Once you are done reading this review, go order The Delphi Effect. Or maybe, just go ahead and order it now, before you have even read the whole review! I read this book breathlessly, over two days, and it only took that long because I had to pause to set up my classroom for the newest crop of kiddos…otherwise I may well have finished it in a single day. It is seriously that good!
First, let’s look at the name. Delphi was considered to be the navel of the world by the ancient Greeks, who had their most revered religious center there, dedicated to the god Apollo. Delphi was also famously home to the oracles, who were believed to deliver messages from the gods. While The Delphi Effect is not about Greek mythology, the title of the book does give a reader some clues to it’s contents. Anna, the main character, is able to speak with ghosts, and is helping her latest hitchhiker, Molly, to bring to justice some really bad apples. But, also featured in the story are good and bad guys who practice mind control, mind reading, and of course premonitions… like the famous Delphic oracles. But in this case, Delphi is a program, and a place in the northeastern United States, where tests are carried out on “gifted” children, by a group of people whom I assume, are bent on world domination. I expect more will be revealed about that in forthcoming books in the series.
So, what was it about The Delphi Effect that I liked so much, leading to my 5 star rating? Quite a few things actually! First, the characters are great. The bad guys are really evil, truly reprehensible human beings, making them easy to fear and to disdain. The good guys are well drawn and complicated enough to not be too good. They make mistakes, they have selfish moments, and they have plenty of moments of self doubt. In short, they are like people you may actually know, making them very easy to become invested in. Second, the writing is just good! Enough detail was given about how people look, move, and think, that I could build very vibrant pictures of how the characters looked and interacted. But, Rysa Walker also managed to avoid the trap that some authors fall into of providing so much detail that readers don’t have an leeway for their imaginations, which often leads to a feeling of being bogged down. Finally, the story is fast paced, revealing new nuggets of information often enough to keep readers in its grips, and leaving enough unanswered questions at the end to ensure that we will be clamoring for the next installment. I know I am…and my fingers are crossed that the wait won’t be too long!