Genre: YA Paranormal Thriller (with romantic element)
Formats avail: ebook and print
Word Count: approx. 84,000
Publication Date: November 2012
Kindle locations: 4130 (story text ends at 98%)
ePub pages: 234 pgs (story text ends on pg 229)
Print length: 384 pgs
Ebook includes Table of Contents
Source: Amazon Free Promo Day (review request from author)
Series: PSS Chronicles, #1
Olivia Black just discovered that her ghost hand, a rare birth defect, can do more than light up a room. It can reach into people and pull things out. Things from the darkest depths of the human psyche never meant to exist in this world.
Olivia can pickpocket the soul.
But she can't control her ability, or the strange items it extracts, and the only thing between Olivia and the men bent on taking the power of her hand is a boy she barely knows and doesn't trust.
When I initially read the sample for this book, I was immediately drawn into this story. I wanted to keep reading when it ended and I eagerly awaited when I could return to it. When I did finally get to the remainder of the book, I was not disappointed. The story continued to engage me and pull me through to the end. The cover art is great and helped me get a picture of Olivia’s ghost hand (and of Olivia) in my head. I love it when a book cover is a good reflection of the story.
Olivia was born with Psyche Sans Soma syndrome (PSS) of the hand. Her hand is made of some type of glowing, ghostly-looking energy. She unexpectedly discovers that her hand can actually reach into people and pull out objects connected to their deepest, darkest secrets. Those objects then take on another characteristic that I’ll let you find out on your own. I don’t want to give away too many of the story elements. I had expected that the people who Olivia reached into would change somehow when the object related to their unsettled psyche was removed, but that didn’t seem to be the case or at least not immediately apparent in this book. Especially Jason. He is very angry, disturbed, and violent. It will be interesting to see if he goes through any change in future books.
There is a group of people called CAMFers who are trying to take away the rights of people born with PSS and are also seeking them out for their own nefarious agenda. The action in the story basically revolves around Olivia, with the help of Marcus and his friends, learning about these people, avoiding being caught, and then fighting against them. And it seemed like there was always something going on. I wasn't bored at any point in the story.
The romantic interest between Olivia and Marcus was understated. It is quite tame and sweet with nothing heavier than a couple of kisses. This relationship builds slowly through the story and the emphasis is definitely more on the action than the romance, so I would call it more of a romantic element. I liked the connection between them as well as the “voice” of their characters. The romance reader in me wishes it was explored more but that is my personal preference. It will be interesting to see if it develops in future books.
Some “what’s up with that?” moments include when they were testing Olivia’s abilities using Frisbees. Marcus was described as having an “armful” of Frisbees. Why on earth would he have that many Frisbees in the camp? One or two I would understand, but not so many to have one’s arms full of them. There was also one small editing blip I picked up on. These were minor things but had me scratching my head. A more significant issue to me was Marcus’s reaction, or lack thereof, to Jason when he learns what Jason did to Olivia, especially when Jason had repeatedly threatened her with a loaded gun. I was a little surprised that Marcus didn’t react more strongly. It seemed like Jason was allowed to act out violently without any consequences or accountability.
There were definitely some unexpected moments in this book that had me wondering what would happen next. I can’t recall ever reading a story about a person having a body part made of some type of glowing energy that had a psychic supernatural power, so the story did feel like it had a different twist to it. It grabbed me quickly, kept me engaged, and made me want to read more. I liked the characters and I’m eager to find out what happens next in the PSS Chronicles.
Heat Level: Sweet
Typos Found: 7 (but 18 if you count one repeated and potentially debatable misspelling)
You can find Ripley Patton online at:
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