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Review: The Delphi Effect by Rysa Walker (Delphi Trilogy #1)

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The Delphi Effect by Rysa Walker // VBC ReviewThe Delphi Effect (Delphi Trilogy #1)
Rysa Walker
Published: Oct. 11, 2016 (Skyscape)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review source: copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Reviewed by: Beth

Rating (out of 5): 3.5 stars

Most of us have seen the movie that contains that famous line, “I see dead people.” It’s been used so often that it’s pretty much turned into a joke, though I remember being terrified while watching. But what if you really did see dead people? And not only did you see them, but they invaded your brain until you could fix whatever problem they have keeping them from being released?

This is exactly the problem that seventeen-year-old Anna Morgan has—and it’s exactly the reason why she’s been in foster care most of her life. Branded as crazy, and even being committed a time or two, Anna has exactly one person she trusts and looks out for. So when he ends up at a halfway house, that’s where Anna ends up too—and where she picks up her latest visitor, Molly. Only this time, things aren’t as simple. Molly has been murdered, and she knows who did it. So when Anna gets involved, things go from bad to worse in short order.

The Delphi Effect takes an idea that terrifies a certain percentage of the population (secret government conspiracies), adds paranormal activity of various kinds, and centers the whole thing on Anna (and to some degree Molly). It works surprisingly well, and a large part of that is how well the characters work. Anna is a difficult character—she’s street-smart, she’s independent, and she’s fierce. She’s also a kid who has been hurt far too many times, and who struggles to believe that anyone could really have her best interests in mind. She could easily just be a brat (she’s not) or a whiny twit (also no). Instead, she comes across as exactly who and what she is, and since she’s also a teenager, that’s quite a feat. The remaining characters are also pretty well done, though not too many more have quite the level of detail as Anna does.

Even though the book has paranormal activity in it, it is set in present day New York (for the most part). However, things start to get creepy when an abandoned property becomes part of the action, and the descriptions of that place–and what is contained on it—made it easy to visualize.

There is a small bit of romance, though nothing more than kissing. There could be triggers for some readers, as there are references to rape and sexual abuse. They aren’t heavy-handed, though, and they fit within the context of the story. Just something to be aware of.

Overall, I liked the book. The monsters contained within The Delphi Effect have nothing to do with the ghosts (“hitchers”) that Anna picks up—rather, they are absolutely, chillingly human. I’m not sure I would truly find the time to read the second book in what is planned as a trilogy—I didn’t find it so incredible that it would be a priority over others that might come along. But it was well written, interesting, and definitely worth a second look if you are interested in young adult paranormal books with a hint of romance.

Sexual content: kissing, references to rape and sexual abuse

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