Read Silence by Michelle Sagara Michelle Sagara West Online


The haunting beginning to Michelle Sagara's young adult paranormal trilogy, Queen of the Dead.It began in the graveyard... Ever since her boyfriend Nathan had 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. For Emma, life had stoppeThe haunting beginning to Michelle Sagara's young adult paranormal trilogy, Queen of the Dead.It began in the graveyard... Ever since her boyfriend Nathan had 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. For Emma, life had stopped with Nathan's death. 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.... Emma was not quite like others teenagers. It was true that other girls had experienced grief. Other girls had also lost their fathers, or had their boyfriends die in a senseless accident. But though she hadn't known it till that night in the graveyard, unlike those other girls, she could see, touch, and speak with the dead. In fact, Emma could draw upon the essence of the dead to work magic. That was what Necromancers did. But Emma had no desire to be a Necromancer. She just wanted to help the ghosts who walked the streets of Toronto, unable to escape from the land of the living. And that was just as well, because had she chosen the path of the Necromancer, Eric would have had to kill her. Instead, Eric and his fellow Necromancer hunter Chase found themselves violating every rule they were sworn to follow, becoming part of Emma's group, helping her to stand against those who preyed upon the dead. But whether Emma and her friends could survive such a battle was anyone's guess. And whether Emma could learn to use the magic of the dead against her enemies without herself falling victim to the lure of such power remained to be seen. Eric seemed to think she could, and her living friends would never abandon her. But only time would tell what Emma's true destiny was.......

Title : Silence
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780756407421
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 289 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Silence Reviews

  • Kelly
    2018-10-19 08:54

    (4.5 stars) Michelle Sagara makes her young adult debut with Silence, a spooky and emotionally moving urban fantasy. The heroine, Emma, is mourning her boyfriend Nathan, who died in a car accident. She feels most at peace when she visits the cemetery in the evenings — until one night she has an uncanny encounter on the grounds. And the weirdness doesn’t end there. Now Emma can see and touch the dead, and may be able to affect these spirits in other ways as well…Emma is a well-rounded character with both good qualities and flaws. She has a little bit of youthful egocentricity, as when she thinks that Nathan’s mother’s grief is “almost” as bad as hers (and if this irks you while reading, stay tuned — it’s part of her character development). Despite this, she’s anything but a selfish person. She looks out for her friends, both the ones who are popular and the ones who aren’t. She loves her dog, who is so true to my own experience with an aging Rottweiler that I think Sagara must have secretly met my dog at some point. And the risk she is willing to undertake, when she learns of the suffering of a child ghost, is downright heroic. She is likable in the beginning and grows during the novel’s events to become an even more compelling heroine.As for those friends, they are delightful characters too. Michael is on the autism spectrum and his different worldview is crucial to the story at several points. Amy is the school’s queen bee, and is given more depth, warmth, and humor than is usually afforded to this type of character. Allison is plain and awkward but fiercely loyal, and at one point delivers an awesome verbal smackdown. I wish I could make ten clones of Allison and deploy them into various other YA novels so she could tell off the overbearing males in those books too.The male lead, Eric, is part of an organization that classifies Emma’s abilities as necromancy and wants to kill all necromancers. This might seem like the typical “guy is a threat to girl’s life” plot, but he actually isn’t a threat to her for very long, which makes him much easier to stomach. As soon as he gets to know her, he realizes she’s a good person and urgently coaches her on how to evade the organization. Later, he actively helps and defends her. Then comes the really surprising part: there’s no romance between the two. Emma is still grieving Nathan, and Eric seems sometimes interested in her friend Amy and sometimes not really interested in anyone at all. Sagara may develop a romance between Emma and Eric later, but it works well as a friendship, and even if it does become romantic it’ll be all the stronger for the gradual build.This organization isn’t the only threat to Emma. Evil necromancers are after her too, and the heroic act she’s about to undertake for the child ghost is itself inherently dangerous. All of these perils come together in the climactic scene. This scene, perhaps, goes on a little too long and has a few confusing moments. The length saps some of the urgency from it; we know it must actually be taking place in less time than it takes to read about it, but its length makes it feel like it takes more time than it really would. However, this scene is also filled with intense emotion and vivid imagery, and there are parts of it that had me on the edge of my seat with nervousness. Then, Silence finishes with Emma gaining a new perspective on her life and Sagara introducing a couple of wicked plot hooks for book two: one that shakes up Emma personally, and one regarding the passage between our world and the next one and what has gone wrong with it.Silence distinguishes itself in a glutted field of YA paranormal fiction. Sagara starts with some of the popular plot tropes, but doesn’t take them in the directions you might expect, and the lovable characters and authentic emotion help set the book apart too. It’s a story of loss, grief, and the way life goes on after tragedy, sad at times but hopeful rather than depressing. I highly recommend it to YA urban fantasy fans.see this and other Michelle Sagara reviews at Fantasy Literature

  • Estara
    2018-10-09 13:46

    Okay, I guess I should declare MSW to be my currently most reliable comfort read author - because this book is not at all comforting in plot or setting and it has themes I might describe as horror or ghost story - not something I like usually.But I really fell into the friendship at the college level of Emma, Allison, Michael (and Amy) the people at the core of this story. Emma is the heroine - in more ways than just being the protagonist, but she really wouldn't cope without her childhood friends.Michael, especially, is a loving homage to MSW's eldest son, who has Asperger's Syndrome (she did a whole series of posts on her LJ in 2010/11 about the kindergarten and primary school experience of her son and herself, with his permission of course) and is a highly functional teenager himself.Since Jo Walton talked on about her different categories of series books, I have come to realize this is likely to turn out to be a chunk-series (which I adore in C.J. Cherryh's Foreigner books): we meet Emma and her friends after some very dramatic things have already happened to her and she tries to cope with them.Eric and Chase, the new "students" and the catalysts of the plot, are shown more in their interaction and not much information is given about what they actually are - just bits of their knowledge, their competence and their goals. So we'll likely develop that slowly.At the end we are introduced to their superior AND because of Emma's developments in this book there are plot threads after the current main plot has been resolved (no cliff-hanger) that make for a deep desire to have the next book NOW - but that is usually the case for me with MSW ^^.The action parts of the plot are gripping and stylish - I always find her action bits very cinematic - but I really enjoyed the feeling of friendship, of common sense and kindness in the face of truly strange happenings, of a bedrock of love that so far has managed to support all upheaval. And that's why this is a comfort read.ETA: After reading Silence, I just didn't want to separate from MSW's voice and I realised that she is a surefire comfort read for me because the one story that is always at least one focus of all her books and a lot of the time the main focus (Haven't read all of The Sundered and I'm not sure if it works for the Hunter's Oath duology, apart from Evayne a'Nolan maybe) is a woman who has an incredible power (which she either desires - The Terafin - or for some reason has thrust upon her - Emma - or inherits - Diora, Jewel -) and uses it to keep her family safe, get revenge for her family, make a new family and keep that safe.... so I ended up rereading Cast in Ruins ^^.

