Posted in 5 stars, Book Review, interview, netgalley

INTERVIEW: The Delphi effect by Rysa Walker

First

If you have not read my review of The Delphi Effect have no fear because the link is here.

Click to read my review of The Delphi Effect.

Now that that’s over let’s jump right in. Ladies and gentleman , Fawkes and unicorns please welcome the author of The Delphi Effect, Rysa Walker!

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Interview with Rysa Walker

Rysa Walker: Hi, Snow! First, thanks so much for inviting me to chat on your blog. I love interacting with readers :)

Happy to have you here! Let’s jump right into it.

1.       What is your favourite Young adult novel righdarkness savage.jpgt now?

Aside from my all-time favorite books that I’ve loved forever, like the Harry Potter series, my favorite book is usually the one I’m reading now. Currently, that book is Darkness Savage, the last installment in the wonderful Dark Cycle by Rachel A. Marks.  Readers who enjoy urban fantasy should definitely check this series out. I’m almost finished and loving the way the story wraps up. I was lucky to get a sneak peek, since the book releases on October 11th, the very same day as The Delphi Effect.  

2. What inspired the story?

I started writing The Delphi Effect back in spring of 2013, but then my debut book, Timebound, won the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award in June of that year. My new publisher, Skyscape, wanted the sequels ASAP, so I shelved Delphi for a while to focus on finishing up the CHRONOS books.

The book itself was strongly inspired by music.  My kids and I had a playlist that we always put on in the mornings on our ungodly-early drive to school.  I was on the way back from dropping them off when two songs came on back to back.  One was “42,” from my youngest son’s then-favorite album by Coldplay.  The other was “Oh, Lately It’s So Quiet,” by a group that my oldest son introduced me to a few years back, OK Go.  Both songs are about being haunted, but in very different ways.  Later that day, I sat down and wrote the first chapter of The Delphi Effect. And while I was writing it, Tegan & Sara’s 30439157“Walking with a Ghost” came on my Pandora station.

3.       Who is your inspiration?

I’m not sure that Iinspire.png could really pick just one.  Some of the people who inspire me are people I don’t even know personally, like the Dalai Lama and people who work to protect human rights like Malala Yousafzai and Myanmar leader, Aung San Suu Kyi.  I’m also inspired by people who struggle every day to work and raise their families, often as single parents. I’ve been there and I know it’s not easy.  If you’re talking literary inspiration, however, I’d have to say writers like Stephen King and Margaret Atwood rank near the top of the list.

4. What helps you to stay loyal to your characters?

I don’t have a choice.  If I fail to stay loyal to them, they stop talking to me, and then I’m in big, big trouble. I’m a little like Anna in that many of my characters are voices in my head.  I don’t plot things out so much as put those characters into the situation and see what happens.  If I try to make my characters do something that’s not organic, that doesn’t come naturally, they will go (and actually have gone) on strike. I then have to backtrack to the point where I got too bossy and rip it all
out. Then I feed them lots of chocolate as an apology and promise not be such a dictator in the future. 🙂

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5.       Which character’s voice was the hardest for you to write?

In terms of getting the voice right, Taylor was the hardest.  It was difficult to walk that fine line between her bblock.pngeing justifiably angry about the past few years and being such a whiny brat that readers couldn’t empathize with her position and would just want to smack her. 😉

But I also struggled a bit in terms of getting Anna’s voices right, strictly from a writing perspective.

There’s a lot going on in Anna’s head, especially by the end of the book, and finding a way to convey that to the readers without constantly saying “Molly thought,” “Jaden thought,” etc., was a bit of a challenge.

 

Thanks for your time!

Make sure to get your copy of The Delphi Effect and follow Rysa Walker on all the social media realms.

 

Social media links:

Twitter:  @RysaWalker

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Timebound

Website: http://www.rysa.com

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/walker

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/RysaWalker

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Posted in 5 stars, Book Review, interview, netgalley, YA

ARC Review: The Delphi Effect by Rysa Walker

I would like to thank NetGalley and Skyscape for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Author: Rysa Walker
Series: Book #1
Pages: 379
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Sci Fi & Fantasy, Teens & YA
Rating: 5 stars
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Plot

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.

My Experience:

I was hooked immediately. Nothing like hearing more than one voice inside a character’s mind to get me obsessed.

The book kicks off with Anna shivering in the cold. Freezing from a too small jacket and clutching onto the heat of a bad cup of coffee in her hand. She has a message. A message for Mr. Porter from a girl named Molly, his granddaughter. Only problem? Molly is dead.

