Friday, July 15, 2016

Reader's Review: "Ghost Heart" by Ripley Patton

Synopsis from Amazon:

In the aftermath of a brutal tragedy, Jason and Passion are on the run. Marcus is lost beyond reach, and The Hold is in shambles. If that weren't enough, Olivia Black has been taken by the CAMFers to be used as Dr. Fineman's personal lab rat in his merciless quest to uncover the mysteries of Psyche Sans Soma once and for all. But only if he can break her.
They are scattered.
They are devastated.
They are ruined.

Their only hope is Olivia's stubborn determination to thwart her captors and unlock the secrets of her ghost hand before Dr. Fineman can. Will she finally find the strength within herself to embrace the full power of her PSS?

And will it even matter if Marcus has already betrayed her?

My Review:

Oh man, after the shocking ending to Ghost Hold, I was glad to already have this one in my possession! I needed to find out what happened to these characters!
Olivia is kidnapped by FREAKING DOCTOR DOESN'T-DIE, Marcus has no memories except of his life as David... Passion and Jason are all that remain of the group, and they are with David and trying to find Olivia... 
Meanwhile, the poor thing is going through the absolute wringer as Dr. Fineman tries to get something he can use from her... And short of using her, taking the PSS from her. With "help" from Mike Palmer, the triple-double-turncoat. 
Friends and enemies all around her, Olivia grows as a character, away from the heady love interest who served as a welcome distraction from reality, when they could afford such distraction. Now, as the tension climbs, she cannot be distracted from what she needs to do: find the secret to her ghost hand that has it reaching into people and pulling things out, and survive long enough to escape the facility.

I admit, I tore through this one pretty quickly because I wanted to read Ghost Hope, the final book in the series that just launched recently—but I still very much enjoyed it. The development in all the characters, scattered as they are, proceeds and changes them in ways that will empower them to win the final battle when it comes. 

And just when things are going to turn out in the "good guys' favor"...
Patton drops a bombshell. And it blows everyone to kingdom come. (LITERALLY!)

It's intense, it's striking, it's maddening and awesome by turns, and it absolutely gets the job done. Once you read Ghost Heart, it's only a small hop away to the end of Ghost Hope and the culmination of everything these characters have been working toward. I said it from the first, and it still holds true: Ripley Patton, simply put, writes GREAT YA. Olivia is a singular heroine among dystopian heroines today because she doesn't ever push her love interest away, but she doesn't obsess over him when she ought to be figuring things out for herself, either. Secondary characters (those that survive... RIP MY TWO FAVORITE PSSERS!!!!) are given a chance to shine and step forward as people every bit as dynamic and complex as the main characters—meanwhile, assumptions drawn ahead of time are shattered in a truly original way rather than fulfilling the cliche.

You better believe Ghost Heart gets a *****5 STAR***** rating from me, and the whole series nets an Upstream Writer Certified TOTALLY RECOMMENDED. The PSS Chronicles wins everything. (And hey! Everybody's in Oregon now, so there's that...)