The Delphi Revolution (The Delphi Trilogy #3) by Rysa Walker

A psychotic killer hijacked her mind and her body. She’s taking them back.

Eighteen-year-old Anna Morgan is on the run from the very government project that created her abilities. Now they seek to weaponize the gift she doesn’t want and can’t control: the invasion of her mind and her body by spirits, some of whom have their own unusual powers. Her latest “hitcher” is a former top Delphi executive. Unlike Anna’s previous guests, this one has taken over, and he’s on a personal mission of revenge.

The target is Senator Ronald Cregg, a corrupt, power-hungry presidential candidate. One of Delphi’s creators, he’s now manipulating the public into believing “psychic terrorists” are a scourge to be eliminated. There’s only one way to stop him, but Anna draws the line at murder.

Pulled into a dark conspiracy, Anna struggles to reclaim her body, mind, and soul as she and the other Delphi psychics join together to fight for their right to exist.

The Delphi Revolution by Rysa Walker
Published October 9, 2018 by Skyscape
Format: Netgalley e-book; 528 pages
Young Adult / Paranormal Fantasy / Science Fiction
Also By This Author: The Delphi Effect, The Delphi Resistance, Timebound, Time’s Edge, Time’s Divide
Goodreads | Author’s Website
My Rating: ♥♥♥

Thoughts

After a climactic ending to The Delphi Resistance, I was very much looking forward to the conclusion to Rysa Walker’s Delphi Effect series. I had so many questions and curiosities after the second book! When I started The Delphi Revolution, I was a bit confused because there is a noticeable jump in time from the ending of book two to the start of book three. I actually ended up rereading The Delphi Resistance thinking I had forgotten how it had ended; but no, book three starts abruptly without a quick recap of previous events. Instead, Anna is having unexplained blackouts weeks after her run in with Graham Cregg, and there seems to be some distance between Anna and the rest of the characters.

Eventually, the gaps are filled in, the characters continue their quest to take down Senator Cregg, and the plot thickens. A lot of the supporting characters that were introduced in the previous two books have a deeper role in The Delphi Revolution. Unfortunately, there was a lot more telling than showing in this final installment. The first two books in this series also have thick, political storylines, but there seemed to be so much summary in The Delphi Revolution that it was hard to stay connected to the plot at times. The ending was unfortunately anticlimactic for this very reason, and much of the suspense was lost overall.

One thing I did enjoy about the series overall, and wished that there could have been more of, was the fantasy side of the story. I loved the special abilities of the “adepts”, and the scenes where they were more present and spotlighted were the most enjoyable for me.

Read This Book If…

…you enjoy novels with thick political plot lines, especially concerning government conspiracies.
…you’re a fan of paranormal fantasy and sci-fi.
…you are looking for a new thriller or series to dive into.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of The Delphi Revolution in exchange for an honest review. These thoughts are my own!

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Red Rising.jpg

Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies…even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.

Red Rising (Red Rising #1) by Pierce Brown
Published January 28, 2014 by Del Rey
Format: Hardcover; 382 pages
Science Fiction/Fantasy/Dystopian
Also By This Author: Golden Son, Morning Star, Iron Gold
Goodreads | Amazon | Author’s Website
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Thoughts

There is SO MUCH packed into this novel that I am not even going to attempt to write out all of my thoughts. Instead, I am going to play a little game (since this book revolves around a game of sorts) called Top 3 Takeaways (I just made that up but I like it so I’ll probably use it for future reviews).

