Book Review: Silence by: Michelle Sagara

Rating: 5/5

Publisher: DAW

Publish Date: May 1, 2012

Origins: From Publisher for Review

Format: Hardcover

Order From:  Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Synopsis: 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…

Review: Since her boyfriend, Nathan, died in a car crash Emma has been “fine”. She completes her normal routines (school, homework, friends), but has added a new routine – visiting Nathan’s grave at night when no one else is around. Until the night there were two people there she’d never had encountered before. It wasn’t the new boy at school, Eric, who bothered her…it was the old woman who ended up waking something inside her she never knew was there. Now Emma can interact with the dead and use their energy to create powerful magic. Both Necromancers and Necromancer hunters are after Emma and all she wants to do is to help the ghosts who are still trapped in the ‘real’ world. Thankfully, Emma’s not alone on this journey…she has her close-knit group of friends, which is growing steadily.

‘Silence’ is a wonderful first book in a new series by Ms. Sagara. The author has created a rich and detailed world, an intricate secondary world of the dead and Necromancy, and compelling characters. Emma is very likable, has a strong sense of ethics, and deep loyalty to those she considers friends. When her world is turned upside-down it is her friends she turns to and they are more than willing to stand up to the challenge with her. Michael, a very special boy, who is autistic, gives voice to those living with autism in a humanizing way. ‘Silence’ has action, intrigue, and emphasizes relationships over personal power. Emma goes out of her way to try not to become a Necromancer, a user of ghosts’ energy and instead works with them to achieve mutual goals. What stuck with me how Emma draws people to her by her resolve and dedication, even through the hurt she’s experienced. I am so impressed with Ms. Sagara for bringing to life a heroine who knows her own mind and stands tall during circumstances which would bring a weaker person to their knees. I absolutely cannot wait for the next book!

The Queen of the Dead series: Silence (1)


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