The characters are so real. I immediately fell in love with Anna. She has such a sweet voice but at the same time, she doesn’t take nonsense. She has been getting stuck with ghosts,”Hitchers” as she calls them since she was a baby and as you can imagine this has given her a very tough skin. She can pick Hitchers up at any time since ghosts hang out by places that have their last happy memory. She will help where she can but she is not a pushover.

Metaphor for explaining how I feel about this book:

I would like you to refer to the next clip to understand my metaphor.

The yellow adorable creature is called Cheese. Cheese really likes chocolate milk and you guessed it, cereal. I will be like Cheese this month. I will jump out of people’s closets and yell:

“I like the Delphi Effect!”

I will walk into a silent library and whisper

“I like the Delphi Effect”

I will write on my exam paper

“I like the Delphi Effect”

I will stand on a mountain and yell, “I like the Delphi Effect!” and the words will echo through the mountains.

The story is fast paced and from the first page, it’s a race to get to the finish line. Be swept up by a gripping investigation story, be filled with awe by all the special abilities you find yourself surrounded with. But mostly be prepared to be offended when the book ends because you will not be ready to let go yet.

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Lucky for us we have two more books to go.

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What I liked:

I loved the element of super powers in the story. And the unique way they were hosted and used.

What I did not like:

One of the villains in the story immediately has an intense hatred for Anna. It was never explained why. That is one thing I would like to be explored further in the series.

Recommendations:

I predict big things for this book. I believe this book can be nominated for one of the best Young Adult novels of 2016. It is the Divergent of 2016. If you have any fond feelings towards the young adult genre this book can not be missed. Grab a blanket and get comfortable this is the kind of book that gets finished in one sitting.

Rating:

5 hitching snowflakes

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I was lucky enough to score an interview with the author! Keep an eye out on my page the interview will be posted soon.

Sincerely

Snow

Posted in 5 stars, Comics & Manga, Snow ramblings

When you realise you don’t have a book review.

When you realise it’s Wednesday and you don’t have a review for a book.

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However, then you are Snow and you realize you have a comic review!

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So  this is going to be in a very random format. No rules. No boundaries. Let’s do this.

How did I get my hands on this comic?

Simple. I requested it on Edelweiss and typed out please 50 times. I think my message looked something like this:

“Please , please , please , please , please , please , please , please. I need this. Today is my birthday [It actually was. Don’t judge me.] can I please read this. When I was a child all the girls around me played doll or other games. I was pretending to be a ninja turtle with my brothers yelling kalabunga.”

Now dragons , elves ,trolls , humans , cats and other beings. It is time to reveal.

What made me this desperate to read?

Enthusiastic Drumrole.

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The comic was:

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Name : Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Vol. 1

Author : James Tynion

Pages: 176 beautiful pages.

TMNT meets Batman!?!?!?!?!??!?!

Honestly, who does not get excited about this.

The phases I went through:

  1. 1. This is not real life this is not real.

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2. I am reading about the turtles and batman. I’m reading about the turtles and batman. NOBODY PANICK. NOBODY PANICK!!!!!!!!

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3. This is so perfect how will I ever get over this.

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My actual review:

Oh my crud.

I loved every single frame and every single second while this lasted.

I will quote Don to express how I feel about this comic.

“Is this what love feels like because I think this is what love feels like.” – Donatello

This was just perfection. There was suspense, twists, and character development. I never thought that I would see the day that Raph cared so much about somebody other than his family(Baphael for life). The fanboy Mikey was around batman is the fangirl I was throughout the duration this comic lasted(Maybe an hour). I will be looking out to buy this comic I need to have this on my shelf and show every single person even those who do not like comics.
Baphael bromance merchandise needs to be made now.

This was like swimming in nostalgia and like reuniting with old friends. It was perfect. It felt right. It felt like I was home.

5 Snowflakes. Obviously.

*  * * * *

Sincerely

Snow

Posted in 5 stars, Book Review, interview, YA

Review + Interview ! Inside out by Terry Trueman.

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Title: Inside Out
Author: Terry Trueman
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 117
Source: Kindle
Rating: 5

I adore books that start like this.

Bam! In the middle of a busy action scene. You don’t know where you are, what you are doing or why you are there, all you know is that you like this. You like this a lot.

(Grabs popcorn and overly charged soda.)

I had already laughed out loud 5 times and I had barely reached the second page.

