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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

I've Been Over It For Awhile Now ...

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

(Note:  While this review will not contain spoilers for Dead Silence, it may inadvertently reveal plot surprises from earlier Body Finder novels.  As always, I recommend reading books in a series in order.)

With her unique ability to match a victim's "echo" to the "imprint" carried by the person responsible for his/her death, Violet Ambrose has never felt particularly normal.  But now that she carries her own imprint, she feels like even more of a freak.  It doesn't help that the imprint is a haunting music box tune that trills through her head constantly.  The music invades her dreams, her every thought, and each breath she dares to take.  It's making her crazy.  Maybe literally so.  She's popping pills to help her sleep, but that means revealing her weakness to the last person she trusts with her feelings—Dr. Lee.  But, if she doesn't take the medication, she can't function.  And she has to function in order to help the special investigative team of which she's a part.  She has no choice.  If she doesn't do what her superiors need her to do, her loved ones will be punished.  There's no way Violet will allow that to happen.  

When Violet is drawn to a beautiful, lakeside estate where a family has been brutally murdered, she finds herself entangled in the mysterious crime.  As detectives question one of her classmates, Violet gets the distinct impression that the police have the wrong guy.  The only way to clear her friend's name is to find the person who's truly responsible for the family's grisly deaths.  But, once again, that puts Violet in the path of a killer.  And this one is like none other she's encountered so far.  

As if tracking a madman isn't enough of a strain on Violet's fragile psyche, she's also got boy trouble.  Her heart's torn between warm, comfortable Jay and the daring, dangerous Rafe.  And then there's her grandmother's journals, which are giving Violet a disturbing peek into just how far and wide her superiors' influence really goes.  And, of course, there's the whole trying-to-have-a-normal-senior-year-in-high-school thing which, frankly, isn't going so well.  Can Violet sort out all her problems before it's too late?  Or is this mesmerizing new killer the one who will finally best the indomitable Violet Ambrose?   

When I finished the first book in the Body Finder series by Kimberly Derting, I was practically salivating for the next installment.  And, you know what?  It just wasn't that drool-worthy.  In fact, none of the other novels in the series have impressed me nearly as much as the first did.  The series— which I had very high hopes for after the first book—kind of dwindled into a been-there-done-that-not-too-thrilled-about-doing-it-again thing.  The plots got generic, the writing clumsy, and the characters remained pretty static.  I still love the whole imprint/echo idea, but the originality of that premise just didn't pan out in the rest of the books.  That being said, there are definitely things I enjoyed about Dead Silence: it's fast-paced; the subplot about Violet's grandmother's journals adds depth to the overall story; as does our heroine's internal struggle with her own guilt over causing someone's death.  And yet, the love triangle is annoying; the characters act way too mature for their age; the male main characters have no personality; and some of the story elements are so far-fetched it's ridiculous.  So, yeah.  Although I begged God for a sequel to The Body Finder, three books later I'm not all that sorry the series is ending.  I've been over it for awhile now.       

(Readalikes:  Other books in the Body Finder series [The Body Finder; Desires of the Dead; and The Last Echo]; also the Wake series [Wake; Fade; Gone] by Lisa McMann)

Grade:  B-

If this were a movie, it would be rated:  R for strong language (a handful of F-bombs, plus milder invectives), violence/gore, sexual innuendo and the depiction of illegal drug use

To the FTC, with love:  I received an ARC of Dead Silence from the generous folks at HarperTeen.  Thank you!  


  1. Sorry it had to end on a low note. It's time to find an awesome, knock-it-out-of-the-park book for you now!! What's next on your agenda, my dear?!?!

    I did see a facebook photo of your little lovely dancing. She is adorable! Can she really BE this big???

    1. I'm always looking for another "knock-it-out-of-the-park" book. Hopefully, I'll find it soon!

      I know, I can't believe my baby girl is getting so grown up. It's CRAZY.


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