Hey all, it’s Alexa! So I picked up this review copy from NetGalley, because I got an email about it and the description just snagged my “THAT IS TOTALLY WICKED” factor. To be honest, it didn’t turn out to be exactly what I thought it would, but still, it was super intense and absolutely gripping.
It’s never wise to talk to strangers…and that goes double when they’re dead. Unfortunately, seventeen-year-old Anna Morgan has no choice. Resting on a park bench, touching the turnstile at the Metro station—she never knows where she’ll encounter a ghost. These mental hitchhikers are the reason Anna has been tossed from one foster home and psychiatric institution to the next for most of her life.
When a chance touch leads her to pick up the insistent spirit of a girl who was brutally murdered, Anna is pulled headlong into a deadly conspiracy that extends to the highest levels of government. Facing the forces behind her new hitcher’s death will challenge the barriers, both good and bad, that Anna has erected over the years and shed light on her power’s origins. And when the covert organization seeking to recruit her crosses the line by kidnapping her friend, it will discover just how far Anna is willing to go to bring it down.
The Delphi Effect very well may have one of the most multi-layered, fast-paced plots I have ever read. Literally, beginning to end is nonstop… I don’t want to say “action,” because there aren’t very many fight scenes, but just EPIC THINGS and WHAT THE HECK’S and OMG WE’RE BEING CHASED AGAIN. There were a few technical breathers, especially in the middle, but they were all packed with new information that just kind of wowed my senses and lowkey blew my mind. :p I was utterly drawn in; time sped as I read this book, and while I did predict a few things, for the most part, the twists and turns were a complete shock to me. I was especially surprised by how everything turned out in the end, and I’m interested to see how it’ll all play out in a sequel.
Plot: 5 stars out of 5.
For the most part, I think the characters in this novel were pretty well-executed. I didn’t love them, but they played their parts well and most of them had at least one surprising character twist that made them far more human (several of the ghosts, for instance, were particularly interesting). My favorites were Daniel (can’t say why because spoilers! But read the book; I promise this guy is freaking amazing) and Deo (smart, sweet, funny, basically the perfect little brother character only without making any of the dumb, little-literary-brother choices).
My biggest problem with the characters was Anna. Specifically the decisions she made around the middle of the book. I was really enjoying it, particularly the different takes on this style of characters and plot, but then she started making some really cliche, not-particularly-wise, teenager-in-a-bad-sitch choices and they annoyed me. I technically understood why she made them, but even she knew they were awful choices, yet she made them anyway because… she felt like she had to? It’s hard to explain without giving spoilers, but basically: I knew why she did the things she did, but they were still some of the worst decisions she could’ve made in that situation, so I honestly felt up and down about her throughout the story. Even now having finished, I can’t say for sure whether I liked Anna or not. She was interesting and different and I understood her choices, but I didn’t like them.
Characters: 3 1/2 stars out of 5.
The writing is perfect for telling this kind of story: it’s fast-paced and intense, sprinting along the page at the same breakneck rhythm as the plot. It drags you in and keeps you in until the story is over. There is quite a bit of telling, especially at the start, but most of it works for the character voice, so overall, I think it was a good decision for the story.
Also, culture refs for the win! Even though The Delphi Effect is set in the future, the author did a great job of threading current pop culture through in a that felt natural, rather than forcing it.
Writing Style/Setting: 4 1/2 stars out of 5.
And so we come in right about 4 stars out of 5. Like I said above, even though this book went into some content I did not expect it to and there were some character decisions that annoyed me, I still enjoyed it by the end and would recommend it to someone looking for a thriller with a heavy dose of paranormal. I will warn you, though, of several serious content issues better described in the notes below. If you’d like to pick up a copy for yourself, you can pre-order it on Amazon for $8.49.
So do you ever read thrillers? How about paranormal? What’s a plot-driven novel you’ve read that still felt pretty character-oriented? Can’t wait to hear from you, and I will see you in the comment section!
~ Love, Alexa <3
Notes: I received a free ecopy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Content: Human trafficking, mentions of rape, fairly serious violence, and cursing.