Plot:

In a busy coffee shop, a robbery goes wrong. Two gunmen hold seven hostages, including teenager Zach Wahhsted. What nobody realizes at first is that Zach is anything but ordinary and his troubled mind is more dangerous than any weapon.

My experience:

Wow. Wow. Wow.

What an experience. If you have not read this book do yourself a favour and get your hands on it. This is such a powerful read.

This book deals with important issues juvenile crime, prejudice, but most importantly, mental illness.

Meet our main character, Zach. Zach is a bit different. His mind works a bit different from the way other people’s minds work, well that’s what his doctors and his mom say. So it’s probably true.

Zach finds himself in the middle of a bank robbery. He supposes he should be scared but he doesn’t think he is scared. Maybe he is?

This book is so hard to describe. So I will use a metaphor as I often do when I can’t express in words how this book made me feel experiencing the story through Zach’s eyes. The metaphor might be confusing but it’s the best way I can explain my journey with this book.

It felt like I was skating on a frozen ice pond. I felt like I could lose control anytime and slip and fall. But It was such a graceful journey I had no fear. It was a bit dark around, so all I could feel was the sense of skating and deciding whether I liked to skate or not. Then the light starts to grow brighter and I get to see my reflection. Yet it’s not the reflection I expected. It is someone vague sad and alone. I skate along feeling an urgency to help the reflection but the sensation of skating is so liberating and so I don’t feel too bad for the reflection. Then I start noticing people around me pointing at me. Some are laughing some are looking at me in utter disgust. The question in their faces is crystal clear.

Why is this person skating.?

Why is this person allowed outside the house?

 I can feel my stomach turning, I’m becoming upset. But then I realise, I am still having fun. They are strangers. I don’t need them to understand skating to have fun and glide. I then start seeing the cracks in the ice.  I start sensing the danger of this pond. There is no way to know how thick the ice really is nor how long I will be able to keep skating. As I start making my way to the edge. I feel the ice crack and I am plunged into the icy frozen water.

It’s hard to explain this story. It’s important to keep it hidden so you can discover it yourself.  Because only by digging and going through the effort of getting to know Zach will you understand the treasure buried in this book.

Quotes:

“I look around at everybody else in this place, and they all look scared, so I’m trying to look scared too.”

What I liked:

I love the character, Zach. How he is introduced to the reader and how comfortable you are reading from his point of view.

What I did not like:

I would have liked to know a bit more about the robbers and their reaction to how it all turned out in the end.

Rating for the book:

It’s the kind of book you want to have on your shelf. The kind of book you need to read and want to read again. The kind of book you have to give 5 stars to.

5 very powerful snowflakes.

*****

Interview with Terry Trueman

1. What inspired you to write about such a difficult topic?

 I have a Masters degree in Psychology and so studied this subject before working as a therapist for some years at a mental health center, but the big inspiration was losing my beloved stepson to suicide about a year after he’d been diagnosed with schizophrenia.
I have a Masters degree in Psychology and so studied this subject before working as a therapist for some years at a mental health center, but the big inspiration was losing my beloved stepson to suicide about a year after he’d been diagnosed with schizophrenia.

2. What was the most important goal you wanted to achieve with your story?

 I wanted to make a story in which a protagonist had schizophrenia but was a heroic and lovable character, to give a positive view of people with mental illness and lower the stigma with which they live.

3. What are some the most touching or important comments that you have received from people that have read Inside out?

The book was published in 2003, 13 years ago and is still available and has recently ben optioned for a possible TV movie on Starz network. I got lots of warm reviews and many personal emails thanking me for the book, but much of that happened a decade ago. I hope the movie project comes together and gives the book a boost.

4. Did Zach teach you anything while you were writing his story? If so what?

Honestly, Zach was an amalgam of myself and my stepson Eric to whom the book is dedicated and probably a few other friends/former clients with schizophrenia from years ago.. I honestly can’t say Zach “taught me” things; when I write I try to stay in pretty tight control of what’s going on, so Zach was an ongoing creation. On second thought though, trying to make his character sympathetic, despite his confusing condition, likely taught me how difficult life must be for people who suffer from mental illness.

 

Sincerely

Snow

Posted in 5 stars, Book Review, netgalley, YA

Blame Simon Mayo

“They used to blame black people, refugees, Jews, immigrants, whoever. Then they ran out of people to point fingers at. So now it’s us.”

