Monday, May 21, 2012

Review: Silence by Michelle Sagara

Silence by Michelle Sagara

publisher: DAW (Penguin)

release date: May 1th, 2012

hardcover, 289 pages

intended audience: Young adult

series: Queen of the Dead, book 1


source: from publisher for honest review

It began in the graveyard. Ever since her boyfriend Nathan died in a tragic accident Emma had been coming to the graveyard at night. During the day she went through the motions at her prep school, in class, with her friends, but that's all it was. But tonight was different. Tonight Emma and her dog were not alone in the cemetery. There were two others there—Eric, who had just started at her school, and an ancient woman who looked as though she were made of rags. And when they saw Emma there, the old woman reached out to her with a grip as chilling as death…

Review: With a great synopsis, some really interesting characters, and a sweet doggie that is such a character, he can be counted as part of the supporting cast, I really wanted to love Silence. For the first 50 or so pages, it moved along at a great pace, the story really took off, was intriguing, had a fantastic creepiness factor---and at first taste, I really thought the writing style was unique, with kind of a mysterious air to it. But eventually, I found myself feeling a bit confused and lost and having to reread several bits to really get the meaning of what the author was trying to convey. It felt really muddled, with the sentences themselves seeming broken up and choppy. Also, the third person perspective sometimes left me confused as to who was speaking at any given time, especially with such a large cast of characters. I definitely think this one might have benefited from a first person POV---or perhaps even an alternating POV between Emma and the mysterious Eric. It would have been great to get into his head a little. I did, however, push through all that and found a good story and some really great likeable characters, which for me, is what kept me reading to the end

Emma is a bit broken, having suffered the loss of her father and her boyfriend, Nathan. There is very little love story here, which I was kind of glad about {spoiler:---once we find out that Eric is meant to kill her I really didn't want them to end up together (that's been done enough, right?)} Eric is intriguing, but kind of stays that way---his actual purpose seems to stay a bit vague. What I really loved is the friendship dynamic between Emma and her circle of friends, Allison, Michael, & Amy. Allison is all support, Amy is a fireball, and Michael, especially, was fascinating to read about, the way his mind worked and how he viewed the things that were going on all around them. While I did think their acceptance of what was happening to Emma was a tad too easy, I loved that they all banded together to help her through it all. About two-thirds of the way through, there were so many extra characters that I was having trouble keeping track of who was who, but it certainly kept me on my toes. There are some really dark moments here, both in action and emotionally, but it added to the story. It's not your everyday, done-to-death story about necromancers--I really enjoyed some of the twists on what we normally see that Silence offered.

While I had mixed feelings about this one, I think I connected with the characters enough to be curious about what they will tackle in the following books.

Visit Michelle Sagara's website:

Purchase Silence at: AmazonBN.comBookDepository Indiebound


  1. I missed the romance in this story although I understand why it's wa not the focus in this story. It was more about world builduing ... It was a good story but the little spark was missing indeed..

  2. I have to agree with you on getting confused and lost at some points. While I think I ended up enjoying this one slightly more than you did, I can totally understand your problem with that part.

    I did love the friendship dynamic that you mentioned as well. It was great!

  3. I was really looking forward to this read, I love the cover! But I don't know, I have a tugging feeling I might not like it. Rawr! Maybe if it goes on Kindle sale lol.