Book Title: The Abandoned: A Delphi Novella – The Delphi Trilogy, Book 2.5
Author: Rysa Walker
Publication Date: June 21, 2018
Available on: Amazon as an eBook and as an audiobook
Indie Athenaeum Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Leah is a mother who is estranged from her husband Scott, living far away. She’s trying to take care of their toddler Anna so that she doesn’t pick up “hitchhikers”, who are dead people that Anna can somehow pick up with her special powers. Having lived under the thumb of a very strict and religious father before escaping, she also wants to help her sister Rowena escape that harsh life as well.
But Leah’s past history with the Delphi project and her husband Scott, who is a researcher there, come back from the past to cause her problems once more. Why is Leah estranged from her husband and will she be able to help Rowena? These are all crucial questions that will be answered here and more.
There is a twist in here that was masterful in its execution and thoroughly surprising when I read it, making my jaw drop. As the ramifications of that twist played out, everything that happens afterward throws the lives of every character into disarray. It leads to some difficult and distressing decisions for everyone, especially in how they try to take care of themselves and their loved ones after that.
As the novella continues from there, it leads to even more demoralizing circumstances for everyone. It became painful to read because of the stress that all of our beloved characters are impacted by. By the end, I was emotionally drained and saddened because of what happened.
I found Leah to be an intelligent and caring mother who was very a sympathetic character. She was doing the best she could under a set of difficult and unique circumstances. How would any of us (non-powered) parents fare when caring for a child who picks up dead people in her head? Thankfully, Leah has an ability of her own to help her manage Anna’s problems.
Rowena was equally sympathetic, trying to cope with a strict and abusive father in a household where she was always devalued by those around her. The other misogynist members of the congregation that dominates their religious community only made her feel even more trapped there, unable to escape.
Both Leah and Rowena have interesting journeys through this novella that are suspenseful to read and fascinating to learn more about. Rowena, in particular, has the meatiest part of the novella here. Her growth from the beginning to the end demonstrates a remarkable character growth.
Anna is a secondary character in this story but it is her circumstances that drive the paths of everyone involved to try to give her the best life possible. In this way, it gives them a sense of purpose in trying to do right by her. With the choices available to them, none of them good, the decisions made for her by others are questionable at times and made it painful to read as a result. I imagined these things happening to my children and it profoundly disturbed me to think of how it affected Anna. It’s also noteworthy that the entirety of the Delphi trilogy to date has been exploring the aftermath of the decisions made on her behalf when she was a child. I welcomed the exploration of that here and was thoroughly satisfied by the answers I found.
For those of you reading this after the second novel, The Delphi Resistance (The Delphi Trilogy Book 2), this novella takes place in the past when Anna was a toddler. It picks up on some information we learn about Anna’s past in the second novel and fleshes it out more here, providing some much wanted, yet thoroughly upsetting, revelations as to what really happened to her. It also serves as a perfect story to fit in-between novels two and three in the trilogy. I suspect that the events in this novella will have a direct bearing on The Delphi Revolution, the final novel in the Delphi trilogy as well.
Overall, I found this novella to be very illuminating and well-written. The suspense comes from the characters and the dilemmas they face, which makes it that much more emotional and powerful. I also liked how it shed some light on some questions that came up for me while reading this trilogy. While you’re waiting for the final novel in this trilogy, this is the perfect way to learn more about Anna’s past and how it will most assuredly impact her present.
If you found this review to be helpful to you, please click here to go to the review on Amazon. Then navigate to the bottom of this review and click on the “helpful” button.
Rysa Walker has been kind enough to offer two Audible codes in a giveaway for her story “The Abandoned – A Delphi Novella”!
To enter this giveaway, leave a reply below and answer this question: Which of Rysa Walker’s novels, novellas, short stories, graphic novels or audiobooks have you enjoyed the most and why? And if you haven’t read a story by Rysa Walker (you really should remedy that right away), which one do you look forward to reading the most?
I’ll pick two random winners from the comments below. Giveaway closes on Thursday, June 6th at midnight, EST.