Author: Anne Bishop
Release: March 6th 2018
I received a copy of Lake Silence from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
While Lake Silence occurs in the world of the Others than Anne Bishop has created, it’s important to note that it revolves around a different cast of characters. Anne Bishop has done a pretty phenomenal job of getting the word out about that (which is good for the sake of our expectations), but I still felt it was a good idea to mention it again (as the saying goes, better safe than sorry).
I just recently finished binge reading the last three novels in the Others series (so I could happily read this one with a full understanding of the world and background, but also so I could be unafraid of spoilers). To say I’ve been immersed in this world would be putting it lightly. I’ll admit I was feeling a little conflicted about reading an Others novel that focused on different characters. On the one hand I really enjoy the cast of Lakeside’s Courtyard and hate to miss out on anything they’re working on. On the other hand, I love the idea of seeing more of the world we’ve been handed (and I don’t realistically see Meg and Simon traveling much). So despite the hesitation I had about Lake Silence I decided to dive on in and do my best to without any expectations until I gave it a good solid chance.
While there may be a bit of an adjustment period for us, getting used to a new location and set of characters, there’s a strong enough connection between the two cities (specifically in their landscapes and rules) to help reduce the settling time. The rules at Lake Silence has very similar rules to those of Lakeside. Granted, some of those rules may be a bit more obfuscated due to the smaller number of humans in the city.
Where Lakeside is a full and busy city, Lake Silence is a sparsely populated town (or maybe I should be calling it a village? I’d have to check the numbers for each to know which is more accurate). Consider a town with only one main road, and you’ve got a pretty good idea of the human side of Lake Silence.
That’s where Vicky DeVine comes into the picture. She’s the new owner of The Rumble, and while she’s done a wonderful job of following the rules in the contract (no expanding of the buildings, only needed updates allowed, don’t expand the road or cut more trees than you need, etc), there’s a few stipulations she wasn’t aware of when she took the property (not that I think it would have changed her mind at all). Such as the fact that The Rumble is meant to be a rustic sort of Courtyard; a place where the terra indigene can come and learn about and interact with humans.
Taking on the job of being an ambassador for one’s entire race would be pretty intimidating; finding out you’ve been doing it for months with no prior heads up? That would be terrifying. Thankfully Vicky is a very kind hearted person, so she never had to worry about the terra indigene walking away with a bad impression of humanity after having a chat with her. Some of the people Vicky used to know (such as her husband) couldn’t say the same.
I’ll admit that while it took me almost no time at all to adjust to and start relishing the details of Lake Silence, it did take me a little bit longer to get to know and like Vicky. By that I mean it was probably a whole chapter before I decided that I wish I had a friend like her. She’s hard working and loyal, though she absolutely suffers from low self-esteem (something I’m sure we can all sympathize with). She isn’t a perfect or idealized character, she’s a human. And I actually really love that. Too often to we see these plastic dolls in place of real characters, and it’s so refreshing to see a character with flaws (though I feel harsh calling that).
I really enjoyed seeing the growing conflict; sure we could see it coming from a mile away (they even describe it a little bit on the back cover), but that doesn’t change the intricacies involved. The men plotting against Vicky (and by proxy the terra indigene) may be overestimating their power and safety, but they’re not dumb either. Had this been a world without the indigene, I have no doubt their plans would have succeeded. Seeing nasty men like them come up against wall after wall was more than a little satisfying.
I’m not sure if we’re going to be seeing another story from Vicky’s perspective or not. The ending seems to be set up in such a way where Bishop will have her choice on that one. I could easily see this being a one shot novel, but likewise I wouldn’t mind seeing more of the characters I just spent the last four hundred pages getting attached to.