Thursday, February 6, 2020

ARC Review: Breaking Silence by Mercedes Lackey & Cody Martin

Breaking Silence
Author: Mercedes Lackey & Cody Martin
Series: Serrated Edge (Book 10)
Publication: Baen (February 4, 2020)


When Staci was first shunted off to the back-water town of Silence, Maine, to live with her alcoholic mother, she thought her life was over. Silence had none of the amenities a typical teen in the twenty-first century considered essential: no cell service and barely any internet connectivity. But Staci soon learned that Silence was more than a town left behind by progress. The first family of Silence, the Blackthorns, liked the town that way. The Blackthorns were dark elves who fed off the misery of the residents of Silence.

But now, all that’s changing for the better. With the help of Staci and her friends, the Blackthorns have been all but defeated. Industry is returning to Silence, and Staci’s mom is improving with each passing day. There’s even a cute new busboy at the diner.

But evil dies hard. And Staci, now a mage-in-training, senses that the Blackthorns have not yet given up the fight. The soul of Silence is on the line, and it is up to Staci and her friends to strike back against the encroaching darkness.

My Thoughts: This story is a direct sequel to 2016's SILENCE which should likely be read first. Those who have read it will enjoy finding out what has happened to Staci and her fellow nerds now that the Blackthornes have been defeated.

Things are looking up for Silence, Maine. New industries are opening and the sense of gloom has lifted from the town. Of course, that doesn't mean things are perfect. The industries are being opened by elves which immediately raises the suspicions of Staci's mentor Tim who is a mage who runs the local bookstore. And Staci still notices some sort of evil when she is training in the local woods.

Between her training, the growing evil, and the encroachment of the new group of elves, Staci should be kept busy enough. When her friend Wanda's parents become enthralled with a new fundamentalist church in town and keep trying to drag her to services, Staci and Wanda look into the church's activities and discover a magical connection the reverend isn't aware of. It is just one more sign that evil is creeping close again.

The story is full of action and adventure. I like that the fantasy in this one coexists with everyday normal 21st Century life. I like that Staci is a pretty normal teenager who has typical teenage parent problems. I also like the way that magic is woven into the story.

I recommend this one for readers who want to read about magic but who don't want a completely new fantasy world to keep track of. The characters are realistic and engaging and the magical creatures pulled from myths.

Favorite Quote:
Someone else is running off to go take care of the danger...and instead of being relieved, I feel anxious. Disappointed? Like, I don't want to miss out. Not that long ago, she'd have been grateful that someone else was stepping into the front lines. Her last thought before she slipped into unconsciousness was about how strange her life had become, and how much she had changed in such a short time.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.

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