Wham! by Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps – A Book Review

Carol-Marrs-Phipps-AuthorThere are several indie books that really stand out, and one of them is Wham! by Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps. If you like a healthy mix of dystopia and fantasy, then Wham! is definitely for you. The story is captivating from page 1, remaining fast-paced throughout the book, making it hard to put down.

What is Wham! About?

Without giving away any spoilers I will give you a brief synopsis and then continue with my review and opinion.

Wham! is the first book in the Timewalker series. Somewhere in the future, the World Alliance has removed power from all governments, and they now rule the world from the Capitol. Families go about their daily lives, unconcerned about the Alliance’s rise and promises. Life also went on for the Greenwood family.

In time, laws were changed, individual, racial, and cultural identity were no longer allowed, in order to create a harmonious world community, all “for the greater good”. Freedom came next. No longer were people allowed to move around freely. Skinwelers, crystal spy balls, were ordered for each room in the household, to watch people’s every move, again, “for the greater good”. The Greenwoods and many other families accepted these new measures.

Then, family farms and land were taken away, and their homeless owners were transported to the barracks of Gollsport. They claimed that the countryside was unhealthy and the food was ridden with chemicals. Everything was done to ensure the citizens’ health and safety.

But one night they took the Greenwood family away, leaving Tess behind, telling her that it was “for the greater good”. Tess, however, would not comply. She wanted her family back, she knew that nothing was “for the greater good”.

To keep her promise, she would have to become a timewalker.

My Review

I was intrigued by the book cover and the combination of dystopia and fantasy. The cover is beautifully done, revealing many elements of the story without having read it. Look at the photo of the cover (see above). Can you see the woman’s elf ears? Fantasy plays a big part in this novel; elves, fairies, trolls, and wizards against the backdrop of a dystopian setting. I love fairies and elves. How much better could it get?

The story pulls you in right away with an action scene. As events unfold you get to know the many fascinating characters, such as Tess, who is brave and resilient; her sister Niah who must demonstrate surprising strength under challenging circumstances; Maxi, the troll – my personal favorite – the fairies, and even the evil Potentate who rules this dark society .

Tess is definitely the main character, but as the story continues, we also get a glimpse into Niah’s changed life, and I found her story just as engaging and intense as Tess’ s. Both sisters face harsh circumstances, show incredible endurance, and they must do what it takes to stay alive.


I do not read many dystopian novels, but I love fairies and magic. The authors even made up a language for the fairies and trolls, which I found impressive. I love languages, and an invented language with its own grammar and spelling is definitely worthy of respect. I’m sure it takes a lot of time, effort, and enthusiasm to put this language together.

Although the authors added an extensive fairy/troll dictionary, and I read it all because it simply fascinated me, I still had some trouble understanding some of the trolls’ language. My only “complaint” would be that several times I had to interrupt my reading to refer to the fairy/troll dictionary.

My Opinion

What I loved about this book was that not only the main but also side characters are intriguing. Maxi the Troll, the Crow people, the elves, and the fairies. Even the Potentate, the antagonist, shows some traits that are not entirely evil, but make this character human. For me, an antagonist that has nothing but malice is not always believable. Every character has its flaws and virtues. A perfect main character is as unconvincing as an antagonist bursting with evil. The authors have skillfully avoided that and they show their fantasy characters in a very human light.

The plot moves fast, and the description of the fairies and their world makes me want to read more of the authors’ works. I will definitely have a look at their other books and series!

I finished this page turner in two days, I had to know what was going to happen to Tess and Niah. The story ends read-bookswith a cliffhanger. I prefer books with no cliffhangers, because I don’t like to wait for the sequel. That’s a personal opinion though, we all like different things. Many people love cliffhangers.

The good news is that Then, book 2 in the Timewalker series, is already out, and it promises to be just as good as Wham!. I must know how it will all turn out for Tess, Niah, their family, and friends.

Best Place to Buy This Book?

Amazon and Goodreads are great places to purchase Wham! It is available in Kindle, paperback, and also as audiobook.