Top 3 Takeaways from Red Rising

  1. Nothing is black or white, everything is grey, and all’s fair (but not necessarily forgivable) in love & war: That’s a mouthful, so let me break it down. Red Rising is about war and revolution. It’s messy. It’s tragic. It’s violent (trigger warning: there are scenes involving rape, murder, torture, and enslavement). But both sides are shown and analyzed and the protagonists and antagonists all have realistically complex motives, making this novel full of grey lines. Sometimes Darrow does some unforgivable things. Sometimes you want his enemies to survive. In no way is this an easy novel to read. As Joey from Friends would say, it’s a “put it in the freezer” kind of book.
  2. Character building is better than world building: It took me a while to get into Red  Rising because the first several chapters are mostly world building, which can be rather boring and overbearing at times. I had to push through until Darrow made some frenemies, and then the novel started to get interesting. Those characters are what really grew and challenged Darrow, and the chapters when he is collaborating and conversing with the Golds are far more enjoyable than the first third of the novel when readers are learning about Mars and the Society and the mine where Darrow is from. If you’ve already read this novel, I will let you know that Chapter 36 is my favorite because of the brilliant way in which Darrow is stretched and empowered as a leader and a revolutionary.
  3. A book can be good or enjoyable without being original: The best way to succinctly describe Red Rising is by calling it a cross between three other dystopian science fiction novels: The Hunger Games, Lord of the Flies, and Ender’s Game. During a few moments in this book I honestly felt I was reading about The Capitol of Panem, and The Institute that Darrow “studies” at is just a high school, co-ed version of Lord of the Flies with much more violence and savagery. Darrow is also very similar to Ender Wiggin, an outsider prodigy who doesn’t play by the rules. I found both characters to be slightly untrustworthy at times, unlike Katniss Everdeen who is steadfast, moral, and a character I could trust with my life.

Overall, this book produced good and bad reactions out of me, but I think its praise is deserved, even if the dystopian Society is reminiscent of other novels. Red Rising will still keep you up until all hours of the morning with cliffhanging chapters and unpredictable characters.

You May Also Enjoy

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (for the dystopian society)
Lord of the Flies by William Golding (for the psychology behind war & survival)
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (for the sci-fi and war games)

How to Stop Time by Matt Haig

How to Stop Time.jpg

A love story across the ages – and for the ages – about a man lost in time, the woman who could save him, and the lifetimes it can take to learn how to live.

Tom Hazard has a dangerous secret. He may look like an ordinary 41-year-old, but owing to a rare condition, he’s been alive for centuries. Tom has lived history–performing with Shakespeare, exploring the high seas with Captain Cook, and sharing cocktails with Fitzgerald. Now, he just wants an ordinary life.

So Tom moves back to London, his old home, to become a high school history teacher–the perfect job for someone who has witnessed the city’s history first hand. Better yet, a captivating French teacher at his school seems fascinated by him. But the Albatross Society, the secretive group which protects people like Tom, has one rule: never fall in love. As painful memories of his past and the erratic behavior of the Society’s watchful leader threaten to derail his new life and romance, the one thing he can’t have just happens to be the one thing that might save him. Tom will have to decide once and for all whether to remain stuck in the past, or finally begin living in the present.

How To Stop Time by Matt Haig
Published February 6, 2018 by Viking
Format: Netgalley* e-book; 336 pages
Science Fiction/Historical Fiction
Also By This Author: The Humans, Reasons to Stay Alive
Goodreads | Amazon | Author’s Website
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Thoughts

Have you ever thought about what it would be like to live forever?

For Tom Hazard, having a life expectancy of 1,000 years is practically living forever, especially when he outlives everyone he knows and cares for by centuries. But not only does he live considerably longer than everyone around him, he ages one year for every fifteen years that pass. He can’t stay in one place for more than a decade without attracting unwanted attention. He can’t be seen out in public with his wife without people mistaking him for her son. His life is a lonely curse.

It is also a fascinating life, and I was even more interested in the flashbacks of Tom’s “youth” than the mid-life crisis he was having at the start of the novel. In his nearly 500 years on the earth, Tom has worked for Shakespeare, shared a drink with F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, and sailed to previously undiscovered lands.

There is also heartbreak, anguish, and despair in Tom’s life. Actually, most of his life is a melancholy tale. I can be rather melancholy myself, so I really felt for Tom and his struggles. But if you’re looking for a happy time travel read (do those even exist?), don’t expect that in How to Stop Time. Although there is an optimistic theme overall, there is also the plague, witch hunts, and murder. Plus there is a mysterious society of people like Tom, pressuring him to avoid making any attachments that may endanger the secrecy of his condition.