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Title: Blame
Author: Simon Mayo
Publisher: Penguin Random House UK Children’s
Pages: 480
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Juvenal Fiction, Young Adult , Contemporary
Rating: 5

 

I would just like to say a massive thank you to Penguin Random House UK Children’s 
for providing me with an ARC of this book through NetGalley. 
Plot:
Your past is your future.

Humans always need a scapegoat. Humans need someone to blame. Welcome to the world where they ran out of people to blame. I mean, there are people to blame but the criminals are either dead or long gone below the grid. So what good is that? Oh wait, what if the criminals they blamed had a family. And they put the blame on them? That could work? Right?

That’s the situation in which Ant finds herself – together with her little brother Mattie and their foster-parents, she’s locked up in a new kind of family prison. None of the inmates are themselves criminals, but wider society wants them to do time for the unpunished ‘heritage’ crimes of their parents.

Tensions are bubbling inside the London prison network Ant and Mattie call home – and when things finally erupt, they realize they’ve got one chance to break out. Everyone wants to see them punished for the sins of their mum and dad, but it’s time for Ant to show the world that they’re not to blame.

 

Someone has to pay. Someone always has to pay.

*Dramatic music*

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My Experience:

 

 When I read the words prison and kids being in jail for their parent’s crimes. I was sold. I wanted to read the book. No, I needed to read this. I immediately marked it as desperate-to-read on my Goodreads shelf and a request for an ARC was swiftly traveling from my cave. It felt like Christmas had come early when I saw my ARC request had been approved!

This was the first book I read of Simon Mayo. But I had a gut feeling, even before I started digging into the pages, that it would not be my last.

As I finished the first few pages I could feel my hands being cuffed to this book. I was not going to put this book down and it was not going to let me. I was perfectly fine with that.

Meet The Giver, Animal Farm , Hunger Games and whatever you can think of pushed into one orange novel.

You might not be aware of this dear reader, but I love stories with propaganda. The more subtle the brainwash the more excited I become. The angrier I can get with books, the happier I am.

Raging at book politics are one of my favourite hobbies.

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Oh, how I loved this book. I salute you Sir Simon. Orange is indeed the new blame. The brainwashing, scapegoating, corruption , justice and revenge.

After this book, you will just want to pick up a pitchfork and a hashtag and cause riots! #notToBlame #goosegirl

Quotes:

‘There are those living among us,’ he said, partly to the camera, partly to the unseen audience, ‘who have come to feel that they are above the law. A culture of impunity has developed whereby they think they can get away with their crimes.’He pauses his lips pressed tightly together.  The audience waited. ‘And they are right – they can get away with it.  At the moment. For now.’

 

Day 0
We owe you:
1 football
4 hats
5 bus fares
You owe us:
Everything

 

What I liked:

I loved the little bits we get to read written from Mattie’s perspective. It gives you a much better insight into who he is and makes you that more fond of him.

What I did not like:

It’s always so hard to do this when I give a book 5 stars.

Sigh, give me a few minutes.

I suppose the one thing I would have liked more is a bit more about their life before they went to their foster parents. If you have not read this book this passage might seem a bit confusing since I’m going to censor it to keep it spoiler free. I know some details were given in the flashbacks about their real parents and history. But the fact that they had certain ahem “skills” the how they had them was a bit of a mystery to me. A valid reason is given for why they have them. For me, it’s more about the how they acquired them since it goes against their characters  a bit for me? So I would have liked a flashback there. That is one little critique I have.

Recommendations:

Fans of Dystopian books such as Divergent, Hunger Games, this one will fit in your shelf nicely.

This is for everybody older than 13, I believe. I would strongly recommend you get this if you love prison break stories and the dystopian genre.

Rating:

I give this 5 strutting snowflakes.

 

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~Sincerely Snow

 

 

Posted in 5 stars, Book Review, War, YA

Front Lines by Michael Grant

 

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Series: Book #1
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 548
Source: I own the book.
Genre: Historical Fiction, Young Adult , War
Rating: 5
I would just like to say a massive thank you to the publisher for
sending me a copy of Front Lines.

The introduction for the book kicked me in the heart with a big army boot. Goosebumps exploded like a swarm of ants over my body. The intense statements of the introduction made me shiver. I knew this was going to be one hell of a ride.

The plot:

1942. World War II. The most terrible war in human history. Millions are dead; millions more are still to die. The Nazis rampage across Europe and eye far-off America.

The green, untested American army is going up against the greatest fighting force ever assembled—the armed forces of Nazi Germany.

But something has changed. A court decision makes females subject to the draft and eligible for service. So in this World War II, women and girls fight, too.