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  1. If not for anything, I’m getting this book just for the sake if it being a total package. I love the fact that the storyline is very thrilling and it sure has the making of a great book. Reading through the synopsis got me excited already and with a blend of little fairy, I’m sure to get the best from this. Imperfection of the character is another high point that is not constant everywhere else. Thus, I must definitely get this. Thanks

    1. Hello 🙂 I’m happy you’re getting this book. You’ll love it! I finished it in two days 🙂

  2. Thanks for the amazing review of this book, I’m so eager to read the book already. Although I’m not a fan of fairytales, but just by reading the synopsis you gave I’m interested in it. My daughter is in love with fairy tales and would be glad to have this book. I’ll certainly get a copy or two of this nice work for my library and family. Thanks once again. 

  3. Hi there, Lila! Like you, I am also fan of fantasy novels. Books like Ink Heart, City of Bones and Lord of the Rings are definitely one of my favorites. I got excited when I read the synopsis because as I see it, the story is like a combination of Hunger Game’ s dystopia and Fable haven’s fantasy. Love for the family, which is an effective element of this genre is also included. I thing Wham! is worth reading and I can’t contain my excitement to get my hands on it. I also like books in series but not so much with cliffhangers. It’s hard to contain anticipation and excitement. Thanks for this book recommendation. This urban fantasy is going to be a hit for both teens and adults. 

    1. Hello 🙂

      Yes, it will definitely be a hit for teenagers and adults. And even though it ends with a cliffhanger, the good thing is that book 2 (Then) is already out 😉

  4. I consider myself someone who likes fantasy and dystopian books quite a lot, but I had no idea this book existed! The idea of mixing the two genres is something that interests me a lot and the fact that you say it’s a page turner makes me want to pick it up for myself. I would love to know what you think about the second book when you’re done reading it!

  5. I have just finished reading City Of Bones and is thinking of what is the next book to read. Wham! seemed to have an interesting plot and I love books which are action pack! I tend to get bored easily reading books with uneventful story-line. I think I will read this boo next! Thank you so much for the recommending and reviewing this book!

  6. Thank you for this amazing introduction!! Wham! Is exactly what I am looking for at this moment!! Of course! Thank you for the great review without giving it away. I am eager to get my hands on this book and let it take me there!! So excited!

  7. Lila thank you for this great review . It makes me want to get a copy just to experience the strength of characters you spoke about. I am sure this will make a great gift for my son who loves magic based stories

  8. Thanks a lot for summarizing such an amazing review about Wham book. 

    Me and my son are big fans of fairy tales. I would really like to buy this interesting book and you have given me a reason to trust it because of the wonderful descriptions. After reading Lord of the Rings and the Harry Potter series I think this book is a great fit on our journey to fantasy. Thanks again for this article. If you don’t mind, i will share it on my social media accounts because i have a lot of friends who are passionate in fairy tales.

    1. Hello!

      If you and your son like Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, then Wham! is for you. I love the mix between fantasy and science fiction in this book. I myself am also a huge fan of fantasy. 

      Thank you for sharing this article on your social media accounts! Sharing is caring 🙂 

  9. Hi Lila,

    I am currently looking for a new book to read. This is a very different genre to what I usually go for, however, Wham looks like something I would like to try. Thanks for your review, maybe it will open my eyes up to a whole new genre of books to read.

    1. Hi Tom,

      Usually, I also stick to the same genre, but I have sometimes tried different genres and I was glad I did, because I ended up pleasantly surprised. So, yes, I definitely recommend trying out new genres. 

  10. Interesting book review you’ve written, I have also started a site writing book reviews but purely non fiction only, you see I’ve read dozens of books over the years but never published my opinion on them until a couple months back when I started my own site and now I’m looking at other book review sites to see how other people put reviews together, yours is very comprehensive , so thank you

    1. Hi Dave,

       Writing book reviews on non-fiction is very different, I have never done that before. Thank you for your thoughts!

  11. This is a great review you have written here. Honestly, it feels more like a book trailer to me in the summation because you have tantalised me and I feel so much like I wan to read this book straight up. I love indie stories in general and this is definitely a stand out one. Thank you so much for all you have written here. Wham! Is definitely a go for me

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