My only issue with this novel was the antagonist’s story line. I felt it was wrapped up at the end a bit too easily and unrealistically, which left me feeling slightly disappointed considering how suspenseful the rest of the novel had been up until that point. But overall, I was captivated by this novel’s premise and the conflict of its main character.

“That’s the thing with time, isn’t it? It’s not all the same. Some days–some years–some decades–are empty. There is nothing to them. It’s just flat water. And then you come across a year, or even a day, or an afternoon. And it is everything. It is the whole thing.”

You May Also Enjoy:

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Timeline by Michael Crichton
Timebound by Rysa Walker

“To talk about memories is to live them a little.”

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are my own!

Artemis by Andy Weir

Jazz Bashara is a criminal.

Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you’re not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you’ve got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent.

Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. But pulling off the impossible is just the start of her problems, as she learns that she’s stepped square into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself—and that now, her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even riskier than the first.

Artemis by Andy Weir
Published November 14, 2017 by Crown Publishing Group
Format: Netgalley e-book; 384 pages
Science Fiction/Mystery
Also By This Author: The Martian
Goodreads | Amazon | Author’s Website
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Thoughts:

Very rarely do I get excited about new release books. Normally I wait at least a year to see if the book can live up to its hype, but there are a few authors I make an exception for. Andy Weir is one of them. I read The Martian in 2015 after the movie was already in production, because I had heard so many good things about it and it sounded like the type of book both my husband and I would love. It ended up being my favorite book of the year.

So when I found out Andy Weir was publishing a new book this year about a female smuggler on the moon, I was stoked! For the moment I only have an e-book copy courtesy of Netgalley, but you can bet I’m going to get a hardcover copy because the cover is gorgeous, and it will sit nicely next to my lovingly worn paperback copy of The Martian.

About Artemis! The first half of this novel felt different from The Martian. Our main character and narrator, Jazz, is a 26-year old citizen of Artemis, the only city on the moon. She is also a genius, but she chooses to live the life of a smuggler, despite everyone else’s opinion that she could be doing something extraordinary with her talents. Andy Weir takes a while to describe the city of Artemis, the way it works (it’s run more like a corporation than a government), and the people in it, and it’s easy to get used to Jazz’s smart-alec personality.

The second half of the novel brought me back to the summer I read The Martian, when every chapter it felt like my own life was hanging in the balance. Jazz is a master problem solver, and sometimes she’s a trial and error learner, which creates a lot of anxiety for the reader! Toward the end of the novel, every chapter had at least one everything is screwed and everyone is gonna die moment, and I enjoyed every minute of it!

I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Artemis was both a technical science fiction novel and a murder mystery story. The characters Andy Weir created were amazing and very realistic. Jazz has some great friends; my only qualm was that I wish we got to actually meet Kelvin.

You May Also Enjoy:

The Martianarmada

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Martian by Andy Weir

Armada by Ernest Cline

The Delphi Resistance (The Delphi Trilogy #2) by Rysa Walker

Delphi Resistance

Struggling with evolving psychic abilities, seventeen-year-old Anna Morgan and her equally exceptional friends are on the run from the ruthless Graham Cregg, leader of a covert operation known as the Delphi Project. Cregg has already killed repeatedly to test Anna’s ability. Now, he and his father, a presidential contender, will stop at nothing to recapture the Delphi adepts, whom they see as weapons to be controlled—or destroyed.

Navigating an increasingly hostile landscape, Anna and her friends form a resistance to rescue those still in the Creggs’ fatal grip. As more gifted kids vanish and public awareness of the Delphi Project grows, so does the opinion that getting rid of the adepts may be a necessary evil.

Yet even as they face off against cold-blooded killers, government operatives, and a public intensely afraid of their psychic powers, the greatest threat to Anna and the resistance may come from within themselves—and their own mysterious abilities could spell their ultimate downfall.

