Hit the Ground Running by Mark Burley

Hit the Ground RunningBlue Moon Publishers, 2017.

Eric hasn’t talked much with his family since his parents suddenly moved from San Francisco to British Columbia—he was just too mad about the changes they forced him to make. He hasn’t bothered to get to know the other students at his boarding school, either. That would seem too much like acquiescing, so he spends his free time outdoors avoiding the other students and practicing the parkour he loves. But when Eric gets a video message from his brother, he learns that their parents have been taken and his brother’s on the run, so Eric’s forced to come out of his isolation to find them.

Before long, Eric has cobbled-together an action team and they’re off to solve the kidnappings of Eric’s family, but before he’s even had a chance to become the hunter, Eric finds that he’s actually the hunted. He’ll need his extensive knowledge and contacts from traveling the world with his anthropologist parents, his skill at parkour, and a handful of talented friends to survive this little adventure.

I chose this book because I was intrigued by the idea of a YA parkour thriller, and it didn’t disappoint. Eric is a sympathetic and engaging character. As the title suggests, Hit the Ground Running is fast-paced, but unlike some thrillers, the plot is easy to follow. The characters may be moving constantly, but the story allows readers to get to know them, their flaws, and their motivations. There’s parkour, science, cool tech, and even a paranormal element. Two more books are in the works to complete the series, and I’m looking forward to reading them.

Happy Book Birthday to Hit the Ground Running!

The Delphi Effect by Rysa Walker

30439157Spectacle, 2016.

Anna Morgan’s got voices in her head, but they’re not a sign of mental illness, they’re ghosts who take up residence. Anna doesn’t seem to have a choice about picking up these hitchhikers, and they’re darned persistent, expecting her to give last messages to their loved ones or finish business they didn’t complete.

Anna doesn’t love her special skill, but she’s used to it, and she’s learned how to achieve what she needs to to help her hitchhikers pass on. She thought she had, anyway, until a hitchhiker with a particularly gruesome death gets Anna wrapped up with other kids with super powers and a secret government operation.

Not simply a fast-paced, high stakes thriller, The Delphi Effect has strong, but sympathetic characters, a mystery larger than the first book, a huge helping of personal loyalty, and a sprinkle of romance — all the things that make for a satisfying read. These books are not for the violence adverse, but they’re a great read for anyone who likes an engaging read. I’m looking forward to books two and three in the series!

I read an electronic advance reader copy of The Delphi Effect courtesy of NetGalley and the author in exchange for an honest review.