there are occasional hints of attraction between Anna and another character, it remains infrequent and very slow burn.  There's no insta-love or teen angsty romance here.  Something I very much appreciated.

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text 2017-10-19 20:57
Currently Reading: The Delphi Effect
The Delphi Effect (The Delphi Trilogy) - Rysa Walker
Timebound - Rysa Walker

I started listening to the audio version of "The Delphi Effect" yesterday and I'm enjoying it so far.

I previously read "Timebound" by the same author, and enjoyed it, so I was hopeful I'd enjoy this new one.  First in a trilogy, already have the next one ready to go thanks to Netgalley (official release is next week).


The premise isn't terribly original, girl in her late teens has the ability to communicate with ghosts.  Our MC Anna is latched onto by the ghost of a murdered girl and she wants Anna to communicate what she knows to the murdered girl's retired cop grandfather in order to catch her killer.


But it's interestingly written, and Anna is likeable.  There's also something else going on here, hints of a secret group, experiments and a powerful man. One that may have something to do with Anna's "gift" and may want to stop her.

Yeah, not terribly original, but still enjoyable.  Ms. Walker can write.

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text 2017-10-16 21:50
Self-Pubs That Shine
The Book of Kindly Deaths - Eldritch Black
Rewinder - Brett Battles
Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper - J.L. Bryan
Paladin - Sally Slater
Haven - A.R. Ivanovich,Michelle Ivanovich
Nightfall Gardens - Allen Houston
Marking Time - April White
Slumber - Samantha Young
Timebound - Rysa Walker
Nefertiti's Heart - A.W. Exley

Most of us these days are aware of the flood of self-pubbed books and how difficult it can be to find a gem in the sea of mediocrity.  We often see reviews of the sub-par and/or reports of unethical marketing schemes or unprofessional behavior on the part of some authors.

But some of us who have stuck a toe or two into those waters have come across a few gems.  I thought it'd be good to share a few self-pubbed & small press books I really enjoyed and that I feel stand well among their trade-pubbed counterparts. 

So here are a few I've discovered that I am proud to recommend.

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