5 -Stars for ‘Wham,’ by Carol-Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps
‘A unique and compelling tale’
Though I read more Science Fiction than I do Fantasy and have little experience with audiobooks, I recently listened to WHAM – Timewalker Book One by Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps – read by Sky Wildmist.
Listening to this audiobook was a true delight. The story is an interesting Fantasy built on a framework of familiar Science Fiction devices; A harsh oligarchic government – Income inequality – A surveillance state – Time travel, and the reading by Sky Wildmist was spectacular.
The pure fantasy elements; an ancient domain of elves, trolls and immortal fairies, are nicely woven into the story, and the characters are genuine, well-developed and artfully contemporised.
From a story standpoint, Wham reads well. There is a heroine with a clear goal; get her family back from the autocratic regime which took (relocated) them in the very beginning, a sadistic villain in the form of a governmental ruler (The Potentate), and several meaningful side stories that serve, never detract from, the main plot.
What I liked most:
Wham tells three important stories.
The story of a civilisation that, not through war or plague or a climatological catastrophe, but through some sort of societal decline, has fallen into a state of tyranny with constant state surveillance and control, and few, if any, human rights. The story of a young girl driven to win the freedom of her family regardless of the overwhelming obstacles and risks, and a story of the human spirit that will cause people to adapt to even the harshest of conditions.
Augmented in this adaptation by the fine audiobook reading of Sky Wildmist, each character is well-developed with believable strengths and weaknesses, interesting and unique. It is a true indication of careful character design when you can remove the dialogue tags; (Tess said, Jasmine asked, Nia exclaimed) and still know who is speaking in a given conversation. Wham offers that uniqueness with the use of clever literary devices.
I have none. Listening to this audiobook version of Wham was fun from the beginning to the very end. The characters are adequately described, the conflict is compelling and in nearly every scene, and there is a clear, recognizable through line.
Summary and Recommendation:
WHAM – Timewalker Book One by Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps, is a thought-provoking story with meaningful themes and well-crafted characters. Add to those a nice dose of sensitivity. One can’t help but empathize with Tess as she struggles to find her parents and the elusive Capitol where her sister is held captive by the self-serving Potentate.
I give Wham 5-Stars and my highest recommendation for readers 13 and older.
Review by T. E. Mark – Writer / Screenwriter