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Wham!

Timewalker, Book 1
Narrated by: Sky Wildmist
Series: Timewalker , Book 1
Length: 9 hrs and 15 mins
5 out of 5 stars (7 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

They took her world. They took her family. They said it was for the greater good. They lied.

From husband and wife writing team Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps, Wham! is an imaginative and original dystopian fantasy where technology and magic stand side by side.

When Children and Family Assistance police drag her mom, her dad, and her beautiful sister out the door into the night and beat her senseless, Tess Greenwood finds herself alone, her every move watched by the hidden World Alliance. Almost blind after her beating, she flees to the forbidden Broadstreet compound and a troll named Maxi.

So begins Tess' journey from quiet teen at home to fierce young woman determined to get back her family any way she can. Even if she must travel time itself.

But time is one thing she has little of. Those arrested in the night seldom live for long, and beautiful young women are destined to become toys for the elite.

Frantic, Tess tries to pull herself together to save her loved ones and her world...and the clock is ticking.

Get your copy and enter the world of the Timewalkers.

©2016 Carol Marrs Phipps & Tom Phipps (P)2019 Carol Marrs Phipps & Tom Phipps

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Perfect marriage of story and narrator

Wham! by Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps takes us to a dystopian world all too easy to imagine as our own future. The World Alliance maintains control by poisoning the land, sea, and air, then herding the displaced population into communal barracks where every word and action can be monitored by the ever-present 'skinnies'. And all of this, of course, in the name of the greater good. Enter the Greenwood family, torn apart before we can even get to know them. It seems that seventeen-year-old Tess has managed to stand out from the crowd at school by thinking for herself; an unforgivable transgression in the new world order. Her odd behavior prompts a visit from Children and Family Services which, in true Orwellian fashion, provide a service rather counter to what their name suggests. While Tess deals with a mountain of guilt and grief in a kind of foster home-cum-prison, her sister Nia is spirited away to the capital where she experiences a different kind of Hell. But the Greenwood girls have a secret. A secret that might even be powerful enough to bring down the World Alliance, once and for all.

Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps know how to do dystopia right. No preaching, no proselytizing, and best of all, no lengthy explanation of how and when things went so horribly wrong. They simply drop us into that weirdness and tell us that this is how things are. I love that. And I love that the world of Wham! is hauntingly familiar, even if it is one where a girl can get her hair cut by a troll, and where legends claiming that the last of the fairies vanished centuries ago might just be wrong. It is a world populated with well-rounded and entirely believable characters, both human and otherwise. Of course, Tess steals the show with her brains, her courage, and her bright green mohawk, but Nia is no slouch either. They are both strong, they are both resolute, and although they currently exist at opposite ends of the World Alliance spectrum, they will both fight to the death to get their family back together again. To say more would risk spoilers, but in a tale featuring fairies and wizards and carrying the subtitle 'Timewalker, Book 1', you can bet that the rest of the story is as unconventional as it is entertaining.

I read Wham! in book form a while ago, so much of this review has been posted elsewhere, but the audiobook version deserves a special note. As much as I enjoyed reading it for myself, the incredible talent of narrator Sky Wildmist truly brought the story to life. Her natural, pleasing tone is a perfect fit for the Phipps' words, and the seeming ease with which she slides from her narrator's voice to that of one character or another with just the subtlest of inflections is a thing of beauty. I usually listen to audiobooks while I'm doing something else, but so engaging is Sky Wildmist's narration that I most often found myself simply sitting and listening. In my opinion, there can be no better measure for audiobook excellence than that. I didn't just hear it. I listened to it. Like story-time for adults, I listened to this story I already knew, and I loved every word of it.

Five big stars for Wham! and for the talented trio of Carol Marrs Phipps, Tom Phipps, and Sky Wildmist!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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‘A unique and compelling tale’

Though I read more Science Fiction than I do Fantasy and have little experience with audio books, I recently listened to WHAM – Timewalker Book One by Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps – read by Sky Wildmist.
Listening to this audio book 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.

Character development.

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.
Criticisms:

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 empathise 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 all readers 13 and older.

Review by T. E. Mark – Writer / Screenwriter
27/April/2019

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Great Story; Superlative Narration

The audible edition of “Wham: Timewalker I,” is fantastically narrated by Sky Wildmist. Her British dialect, tone, and cadence are bewitching and this, coupled with a fantastic storyline, requires the listener to ‘clear the calendar.’ Ms Wildmist’s ability to alter her voice to fit the variety of characters is second to none.

There is much to praise in the story, “Wham.” The characters, action scenes, and world/societal designs are exceptionally well orchestrated. I was also impressed with the lack of overly long narratives describing things and events such as how the world came to be what it is, what the skinwelers were and how they worked and much more. Carol and Tom Phipps relied and excelled on their abilities to “show” rather than “tell” which the narration emphasizes beautifully.

