Monday, April 30, 2012

Ghost in the Graveyard: SILENCE by Michelle Sagara

YA Paranormal, planned trilogy
289 pages, hardcover
Available May 1, 2012
Publisher: DAW Books
Review copy provided by publisher for honest review

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

Emma quickly learns that she's not like other girls who have lost someone the loved. Not only can Emma speak with the dead, she can see them and touch them, too. Instead of drawing upon the essence of the dead to work magic, Emma chooses to help the ghosts who walk the streets of Toronto escape the land of the living in which they are trapped. Emma tries to use the magic of the dead against her enemies, but only time will tell if she falls victim to the lure of such power.

When this arrived in the mail, I was super-excited. Michelle Sagara has a ton of published books but I know her through her series, Chronicles of Elantra, a science fiction series with a strong female lead, which I really enjoyed.

Positive: No love triangle! Yay! While there is a girl (Emma) and two boys (Eric and Chase), Emma has a love connection only with Eric. Chase is there to push Eric to fulfill his duties and get rid of the necromancer so he does provide a great deal of conflict while avoiding the sticky wicket of a cliched love triangle.

Positive: A smooth read. I picked this up, intending to read for about an hour and then get some of my to-do list done. Sadly for my list, it did not get any shorter that day. The story drew me in, and I slurped it down like a well-blended chocolate milkshake (no ice cream headache!). Yummy necromancer goodness.

Positive: The characters. At first, Emma didn't come across as a particularly battle-ready character, though we are given glimpses of her steely core. But she grows into a fabulous warrior, fighting on the side of good and helping those who cannot help themselves. Playing the role of the mysterious new boy is Eric, who is present in the graveyard when Emma has her first experience and has the unwelcome task of "taking care of" the newly inducted necromancer. The minor characters add their own dimensions to the story, infusing the story with life.

Wish: That the blurb in the book didn't give away quite so much of the plot. It's kind of like those movie previews that show you all the good stuff so when you actually get around to seeing the movie, it's a bit deja vu-ish. While the blurb didn't give away the good parts, it did outline much of the plot. I only included a little bit of the blurb here, so as not to overwhelm.

Overall: Mysterious and haunting while maintaining a fast-paced plot, SILENCE will satisfy Michelle Sagara fans and paranormal junkies alike.

Available on Amazon | IndieBound


  1. I just started reading this one a day or two ago, and I definitely like the writing style! I have to admit that I haven't heard anything about this author before though. I'm hoping to finish the book ASAP so I can publish a review close to its release date.

  2. Sounds excellent. Especially if it reminds you of a chocolate milkshake - my favorite :-). I don't mind a character that doesn't start out battle ready, for the most part, as long as they grow.

  3. My review of this goes up tomorrow. I had some mixed feelings about it but I did like the authors writing. It had a unique feel. I didn't like that I felt confused through much of the story. It was hard to follow. I thought maybe I was an idiot but got a comment on goodreads that I'm not alone in that. However, it was still a good story!

  4. I totally agree about the blurb giving away too much of the plot. I was surprised by that. I thought this was definitely an interesting read. Glad you enjoyed it as well!

  5. I've read some of Sagara's Elantra books and enjoyed it, so I've had my eye on this one. I'm not usually a fan of ghost stories, but where there's a private school, I'm usually there.

  6. Sounds good! and not too long which I appreciate!
    :D I'm gonna put it up in my wihslist!!

    You know, you always get me excited for books I wouldn't usually try, :P

  7. AWESOME! No love triangle---that is like the best news since finding almond/peanut butter (don't laugh but I love the stuff)!

    This might have to go on my YA to try list!