  • Natalie
    2018-09-21 11:07

    In a Sentence: Though the writing style left me feeling a little disoriented at times, overall, I was impressed by Silence, and I definitely plan on checking out more by Michelle Sagara in the future!My ThoughtsI usually consider myself to be pretty up-to-date on upcoming young adult releases, but Silence was one of those books that managed to completely slip by me. When I found a copy in my mailbox, I honestly had no idea what the book was about at all, and I hadn't heard of the author before either. Obviously, the first thing I did was open up the book and read the synopsis on the inside of the dust jacket, which gave me a little bit of a better idea of what I was getting into, but in all honesty...Silence is one of those books where the synopsis doesn't do it justice. The description makes it sound like your run-of-the-mill paranormal YA novel, but it definitely isn't. In fact, it was what Silence did differently than many other books in its genre that made me end up liking it so much. First of all, Silence, unlike many paranormal young adult books, is not a romance. There are brief references to a past romantic relationship, and maybe, if you squint, foreshadowing for a possible future one, but a blossoming romance is definitely not a defining plot element of this book. I realize that this might be a turn-off for some people, but for me, it was absolutely refreshing. In a genre that's completely saturated with love triangles and (in my opinion) the ever-dreaded insta-love problem, a story that wasn't heavy on the romance was almost (dare I say it?) RELIEVING. Michelle Sagara also has a way with words. Her writing style is almost poetic and often very beautiful. However, talking about the writing style brings me to the one issue I did have with Silence. One of my book blogging buddies, Candace at Candace's Book Blog, described my feelings almost exactly in her review of Silence:“When I started reading my first thought was that the writing was beautiful. It wasn't fluffy or full or big words or anything, but just the way she said things was beautiful. But at the same time I found myself feeling lost when there were more active scenes with lots going on. At times I felt so lost I kind of wanted to skim.”The difference between Candace's opinion and my own is that while I didn't get the urge to skim, I felt as if I HAD been skimming at I had missed something. Not anything hugely important, but enough to leave me feeling a little disoriented. For me, it didn't end up being a huge issue, but it was a minor annoyance.Getting back to the good stuff, I felt like Sagara had a solid handle on her characters, especially her protagonist, Emma. Having recently lost someone she loved dearly, a lot of this book addresses how Emma learns to cope with her loss. What I liked best about Silence was that it combined two of my favorite things: a creative, magical fantasy world with characters who were experiencing real-life issues. Silence is largely a book about relationships: developing them, maintaining them through a variety of hardships, and learning how to move on when those relationships are severed. Overall, Silence ended up being a very pleasant surprise for me. It's the first book in a planned trilogy, and from what I've seen, I'm excited to see what the next installment will bring. Definitely something to try for those of you who are fans of a good ghost story, or if you'd like to pick up something that's a little more romance-light.

  • Mogsy (MMOGC)
    2018-09-22 12:04

    2.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum is going to be a tough review for me to write, mainly because Silence is one of those books I just couldn't get into, but when the time comes to describe the reasons why, I am at a loss. I mean, it's not like there were a bunch of faults I could point to, or even any single factor in the book which I vehemently disliked. At the same time, nothing about it stood out for me either. As a whole, it just left me feeling cold.The story? I thought it was okay. The book follows Emma, a grief-stricken teen who has taken to visiting the graveyard at nights ever since her boyfriend died in a car accident. One evening during one of these routine walks, she runs into Eric, the new boy at school. There is a mysterious old woman with him, and when Emma experiences the old crone's touch, it awakens a power in her. After the events of that night, Emma realizes that she can see, touch, and speak with the dead. It turns out that Emma is a Necromancer. And that means Eric now must kill her. As to why he has to do that, it wasn't really explained beyond the fact he belongs to a group of Necromancer hunters, so clearly Emma has to die. Like I said, it's not a terribly deep story; there are lots of moments like this where I just had to tell myself to roll with it. In any case, Eric is obviously very conflicted about having to kill Emma, and as such is hoping that current circumstances will take care of that business for him. For you see, Emma has discovered the trapped ghost of a four-year-old boy and is determined to help save him, but in doing so she will be putting her own life on the line.Anyway, the characters in this novel? Also just okay. Emma is a person who is completely ruled by her emotions, leaping into situations without ever thinking things through. I came to understand her friends' exasperation with her. And with the exception of Michael, who is a good portrayal of a teen with a neurodevelopmental disability, everyone else feels like a variation of the usual archetypes you'll find in a young adult novel. You have the best friend with a heart of gold, the queen bee whose parents are loaded and throws all the wildest parties, or the smart-alecky guy with the smug and edgy attitude (Chase royally grated on my nerves. He's like that kid you knew in high school, the one who would swear because he thinks it makes him look cool, and whom everyone just wanted to throttle).The writing? It was okay as well. The storytelling? Maybe a little on the slow side, but otherwise okay too. Like I said, there wasn't anything I really disliked about Silence. I grant you I might not be giving this book the fairest shake here, but I think I've reached the point where "just okay" doesn't quite cut it with me anymore, especially when it comes to a young adult novel. Sometimes, it's the bunch of little minor things that can compound and sour me on the overall experience. Similarly, I think this book is one of those cases where too many "so-so's" managed to build up and wear me down.You'll definitely see me picking up Ms. Sagara's books again in the future, but they probably won't be from this series. Unfortunately, this book just wasn't for me. I won't deny I've become a lot pickier with my YA lately, and overall Silence simply lacked the "oomph" I was looking for.

  • E.
    2018-09-27 08:51

    Excellent start to a new series!“Silence” by Michelle Sagara is a mesmerizing young adult book that is the first in her ‘Queen of the Dead’ series. Emma Hall has had a lot of tragedy in her life, most recently losing her boyfriend, Nathan to a fatal car accident. Getting through the eleventh grade is hard enough without everyone constantly checking to see how she is doing but her life’s about to get even harder. Her default answer is ‘fine’ even when her head seems to be falling apart to the extent that the new guy in her class, Eric, takes her to the hospital for an MRI after having been present the night before when something extraordinary occurred to her while she was walking with her 9 year old Rottweiler in the cemetery. Luckily for Emma, her support system includes her steadfast best friend Allison who knows how to pack a wealth of information into a minimum number of words and her friend Michael who likes his life extremely orderly and sees the essence of things because he is unfettered by the polite evasions that most people employ. It turns out that Eric may be there to prevent Emma from accessing the mysterious gifts that she has suddenly acquired, even if he has to kill her. Naturally, Emma would prefer to avoid that solution but she has an agenda of her own and Eric may have to rethink his priorities.A fantastic read that has a wonderful melange of characters (including a Rottweiler with the unlikely name of Petal and an engaging young man named Michael) who tumble from one improbable yet remarkably believable situation to another even more incredible and tension-filled challenge. The combination of typical teen concerns (school, popularity, conformity, parties) juxtaposed with the weighty concerns of death, afterlife, and survivor’s guilt are presented using those who distill complicated concepts into a simple purified question of love, sacrifice and survival. Ms Sagara has an enviable ability to draw a reader into a realistic world peopled by amazingly uncanny people who display unforeseen depths. Her tendency to center her tales on a young woman who rises to the challenges presented despite great adversity and her facility for creating a cast of characters who immediately become real to the reader is the reason I greatly enjoy this author’s writings. Keep a tissue handy and make sure you have plenty of time to read this exceptional tale because once you start reading, you’re not going to want to put this book down and then, like me, you will be impatiently waiting for the sequel.© Night Owl Reviews

  • Jaime Lester
    2018-10-15 13:57

    What an amazing little gem this was. I wasn't so sure that I was going to be crazy about it in the first few pages because of the writing style, but I dug my heels in and adapted about 10 pages into Silence and I am so very happy that I did. This is one of my favorite reads of this year so far. Thank you Michelle Sagara for this amazing read. I was blown away throughout the whole book, and even now, a few hours later, I am still feeling the blow.Review to come.....

