Reviewed by: E
New York Times bestselling author Yasmine Galenorn invites readers to Whisper Hollow, where spirits walk among the living and the lake never gives up her dead…
Fifteen years ago, I ran away from Whisper Hollow, Washington, a small town on Crescent Lake in the Olympic Peninsula. But truth is, if you were born here, you can never really leave. I’m Kerris Fellwater, and I’m a spirit shaman. It’s my responsibility to drive the dead back to their graves, because around Whisper Hollow, people—and secrets—don’t always stay buried.
My best friend Peggin finds herself under a curse after she is almost taken by the Lady of the Lake, and the Unliving are determined to drag her back to the hungry waters. As Bryan—my guardian and mate—and I work to break the hex, we uncover a dark and violent mystery from the past. One the Hounds of Cú Chulainn will do anything to guard—even if they must summon a legion of the dead to destroy Whisper Hollow.
This blurb came from Goodreads.
About a year ago I reviewed Autumn Thorns the first book in Galenorn’s Whisper Hollow series and found the world and characters intriguing. The growing darkness and sense of urgency for Kerris to learn her role and perhaps use abilities not required for generations had me hooked. I also thought the different character nuances and personalities provided a very interesting dance pattern so I was quite pleased when I received a review copy of Shadow Silence.
Shadow Silence doesn’t exactly pick-up where Autumn Thorns left off so enough time passed between installments for Kerris to grow more comfortable with the everyday routine and to build her network of trusted friends. She was also feeling out her complex relationship with Bryan and enjoying the relative quiet from the Hounds when the Lady of the Lake and other nasty creatures began to increase their activity. As Kerris and Bryan worked to eliminate the threat, her best friend Peggin ended up making a deal to purchase a house extremely close to the waters the Lady of the Lake called home. Peggin found herself unable to resist the Lady’s call and was rescued at the last moment by Kerris, Bryan, and her boyfriend Deev but the Lady did not give up her victims without a fight.
I really enjoyed the layering of Kerris’ concerns and responsibilities; one very personal and the other professional and yet neither existed in a completely separate vacuum. Both allowed or forced Kerris to grow in different directions as a character furthering her relationships with the living and non-living inhabitants of Whisper Hollow and its surrounding mountains. In addition to learning more about the characters and what they are capable of as a result of these challenges, I also really enjoyed the continued world-building. Some characters who I previously only knew by title were fleshed out and their reason for being became much clearer. So many different elements were kept in a precarious balance to ensure the continued existence of Whisper Hollow and other like places, the balance involved more people then I expected and not all of their roles were evident to everyone. It was fascinating to watch information unfold and to see Kerris gain more respect for those who weren’t part of her immediate triad.
Another aspect I enjoyed was seeing how bonds of friendship played an important role in stability and depth. The changing dynamics between Kerris, Peggin, Bryan, and Deev not to mention the everyday town encounters seemed to root Kerris in Whisper Hollows and give her reasons to enjoy her life fully. She was more to the town then one who helped keep the dead at rest. It was great fun to see the different conspiracies among her friends aimed at increasing the happiness of one of their own. I did however wish that Bryan showed more growth as a character. Any changes he made were extremely subtle so that aspect seemed slightly off-balance. I do have hopes when I get to see Kerris and Bryan interact with his family more growth on his part will become evident.
One thing becoming increasingly evident is that the Hounds and their allies are playing the long game with moves initiated centuries ago in far off lands and perhaps other worlds coming to fruition in Kerris’ time and place. On the other hand, Morrigan’s followers have focused on the here and now instead of looking for deeper patterns. This combined by the betrayal of some of Morrigan’s own has created a situation which I think will need a lot of people to work together and make sacrifices in order to survive.
Shadow Silence is the last book in this series to be published under the auspices of Berkley. Galenorn has stated she plans to continue the series and I really hope she does. I have become addicted to this world and I really look forward to learning what happens next.
I give Shadow Silence a B+.