The Delphi Resistance (The Delphi Trilogy #2) by Rysa Walker
Published October 24, 2017 by Skyscape
Format: Netgalley e-book; 456 pages
Young Adult/Paranormal/Fantasy
Also By This Author: The Delphi EffectTimebound
Goodreads | Amazon
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Thoughts:

First off, I love this cover. The splotches of blue and purple look so well together (also, they’re my two favorite colors!), and the sphere in the middle reminds me of a black hole, even though this book series has nothing to do with black holes or space travel.

My favorite thing about this series so far has been the characters, especially the ones with special abilities. In The Delphi Effect, we mostly see Anna with one “hitcher”, as she calls them. Towards the end of the book, however, as the plot and conspiracies grow deeper, Anna takes on multiple hitchers and her self-control and focus are pushed to the limit as she tries not to be pushed to the backseat of her consciousness. In The Delphi Resistance, Anna consistently has multiple hitchers, but she has learned how to keep control, even during stressful situation (these hitchers are more friendly than some of the ones we met at the end of Delphi Effect.

Similarly to its prequel, The Delphi Resistance has more exposition scenes and fewer high-intensity action scenes, although there are two really suspenseful ones in this novel. The characters spend weeks researching, investigating, and, in Taylor’s case, tracking down key people in the Delphi Project. I believe this reflects Rysa Walker’s own writing habits, as I know she is a history buff who loves researching real events for her novels. It’s one of the biggest things I admire about her as an author :)

The ending to The Delphi Resistance came suddenly, and I’m anxious to read the final installment of the series next year. I’m really excited to find out what’s going on with some of the “gifted” characters, like Daniel, and the boy Anna first encounters at The Warren.

You May Also Enjoy:

mara dyerdivergentMarvel’s X-Men

The Mara Dyer series by Michelle Hodkin

Divergent series by Veronica Roth

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of The Delphi Resistance in exchange for an honest review. These thoughts are my own!

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

One pitch-black London morning, a ghoulish little man tramples a young girl and continues heedlessly on his way. Caught by a passerby and returned to the scene of the crime, the man is forced to pay £100 in restitution. He produces ten pounds in gold and a check for the remainder. Curiously, the check bears the signature of the well-regarded Dr. Henry Jekyll. Even stranger, Dr. Jekyll’s will names this same awful and mysterious little man, Mr. Hyde, as the sole beneficiary. Troubled by the coincidence, Dr. Jekyll’s attorney visits his client. What he uncovers is a tale so strange and terrifying it has seeped into the very fabric of our consciousness.

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
Published January 5, 1886 by Longmans, Green & Co.
Format: e-book/audiobook; 64 pages/3 hours 3 minutes
Classics/Science Fiction
Also By This Author: Treasure IslandKidnapped
Goodreads | Amazon
My Rating: ♥♥♥

Thoughts:

I was really looking forward to reading this spooky gothic classic by Robert Louis Stevenson, especially during the Halloween season. Unfortunately, I was sadly disappointed. While the novel’s plot and characters were intriguing, I found the writing style incredibly boring. It took me at least two weeks to finish a three hour audiobook, mainly because I kept zoning out and losing interest as the story went on.

Everyone knows the basic plot of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: a curious scientist drinks a potion that turns him into a murderous lunatic, and overtime Dr. Jekyll becomes consumed by this psychotic half of his split-personality. It’s a fascinating plot for a story, which is why Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde remains so popular over a century later. While I did enjoy the beginning and the end of this novel, I felt that the middle dragged on without very many exciting things happening, aside from some very lengthy passages of dialogue that could have used a sentence or two of description.

I would recommend this book to fans of gothic lit and classic sci-fi (namely H.G. Wells’s novels), but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend an audiobook version unless the narrator is extremely entertaining. I believe the version I listened to was from Librivox.

You May Also Enjoy:

img_1269FrankensteinThe Invisible Man by H.G. Wells

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

The Punch Escrow by Tal M. Klein – Audiobook Review

TPEcover

It’s the year 2147. Advancements in nanotechnology have enabled us to control aging. We’ve genetically engineered mosquitoes to feast on carbon fumes instead of blood, ending air pollution. And teleportation has become the ideal mode of transportation, offered exclusively by International Transport—a secretive firm headquartered in New York City. Their slogan: Departure… Arrival… Delight!