  • Dark Faerie Tales
    2018-10-18 13:00

    Review Courtesy of Dark Faerie TalesQuick & Dirty: The first installment in The Queen of the Dead series lays out all the relationships that will push the plot forward. It’s a fast, engaging read that brings ghosts and Necromancers into colliding with the reality the rest of us live in.Opening Sentence: Everything happens at night.The Review:Emma’s experienced a lot of loss in her life. Her father, years ago, and then just last summer her boyfriend Nathan died in a car accident. Her first love, his death tore her to pieces. Emma still visits his grave when she walks her dog Petal at night. It’s quite there and she doesn’t have to make excuses to anyone or get questioned about her feelings. In the quite night of the cemetery she can just be. Until one night Petal takes off running and Emma comes face to face with an old crone out of a nightmare. A crone who just so happens to be talking with Eric, the new boy at school. When the old crone lets Emma take the freezing paper lantern from her hands, everything changes.She can see the dead. At school, on the street, anywhere they are and Eric knows why. Except, Eric won’t say anything — except that she needs to forget it. To try and let everything fade away so it doesn’t exist for her anymore. Because if she keeps interacting with the ghosts, if she keeps transitioning, he’ll have to kill her. But Emma can’t stay out of it. There’s more to Emma than being a budding Necromancer, she’s experienced too much grief to let the dead wander for all eternity. She wants to move them on. Where to, she doesn’t know, but the dead see the light just out of reach and Emma’s determined to get them there.The stakes are high for Emma as she fights side-by-side with the boys sent to kill her. While Emma might not be like other Necromancers, the others don’t know that. Some of them are coming for her. They’ll train her to suck the power from the dead and use it for magic. But Emma is more powerful, more prepared than they think she is. Even if she doesn’t know what to do, the dead around her have met Necromancers before. And they’re going to fight for Emma’s side this time.It’s really the characters that carry Silence, while the plot is good it’s still written as the first installment of something bigger. Allison is Emma’s best friend. While not a social outcast, she’s definitely not moving in the same social sphere as Emma. Emma can make conversation and wear cute clothes, Allison doesn’t like shopping and she certainly isn’t interested in the social games the popular kids play. Michael has been Emma and Allison’s friend for over a decade. A high functioning autistic, he’s also their responsibility to some extent. They take care of him and keep to his schedule. But he isn’t a liability. In fact, in a lot of ways he’s more helpful than Allison when it comes to the Necromancers.I really enjoyed Silence because of the characters and the emotions Sagara evoked. While it has a complete plot arc, it’s definitely the first of a series — hopefully a long one. This novel isn’t a romance in any respects, but the series may evolve to have one later. It made for a nice change of pace from other young adult books. I really love the dichotomy of Eric and Chase, his partner and fellow hunter, and the way they both handle Emma as a “good necromancer.” There was an underlying theme to Silence, whether the dead are still real people; that I hope is further explored in the sequel. I’ll definitely be reading the rest of this series.Notable Scene:She heard the screaming again and turned. Street and cars. Nothing else. Frowning, she saud, “I don’t think the voice I can hear is a dead person’s voice.”Eric said nothing, which was starting to get old.“I think–I think it might be his mother’s voice.”“Emma, let it go. Please. If it’s strong enough that you can hear her voice, he is too strong for you.”“He’s four.”“A living four year old and a dead four year old are not the same. Trust me.”The Queen of the Dead Series:1. Silence2. TouchFTC Advisory: Penguin/DAW Books provided me with a copy of Silence. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. In addition, I don’t receive affiliate fees for anything purchased via links from my site.

  • Nonny
    2018-09-24 14:52

    I really wanted to like this book but it just didn't gel with me.The premise is really cool, and I was drawn in by the first quarter or so of the book, but once Eric is introduced, there is so much left unexplained. It comes in pretty early that Eric is supposed to kill Emma, but there's... no reason given. He and Chase TELL her that they're going to and only give the vaguest explanation -- because she's a Necromancer.There's a scene with a rival Necromancer, but it isn't really shown why he is evil. It feels like, we're supposed to KNOW he is, so there's no real reason to explain it. It feels the same way for why Eric is supposed to kill Emma, and it feels like the author deliberately omitted information -- ostensibly for conflict but it just felt artificial.Since we spend part of the time in Eric's POV, it especially doesn't make sense. I can see him not wanting to tell Emma everything but in his POV anything specific is deliberately avoided. It just felt fake to me, like there is going to be some Big Reveal, but the constant beating around the bush annoyed me enough that I just put it down.I do have to give her props for including a character with Aspergers. As somebody probably on the spectrum, it's nice to see such a character. I felt that some of the information was infodumped too much, and multiple of the characters basically acted as his "guardian" and almost as ambassadors to the outside world, which... I have mixed feelings about. I performed a similar role with my sister, but I also would like to see more active roles for characters with disabilities (Michael is low functioning enough it could arguably be considered a disability).IDK, I liked some of the aspects but it just didn't work for me.

  • Virginia
    2018-09-27 08:45

    Just like some posts/articles/web content have trigger warnings for rape, violence, abuse, etc., they need trigger warnings on things for BABIES IN PERIL and SUFFERING. I just broke down weeping because this book has a 4 year old boy trapped in a fire who refused to come out of his room and follow his mommy out the house because she had to hold onto a 3 month old baby and an 18 month old baby. And he felt betrayed! And he DIED. And he is stuck there as a ghost in the burning house because he is SO MAD.All I can think of is my own DS throwing a tantrum at the most inconvenient time and me trying to get him out of the house to save him but having no way to do it.WHY!? Why are there books with such obvious WEEPING BAIT? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU AUTHORS??That is all. Carry on.Oh, right. The rest of the story is fine. I really liked Eric and Chase. But seriously. The second book BETTER NOT HAVE ANYTHING BAD HAPPEN TO BABIES.

  • Aliette
    2018-10-19 07:58

    Ooof this was hard-hitting and very well done (trigger warning: death of a child, painted in a very realistic and compassionate way). I love Emma and her friends, and the interactions between them--they make this feel so very grounded and real.

  • Ferdy
    2018-10-01 07:52

    SpoilersDidn't like it. It wasn't completely awful but there was far more bad elements than good.-Most of Silence was cliched. It had the run off the mill heroine (Emma) who all of sudden had super speshul powers, and then there was the hot-new-mysterious-guy (Eric) who showed up and threatened the heroine. Ugh.One thing I did like was that Emma and Eric didn't fall in insta-love and start acting like nothing else but their love mattered. But I guess that'll happen in the second book.-Emma was rather irritating. All of sudden she had weird ghostly powers and instead of finding out what the fuck was going on, she did nothing and asked nothing. Even when Eric started asking her questions about her powers, she didn't think to ask him who the fuck he was and what the hell was going on. Why didn't she ask him about her powers? And when he told her he could see ghosts too and that his bosses had sent him to kill her, why did she just accept that? Why didn't she ask him why they could both see ghosts? Why didn't she ask him who he worked for? Or why he wanted to kill her? Or why helping ghosts was dangerous or wrong? Or what gave him the bloody right to kill her? She didn't even know the guy so why was she blindly trusting him? The whole thing was bullshit. As if she wouldn't ask any questions. The author clearly wanted to draw things out and keep readers in the dark because she thought it'd make things more thrilling. It didn't. It made things frustrating, it also made Emma come across as dumb.-The worst thing about Emma was when she said that her boyfriend's (Nathan) death was harder on her than it was on Nathan's mum. Really? I can't believe Emma seriously thought that losing a high school boyfriend was worse than a mother losing an only child. Ugh.-I did like that Emma had a serious boyfriend (before she no doubt commits herself to her one twu wuv). I'll be really disappointed when Emma ends up being a virgin even though she and Nathan were supposed to have such a deep and serious love (yet never actually had sex). Also, I really liked that Emma wasn't a loner or a 'loner' who only had guy friends.-Eric was kind of dull. I was irritated that even in his own POV, he revealed little about himself… Why would he conveniently avoid thinking about his job, his boss and whatnot? It wasn't remotely realistic. It felt like basic information was left out of Eric's own thoughts just so he and the story could remain a mystery.-Emma's friends were decent enough characters. Although, I did find it kind of unbelievable how quickly they believed everything when they were told about ghosts and stuff.-I'm not a fan of reading about character's pets, I don't find it interesting at all. So yea, Emma constantly talking about her dog, Petal, was off putting. I would have liked the author to write less about Emma's dog and more about what the hell was going on.-The dialogue and writing didn't flow very well. At times it felt like there were missing sentences — things randomly jumped from one thing to another. I had to re-read whole passages because I thought I'd missed something.Also, if there were more than two people in a scene, it wasn't always clear who was saying what.-The ending didn't make much sense… The whole giving/taking powers, and then Emma and the secondary characters coming to random conclusions, I didn't know what the hell was going on.All in all, Silence was an annoying read. I probably won't bother reading the sequel.

  • Alice Liu
    2018-09-25 12:44

    This book is a fun and unique read with unlikely heroes. I was absolutely thrilled by Michael, the high-functioning autistic boy. Because Emma and her friends grew up with Michael, they adjusted their behavior around him and that behavior became the new norm. It shows how open and flexible children can be (both the popular and unpopular). Being around Michael also makes it possible for the characters to accept the supernatural as it happens: They accept what is true for them and focus on the solution rather than on the disbelief.My only hang-ups with the book were that Sagara's writing style sometimes tripped me up and I had to re-read some sentences to understand what she was saying...and sometimes I still didn't get it. My other issue was Emma's indulgence with her emotions during the life or death action sequence. I personally don't like when characters insist on the touchy-feely in mid-crisis. However, that is just a personal preference and it true to life for many people.

