Zachary White is a 16 year old boy searching for something. Even he doesn’t know what exactly he needs to find. But perhaps it’s an understanding of why he has spent the majority of his life in hiding, using a fake identity and only seeing his mother sporadically and always for only a few short hours at a time.
It wasn’t always like that for Zach. He remembers growing up in a small town in the U.S. of A. named Arcanville. He was just a normal kid back then, going to elementary school, playing with his friends, and spending time with his loving mother and father. Nothing out of the ordinary at all until he was seven years old. That is when everything changed, became crazy. Because that is when his dad died, and his mom fled their home and forbade him to ever speak his true name. But the most important thing Zach was to always remember was that under no circumstance was he to ever, EVER return to Arcanville again!
And Zach has followed his mom’s instructions for nine long years, living a cruel parody of life in French boarding schools. But now, his mom has passed away from cancer, and he wasn’t even there when she died. He merely got a message at school saying she was dead. And as he sat stunned at the news, all he could wonder is why it all came to this?
Soon, Zach’s grief turns into confusion and eventually gels into a deep resolve. A determination to understand why. Why had his mom gone crazy? Why did they leave Arcanville? Why couldn’t he be himself anymore? And most importantly, why was he never to return home again?
Not long thereafter, a strange kid from France appears in Arcanville. This loner rents a garage apartment, obtains a job at the town coffee shop, stays to himself but begins to observe all the people he use to know when he grew up in this idyllic hamlet as a child. And as Zach gets deeper and deeper entrenched in the town he was never to return to, he starts to suspect that all is not right here. There seems to be some barely perceived undercurrent among these people; a sense of wrongness in nearly everything about the town. But it still doesn’t make sense until a kid Zach had been friends with as a child dies. Then a terrible truth begins to coalescence, and Zach finds himself caught up in a whirlwind of dark mysteries, global conspiracies, ancient Greek prophecies, and of course teen love.
The League of Delphi is quite honestly a page turner, especially after the set up of the first few chapters. After that point, Zach’s story rushes forward seamlessly, pulling a reader along behind him as the thrilling plot climaxes in an ending that leaves one wanting more. And while Mr. Everheart has written a young adult story drenched in ancient Greek legends, this is no Percy Jackson knock-off but something entirely fresh and original, which will be enjoyed by anyone tired of centaurs and half-god summer camps.
Of course, this book does have a few deficiencies no matter how enjoyable it was.
In my opinion, the key mysteries of the novel are solved far too easily by our young loner. He will stumble upon slivers of information here and there, make a few assumptions and voila! he has another earth shattering revelations. It seemed unbelievable he could do this time after time, and I would have preferred him following a few incorrect leads or making a wrong move here or there, but naturally, Zach seems to have impeccable luck and always steers the proper course.
Zach’s character was also written a bit inconsistently in that he is introduced to a reader as a young man wise beyond his years yet he makes decision like a suburban brat who has never stepped out of the cul-de-sac. It just seemed perplexing that a sixteen year old who has basically grown up on his own in French boarding schools since he was seven and who can pull off a move halfway around the world would make some of the clueless decisions he does at times. While I understand that some teenagers alternate between acting “grown up” one minute before reverting to “childlike” behavior the next, Zach’s character is built up as a street savvy kid wise beyond his years, and I really hope that as the series moves forward Mr. Everheart minimizes the adolescent behavior of Zach.
All in all, this novel is a great beginning to a fun YA series!
Buy The League of Delphi: Book 1 of the Delphi Trilogy at Amazon.