Book Review: Ghostwriter by Tyan Wyss

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Ghostwriter by Tyan Wyss

A Teen/YA Speculative Fiction/Historical Fiction Novel published by Tyan Wyss-Lockner (07/27/13)

 

Summary:

 Micah is not afraid of ghosts, in fact, they don’t faze him at all. When the Chasens move into a haunted house in the San Jacinto Mountains in Southern California, the ghost of the house’s former occupant appears to Mica and asks for his help. The ghost is Ethan Samuels, who died approximately 100 years ago in the very house Micah lives in, in present day 2013, and the 11-year old precocious Micah is compelled to help the ghost. Acting as a ‘ghostwriter’ Micah simultaneously writes up a social studies report for school and documents the details surrounding Ethan’s death. In his quest to help his only ghostly friend, Micah becomes involved in current town affairs and will attempt to get to the bottom of what really happened all those years ago.

 

Keywords:

 Ghosts, Historical Fiction, Grieving, Southern California, Jews, Friendship, Thoughtfulness, Bullies, Resolutions

 

My Review:

Tyan Wyss is a writer who doesn’t leave any checks unmarked in the lengthy list of novel requirements. Her story is robust. The characters are well-written and vibrant, coming alive through the story. Her descriptions are just enough to give the reader the complete picture while still leaving some parts to the imagination. The pacing is perfect. And then the ending… Wyss has a way with the climax of the story and with giving a well-rounded ending. This book in particular was so heartfelt and connected with me emotionally that I got a bit teary eyed. I was so caught up in the story that I felt the emotions coming through the story.

Ghostwriter reminds me of Holes, in that it seamlessly intertwines two stories into one novel, the story of how Ethan died and the story of how Micah helps Ethan discover his past and move forward with his death. Not all authors can work two stories together well, but Wyss is phenomenal with this aspect of the story. She would probably be a great mystery writer because she is able to mingle the stories in such a way that pieces start to fall into place, grabbing and hooking the reader with each new part of the puzzle. She also delivers a killer ending that makes sense according to the previous elements while still being not completely predictable.

Wyss also touches upon subjects like moving to a new town, being bullied, being alone, making friends, grieving for lost loved ones, and other situations that affect young teens in an expert manner that is so subtle it just blends right into the story without intruding into the main action, but rounds out the novel.

I was too involved in the story to take many notes of my reactions to elements of the story or highlight favorite passages, it was just too good to put down, even for a moment.

This story would appeal to the underdogs, those who like a well-written historical fiction mashup like Holes by Louis Sachar, or a mesmerizing YA book about a precocious boy and a ghost.

This novel was published by Tyan Wyss-Lockner July 27th, 2013 and is available on Amazon here.

 

TLDR Star Rating:5.0

 

Links for more information:

Goodreads

Tyan Wyss’s Website

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Book Review: The Solitaire Prince by Tyan Wyss

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The Solitaire Prince by Tyan Wyss

A Fantasy Novel published by Tyan Wyss-Lockner (12/15/13)

Summary:

 King Henry cannot see further than the length of his own nose. “All his life he’d been the one in control, barking out flippant orders and fickle whims to his subordinates. It would be a nightmare indeed to lose his power and control to another man; to a mere woman, inconceivable and humiliating.” (Page 46).

What the king fails to realize is how clever his own daughter is because he never wanted a princess, he wanted a son. She must grow up in the shadow of his rules. No chess! She might beat him. No climbing trees! It’s not ladylike. Only solitaire is allowed, and with that game she might be able to bend the rules to get what she wants, but according to the king, one can’t cheat at solitaire.

Keywords:

Fantasy, Princesses, Solitaire, Finding a Groom

My Review:

 Tyan Wyss shows us that she is very skilled at her back story without being boring or overly descriptive. The back story is told in the perfect rhythm and with the perfect progression of time to arrive at the heart of the struggle.

Wyss gives us an entire world within King Henry’s castle and is able to place the reader into the Princesses’ predicaments (yes there is another Princess). I loved the specific food descriptions, they really put me into the world of King Henry and Princess Christine.

It is a special story indeed that can deliver a full and complete novel without a true evil villain or one that is able to redeem himself by the end. With so many villains, once evil always evil pervades, but Wyss is able to construct a character that is conflicted enough, through a story that is different enough, that the ‘villain’ is able to transform.

