Author: Chris Everheart
Publisher: Yellow Rocket Media
Length: 300 pages
Source: Review Copy via NetGalley
History’s darkest secrets hide in plain sight.
A lone teen, a suspicious death, an ancient conspiracy. The first book of the gripping new Delphi series, The League of Delphi draws you in, takes you on a tense and thrilling ride, and leaves you wanting more.
Ten years after his father's mysterious death, 17-year-old Zach secretly returns to his wealthy hometown in search of answers. Why did his mother move him away then go into hiding to die alone? Why did she change his name, forbidding him to ever reveal his true identity? Why was he never allowed to return home?
Left with nothing and no one, Zach is desperate to reconnect with this seemingly “perfect” town. But something isn’t right. When a local teen commits suicide and no one seems to care, Zach’s hopes collapse into disenchantment and suspicion. Ashley, a local teenager on the fringe, piques his interest with whispers of a secret committee controlling the lives of everyone around them. Could it be true? Together, Zach and Ashley delve into the hidden life of the town and discover a dark connection to Ancient Greece and the Oracle at Delphi. Their suspicions are confirmed - but the conspiracy is more terrifying and dangerous than they ever imagined...
Protagonist: Zach White grew up in Arcanville but was swept off to France by his mother after his father's disappearance and apparent death. Now he's back and searches for clues as to why he had to be swept off so suddenly and why his late mother insisted that Arcanville was dangerous. For the most part I liked Zach. However it felt really hard to truly know him, especially when he kept his real name secret even from the reader. I wouldn't have had a problem if I had even the slightest inkling that it was going to be this big important thing down the line, but no, it never felt important which only added to my aggravation. Honestly, I don't know if there was any real character development for him, he's not a fully realized character by any shot, but he doesn't really change or grow at all through this adventure.
Romance: So at first the romance seemed to be going really well. There wasn't any insta-love and while Zach had more than one romantic interest, it never felt like a live triangle as the only romantic interest to take seriously was Ashley. Then, things went all to hell. I'm talking the L-word, which wouldn't have been a big deal had this couple earned it, but it was said after like two days, maybe even one day after they actually expressed any romantic interest in the other. From then on I felt no connection to the couple and the romance scenes were just weird and awkward. I mean, I've read insta-love stories that I connected to more than this.
World-Building: So this series initially piqued my interest because while I'm not obsessed with it, conspiracy theories and secret societies always fascinate me, plus the link to Greek mythology, which I am obsessed with, was a huge plus. The whole secret society things was a bit confusing at first, I was never quite sure what they do and how they affected this town, but as the story goes on things became much more clear and it became really fascinating. I was actually surprised with how much this drew from Greek mythology, but there was actually a really cool connection with the old stories that really added to why I found the society so fascinating.
Predictability: Since the center of this book is this great big secret society and conspiracy there's quite a lot of secrets in this book and far more twists than I was expecting. While there were times when I felt the foreshadowing was a bit heavy handed, sometimes it would really surprise me and the reveal I thought it was leading me to would turn on it's head and be something different, although related. There were of course times when it was easy to see what's going on, even if the protagonist was completely in the dark.
Ending: So the ending of this book was a bit weird. I felt like it should have ended maybe one chapter sooner. It's not that the final chapter was bad or the cliffhanger it left readers on wasn't necessarily poorly executed, but it just sort of felt out of place with the book. The "final" climax of the book was so action pact and full of suspense, and then the cool down for the book was very well done that adding some more suspense and climax for just the last chapter felt out of place.
So this was a fairly hard book for me to rate, because there's a lot to this book that I loved, but unfortunately the quick pace of the romance once it got started made me lose any connection for the romance I had and any connection I had to the two individuals involved.