The mesh of humans, trolls, fairies, and wizards is a remarkable feat of authoring and within this combination is one aspect I was especially excited about... language. The language of the trolls, fairies and wizards was fantastic—more so as the Phipps’ incorporated slight changes to these languages within the parameters of their time periods and Ms. Wildmist articulated beautifully; how she reached the deep bass tones of some characters remains a delightful mystery! I could go on and on, but often the shorter review carries the most impact. So, I’ll close now with one final phrase: If you listen to only one scifi/fantasy/dystopia audio-novel this year, make sure it’s “Wham: Timewalker I,” you’ll be glad you did.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A fantasy with a deeper meaning

Loved the narrator's storytelling. What an actress she is! She brought life to this wonderful story with her different voices.
A recommended listen!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Brings the Story to Life

I received a free audio book from the author and this is my honest review. An audio book on Audible is the perfect way to enjoy this book. I had previously read WHAM and I enjoyed it but hearing the story was so much better. I was swept away by the dystopian world- which was brought to life with the excellent quality of the Audible book. I adored the trolls and it’s great to hear them talking and shaking their beads. The Narrator of the book has a delightful voice that well-suits the story. And Audible itself is so easy to use and listen to on various devices. Excellent! Here is my review of the story.

Welcome to an array of fantasy worlds, worlds of different times and places. Some of the worlds are dreary and challenging, some are ultra-modern and evil, and others are charming, green and like a paradise. Welcome to WHAM! where time does not exist as we know it. ”If we are ever to go rollicking about in the distant past or future, we shall simply have to use magic.” WHAM! Is the first in the Timewalker series. The authors have created a mesmerizing fantasy.

The book starts with the world of the Alliance, a highly regimented police-type state. Children are not taught to read or reason in school and are separated from their parents at a young age, often in violent fashion. Nia and Tess are two teenage-aged sisters; their parents are forcibly taken one night. They must fend for themselves in the ruined, polluted land. Nia is taken by the police to the Capitol. No one in the world governed by the Alliance knows where the Capitol is located. At the Capitol, Nia becomes the pet of the dictator and Potentate, Pandora. While Nia looks for ways to save herself and her family, the Potentate has diabolical plans for Nia. Meanwhile, Tess meets other Beings from the magical worlds, such as Fairies, Trolls and Wizards, and teams with them to try to save her world, parents and sister.

All the main characters in WHAM! are well-crafted and I bonded with all of them. Shout out to Bart the Crow! I was also fascinated with the descriptions, language, culture and customs of all the magical Beings. There are many fascinating and creative devices in the worlds of WHAM, including “skinnies” that the government uses to communicate with its citizens. Glossaries are included at the end. Excitement and plot twists abound, which are sure to continue in the page-turners in the rest of the series to come. This is a super read- you will be completely entertained and thrilled.

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Great story.

Great story with great characters. My favorite is Maxi, a troll. He’s awesome. Anyway, this book has heart breaks and growing friendships, it has action, it has magic and so much more. I enjoyed it. But be warned, it leaves you hanging, so go ahead and get book two.

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Profile Image for Elaina J Davidson
  • Elaina J Davidson
  • 05-15-19

Quirky, imaginative and original

Set in a world poisoned and strictly monitored, this is a work of absolute imagination. Yes, there are fairies, elves and trolls (and other strange creatures) but not as you think you know them. High-tech and magic stand side by side, and it works, an epic, dystopian urban fantasy.

I loved the added languages! And the ingenuity amid the characters is riveting. There’s a range of emotions, from despair to hope, anger to celebration (and sometimes you wish you could climb into the story to smack someone around a bit) and you wonder how it will possibly work out. The fact that I am left wondering about what comes next, proves this is a story worth listening to.

Well done to the authors. This is imaginative and original. And well done to the narrator; her quirky voice certainly added a new dimension to the story overall. WHAM! deserves your attention – enjoy!

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Profile Image for M. Douglas
  • M. Douglas
  • 04-28-19

Amazingly Brilliant

***WOW*** I’m starting this review off with a huge WOW. I was literally blown away by this audiobook. Not only have the authors done a tremendous job in telling of the story but it sure in heck packs a mighty punch, in an absolutely brilliant way. This is my first tine in listening to an audiobook and after having read the book, then having the opportunity to listen to it, I was even more blown away.

The Greenwoods go through so much, it was really maddening that as a reader I wanted to jump in and help them out. With a diverse cast of characters it gave the book so much more in terms of details, intricate and authentic characters. As a hobbyist who collects fairies it was really nice to read a take on them, that I hadn’t before. My heart strings were pulled, this way, that way, and all ways in between.

Government sucks in real life and sucks for the characters in the book. That is the only spoiler I will give. I struggled with writing this review as I’m trying to do it without giving away too much.

I loved the way the authors used the languages for the fairies and I found it easy to understand. Even better having the chance to hear the languages being spoken in this great audio :) This book would not be the same without the different ways in which every creature is talking. It really highlighted the book for me. It got me into the spirit of it, capturing my attention head on, full on and though the book was long, it was one of the best I’ve read and now heard in this genre for a very long time.

In conclusion, a thoughtful, imaginative, action packed, fantasy, surreal tale that is not to be missed. If there is one thing you do this year, get this book. Listen to the audio - I highly recommend.