This story is a true young adult novel for all ages, as it’s written in a clever style. Wyss delivers a clever twist on the last line, summing up the slight bending of a Princess fairy tale in this delightful novel. “Their voices faded softly away as everyone tried their best to live happily ever after.” (Page 158). The voice of the writing style is more than just warm and intimate to the story, but is also a great translator of the truth of the characters’ struggles.

This novel was published by Tyan Wyss December 15th, 2013 and is available on Amazon here.

TLDR Star Rating:4.75

Links for more information:

Goodreads

Tyan Wyss’s Website

Miscellaneous Mondays: My Favorite Indie Authors 3/5 – Tyan Wyss

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I found out about Tyan Wyss on Facebook and have not met her in person. She writes under two names, Tyan Wyss and Loren Lockner. She has written a number of books under each name, but I will focus on the Tyan Wyss books as those are the ones I have read and love and I can vouch for them.

Tyan Wyss is on my list of Indie stars to watch out for because her writing style is concise and fully formed. She doesn’t fall into common mistakes like rookie authors. She knows what she’s doing and her books are immensely fun to read. The stories are fully fledged and immerse you in their intrigue. The author layers her plot and her motives like an expert, giving her books a higher degree of elegance than other authors. Wyss has a smooth and charming personable writing style.

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Check back next Monday for the week’s Indie Author Rising Star 4/5

Book Review: Return to Mt. Snagra (A Mattie & Pete Adventure) (Volume 1) by Tyan Wyss

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Return to Mt. Snagra (A Mattie & Pete Adventure) (Volume 1) by Tyan Wyssi

A YA Fantasy Novel published through CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform  (08/18/2013)

Summary:

Mattie and Pete, two imaginative children living in Southern California, hold the key to this fantasy. Literally: they have keys. And a very important book. They are swept into an adventure where they must use their wits, creativity, and strength to save the fantastical land of Gisper from the evil Vulture King. Along the way they become friends with an impatient and rude princess, a half-human half-creature of the land, and the mysterious man in the orange grove next door. Who wrote the book and why Mattie and Pete are sucked into its outlandish adventure will only be revealed if they can save the day.

“The soothsayer predicted a young girl with a powerful book would come to rescue the twin Gisperians when the moon was half-waned. Her hair would have many tiny braids, and her feet would be enclosed in boots with dancing spurs. She was to be accompanied by a powerful, one-handed boy with a golden voice and quick mind who negotiates first instead of grabbing his sword.” (Page 146-147).

Keywords:

 Fantasy, Adventure, Books, Heros and Heroines, Underdogs, Save the Kingdom

My Review:

This is exactly the type of novel I would have read in my voracious reading days in late elementary through the beginning of high school. It is a sophisticated read for any maturing teen who wants a little adventure, a little romance, and a little creativity. The plot becomes more and more complex as the book progresses, with the perfect touch of character development and self-discovery for the main character. This is a well-balanced fantasy where the world-building makes sense and all the elements are there for the reading.

Mattie and Pete are the main characters, but the story is mainly told from mattie’s perspective. Mattie is a likeable character. She is given the underdog story and readers will root for her, because she is a bit of all of us. At times she is plain, clumsy, impatient, belittled, bullied, and she can’t make up her mind what she wants to be. Then she falls into this magical story where she blossoms and grows. Again literally. She goes from an 11-year old girl to a robust teenager. She needed to know what the future held for her and if it would work out alright. Like “13 Going on 30” she is sixteen, flirty, and thriving. Mattie finds her self-purpose in helping the Gispers win their kingdom back and her conviction is solid. She becomes wise and verbose, giving the reader a taste of maturity and intelligence.

The author layers her plot and her motives like an expert, giving the book a higher degree of elegance than most that follow a more linear plotline. Wyss plays with the “Return to Mt. Snagra” novel, revealing the future so that the children have guidance during their quest while at times the pages are blank, waiting for their decisions and actions to fill in the words. The author has integrated the past and the future into this book that the children carry with them at all times.

The author also plays with time and space with more than just the way the words are revealed on the pages of the book within the book “Return to Mt. Snagra.” There is an element of time travel hidden within the layers of the novel. This gives the reader something to ponder over after finishing the book. There are quite a few ‘somethings’ that the reader puts together by the end of the book that are simply too cool.

I would recommend this novel to anyone who enjoyed the Neverending Story by Michael Ende or the smooth and charming personable style of Roald Dahl

This novel was published through CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform  08/18/2013 and is available on Amazon here.

TLDR Star Rating: 4.75

Links for more information:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18388212-return-to-mt-snagra

Website: http://www.authortyanwyss.com/