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The Delphi Trilogy #1
Goodreads⎮Reviewed Jul. 2017
Narrator: Kate Rudd
Publisher: Brilliance Audio⎮2016
Synopsis: 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.
4.75★ Audiobook⎮ One can never go wrong with the duo of Rysa Walker and Kate Rudd. I learned that listening lesson last year when hearing The Chronos Files and it still holds true for The Delphi Effect.
I’d had my eye on this particular title before it was even released simply because of Walker and Rudd. The synopsis further convinced me that The Delphi Effect was something I had to hear. It’s a rare audiobook that’s able to stand up to my personal expectations, but this one definitely did.
The Delphi Effect is a glorious crossover combination of the science fiction and paranormal genres. Based on the synopsis, I was expecting more paranormal than science-fiction. The sci-fi elements manifest during the latter half of the story and reminded me a good deal of Lauren Oliver’s Replica; Not the underlying concept, but the institutional setting. So many science fiction stories have institutional settings like this one, so it was refreshing for Walker to combine it with the paranormal aspect of the story.
Walker spends the first half building the story around the main character’s paranormal abilities. My listening tastes have begun to increasingly lean towards paranormal titles in recent months, so that was the main draw for me with The Delphi Effect. I’ve heard plenty of titles about characters who can see and/or communicate with the dead, but Walker’s spin on that concept was completely new to me. The closest thing I can relate the idea of “mental hitchhiking” to is Stephanie Meyer’s The Host (which I also loved!).
I appreciated the element of realism Walker threw into the mix. Anna, the protagonist with paranormal abilities, is treated as an individual with a psychiatric disorder for much of her life. Such infusions of realism always make science-fiction and paranormal stories more relatable and require a little less suspension of disbelief.
Rysa Walker developed the character of Anna in a very realistic and relatable way, outside of her paranormal ability, of course. There were nods to the Harry Potter series (on audiobook!) that further grounded the story in the real world and made the characters even more relatable. This development of character and setting tremendously aided my willingness to follow the plot into science-fiction territory. Without such great development in the first part of the story, much of my interest would have been lost when the slightly less original military conspiracy plot thickened.
The military conspiracy plot in The Delphi Effect was vaguely reminiscent of the religious conspiracy plot in The Chronos Files. I haven’t been a super huge fan of either, but that seems to be Rysa Walker’s thing and she always seems to make it work. I am, however, a super huge fan of Rysa Walker. The Delphi Effect cemented it. If I come to love more than one series from an author, it officially makes me a fan of the author, not just of that series. And seeing how Walker only lives a couple of hours from me, I’m hereby putting “Meet Rysa Walker” on my To-Do list.
Narration review: Kate Rudd is such a reliable narrator. I know I’ve said that before, but it really is one of the highest compliments I can give a narrator. She consistently gives great performances. When I pick up a Kate Rudd audiobook, I don’t have to wonder if I’ll enjoy the narration.
I breathed a sigh of relief when discovering that she was teaming up with Rysa Walker again. Walker obviously knows what a good thing she’s found in Kate Rudd and I can’t blame her for continuing their collaboration. Walker and Rudd are quickly becoming a power duo in the audiobook community. If you see these two together, you know it’s going to be good! ♣︎