Review, interview and giveaway: Ghost Hand (PSS chronicles #1) by Ripley Patton

Posted January 29, 2013 by Lola in Fantasy, Review / 8 Comments

Ghost Hand (PSS chronicles #1)
by Ripley Patton

I got a copy of this book for review

Blurb from Goodreads: 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.

My Review:
I love original books and when I got asked if I wanted to review this book I didn’t even doubt. the blurb sounded so original I knew I had to read it. This book certainly surprised me, it was different than I expected on some points, but at least one thing I expected right it really is an original story and I am so glad I got the chance to read it.

The story is what pulls this book, I seldomly read books in which the story is so strong compared to the other parts. The story was full of action and fast paced. The story started immediately and never left it’s fast pace. I read this book almost in one sitting, because as soon as I was into the story I just wanted to keep reading, because there where so many things happening and I wanted to know what was going to happen next. The beginning did was a bit confusing, because I like explanations and at first there isn’t explanation there is just story.

The characters are likeable, but I did think there could’ve been a bit more attention to them. Even though the characters do have distinct personalities and I really liked the main character. Olivia was such a believeable character, also she didn’t believe everything people told her and she thinks things through.

The world building was something that really lacked at the beginning. The concept and idea is so original and interesting that i wanted to know everything about it. I also had no idea at first how the world saw Olivia’s ghost hand and if everyone saw it or not. A lot becomes clear as you keep on reading, but nevertheless I thought there was too less world building. I just wanted to know more and everytime a question was answered I had come up with more questions and there was just not enough explanation. There was just so much I didn’t understand at the end of the book, but I still really liked this book because the story was just that good and original.

To conclude: this is a really enjoyable book, with an original plot. The story is fast paced and filled with action. The main character is really likeable, but I thought there was too little world building. The story is really original and I would certainly recommend this book.

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Add Ghost hand to your to-read list on Goodreads.
You can buy it on Amazon.

And now it’s time for my Interview with Riplay Patton, the author of this awesome book.

Hello Ripley! Welcome to Lola’s Reviews. I am so excited to have you on my blog today!

– Ghost Hand is a really original story. How did you come up with the idea for it?
First, I started with something real; the phenomenon of phantom limbs where a person born without a limb, or who is an amputee, can often still feel that part of their body as if it were still there. If they walk barefoot in the yard with their flesh foot, their phantom toes feel the grass. Sometimes they feel pain or a cramp in a leg that doesn’t exist anymore. I think that is absolutely fascinating—the idea that the non-flesh parts of us still exist and feel on some plane we can’t see. And then I asked myself, “If those parts existed, if we could see them and utilize them, what would they do?”

– I think the cover really fits the story, how did you come up with the idea for the cover?
I had the image of the cover for Ghost Hand in my mind almost from the very beginning.  I knew I wanted Olivia in the background and her ghost hand reaching out toward the reader. Then I had the good fortune to find an amazing cover designer, Kura Carpenter, and she did an incredible job of rendering what was in my head to perfection. Covers are so fun, and I love being a part of the design process. In fact, I’ve just nailed down the image for the cover of book two of the series, and it is going to be just as cool.

– So in your book the first case of a ghost part happened some time ago, I would like to know how you would envision the humans reacted when PSS first occurred.
When Thea Frandsen, the first known case of PSS, was born in Norway with a PSS foot, I imagine her parents and the doctor were shocked and surprised. The baby was probably rushed off to be checked and double-checked and tested, but ultimately, she was placed in the arms of her mother and loved like any other child. And the media storm blew over when the next child with PSS was born.

To give some perspective, at the time Ghost Hand takes place PSS has only been occurring for 21 years. In the historical and medical scheme of things, this is not that long. There are many defects and diseases in our real world that have been around for much longer than that, and we still don’t understand them. I imagine the same is true of PSS. As with anything, I think people react to something new and strange in a variety of ways. One common reaction is fear, as with Olivia’s mom, or greed and hate, as with the CAMFers. In Olivia’s world, there are legitimate medical labs and research facilities dedicated to studying PSS. Just like with anything else, another reaction is to normalize the strangeness and get on with life, like Olivia and the people of Greenfield have done.

Just to tease you a little, book two of The PSS Chronicles delves much deeper into the wider world’s reaction to the PSS phenomenon and how it is handled.

– How did Olivia (the main character) experience growing up while having a ghost hand? How did the other kids react to her ghost hand?
Olivia has always felt different or “other” probably partially because of her parents and their differing reactions to her birth defect. Her mother tried to protect her by doing things like making Olivia wear a glove to school. Her father tried to embrace his daughter’s difference by painting about it and encouraging Olivia to embrace it as well. And so Olivia has a fairly conflicted view of her ghost hand, part of her proud of it and part of her embarrassed.

Growing up in small town where everyone knew about her PSS from the moment she was born, by the time Olivia got to school her ghost hand wasn’t that big of a deal to the other kids. She probably got teased a little, or stared at and questioned out of curiosity, but no one has ever been horribly cruel to her about it. And some people, like Olivia’s best friend Emma and her family, think her ghost hand is pretty cool.

Two questions about the characters
– Which characters are the easiest to write about?
Olivia, Passion, and Marcus are the easiest for me to write. It is almost second nature to be Olivia now, even though she has a mind of her own. Marcus is fun because he is always a mystery, even to me. And Passion is really starting to come out of her shell in book two.

– Which characters are the most difficult to write about?
Jason and Olivia’s mother are probably the two hardest characters for me to write. I have so much sympathy for both of them, and yet they are very hard and conflicted people to make manifest. But I enjoy the challenge.

A few questions about writing

– Are there any characters that you enjoy writing more than others?
Olivia and Passion are my favorite. But don’t tell the others.

– Are there any particular types of scenes that you enjoy writing more than others?

I enjoy writing action scenes the most, scenes filled with tension and excitement that I know are going to make the reader HAVE to read the next chapter.

– Which scenes do you find the most difficult to write?
Romance is probably the hardest for me to write, mainly because I’m not a terribly sentimental person, and so I shy away from anything when it begins to feel cheesy or over-dramatic. Don’t get me wrong. I love romance and have it in my life, but I don’t experience romance in the way most books portray it, and so I like to keep it fairly real. To me, Olivia and Marcus having a heated discussion and coming to a deeper understanding of one another is more romantic than a big descriptive make-out session.

– Where do you prefer to write?
I prefer to write in bed, but my back doesn’t, so now I write in the living room on the couch. I don’t use a desk because they make me think of school or work, and writing is my fun time.

– Do you have any habits when writing?
No, I don’t, and that’s the problem. Important habits like drinking, eating, going outside or noticing my family tend to be forgotten when I get into the world of my story. So, I guess I have a habit of losing myself when I write.

Thanks for answering my questions!

And Ripley is really awesome and will be giving away two books. One winner will win an e-copy of Ghost Hand and one winner will win a paperback of Ghost hand (US only).
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