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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Far-Fetched Premise Makes YA Thriller Just So-So

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

At 14, Frances Mace took the trip of a lifetime—a cruise aboard a luxury yacht.  There she met bright, wealthy Libby O'Martin; there she kissed a boy named Grey; there she witnessed a gang of assassins slaughter the ship's passengers and crew, leaving Frances an orphan.  Only three people survived the attack and the subsequent sinking of Persephone.  Only three people know what really occurred on board, what really happened to the 327 who died as the result of the vicious assault.  And two of them —Grey and his father—are lying. 

Frances isn't being totally honest either.  After the Persephone disaster, Libby's devastated father took Frances in, promising to protect her from both the media and the killers who might be looking for her.  He did it with one condition—that Frances pretend to be his dead daughter.  After reconstructive facial surgery, no one can tell she's not who she claims to be.  But Frances, now 18, and grieving the death of her adoptive father, is ready to shed her false skin.  She's ready to confront the lying Wells men, ready to avenge her deceased parents.  In order for it to work, however, she must convince Grey she's really Libby O'Martin.  He has to like her, trust her, fall in love with her—only then can she put her plan into action.

Once on Caldwell, an island in South Carolina where both the O'Martin and Wells Families own property, Frances' conviction starts to waver.  Especially as she gets closer and closer to Grey.  Can she see her plan through?  Will she finally be able to avenge her parents' deaths?  Or will the powerful Wells' win yet again?

If the plot to Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan sounds convoluted and improbable, well, that's because it is.  Which doesn't stop the book from being an engrossing page turner (provided you're willing to do some serious belief-suspending, of course).  The action kept me turning pages, even while I rolled my eyes at the irritating love triangle and melodramatic prose.  I cared more about the mystery than about any of the characters, especially the personality-less boys.  If it weren't for the quick pacing that made me want to know what happened next, I would have put this one down after the first few chapters.  I finished Daughter of Deep Silence, but didn't find the ending very satisfying.  Overall, then, it was only a so-so read for me.  While the suspense made the novel compelling, it just didn't do enough to override the story's gaping plot holes, far-fetched premise, and unlikable characters.  Bummer.

(Readalikes:  Hm, I can't think of anything.  Can you?


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for language (no F-bombs), violence, scenes of peril, and sexual innuendo/sensuality

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find


  1. Oh my! This plot sounds like something out of a soap opera. No thanks. Carrie Ryan and I have already butted heads. I won't be reading anything else of hers.

  2. It is perhaps even more frustrating when a book has the ability to engage your interest, but leaves you kind of gawping at the holes. I love page turners, sometimes even the ones with huge holes in logic, but I really hate a disappointing conclusion. Thanks for visiting my blog!

  3. This book drove me crazy. I loved her writing in Forest of Hands and Teeth, but this book just seemed like a rip-off of the TV show Revenge AND I hated the love story. I kept wanting to yell, "They were 14!!!" I think the ages were what really bothered me.

  4. I feel like I have seen the same complaints for this book a lot. At least it moved along quickly even if it was just so-so. Great review!


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