  • MaurynneMaxwell
    2018-10-09 08:58

    At first, I confess, I was reading this thinking,why has M. S. jumped on the ya urban fantasy seeing dead people bandwagon? Everything else she's written has such originality. Then in her inimitable fashion, she sucked me in all the way. And, whereas I was easily able to give up certain other author's forays into ya, I will keep reading these. Part of Sagara's gift is to gift her outsiders community, and this is what's so seductive to me as a reader. All us outsiders long for community, if we live long enough, and reading these stories give us hope that it might happen, and clues to maybe help it happen. I especially appreciate the high-functioning autistic character. Sagara's heroes (hey Apple geeks, why does the iPad want to autocorrect heroes to jerks?) are always fierce warriors of the heart, and this is why I am a super fan. Anyway, plot: girl discovers she can see the dead, mysterious organization wants to kill her as a budding necromancer. But it turns out that using the power of the dead is not the only choice a necromancer has...

  • TheBookSmugglers
    2018-09-25 08:50

    Originally reviewed on The Book SmugglersEmma and her loyal dog Petal (an incongruously named rottweiler) are on their usual evening stroll through the neighborhood cemetery. After the death of her boyfriend, Nathan, in a fatal car accident the prior year, Emma has taken to visiting the graveyard, wrestling with her solitary grief in the long, quiet hours of the night. On this particular night, however, things are neither solitary nor quiet, as Emma runs into the charming new guy in school, Eric, who is casually walking among the headstones at night for reasons unknown. Eric is not the only other person in the graveyard, though - an old, haggard woman carrying a lantern approaches Emma and gives her both the lantern and a grotesque kiss before Emma loses consciousness. Then, things start to get really strange - Emma has excruciating headaches, nausea, and then she starts to hear and see things that no one else can. Emma can see the dead. More than that, Emma can communicate with these honest-to-goodness ghosts, and can even bind them to her will. For new guy Eric, who is sworn to protect against necromancers, Emma is a problem that needs to be eliminated. But the more he gets to know Emma, her family, her friends, and the lives she has touched, the harder it is to kill her. Emma is determined to use her powers for good, but as her abilities grow, the lure for more power can be a hard call to resist.I haven't read a Michelle Sagara West book in a good long while - I remember reading the Cast series and the Sundered books and liking them, so I was intrigued when I saw this paranormal YA title from an author whose work I've only consumed as high fantasy. The coolest thing about Silence is that while the story itself seems familiar and almost pedestrian in an increasingly populated paranormal genre (how many books are out there these days with teenage girls that can see dead people following x traumatic experience?), the writing and the characters make Silence a strong, memorable read.From a pure plot perspective, there isn't really much new, exciting, or groundbreaking about this first book in a planned series. Silence features a heroine that has undergone her share of trauma, and now can see, speak to, and even control the dead (who of course dwell among us). There's an interesting world of necromancers, ghosts, and power, which is revealed at a nice slow burn over the course of the novel - but this isn't inherently new or anything to write home about.Rather, the strength of Silence lies with its expertly assembled and executed ensemble cast, and the strange, lilting, yet completely winsome prose. I adore the fact that this book sounds and reads nothing like your typical YA paranormal novel. You know what I'm talking about, right? The paranormal YA with a shy/slightly outsider-ish/unassumingly pretty heroine, who falls for the dangerous new hot dude, engages in something of a love triangle, and solves a mystery to Save Everyone before calamity strikes? You know the type of novel I'm talking about - cookie cutter, bland, unholy-spawn-of-Twilight boringness. Silence might resemble these tropes in theory, but in form, it far exceeds them. Starring an empathetic heroine in Emma, who is strong in her own quiet way, Silence is not a book about Emma's insecurities or her fawning over her newfound, undying love for Eric. Rather, it is the story of a girl that has gone through some very tough times, has gained some extraordinary and dangerous powers, and is growing as a person over the course of the novel. It's also an ensemble piece, with strong representation from many characters, including a best friend that is so much more than mere background support, a high-functioning autistic boy named Michael that is both Emma's good friend and a litmus test for things that happen late in the book, a queen bee (that cares for her friends, for a change), a mother and a father that are strained but inexplicably present and integral to the story, and of course, two new boys that are bonded by friendship and gradually are accepted into Emma's tangled, close-knit group. I loved all of these characters and the nuances and layers they bring to this otherwise straightforward story.And, as I mentioned before, I love the actual writing style employed by Ms. Sagara in Silence. Instead of a linear progression or recounting of events so familiar in many of the popular YA books today, Silence is a slightly different animal, posing questions and leaving them tantalizingly unanswered, trading the overt sledgehammer technique for a more subtle technique. I cannot express enough how much I love this. Overall, I found Silence to be an interesting take on a collection of tried and tired genre tropes. There's enough here to keep me excited for the next book, and I'm excited to see what happens next for Emma and the gang. Recommended, especially for those readers looking for a break from the more monotonous, uninspired blahness of current Paranormal YA.

  • Susan
    2018-10-10 08:44

    Silence is a beautifully written paranormal with intriguing mystery, charming and charismatic characters, and an enticing flare for originality. The world Michelle Sagara creates is both interesting and complex, brimming with thrilling imaginative creativity, gorgeous prose, and a brilliant and cleverly written nod to the history of necromancy. The plot is dark and driven, yet has an insanely amazing way of keeping readers on the edge of their seats with the anticipation of what's to come next. Little bits and pieces of information about whom and what Emma is and her abilities are sprinkled throughout the novel that makes it even more mysteriously compelling. The characters are strong and realistically portrayed, which make them sympathetic to readers and extremely likeable.Emma has some admirable qualities that make her delightful to get to know. She's fiercely strong, independent, and wonderfully resilient in the face of all the heartache she's had to endure. One of her most likeable qualities is that she's incredibly selfless, choosing to put other's before herself. She's just this really amazing kind and caring person, who's had to deal with a lot in her young life and she's still determined to understand herself better and accept her gift of necromancy and what she can do with it. It's easy to connect with her in an emotional and meaningful way. Eric and Chase have their own way of making the story more exciting and invigorating, as they bring their own intrigue adding to the suspenseful mystery. They have a great deal of knowledge and experience with necromancers and it was interesting to see that instead of killing Emma like they originally had planned, they ended up helping her instead. It's a lot of fun getting to know them, as they get to know Emma and become sort of allies to her cause once she decides what she's going to do with her gift of necromancy. One thing I actually enjoyed when they entered the picture, was that there was no love triangle involved at all. I literally found myself breathing a sigh of relief, because it was so refreshing to read a young adult paranormal book that didn't involve this aspect. I think I found it to be a little more entertaining and engaging, that they could be friends on a more platonic level rather than a romantic one.The supporting characters were also enjoyable to get to know, like Amy who wasn't afraid to say or do whatever she felt like doing. She was super fiercely protective of her friends and that made her such a fantastic character. It was adorable to see how charming and caring Michael was, when he was playing with the children and being loyal to his friends in light of everything going on around them. But, I think my personal favorite was Margaret, the ghost who ended up referring to Emma as something else other than necromancer. She doesn't exactly explain why or what she meant, which adds an extra air of mystery and intrigue. It was definitely enough of a twist to keep readers guessing and anticipating the next book in this amazing new young adult paranormal series.Silence is brimming with so much awesome, that readers will be captivated and unable to put it down. It's an incredibly fast paced action packed novel, brimming with danger, mysterious twists and turns, and cleverly disguised intrigue. Michelle Sagara pens an amazingly evocative novel with engaging plot twists sure to take readers on a rollercoaster ride of their life. I would definitely recommend this super fantastic novel to anyone who enjoys the Darkest Powers trilogy by Kelley Armstrong or the Katerina Trilogy by Robin Bridges.

  • Penelope
    2018-10-02 09:56

    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. (view spoiler)[So quickly that he spared her life instead of killing her like he was sent to do. (hide 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*This review was originally published on my blog: The Reading Fever.*I was provided with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  • Lyssa
    2018-10-17 15:44

    I won this book as a giveaway.I really liked the concept behind the story, but something was just a bit off. For starters, there was just not enough information given out about what was going on. One night in the graveyard, Emma discovers she can see dead people. The new boy at school, Eric, is really someone sent to kill her before she can turn into a necromancer. It was never explained who Eric is or why he kills necromancers. For another unexplained reason, he refuses to kill Emma, and instead follows her and her friends around. Of course Emma does not want to be a necromancer, but since no one really tells her anything she is left to figure it out on her own. She tells all of her friends and they all get involved. Emma's dead father appears and guides her in helping other ghosts. At the end, Emma opens a door that allows ghosts to pass "somewhere". Not really sure where. I think this story needed more development before it was released.

