A haunted house with secrets and a girl with special DNA... Altered Helix by Stephanie Hansen (Review & #Giveaway) #yalit #fantasybooks @prismbooktours

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Welcome to my tour stop! Check out my review and enter the tour giveaway below...

Altered Helix
(Altered Helix #1)
By Stephanie Hansen
Young Adult Fantasy Novella
Paperback, Audiobook & ebook, 96 Pages
May 19, 2020 by Hypothesis Books


I didn’t want to take the traditional path. First, I wasn’t ready for college. Second, I was going to live with my best friend, Tiff, and work at the Haunted House. Third, did I mention the hot guy Josh that works there too?

The most exciting thing about Austria’s new job, at a local haunted house, was the fact that the toughest looking people screamed the loudest. But when she meets the boy without a home, Josh, Austria's life takes intriguing and eventful turns. Up until now, Josh has managed to hang with his Street crowd, but they’re in danger, and so is Austria, the girl Josh recently fell for. The group finds themselves joining forces with previously considered enemies who also now find themselves in danger.

Deeply compassionate and full of twists, Altered Helix captures the struggle of polarized people that must work together for the greater good.

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My Review

ALTERED HELIX is a story about a girl out on her own for the first time and trying to figure out what she wants to do with her life, but who is also missing her father terribly and has taken a job at a haunted house to reconnect with his memory. With a slightly fantasy and paranormal edge and plenty of romance, it's a quick start to this novella series for YA fans.

I liked the characters in this story. Austria seems like she has a pretty good head on her even though she doesn't know what she wants to do with her life. The haunted house job is supposed to be kind of a filler before she goes to college or really starts a career. She's fresh out of high school. I liked her friend and the haunted house is an interesting setting with plenty of its own secrets, which I'm assuming will be revealed more as the series continues.

The plot is interesting. As it's a novella, you only get pieces of the story at this point. Things are explained more in later books. It's an intriguing concept to have a character who can see memories and relive them and can also see what others might be thinking about. Although Austria can't do that with everyone. It's also an interesting concept to have people with special DNA, which plays an important part in this story. Then there is the fall of the government and the three groups of people who work at the haunted house: those who live on the street, those who don't, and those attending college or FRAT boys. This first book leave plenty of questions to be answered in the following ones.

I also thought there could have been a lot more development and dialogue. There is the insta-love trope, which very rarely works for me and here it is just really quick and the kids don't even know each other before they're pretty much living together (although the author keeps it clean, which I appreciate). There's not a lot of dialogue between the characters so there isn't that teasing and flirting, and character development that I prefer. The story is also a bit all over the place. The kids aren't necessarily safe or mature in their choices and some other characters seem to have free rein to do some bad things that I didn't quite understand.

In the end, was it what I wished for? This was an intriguing concept and story to read with likable characters and plenty of romance. There are plenty of questions and things to be resolved in the following books, but an overall interesting start to this novella series.

Content: Some innuendo, attempted rape, references to characters sleeping together (completely off screen), one s-word, and some violence.
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the author through Prism Book Tours, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Other Books in the Series

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About the Author

Stephanie Hansen is a PenCraft Award Winning Author. Her short story, Break Time, and poetry has been featured in Mind's Eye literary magazine. The Kansas Writers Association published her short story, Existing Forces, appointing her as a noted author. She has held a deep passion for writing since early childhood, but a brush with death caused her to allow it to grow. She's part of an SCBWI critique group in Lawrence, KS and two local book clubs. She attends many writers' conferences including the Writing Day Workshops, New York Pitch, Penned Con, New Letters, All Write Now, Show Me Writers Master Class, BEA, and Nebraska Writers Guild conference as well as Book Fairs and Comic-Cons. She is a member of the deaf and hard of hearing community.

Tour Schedule

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Ends February 3, 2020

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