Joel Byram, our smartass protagonist, is an everyday twenty-second century guy. He spends his days training artificial intelligence engines to act more human, jamming out to 1980’s new wave—an extremely obscure genre, and trying to salvage his deteriorating marriage. Joel is pretty much an everyday guy with everyday problems—until he’s accidentally duplicated while teleporting.

Now Joel must outsmart the shadowy organization that controls teleportation, outrun the religious sect out to destroy it, and find a way to get back to the woman he loves in a world that now has two of him.

The Punch Escrow by Tal M. Klein
Published July 25, 2017 by Geek & Sundry
Format: e-audiobook; 8 hours 42 minutes
Science Fiction / Technothriller
Goodreads | Audible | Amazon
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 

Thoughts

Wow! This is one of those science fiction novels that really makes you think about your personal beliefs and ask yourself, “how far is too far?” when it comes to human advancement in technology and science. In the 2100s, nanotechnology runs everything, and teleportation is the preferred method of travel. I used to love the idea of teleportation and the convenience of being able to teleport instead of drive around (and just imagine all of the international traveling you could do!), but after reading The Punch Escrow, I honestly hope it’s scientifically impossible for teleportation to ever exist.

I was really intrigued by our main character’s conflict in The Punch Escrow. About halfway through the novel the story gets even more interesting because we begin following both Joel Byrams, and I kept asking myself, “What would I do if I was somehow cloned and only one of us was allowed to live?” That’s not a question I ask myself often while reading!

The Punch Escrow is for fans of true science fiction, but it also has a fair amount of humor. Joel Byram is hilarious and sarcastic. In his own words, he “tells jokes to computers” for a living, and there are several chapters where we get to see him trick computers into doing illegal (but nonviolent) activities for him. Joel reminds me of Harry Dresden, the protagonist from The Dresden Files Series, and also Wade from Ready Player One. So if you are into smartass heroes, you’ll love Joel Byram :)

Fun note: This film version of this novel is currently in development, and I think it has the potential to be a fantastic science fiction movie. Let’s hope they cast some great actors!

Audiobook Review

I am pretty shocked to find out that this is Matt Mercer’s first audiobook narration! He does a fantastic job of bringing Joel Byram to life, and he gives each of the supporting characters realistic voices, including an ambulance (this is from one of the computer-tricking scenes that I mentioned earlier). I really enjoyed listening to this audiobook, and I look forward to listening to other narrations by Matt Mercer in the future.

matthewmercerAbout the NarratorMatthew Christopher Miller, known professionally as Matthew Mercer or Matt Mercer, is an American voice actor involved in English dubs of Japanese anime as well as cartoons, films and video games. In anime shows, he voiced Levi in Attack on Titan, Kiritsugu Emiya in Fate/Zero, Kanji Tatsumi for episodes 13-26 in Persona 4: The Animation and Trafalgar Law in the Funimation dub of One Piece. In video games, he voices Leon S. Kennedy in the Resident Evil series, Jack Cooper in Titanfall 2, Chrom in Fire Emblem Awakening, McCree in Overwatch, MacCready in Fallout 4 and Yusuke Kitagawa in Persona 5. In addition to voice-over, Mercer has developed some live-action web series including a Nintendo character parody called “There Will Be Brawl” and the famous Geek & Sundry and Alpha Dungeons & Dragons gaming session show “Critical Role.” The Punch Escrow is his first audiobook.

You May Also Enjoy…

The MartiantimelineReady Player OneThe Martian by Andy Weir

Timeline by Michael Crichton

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

 

 

 

Giveaway!

Want to win a free copy of The Punch Escrow? Click on the link below to enter a giveaway :)

The Punch Escrow Giveaway: The Punch Escrow Prize Pack

The Punch Escrow Banner

Check out the other reviews for this blog tour over at The Audiobookworm!