My rating: 2 of 5 stars
This is definitely not the best Patricia Briggs book you could begin with, but it still pains me to rate it so low. Actually it’s more of a 2.5. There are some good things in this book, and they should have been filleted out and re-stitched together into a much better book. Unfortunately it begins to feel as if Briggs has got herself into a J.K. Rowling-type situation, where no-one dares to touch the Holy Manuscript of Truth and Genius. A ruthless and effective editor could have made a truly great book out of what’s worthwhile here. But it doesn’t read as if one was ever given the opportunity.
The absolute worst thing here is the fight scene between Adam and a twisted Euro-trashy vampire. Dear God, this is the worst-written literary violence I have ever read. Every tiny little move is over-choreographed, there are paragraphs and paragraphs inside Adam’s head and dissecting the moves, motivations and mental states of both participants, and then there’s the bathos! My Lord! A tablecloth is involved, and it’s simply impossible to read a supposedly deadly serious and bloodthirsty scene while vampires are playing toreador with tablecloths. And sweeping them off tables while leaving the china intact! Like terrible 70s magicians!
In a way it actually is so awful that it’s great. But not great in the way you want a Patricia Briggs novel to be.
There are too many new characters introduced, and even that might have worked if they’d been given any depth. Also a brand-new werewolf pack, shown to be at least somewhat trustworthy and ethical, are dismissed and vilified in the final pages of the book, a bewildering turnaround.
Silence Fallen isn’t awful, it isn’t truly dire, there are things worth reading here. They often come from Mercy’s internal monologue on her own past history, and her musings on human nature and history. It’s a shame I had to search so hard for them. But realistically, if you love Mercy – and I still do – you’re going to read this book anyway.
Honestly, I’m sticking around because I’m still waiting for the Bran-centric book where his emotional vitality is restored and he finds a new love. Preferably a pretty male werewolf, but either way I think he needs a passionate romantic renewal. Can we have that, please?
Image – hannahisabelnic, public domain