Author: Ripley Patton
Series: The PSS Chronicles #1
Genre: YA, scifi/fantasy, romance
Publish Date: November 20, 2012
Publisher: Ripley Patton
Length: 386 pages
Format: paperback, ebook (Amazon, B&N, Kobo)
Description (from Amazon): Seventeen year old Olivia Black has a rare birth defect known as Psyche Sans Soma, or PSS. Instead of a right hand made of flesh and blood, she was born with a hand made of ethereal energy.
How does Olivia handle being the girl with the ghost hand? Well, she's a little bit morbid and a whole lot snarky.
Her mother thinks her obsession with death, black clothing, and the local cemetery is a bid for attention. But when Marcus, the new guy in Olivia's calculus class, stares at her like she's a freak, Olivia doesn't like it. And when her hand goes rouge, doing things she never imagined possible, Olivia finds herself running for her life with Marcus from a group of men bent on taking the power of her hand for their own nefarious purposes.
Brief Summary: Due to a rare birth defect that causes body parts to be made of energy, Olivia becomes a target of a group called CAMFers who wish to use the energy for their own purposes at the cost of the children that the PSS was apart of. Olivia, Marcus, and a band of other PSS kids go on the run to protect themselves and others like them. Along the way Olivia discovers some interesting things about herself, her hand, and the people around her that she never imagined could be possible.
My Review: I absolutely loved this novel. This novel has the perfect balance of mystery/thriller, romance, and scifi/fantasy. Olivia is a great protagonist as she is smart and independent but she also has real life problems in her life. Her father has died and her relationship with her mother is anything but perfect.
"Dr. Sophie Black, psychologist extraordinaire, took her doctor/patient confidentiality very seriously. She never told me anything, which was pretty ridiculous in a town so small and nosey you couldn't take a crap without the neighbors overhearing and asking you how it had all come out."
"My mother has refused to buy a tombstone. She hadn't asked my opinion. She'd informed me, "We don't need anything to mark his grave. That's not him." So, all there was to indicate Stephen Black's place of rest, to declare his time and existence on this earth, was a small stone provided by the cemetery that said G42. G for the cemetery section, 42 for the number of the plot. Just a letter and a number so they wouldn't dig him up by accident, or bury someone on top of him. My dad was nothing but a bingo call. "
Marcus and Olivia's relationship is a very real one because not only do they not fall in love(like) instantly, but Olivia initially thinks Marcus is a stalker, which later evolves into her thinking he is a compulsive liar. Going along with Olivia through the novel it is easy to believe that Marcus is a liar and that he never wants to share the whole truth with the people around him, but after more is revealed it is easier to understand why he has trust issues and likes to keep things to himself. The other boys in their PSS group, or "piss camp" are Nose, Yale, and Jason. All three boys are great, special, and important in their own ways. I loved every single one of them.
The thriller/mystery aspects of the novel had me finishing this novel in one sitting. It is fast paced and adventurous without feeling too rushed. I instantly hated the CAMFers and everything they stand for and wanted the kids to succeed. I also think that what Marcus is doing with the list is very noble in that he wants to save and help others with PSS before they can be harmed simply for being born the way that they are.
About the Author (from Amazon): Ripley Patton lives in Portland, Oregon with one cat, two teenagers, and a man who wants to live on a boat. She and her family, who lived in New Zealand for five years, are survivors of the 2011 Canterbury Earthquakes.
Ripley's short fiction has been nominated multiple times for awards, and she won the Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best Short Story 2009. Ghost Hand, a YA paranormal thriller, is her first novel, and the first in a three book series.
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