  • Rachel Neumeier
    2018-10-06 12:02

    Okay, I’ve only tried one other book by Michelle Sagara West, HUNTER'S OATH, and it was just okay for me. I liked this Queen of the Dead series a great deal better. It’s entirely different: contemporary YA with mostly one protagonist. Switching pov was something that didn’t work for me in the earlier Sagara West book, but the occasional scenes from other pov characters in this series were fine. Even the second-person prologue in the second book, which is certainly a tricky kind of thing to pull off.So, Emma is a Necromancer, or something like a Necromancer. In this world, Necromancers are pretty much totally evil. They chain the dead and draw on them for power. Also, because life is so short compared to death, they think nothing of killing people. What’s a few years if someone’s going to die anyway in the end?At the top of the Necromancer food chain is the Queen of the Dead, who has closed off the way that the dead would take to (apparently) Heaven, in order (I presume) to keep them available so she and her Necromancers can use them as so many little power sources.Okay, so as I say, that’s evil. But there are also people who oppose the Necromancers. Some of the hunters may be not quite ordinary human people. Some of the are just . . . really motivated. But they are not exactly knights on white steeds either. For one thing, they’re fine with killing people who might be recruited by the Necromancers, even if those people haven’t done anything nasty yet. For another, they are themselves completely unconcerned about the fate of the dead. This is a “closed world,” so ordinary people don’t know about any of this. Certainly not Emma, until she bumps into an creepy ancient woman in a graveyard, is given a special gift, and wakes up a Necromancer. Or maybe not. It’s not clear in the first book whether Emma can chain and use the dead. It’s perfectly clear that she is totally opposed to the whole idea. She’s not real keen on the hunters, either, because they’re no more interested in the wellbeing of the dead than the Necromancers. What Emma wants is what any decent person would want: to free the dead.What makes this book work:The characters. Emma is surrounded by friends; really good, solid friends; and by relatives; and by the relatives of friends. These books are really about friendship and parenthood and relationships. “He’s not asking me to walk out on my Best Friend; he’s asking me to walk out on my own life. He’s asking me to be so afraid for my own safety that I’m willing to just leave you behind. And I could,” she added. “But it would change what friendship means – to me – forever. I could never, ever throw my whole heart into it, because if things were too dark or too scary, I’d know, in advance, that I’d be ducking, hiding, and running for cover. It’s not about you, really. It’s about me.”Isn’t that wonderful? I wish I’d written those lines.Anyway, I love how Sagara handles all the relationships in this book. It’s a crowded story: Emma and her mother and her father and her mother’s friend; Emma’s best friend Allison and her friend Amy and their friend Michael. And Eric and Chase. And a whole bunch of other less important characters. So as you see, a crowd, but Sagara brings them all to distinctive life. Also, Michael is autistic and I love the way he is such an intrinsic part of the inner circle of friends. Also, I can’t decide whether Amy really has some kind of superpower that has nothing to do with necromancy or not, but I love the way Popular Girls and Bookish Girls are both positively presented.Also, Petal. That is such a ridiculous name for a Rottweiler. I really enjoyed both the dog and his name.The conflict.It’s not just the conflict between the Necromancers, who want to forcibly recruit Emma and incidentally keep on using the dead as though they were mindless electric plugs; nor the conflict between the Necromancers and the hunters, who are inclined to kill Emma to keep her from being recruited. It’s Emma’s deep conviction that the thing to do with ghosts is set them free and most definitely not leave them lost in memories of their various deaths.But there’s also conflict embedded in that, since Emma’s deceased father is not planning on going anywhere until his daughter is safe. And her deceased boyfriend still loves Emma, but is desperately vulnerable to the Queen of the Dead. This story has plenty of action, but you see it really is all about relationships: parent-child relationships and friendships much more than romance.The writingThe writing is invisible and disappears into the story. Even in the second-person bit, the writing doesn’t draw attention to itself. The worldbuilding is interesting, and with a closed-world contemporary setting, the books are easy to get into. There is some romance, but the angst level is minimal given the deceased boyfriend. If you don’t mind using the term noblebright while we work to come up with something less corny sounding, then these books could practically define the genre.As I said, I preordered the third book as soon as I finished the second. It’s going on my top ten most-anticipated list for next year.While waiting for it, I really want to try some more of West/Sagara's books.

  • (Tori-Smexybooks) smexys_sidekick
    2018-10-16 14:46

    Originally posted at Quote: “I’m surprised she’d ever want to speak to me again. She almost died there.““You almost died there as well.”“Yes, but I can’t get away from me.”Emma is your average normal teenager who has had more than her fair share of grief. First her father passes away, then she loses her boyfriend in a fatal car accident. Emma tries to gain some sense of peace by visiting the cemetery every night with her dog Petel. One visit brings her to the attention of Eric, a new student at her school. He too is in the cemetery with a old woman. When the old woman hands Emma a glowing lantern, her world turns upside down and she awakens to find herself in her room, nursing a concussion and reassuring her mother that she is fine. From that point on, she begins to hear voices and sees the dead; including her father. In fact, she not only sees the dead, she can touch them, draw power from them, and allow others to see them. Eric tries to get her to stop. He plays an important role in awakening of powers in Emma but he tries his best to stop them. Eris is a hunter and belongs to a group that hunts and kills Necromancers. When it becomes apparent that Emma is not only a Necromancer, but a powerful one, Eric has to convince his partner and himself not to kill her. Soon Eric and his partner, along with Emma’s friends, find themselves trying to free trapped ghosts and avoid other Necromancers who want Emma’s powers for themselves.I am a huge fan of Michelle Sagara West’s adult series, Chronicles of Elantra. She is one of my top ten fantasy authors and I recommend her to everyone who enjoys an exciting fantasy with packed with intrigue, darkness, suspense, humor, and no romance. That’s right folks. There is no romance in here, but once you hear the heroine’s backstory, it’s not only acceptable but demanded. When I heard she was writing a YA, I hurried to put in my request for it. Silence, her first in her YA series, The Queen Of The Dead, is written with the same lyrical prose and clean well plotted storylines, as her other books. The world building in lush in its convoluted layering of truths over lies that form an engaging easy world to relate to. The fantasy is built around the characters themselves rather than the world. Each character that is introduced into the story has a story that requires some careful digging beneath the surface. No one is what they seem and it takes time to understand that what you see isn’t the extent of what you get. The smooth writing and descriptive detailing drew me in and I found myself becoming heavily vested in the characters outcomes. I was pleased by the time and effort Ms. Sagra takes in developing her characters and their connections to the world and one another. I do admit I was a little surprised with how easily Emma and her friends accept her new gifts. There wasn’t much shock when told and the way they jump into help was a little disconcerting.There are two main protagonists, Eric and Emma, but the secondary characters have such a strong footing in the story that you see them in the same light as Emma and Eric. Emma is a high school student who is merely going through the motions. Her boyfriend Nathan was her whole life and when he died, she was only left with pieces of herself. She is the kind of girl who strives to take care of everyone without actually having to give anything of herself. She exhibits this with her fierce protection of her friend Michael.“Michael is a highly functioning autistic. I’ve known him since kindergarten. He does really well and he hasn’t needed a permanent Ed. Aide since junior high. But he’s very particular about his routine, and he doesn’t react well to unexpected changes.”“And the person you dropped the book on.”“He’s an asshole.”“You go around dropping books on every asshole in the school, you’re not going to make it to class.”Ms. Sagara’s heroines are often strong willful intelligent heroines whose sense of right and wrong often leave them battered yet triumph in the end. I found Emma to be similar to Elantra. Same matter of fact dialogue and strength of character with an undercurrent of vulnerability that is appealing. Her heroines never cross the line from broken to victim.Eric is a broody, quiet hero whose reasons for being at Emma’s school in the first place are unknown and never fully developed. From the first moment you meet him, you get the feeling that he has been to hell and back and that he will kill Emma if she crosses the line from innocent to threat. I admit I wished at times he was more forthcoming with Emma to the reasons behind her powers but you can understand why he doesn’t. He figures the less she knows, the less trouble she may inadvertently get into.Three characters who were a joy to meet and get to know are Michael, Amber, and Chase. Michael and Amber are Emma’s best friends from grade school. Michael is autistic but there is much more to him then we are allowed to first believe. He helps Emma more than she ever thought he was capable of and his very presence ends up saving Emma’s life a few occasions. Amber is great in that she “gets” Emma. She understands what Emma went through with losing Nathan and while she admits to not really liking Nathan, he biggest concern is helping Emma cope with his death. As Emma tries to take care of the people around her, Amber is quietly taking care of her. She is fierce in her protection of Emma and I look forward to seeing what her role will be in this series. Chase, Eric’s hunting partner, is an enjoyable annoying person. He reminds me of Julie Kawaga’s character, Puck. Sarcastic, playful, loud, yet all that is used to hide a dark past that begs to be told. Various other characters appear to round out the storyline and keep it on track.As we venture deeper into Emma’s new life, I found the mystery and horror to be very appealing;dripping with action and suspense. While the world Ms.Sagara has built is definitely interesting and has the potential to become much more then revealed so far-I found her characters to be the focal point of this drama. As we race towards the end, I felt like I was on a roller coaster, my stomach pitching and rolling as each new clue and dramatic scene unfolded. I like how everything isn’t explained and some decisions are made without any hints to what the outcome will be. The ending is a climatic finish that satisfies the story wholeheartedly but leaves enough open to assure me that the next in this series,Touched (The Queen Of The Dead #2), release to be announced, will be on my auto buy list. If you looking for an engaging character driven fantasy that delivers on all levels, then I recommend getting Michelle Sagara’s Silence.Overall Rating: B

