This Splintered Silence by Kayla Olson
From Goodreads: Lindley Hamilton has been the leader of the space station Lusca since every first-generation crew member on board, including her mother, the commander, were killed by a deadly virus.
Lindley always assumed she’d captain the Lusca one day, but she never thought that day would come so soon. And she never thought it would be like this—struggling to survive every day, learning how to keep the Lusca running, figuring out how to communicate with Earth, making sure they don’t run out of food.
When a member of the surviving second generation dies from symptoms that look just like the deadly virus, though, Lindley feels her world shrinking even smaller. The disease was supposed to be over; the second generation was supposed to be immune. But as more people die, Lindley must face the terrifying reality that either the virus has mutated or something worse is happening: one of their own is a killer.
Thanks to Book Box Club for sending me this book in their December box.
Again, we come to the moment where I’m about to review a Sci-Fi book. Yet again, I feel obliged to remind readers of this review that I’m not an avid fan of sci-fi, and I tend to avoid books in the genre as though they have some kind of plague on them. That being said, when I am sent one, I usually find myself opening them, often against my will.
And I am glad sometimes, that my wallet insists that if I pay for a book I have to commit to reading it. I did know the Dec BBC box was going to be Sci-Fi based, but I decided to take a leap of faith. I’d recently enjoyed Skyward a lot, what was one more? Still, looking at the cover of This Splintered Silence I began to wonder if I was making a terrible mistake.
In the end, I ended up buddy reading this with some friends in preparation for the online monthly chat. And I have to admit that, as reluctant as I was to start the book, it hooked me pretty quickly. There’s a whole lot of tension throughout this novel and it never really lets up. I felt as though my pulse was racing on every page, and I tore through chapters to see what might happen next. There were lots of terrifying situations on board the ship, particularly as they were children trying to navigate a space ship without parents around to advise them, but my main drive in reading this novel to the end was discovering who the murderer might be. I was torn in my decision, trying to guess at who it might be. In the end, the conclusion felt a bit surprising, and the motives weren’t explained very clearly so it kind of came out of the blue, but I felt pretty satisfied all the same.
I’m also surprised to find myself writing that I kind of enjoyed the love triangle in this one too. I wasn’t particularly drawn to any of the characters besides the protagonist, but I did enjoy how the romance unfolded throughout the plot. It felt very realistic and suited to the situation and I found it a refreshing take on an old YA trope. I didn’t love it exactly, and I felt like the story could have survived without it, but I am not disappointed by it either.
My favourite character throughout was the protagonist, Lindley. She has a tonne of stress on her plate and I liked how she not only knuckled down and dealt with it all while under severe pressure, but also always wondered if she was making the right decision. Unlike quite a few of the powerful heroines I’ve read recently, it felt as though she was somewhat intimidated by her power rather than trying to gain more of it. I thought it added a lot of complexity to her character and it made it easier to empathise with her as she struggled to decide what to do. I know if I’d been in her shoes, I would have led the ship to ruin, so it was great getting to see throughout the novel what she would do next, and what consequences would meet her actions.
Overall, I’m giving This Splintered Silence an 8.5/10 stars. I really liked the relentless pace of the story, and it kept me flying though the pages at break-neck speed, desperate to learn more. I also loved Lindley’s multifaceted character. However, I was a bit underwhelmed when the novel concluded and we found out the murderer, as I didn’t think the motives were very strong or included enough for readers to feel the punch of the discovery. However, I’ll definitely be recommending this one to my sci-fi loving friends.
Has anyone else read this book or plans to? What did you all think of it? I’d love to know your thoughts and feelings on it, so please feel free to share in the comments section below. Until next time, everyone ❤