As the fate of the world hangs in the balance, three girls sign up to fight. Rio Richlin, Frangie Marr, and Rainy Schulterman are average girls, girls with dreams and aspirations, at the start of their lives, at the start of their loves. Each has her own reasons for volunteering. Not one expects to see actual combat. Not one expects to be on the front lines.

Rio, Frangie, and Rainy will play their parts in the war to defeat evil and save the human race. They will fear and they will rage; they will suffer and they will inflict suffering; they will hate and they will love. They will fight the greatest war the world has ever known.

New York Times bestselling author Michael Grant has created a masterful alternate history of World War II in Front Lines, the first volume in a groundbreaking series.

My experience:

Join the army. They need you but they don’t necessarily want you.

It’s in the age where sexism is manifested in every corner and racism is part of the oxygen. Follow the journey of 3 very strong soldiers: Rainy, Rio, and Frangie.

I will kick this review off by using a quote from Stephen king:

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If there is one book that hid its treasures throughout the entire book, keeping you on edge the entire time, it is this masterpiece.

Every time I had to put the book down I felt like I was missing out. My heart would start to race with guilt if I had to put it down in an intense scene.  I would feel as if I was keeping the characters in an uncomfortable position by leaving them there. And if I could just continue to read than I would be helping them get out of whatever situation they were to be found in. 

Everything I loved about this book:

The dialogue:

I loved the replacements for the swear words. The authenticity of the racial slurs without it seeming over dramatic. One issue I usually have when reading books with racist characters is that the derogatory terms and condescension will be too over the top. This is done to make the reader realize that this character, is in fact, a big ugly racist that you must not like. Not Michael Grant, with the description of a look from one white officer to a black officer you could feel the hatred and history between them. However, whether the character is racist or sexist there might still be something likable about them. That is something that only a true storyteller can do. They are able to create hateful characters  yet leave it up to the reader to decide whether they want to like or dislike the characters.

Background characters are not just the background characters:

During this story, you would expect crowds, workers and maybe a person who hands over the uniforms. You would not however, expect to remember the person that hands over the clothes. Because that person is there to just fill a role right? Wrong! It is a character that is placed there and there will be something you will be able to remember about them. Even if it was just a woman who handed over a uniform. This reminds me of what they say about having only one line in a production and that,that line can make you famous.

 

You root for the characters:

You aren’t just sitting on the sidelines with a poster of your favourite character’s name surrounded by hearts and  a “Follow me on Twitter” slogan. You are running next to them. You are pulling them through the mud. You are willing to carry them through the scorching heat and mosquitos as long as they don’t give up. Their fight becomes your fight. As long as they have the will to keep on fighting, you will be able to keep on fighting. No matter the circumstances, no matter how badly they are treated or underestimated for being mere women in a man’s army. No matter the hell they go through as long as they can keep preserving and surviving you know that you will also be able to keep fighting. You will be able to handle what you are going through and survive the labels or bad treatment.

It gave me hope:

This book reminded me of the inner strength humans possess to prevail and to survive. Sometimes we lose a battle but that doesn’t mean we lose the war. These characters were already in my heart before I was halfway through the book. I will remember them and I will carry their strength with me as reminders that there are people like them fighting everyday but never giving up.

I am waiting very impatiently for the next book in this series. You can bet I will be one of the first in line for a copy.

 

Quotes:

“No smoking, no drinking, no fraternizing with the opposite sex, those are the rules. So naturally we smoke, drink, and fraternize most evenings.”

“Under a chilly sun Rio and Jenou take the air, straining every nerve to ignore the incessant catcalls and lewd entreaties of male soldiers.”

 

What I liked:

I loved how the character I disliked the most became my favourite character by the end of this book.

Only Michael Grant, ladies and gentleman. Only Michael Grant.

 

What I did not like:

If I have to think of one thing it would be of Rio not remembering or not being constantly reminded by the loss her family has suffered. I feel there was a sense of grief missing but maybe I get proven wrong in the next book since Rio is an enigma and completely unpredictable.

 

Recommendations:

I recommend this to everybody.

This is a book that everybody needs to read. It teaches you important lessons without you realising its teaching you important life lessons.

Anybody who loves war stories, this is for you.

Anybody who loves alternate history, this is for you.

Anybody who loves Young Adult this is for you.

Anybody.. this is for you.

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Rating:

5 FUBAR snowflakes.

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*Exclusive interview coming soon*

 

 

~Sincerely Snow