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When Ripley first contacted me to review Ghost Hand, I was pretty intrigued. By the end of the book, I was a tad obsessed, so when I got the chance to beta read Ghost Hold, I was jumping up and down with excitement.
And I've got to tell you, book two does NOT disappoint. It is packed with snark, action, and a lot of awesome story telling.
Olivia and Marcus' relationship remains complicated, which I really liked. One of the reasons this book series is so successful in my eyes is how realistic everything seems. I mean the science fiction was so incredibly done I had to check it wasn't a real phenomenon (and I'm not alone as you'll see in Ripley's interview)! But also, the interactions are real: they are messy, complicated, and confusing. Living with a bunch of teens on your own, including your boyfriend may not be most teenager's experience, but I think they will relate to the relationships between Olivia and the other characters. She and Passion don't hit it off and things are awkward. This is really intuitive on Ripley's part and speaks a lot to the complex character of Olivia.
This book is much darker and more complicated than the first. Even though we know more about this world going into book two, there is a lot of back story that we learn as Ghost Hold progresses. We find out things that set up a much darker plot line as the story progresses. There are also a lot of layers to the book, and they are interwoven perfectly.
I also really liked Passion's story. At first I was kind of "eh" about where I thought her place in the book would be, but of course Ripley went in a completely different direction.
This book on the surface is about these teens trying to save others with PSS; however, when you look deeper, there is a lot of introspection about how we treat people who are different. I mean, even Olivia's mom is upset by her PSS. Although we see a lot of discrimination of PSS in book one, we see a LOT of acceptance and reverence of it in book two. It is interesting to see the power struggle between the two and the organizations behind them.
The end of the book is suspenseful, engaging, and heartbreaking. I was COMPLETELY caught off guard and I may or may not have cried a little. Ripley has an amazing gift and I can't get enough of her work. She breaks norms and patterns of YA and keeps you on your toes as a reader. As someone who reads A LOT, I wholly appreciate this quality.
Wanna know what I thought of Ghost Hand, book one in the PSS Chronicles? Find out here!