Where Silence Gathers by Kelsey Sutton Review

Monday, June 9, 2014

Title: Where Silence Gathers
Author: Kelsey Sutton (Twitter)
Publisher: Flux
Publish Date: July 8, 2014
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Pages: 360
Source: Publisher

Seventeen-year-old Alexandra Tate sits outside Nate Foster's house, clutching a gun. After serving ten years for the drunk driving accident that killed Alex's family, Nate has been released from prison. Every night, Alex waits out of sight, building up the courage to exact her own justice. There's just one problem: Forgiveness.

Alex has been able to see personified Emotions for as long as she can remember, and Revenge is her best friend. But when Forgiveness suddenly appears, he offers Alex a choice—getting even or moving on. It's impossible to decide when Revenge whispers in one ear . . . and Forgiveness whispers in the other.
After being significantly charmed and enamored by Some Quiet Place in 2013, I knew that I needed to get my hands on Where Silence Gathers, if only to see that winning formula in action yet again. There was a beauty to the first novel in that it broke the mold for me by offering up a premise that was different, alluring and slightly unnerving. There is something epically fascinating about the concept of being able to actually see and visually recognize emotions in a more tangible manner than we normally experience them. And, as such, Kelsey Sutton brings something new to the paranormal genre; something imaginative, creative and just a little bit scary.

From the start, I felt back at home with Ms. Sutton's writing style. She has a fluid, almost languid way of writing that's both easy and eloquent at the same time, giving readers the very best of both worlds. If for no other reason than that, Where Silence Gathers is worth a read. What struck me with this novel though was how poetic the story got with its emotions. It seemed as though she struck her characters down to the core, making them come alive through tragedy and it's in this raw, vulnerable form that we are truly able to see who and what these people, emotions and characters really are - bare and open for all to see.

Where Silence Gathers was tricky for me in some aspects though, too. I struggled very much with Alex's character from the start. She's been broken and battered by the horrors that her family and she had to endure, but there's a selfish, angry and resentful side to her that left a bitter taste in my mouth. Though believable, I wanted to slap her at times and tell her to just grow up and understand that vengeance wouldn't make everything better. At the same time though, it's through this shattered state that we see her find her way from Revenge to Forgiveness. And, as these are both personified emotions, we do sort of enter that dreaded love triangle - though we see it through new eyes, as these are their base forms, which is far more powerful.

As a companion novel to the first powerful installment, in many ways, Where Silence Gathers soars. However, I found myself longing for the character, Fear, of the previous novel. Though Fear appears from time to time through the novel, he contributed a powerful magic to the first book that neither Forgiveness nor Revenge fully embodied. I will say though, that this book stood out because of the difference in the protagonists. In the former novel, Elizabeth didn't feel anything. In this novel, we see and experience as Alex feels far too much. Reading and understanding this vast and powerful difference is what made this story really work for me and won me over in the end.

Overall, I really enjoyed Where Silence Gathers, though it's definitely different than its predecessor. I enjoy that both novels can stand on their own, and it's clear that Ms. Sutton has a truly powerful gift for storytelling and complexity that I will seek time and time again. I give this book a 4 out of 5, and I highly recommend it for all fans of YA, especially those who enjoy paranormal novels.

I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.

8 comments:

  1. Freaky cover, sounds good too

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  2. I recognise the style of the cover but I never read much about the first book, and this is the first I've heard of this companion novel. Being able to see emotions is such a clever idea for a novel, I'm going to check this out, despite the slightly frustrating MC!

    Mands @ The Bookish Manicurist

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  3. I didn't realize that this was a series of companion novels, but I like the idea. The first book really sounded exciting and fascinating with its concepts and I have them both on my TBR list. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed this one despite the main character sounding a bit frustrating with her focus on revenge. It sounds like the author has a gorgeous writing. I can't wait to give it a shot myself.
    Lovely review, Melissa. Sorry for not commenting much in the past few days. I had a busy week, but I'm back now!

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  4. Oh Melissa! I'm so extremely happy to hear you loved this one! I adored Some Quiet Place and I got my ARC of Where Silence Gathers and I have it on the review pile coming up very soon! I cannot wait to read it, and even more after your fantastic review!

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  5. Even though I can understand being angry and bitter because of horrible events in the MC's life, too much of it can turn me off the MC, making me not like her (not that you have to like every character but you do have to like them enough to root for them!). I like that this is companion novel.

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  6. I haven't read Some Quiet Place yet and haven't heard too much about it, to be frank, but I'm glad you enjoyed this companion novel. It seems to be a strong installment, despite its flaws. Lovely review, Melissa!

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  7. I couldn't get into Some Quiet Place. I was disappointed by that. Maybe I'll give it another try. I am so glad you could enjoy this companion novel to it equally. I'd really like to see if I can enjoy Ms. Sutton's writing. I like languid writing. Good review!

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  8. This sounds like such a different and original sort of story. It's nice that you were able to really enjoy this story in spite of having some issues with the MC. It would be a little hard I guess not to give her a little bit of a pass because of her circumstances. Lovely review, Melissa! :)

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