Source: review copy sent by publisher
You can read the Goodreads summary here.
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.