Silence by Michelle Sagara | Book Review

Silence by Michelle Sagara (Queen of the Dead #1)
Publisher: DAW Books
Format: Hardcover (courtesy of DAW Books)
Genre: Supernatural, Young Adult
Publication Date: 1, May 2012
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….

I was excited to read Silence, mainly because it is refreshing to find necromancy in YA; a subject I love, but don't come across very often. I was excited to read Michelle Sagara's take on it, and began this book shortly after receiving it.

The story in these pages is full of thrilling moments that kept me reading on. It contains mystery, action, and a little romance. Oh, and a touch of that slightly darker stuff that is *necromancy goodness*. I was enticed by some of the characters, and I wanted to know what their part in the story would be. This is especially true for Michael, who is a character with autism; his character is so realistic and well-written. He is definitely my favorite of them all. I was also drawn to Emma, and I wanted to know how she would handle her new-found ability.

Yet in all honesty, it's been a while since I finished reading it, and it has taken me forever to actually type this review up. I waited so long because I had planned to read it again before reviewing it. The truth is that I really didn't understand a lot of the book. I was pretty lost while reading, and I don't think I got the full effect. There were many times when thoughts and conversation subjects changed mid-sentence, and I then had no idea what was being discussed, or where the turning point in the conversation had happened. This was very frustrating, and left me utterly confused most of the time. (It's not just me!)

Keep in mind that I'm a heavy reader; I devour books (as I'm sure most book bloggers and avid readers do), and I know how to read and comprehend a conversation between characters. This is not my first ballgame, y'all! I have felt confused in a book a couple times before, but it was always just a sentence or two that threw me off. This was....something different. This was the entire book. Anyway, I had meant to read it again just to give it a fair shot, but I couldn't get into it a second time. I had already read the story, and I found myself reaching for other books each time I tried to pick it up again.

Despite the things I liked about it, I wasn't that impressed with the story. Not only was I confused, but the secondary characters seemed very contrived, and present only when they were useful. Emma herself blindly trusts people without having any reason to do so. She falls in love with a character very quickly, and he falls for her too. Very quickly. *SPOILER!* So quickly that he spared her life instead of killing her like he was sent to do. *END SPOILER*

On top of all of that, there really isn't much necromancy beyond the basics. Yeah, Emma can see and talk to dead people. She helps a few spirits in trouble (don't let me get started on some of the powers she is conveniently capable of). But it is all very tame, compared to some of the amazing necromancy books out there. It's really more of a supernatural/ghost story, than it is about necromancy. And maybe that's the problem: there are better necromancy books out there, and I've read them. I think I just expected more. *shrug*

Temp. Guide
Read this if:
...you like supernatural stories, action, and love.

Content Warning
*This section may contain some spoilers about content!*
Highlight between the brackets to reveal the text.
{Ha! I wish I could remember all of it (sadly, I don't). There is some fighting violence, ghosts, and people who have passed away come back to talk to Emma. There is also a lot of talk of a child who burned to death in a house fire (this is a central plot point, and is heavily explored).}

Purchase Silence:
Michelle Sagara:
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  1. Oh dear. I think I'd rather not read a book that's THAT confusing.

  2. I've seen reviews that say the same thing about this book (it's confusing, characters fall in love too quickly, etc). It's a shame because the premise of the novel sounds amazing!


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