  • Goblin
    2018-10-06 10:09

    Review from: Once Upon A Book I picked up Silence quite randomly and I am absolutely unfamiliar with Michelle Sagara's writing, so I had only a few expectations. I suspected teenage fluff perhaps; however that's as far as it went. I've been on a streak of good finds lately so I was preparing for a not-so-good one to hit me soon. Not that I am complaining, but there are times a good book can be hit or miss. So when reading found me engrossed in a thoughtful novel with sturdy characters. I cheered to discover that today was not that day.The novel started slowly, almost as if languishing in itself. Yet, there would be intermittent moments of interest where my attention was piqued. This went back and fourth a little bit. Then the action made up for the initial slow pacing of the story. The novel (pardon whilst I wax a bit poetic, but I could not think of another way to explain this) smoldered into a flame and my imagination was integrated with the mystery of Emma and Eric, and what had only just begun at a graveyard. (When you read the book, you'll understand what I mean.) Despite this slow beginning, my family lost me for an entire evening to this book.I know I mention this often, but character interaction is one of the best parts of something I'm reading. So it's really noticeable when that does not play out right. I especially appreciated the way the characters acted and reacted, in relation with one another in Silence. Such as Emma's touching relationship with Michael in their school setting. Emma's responsible nature and care of Michael, deserves a special note for being written very well. The author must surely know someone with Autism. Her description of what “silence” means to Michael versus the what other silences for “normal” people might mean, came off as a very realistic detail that gave the story credibility. I found the scene to be the first of a few incredibly touching, and thought provoking scenes in the story. And something that was able to bring tears to my eyes. I appreciated that, as more people found out about Emma's new abilities, there weren't over-the-top over-reactions like one would expect in a YA book. Their behaviors were accurately laced with realism, especially with those whom have experienced loss, and matched the somber tone of these people and their lives. It was refreshing to just read and have what might be considered a normal reaction to these otherworldly things that had appeared so suddenly. My only true complaints revolve around how necromancy is portrayed as a whole in this book. At first I was reminded of Ghost Whisperer or Medium: “Let's go help this ghost here, and solve the mystery!” And it didn't strike me as much of a necromancer story. I'm only familiar with necromancers in the bone magic, raising of the dead, Anita Blake, Dungeons & Dragons, (which is mentioned in the book) table-top sense. Even after finishing this novel, I am still left with a lot of questions in regards to how she's a necromancer exactly. The last few chapters were filled with plenty of excitement, but none of it truly smacked of what one would expect in dealing with the dead. Imagine big, drippy lettering on an old and spooky leather bound book. I really wanted that! I think I would have enjoyed it infinitely more if there was more “death and darkness” and a lot less I-can-see-dead-people type scenarios. I should also mention that there was one point where I was wondering just how many people were going to learn about her abilities. It almost began to feel a little ridiculous when they shared the info with just about anyone who would but look slightly in their direction.This book was enjoyable, and I definitely see it being a favorite on many people's lists. Because it revolved around death, Michelle Sagara did a great job of not making light of a subject that contained gravitas, and instead wrote a thoughtful urban paranormal fantasy that I believe anyone could enjoy. Emma's story has a great deal of potential, and I look forward to seeing where her future takes her!

  • Becca
    2018-10-15 08:47

    ORIGINALLY POSTED AT OMFG!BooksI happened to be browsing around Chapters when I stumbled upon this book. At the time, I had far too many to buy and far too little money so I had put it back on the shelf and walked away. I went back and got it the next day because I regretted it. I love a good necromancy story and there aren't many out there in the YA sphere. The only other one that even came to mind was Kelley Armstrong's Darkest Powers series.I was hooked from the start. These days it's rare for me to know I'm really going to love a book from it's first page but Silence did it for me. The writing style is fantastic and fresh. Michelle had a way of weaving words together beautiful to create the dark, interesting world of the book. I flew through the first chunk of the book. I began to pace myself because Silence was one of those gems that I didn't want to read too fast because then it would end.The characters in Silence were fantastic. There's Emma - the lead - who has been through a lot in her life. She's lost two people that she loved very much: her father and her boyfriend Nathan. After Nathan's death she shut down, pulled away from the world and the people around her. Even though she is still very much grieving, she's still so very strong. She puts her friends and family before herself. She's even willing to put strangers before herself sometimes. She's been through so much that you sympathize with her and begin to really feel her pain and sadness. The other characters were brilliant as well. They each had their own distinct personalities and ways that they fit into Emma's life. Allison and Amy are vastly different and yet they fit into Emma's life in their own ways. Ally is the quiet girl on the sidelines. She is definitely not an outcast but she is fine with where she stands in the social sphere of Emma and her other friends. Amy is the queen bee. She's headstrong, stubborn and she throws all the parties. Out of all of Emma's friends, I liked Michael the most. He is a high-functioning autistic boy. He is no burden to his friends. They are very protective of him. They help him day to day but that's their norm; they wouldn't have it any other way. He's especially helpful in all the supernatural things they are now knee deep in. He sees things in black and white. While others might try to explain the ghosts as a trick of the mind or rationalize it because they're afraid of the unknown and the weird, Michael sees it as 100% truth because he saw it with his own eyes and it is now his reality. The group of friends was such a thrill to read about. I found myself wanting to be one of them too.It was nice, for a change, that the story didn't focus on a romance. There were romantic aspects such as Emma's love lost with Nathan, and a spark with her and Eric but by no means was it a central plot point and that was very refreshing. The first installment of the series focused more on the necromancy, what Emma was, who Eric and Chase were and the lore that will surely take off in book two and beyond.Silence was by far one of my favorite reads this year. I love how Michelle tackled real life problems in such a supernatural setting. It was the perfect blend of fantasy with reality and it worked brilliantly. There were many mysteries that were revealed slowly as opposed to one big reveal and I thought that was a great way to keep the reader going and guessing. I cannot wait for book two to come out. Michelle has me hooked.

