Wednesday, July 16, 2014

NERC Review #31: Where Silence Gathers by Kelsey Sutton

*eARC kindly provided by Flux via NetGalley*

I absolutely loved the first book in the series, Some Quiet Place. I loved the concept of Emotions and Elements being supernatural creatures. It was unique and different, and I adored the characters in the first book. However, as much as I liked Where Silence Gathers, it fell flat for me.

Rating: 3 Stars!
First of all, if I don't like the main character, it's going to be hard for me to enjoy the book. Alexandra Tate was one of those characters that gave me a headache. Stubborn, impossible, cruel. Unreachable, a walking disaster that poisoned everyone around her. That wore her pain like a mask and wrapped her heart in a blanket of revenge so that nothing, and no one, would get in. But I'm done with authors using a character's tragic past as an excuse for how they act. Not that she did it on purpose, but that's how it felt. I had a hard time sympathizing with Alex. Had a hard time believing that she could change, that she could let go. I'm normally a reader who can pass off and excuse a lot of things when it comes to the main character. But Alex was selfish, a bitch to her friends and family, and all she cared about was her pain. But she's not the only one who's suffered, and she fails to see that until it's almost too late. 

I think she got off too easily, and I hate that she didn't make her choice until nearly the end. Didn't see how she was living until she had to lose everyone and everything. Didn't reach growth until she had an epiphany. I felt like her development was too slow, not enough. I felt like she reached a point in the story where all of her pain and anger stopped making me sympathize with her and made me know that she'd never truly step away from the accident and try to live again. And her voice was sort of emotionless, though I think that's because of how the author wrote the story. Choppy, stilted sentences. Almost an analytic way of thinking and describing things. It was like there was no life in her voice, but it fit her character exactly. 

And with Alex's desire to push people away, the secondary characters were left in the dust of her sharp words and surly moods and her toneless apologies. I hated how she treated her family and friends! All they wanted was to help her, comfort her; they were willing to do anything to heal her pain and give her her life back. But Alex threw it back in their faces so many times I don't think I would be able to forgive her. And although all of them had their own personalities, I was wishing for Alex's relationships to change with them. To either grow stronger or die away. But they never did. They were always stuck in limbo, never going forward but never regressing.

The love triangle was there, but it wasn't. Not sure if I could even call it a true one. It wasn't so much about her feelings for the two Choices, but the fact that she had to choose a path. And once she chose one, there was no going back. But Alex went constantly back and forth between them, never fully making a choice until literally the very end (the whole deal with Revenge felt like a cop-out). I wasn't truly invested in either Revenge or Forgiveness, but I did like Alex's choice in the end. But the romance felt a little underdeveloped. 

Honestly, I'm unsure if I liked where the story headed, with the mysteries and the secrets. I would have loved it if this book focused more on Alex, her character development, and the Choice. It became more about what her father was doing before he died than about the Choice that Alex had to make. The mysteries behind him became a huge part of the story, and I think it overshadowed Alex's character growth (what little there was). And the pacing was extremely slow throughout the novel.

I love Kelsey Sutton's writing style, and her descriptions are amazing. And I absolutely loved the first book in this series. But Where Silence Gathers just didn't live up to the high standards I'd placed on it. 


  1. First of all, that cover! It's so pretty! I'm such a sucker for the girls in pretty dresses covers. Sometimes it's my downfall when picking books.

    But ugh! I hate main characters like that. I'm a very character invested reader, so if I can't like or understand the main character, I get really cranky. I'm sorry that this book was like that and didn't live up to what you expected! Sadface.

    Kristen @ Pretty Little Pages

    1. Right? That cover is GORGEOUS. I'm the same way about characters--I love stories that center around them more, but I just hated Alex. She was the main reason I didn't like this story as much.


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