  • Laura
    2018-09-23 11:07

    Death has surrounded Emma for most of her relatively short existence. Having suffered the loss of a family member and her boyfriend, she is no stranger to the pain and loneliness that follows the death of a loved one. Every evening she seeks what little comfort and closeness the solitude of the cemetery can afford her. When her nightly visit is interrupted by the new boy from school and his elderly companion, Emma finds herself in the middle of a meeting she wasn’t meant to encounter. Something about the old woman isn’t quite right, as if she doesn’t really belong…as if she isn’t really there. Before Emma can even begin to imagine the danger she might have stumbled into, the old woman greets her with a frighteningly icy kiss.From the start, this book pulled me in. You can’t resist the draw of that creepily gorgeous cover and the very first paragraph just sealed it further. I just knew I had stumbled upon something brilliant here.EVERYTHING HAPPENS AT NIGHT. The world changes, the shadows grow, there’s secrecy and privacyin dark places. First kiss, at night, by the monkey bars and the oldswings that the children and their parents have vacated; second, longer, kiss, by the bike stands, swirl of dust around feet in the dry summer air. Awkward words, like secrets just waiting to be broken, the struggle to find the right ones, the heady fear of exposure— what if, what if— the joy when the words are returned. Love, in the parkette, while the moon waxes and the clouds pass. Promises, at night. Not first promises— those are so old they can’t be remembered— but new promises, sharp and biting; they almost hurt to say, but it’s a good hurt. Dreams, at night, before sleep, and dreams during sleep. Everything, always, happens at night.And we went along like this for nearly a quarter of the book. The graveyard scenes were wonderfully eery and Emma’s melancholy life just screamed for something great and sinister to enter into it. It was a go up until that point but then, quite suddenly, the tone of the story changed direction entirely. Instead of beautifully descriptive paragraphs graced with a subtle overlay of magic, I found myself wading through 95% dialogue in an effort to hold on to the slippery 5% of remaining story. It was an exercise in futility as at this point there really wasn’t much story left.Some of it was just silly. I lost count of how many times Eric threatened to kill Chase (be it jokingly, half-jokingly or seriously). I was frustrated at the lack of explanation for Emma, her gifts, WHAT WAS GOING ON, and everyone’s blind acceptance of the circumstances. Say you suddenly see dead people, and you share this with everyone and they say “Hey! We see the dead people too!”….no one is questioning this? And Emma, dear girl, not every boy that threatens to kill you turns out to be an Ash. Sometimes he’s just a guy threatening to kill you.I have a small sad because of this.The underlying Nancy Drew factor is still rather intriguing and if we can thin out the dialogue a bit then we really have something to work with here. Liberating lingering spooks with necromancy could be an impressive twist if future installments of the series end up leaning more toward mystery. The whole gang loading up into the car to go hunt ghosts? So very Scooby Doo and everyone loves Scooby Doo.

  • Mitch
    2018-09-22 13:52

    Silence is one of those books I really enjoyed even though it didn't impress me all the way through. The story was good, characters interesting, but the book was just so inconsistent and had terrible flow. Actually, it sort of reminds me of a mosaic or collage, because it's pieced together from a lot of individual scenes without the best transitions between them, some well written, pretty amazing even, others not so much, giving the whole thing a sort of stitched together feel. If you need an example, look no further than the graveyard scene in the prologue through chapter one. Amazing writing in that scene, how Sagara can combine scene setting and plot development in such a well-blended mix of serious and camp. It's a somber nighttime visit to the grave of her dead friend, and at the same time it's a chase through a cemetery after her black dog. But the introduction before and the scene after - couldn't sustain the effect, they're just not as good. And it's pretty much the same in the rest of the book, again the flow is terrible, the same scene could be repeated twice just from two different characters' points of view, one scene can be deeply emotional while the next one past the break quite boring, overall making it really easy to pick out which scenes were good, which ones were not. Which basically left me with sections of the book I absolutely loved, and sections where I pretty much lost interest and desperately wanted to skim ahead.But I didn't, although in a few cases I probably should have. I like Emma, she's tough when she needs to be, like when she's taking care of her autistic friend Michael, as well as her friends Allison and Amy - though they did start out seeming like cliched best friend characters, because they eventually developed into fuller supporting characters. Tolerated Chase as the wiseass or jerk with a heart. But I didn't like Eric though, I really didn't get a sense of conflict between him sticking to his job and him helping Emma, even though that's supposed to be a big part of the initial plot.And speaking of plot, it felt too long before the plot finally worked itself out, nearly a third of the way in. I didn't like how everyone danced around any sort of explanation at first, just to further the mystery. But when the plot did get going, wow. Awesome fights against evil necromancers, intense scenes with Emma finding her purpose and helping ghosts, and a great discussion of what it means to lose someone - this book as an urban fantasy did more than what I've seen from many contemporaries dealing specifically with death.So 4.5 stars, because stretches of this book were amazing, but I’m rounding down because it really could have come together much better. Book’s at its best when it isn’t so concerned about sticking to the typical young adult formula, but it takes awhile to break free from the mold.

  • Book Sp(l)ot
    2018-10-18 12:05

    Emma Hall has been visiting the graveyard - and more specifically, one particular grave - during her nightly walks of her Rottweiler Petal since her boyfriend, Nathan's death over the summer. Usually, the graveyard is a quiet place, but on one of their nightly walks, not only does Petal run off and cause a bit of a disruption, but Emma sees the new guy from school, Eric.Only, it wasn't just Eric that Emma saw. She also saw a woman, who looked more than ancient, standing beside him. A woman Eric claimed not to be able to see and who set Petal on edge.That night - and that encounter - start something for Emma that she never could have even imagined. A new life fraught with danger, things usually only read about in ghost stories . . . and people that might want to kill her.Silence is the first book in a new YA trilogy. Not a lot of books deal with necromancy - and even fewer young adult novels it seems. Silence has a strong and unique paranormal story line that unfolds over the length of the book while still supporting a great non-paranormal/contemporary plot involving the characters and their lives.Emma and her friends really make this a great story. As she's discovering things about these 'ghosts' and why she can see things others can't, her friends are right there alongside her. Her friends are not just throw in characters who are there when it's convenient and forgotten about for most of the rest of the book; they're integral to the plot.As this is the first book in a trilogy, it's great that Emma's friends are a part of things and have scenes that Emma is not a part of. It allows the reader to find out more about Emma - and her past - than they would if it were told either in first person or did not integrate the secondary characters as fully or as well.Readers are also discovering just what is happening to/going on with Emma as she does. It can make things a bit confusing at times - if she doesn't understand something, chances are the reader doesn't, either - and there are a few instances where the characters seemed to have one up on the reader. Overall, however, it was nice not to know more than Emma - and the other characters. As she figured things out, so did I. As she questioned things, so did I. It left for a bit of tension, some uncertainty and great fun in reading.This first book absolutely sets up the next book in the series incredibly well. Not only do we have a basis for who the characters are and how things operate in Emma's world, there's also a killer ending and enough things left open that make me incredibly anxious for Book Two's release.(And may I just mention that I kind of love Chase?)received from the publisher for review

  • Sandra
    2018-09-23 11:53

    Based on the short blurb I read about Silence when I received it, I thought it was going to be about a teenage girl who visits the graveyard to talk with her ghost boyfriend. I was wrong, Silence is so much more.Yes, in Book One of The Queen of the Dead series, Emma visits the gravesite of her deceased boyfriend, Nathan, almost nightly. But it's while she's there that she runs into the new boy from her class, Eric and a mysterious old lady who tries to give her a strange gift. Soon after she's struck with terrible migraines, which soon turn into an ability see, touch, and speak to the dead. Emma's a Necromancer and that means there are some higher ups who want to see her dead. But all Emma wants to do is help the spirits, particularly a little boy who is stuck in the burning house in which he died.This book was awesome! The world Michelle Sagara creates within the pages is unique to anything else I've read in the paranormal genre and I really enjoyed it. Sagara takes her time with the novel; we meet Emma and we learn about her life, her friends and slowly we begin to unravel her new Necromancer world along with her. Instead of it being described to us in some background paragraphs, we get to learn about with with her, which I loved. Additionally, Sagara writes a wonderfully detailed scene - I could picture the action very clearly while reading the book.The characters in Silence were also fantastic. Instead of Emma and her friends all having the same type of personality, they were uniquely different. I really liked seeing Emma, Allison, and Amy work together even though they were from different social circles at school. Michael was also a great character - it was heartwarming to see some of the more popular girls at school befriend an autistic classmate and it was refreshing to see such a character at all. The only thing I felt was lacking was information about Nathan - we know Emma and Nathan were in love, but why? I'm looking forward to reading more about Nathan in future novels.In short, what I really loved was Silence deeper than other mainstream YA out there. Sagara doesn't talk down to her YA audience, which is appreciated. Instead, she draws them into an interesting new world and involves them. Four stars! The last two pages of the book have left me salivating for Book Two, which as far as I know has no title or release date scheduled yet. Nevertheless, I cannot wait to continue on with this series, which I suggest you read because I'm sure it's going to be a hit....more YA reviews at

  • Cecelia
    2018-09-28 11:51

    Michelle Sagara reminds me of high school, of not having enough money to buy an entire series as once, of saving up my less-than-minimum-wage paychecks to purchase one book at a time. My local library and bookstore didn’t stock Sagara’s Sun Sword series in its entirety, so I bought a book online for the very first time. I was pretty sure that I was going to have my identity stolen, and I was okay with that for the chance to read the next book.Fast forward to a couple of months ago, when I saw a YA novel with an interesting cover (I say interesting because I don’t entirely like it, though I know many do!) and that author name – Michelle Sagara. Cue nostalgia, curiosity, and a definite desire to see if this author could still hold my attention and draw me into a strange, fantastical world. After reading Silence, I can answer: Yes. Of course.Silence is Emma’s story. Sort of. It definitely follows her. But what is this book really? It’s an ensemble, featuring Emma, her fractured little family, friends, random acquaintances, enemies, ghosts, and, of course…her Rottweiler Petal. Yes, you read that right. It’s a different kind of ‘paranormal’ – one that focuses on strange happenings and friendships rather than romance. And I liked it, faults and all.Pluses: 1) An AWESOME hook that kept me reading past my usual ‘stopping point.’ 2) An intriguing protagonist and kicking side characters – including high-functioning autistic Michael, battering ram rich girl Amy, loyal best friend Allison, loving (dead) father, and the brothers from a different mother. Oh, and 3) An interesting future for the story to keep you wondering long after you’ve finished the book.Minuses: 1) With so many people ‘on the stage’ in some scenes, the dialogue got muddled in places. 2) Talking for pages during a supposedly short amount of time (i.e. chapter-long conversation in the midst of an emergency). 3) Important characters are introduced rather late in the book.So, Silence wasn’t perfect. What it was? Written in some beautiful language, compulsively readable, with a hook to reel you in in spite of yourself. I enjoyed it even as I recognized its weak points. And… I can’t wait for more! Want to read it? Enter the giveaway, or purchase it when it releases on May 1st.Recommended for: fans of well-written paranormal fantasy, those who are interested in ghosts, urban settings, above average young adult lit, and anyone who liked Jennifer Estep’s Touch of Frost or Meg Cabot's Jinx.

  • Paradoxical
    2018-09-30 08:45

    I like everyone in this book. That's kind of insane. For all that the characters are somewhat understated, there is just something immensely likable about them, even if they're not trying to be likable. They have this edge, a sort of "Right. And so?" They don't waste time with hysterics or not believing and, okay, it's not all that realistic, but you really can't help but like them anyway. Or at least I did.Silence is a quiet book (pun unintended). No real loud emotions, but it moves and you're feel compelled to read along. Emma doesn't put up with shit from anyone. Neither do her friends. It's kind of amazing how much she trusts her friends. Heck, what's even more amazing is that the author doesn't descend into petty high school stereotypes. Each character stands on their own, and they might be popular and pretty, but that is not all of what they are (and they aren't vapid and mean and have I yet stated how much the not using of high school stereotypes gladdens me? Because it does.)Emma just sort of sees dead people. But she doesn't see them everywhere (it's not all that often, actually) and she doesn't really bother keeping it a secret from her friends. This is, in my opinion, one of the most unbelievable parts of the book (ignoring the seeing dead and necromancy and--well, you get it, I hope) because her friends accept the truth right away. It helps that Emma can display proof, but you'd think that they'd need to have some time to come to grips with what is being revealed. That said, I was rather glad we didn't have to go through pages of her friends shunning her or denying everything.The plot was a bit confusing. It doesn't help that not much is explained to Emma, and thus us as well. Eric, the one who was with Emma the night she unlocked her powers, is rather tight lipped about what is going on. Ostensibly for Emma's own good, but you can't help but think it'd be a lot more helpful for Emma if he told her what was going on. The ending is a rush of words and actions that still don't make all that much sense to me, but it was great anyway, aha. It is confusing, but it's lovely all the same, and there are moments that pretty much grab at your heart and squeeze. It's an excellent start to a series. I look forward to the next book. 4 stars.

  • Sara
    2018-10-10 15:06

    First things first, why oh why does Silence not pop up when you search for it on GoodReads? So not cool because this was a great start to a supernatural series. I loved that Emma was allowed to be smart and caring, and that while she admits Eric is cute…there’s no insta-love in sight. Emma is still dealing with the death of the boyfriend, as well as the general drama of a teenage life.I liked that Sagara had different supporting characters. We have the smart but shy bff, the teen queen, and an autistic boy named Michael. What’s so cool about this mix of people is what brings them together…not Emma, but Michael. The girls decided early on in school to band together and help Michael navigate the torturous world High School can be for a person who is autistic.And Michael was such a smart addition to the story. As Emma and her band of misfits get deeper and deeper into the world of necromancers Michael’s ability to see and intercede in situations that freeze other characters (literally) is an obvious plus. Because Michael only understands logic (and not the gray area most of our reasoning occurs in) he becomes this walking truth indicator for the group. If Michael sees it, believes it, accepts it…it must be true. Helps to bring a lot of the characters into the paranormal loop fast.But, supernatural aspects aside, why I enjoyed this book so much was because it reminded me of Deadly Cool in its feel. Romance was not the central focus of the story. A girl learning who she is, what she is capable of is the point of the tale. Emma is allowed to be cool and smart, and not necessarily a sex symbol. It was a breath of fresh air in the YA division. I’ll definitely be sticking around for the rest of the series because this first installment leaves you with questions!…Why is Emma a Necromancer?Why is she so powerful?How the heck could she open that door?!Who is the scary lady?/The old man?What the heck was ____ going to tell her?!So not fair I have to wait months to get my answers!!Rating: 4/5 For a smart, normal girl mixed up in a ghost ridden paranormal series.

  • Amy Acosta
    2018-10-16 10:55

    Emma’s life isn’t the same since her boyfriend died. Life seems bleak, and though she still has friends, she no longer cares about anything much. One night while taking her usual stroll to Nathan’s grave, she meets Eric, the new boy at her school. With him is an ancient looking woman who gives her a lantern and kisses her, making her black out. When she wakes up, Emma discovers that she can see the dead! Eric seems to know a lot about her powers, but he seems reluctant to enlighten her. It'll be up to Emma to choose the path she wants to take with her powers. As always Sagara's prose was excellent. I love her way with words, and this is what keeps me coming back to her books. Emma was a curious character to meet. She is oblivious about her true nature for most of the book, but at no point she freaks out. Emma tries to deal, and she does it with wit and a lot of dry humor. Eric was a charming romantic interest, as was Chase. Don't worry. This is not a love triangle, and there's not much romance going on. My only issue with these two is their reason for keeping Emma in the dark. It really bothers me when something has to be kept in the dark because 'something horrible' might happen and we can't tell you what that is either. Communication people! Communication is the key to everything. The rest of the cast was a very quirky bunch. Emma is a great friend to all of them, and so she has their complete trust. There's Allison (introvert, observant and very cunning), Michael (a highly functioning autistic), and Amy (extrovert, and queen bee). Oh, and let's not forget Petal, Emma's Rottweiler. They all make the story come to life, even when the story itself starts to drag a little. In the end, I wanted more romance, more info on the necromancers, and clearer definition of the magic being used. It's a quick read, drags a bit, but I think the story has potential. The last three lines in the book completely melted my brain and I MUST have the next book now.

  • Amber I. (AwesomeSauce Book Club)
    2018-09-24 16:00

    This book was one of those books you had to hurry up and read because you needed to see where it was going to go. Throughout the whole book you get little bits of info about Emma and her new abilities but you always wanted more. It kept me up reading it until I reached the very end.I think Emma was a very strong character. I really liked her and I loved the decisions she made. She has had a lot of heartache in her life but she really seems to have it all under control. She is always there for people and is always putting others above herself. She just had a lot of qualities I liked.Emma's life was pretty routine until the night she met Eric in the graveyard. But now there is this open door and if she doesn't ignore it (or should I say the ghosts, Eric might have to kill her)I am sad that the only kiss in this book was with a dead creepy old women, but I guess that is okay. I mean I really really liked Eric and was totally hoping something would develop there. So hopefully in the next book we can see some of that?lolSilence was beautifully written story and it kept me totally intrigued. It had a different vibe them a lot of other books and though Emma does see ghosts its not like anything I have read before. Its not totally creepy either, which from some ghosts stories you would expect.I can't wait to see what happens next. While we learned a lot in this book there is so much more I want to know. Especially involving Eric and Chase, what exactly are they and who trains and finds them and why do they kill people like Emma? Plus I would love to see Eric and Emma get Sorry but I would.