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.
Kayla Olson lives in Texas, and can usually be found in near proximity to black coffee, the darkest chocolate, Scrivener, and an army of Zebra mildliners.
THE SANDCASTLE EMPIRE has been translated into 14 languages—for more specifics on where to buy in France, Turkey, Spain (Spanish and Catalan), Romania, Denmark, Brazil, Serbia, Poland, China, Taiwan, Czech Republic, Russia, and Germany, please visit www.kaylaolson.com
"I think most things begin to fracture without anyone realizing it’s even happening, a sort of splintered silence that gives way all at once under too much weight, and without warning."
Themes: survival, friendships, relationships, growing up together, evolving bonds, science, technology, space station, leadership, stepping up, grief, trust, asking for help, virus, mutation, murder, contagion, space, stress, pressure
Nothing quite like what I expected, This Splintered Silence is a surprising mix of familiar and well-loved genres: mostly scifi, somewhat dystopian, a little romance and a healthy amount of mystery, thriller, and suspense. If you liked Kayla’s debut novel, The Sandcastle Empire, this one will come as a pleasant surprise – it’s a sort of evolution, retaining all of the qualities I loved in TSE – strong character development, engaging plot, incredible prose, solid world-building – and then it ups it a few more notches!
Although the plot is certainly engaging, I would say that TSS is more character-driven than anything. Written in Lindley’s POV, the focus is on how she’s reacting more than what’s happening around her. It’s about how Lindley deals with leadership and the pressure and stress that comes with the role, but also with how she decides on what to trust, who to trust. It’s really quite astonishing to get into the mindset of such an intense character like Lindley!
I first fell in love with Kayla’s prose in The Sandcastle Empire, and this only rekindles my love for it. The words fall so naturally together on the page – it seems effortless. I’m not really sure how to describe it, but there’s a distinct trademark in it, quite inexplicable. Maybe it reminds me of a modern Tolstoy – Tolstoy can write countless scenes of groups of people merely sipping tea but never do they seem too dull, but also never overly elaborate. I say this because one of my favorite chapters in the book is just the main character eating chocolate – and it’s forever seared in my memory!
But my favorite parts are also the metaphors that aren’t far-fetched at all but are so unique and I’m all admiration! I wish I could come up with half the stuff that she comes up with!
I would have loved some more details about the world, but it’s solid enough to not leave you distracted about it. The entire mood of the novel kept me on my toes – and there was this point in the novel where you can feel the fraught nerves, the intensity of the situation – when things have reached the tipping point.
For the few of us who appreciate a love triangle, there’s something to be excited about – it’s not at all the focus, but the few scenes dedicated to it are really good – the love interests are totally swoonworthy!
Overall, if you couldn’t tell yet – this was everything I was hoping for and more! I tried to wait it out before I wrote this review to give myself some time to tone down my enthusiasm to a more reasonable proportion. Part of me is so happy I got to read this early, but part of me is regretful because that means I have to wait who-knows-how-long for Kayla’s next novel! I highly recommend it to those who like scifi / mystery / thriller / survival reads!
First book read this year, and it was quite an underwhelming read.
Unfortunately, I didn't get too invested in it so I probably won't be giving a hardcore, gif-infested, raging review, but here's basically it:
I'm not sure if it was simply the writing, or if it's just the main character's voice that kept repeating their sentiments with the same words in different patterns every time. You know, when they feel this ONE SPECIFIC THING, but they just had to go about it dramatically for pages x infinity. I feel like it was trying to be emotional, but at a certain point, it felt more monotonous because of how they kept going back to it over and over.
Plus, there's a love triangle that sent me on a yawning spree.
The climax was also quite underwhelming, and the resolution too short and abrupt... Unsatisfying ?
Too bad, too, cause space operas are totally my jam. Insert crying gif here.
Waaayy too much of Lindley feeling sorry for herself, whining and running away, hiding out to get it away from it all. She spent more time doing that then anything else. If the author would have cut at least half of that needless, self-reflection crap out and focused on the actual story, it would have been a decent book.
A gorgeously written, tautly plotted thriller. I inhaled this book and relished the twists and turns it took. I love the way This Splintered Silence weaves science, technology, grief, panic, and the nuance of human relationship into a tightly woven web--and an ending I never saw coming.
This Splintered Silence is a standalone story set in space, there is a deadly virus going around (I should have read the blurb, b/c if I did I porbably wouldn't have started this book rn) the only surving ones are the young generation. Among them is our heroine Lindley, who is the daughter of the former commander, now, in this time of crisis, a commander herself with a close childhood-friends group to help run things. But when a girl from the younger generation is found dead, many things are set into motion.
The characters were all honestly very one dimensional and mediocre, including the MC and the group of friends. There's also a love triangle, not that prevalent, but it is there. And completely unnecessary, because neither of the romances are good, neither of the love interests show any true personality, nor do I understand why they are into each other. The romance felt so unecessary here, if it wasn't there it wouldn't affect the book at all. And even though they were childhood friends - both Lindley and Leo and Lindley with Heath - they had zero chemistry and it felt out of nowhere.
There is also a mystery. And the revelation of was... dissapointing. That, alongside with how much of a happy-happy sudden wrap up the book had, made me give it 'it was ok' stars instead of three.
There was this threat of the teens having to evacuate their home station if the people who run things on Earth ever got to know how serious everything was on the station. The MC feared that Vonn (one of the leaders of the program on Earth) will take them away from home and besically they will end up in this slave contract and work for him. But when the mystery was solved, every other problem disappeared and nothing Lindley feared happened, everything was solved in a few short chapters. Even the fleet that was supposedly going to endanger the station... What happened with that? I don't know, because we were never actually specifically told the details. One minute it's there flying towards the station, then it was mysteriously solved with side characters flying in a pod towards it and doing... something, I guess. I'm sure they had a cup of tea and some cookies with and everything was solved.
Also, case in point, the love triangle was not solved either. It just kind of is there still at the end. And no, it wasn't polyamorous relationship situation. The two male characters were jealous and this was just the typical olden-YA one girl torn between two bland male love interests who luuv her so much, becase how could they not, kind of thing. ANd then nobody actually cared enough to resolve it.
I expected some weighty moral dilemmas, survival, sacrifices, moral greyness, questionable choices, danger, what are people capable of doing to survive. And while there were certainly attempts, most of it fell flat for me. This book didn't have any thought provoking situations or remarks on the human mind and human nature. Nor was it an exciting or thrilling read full of darkness and survival. Nothing like The 100 that I partly expected from this book after the similar-ish premise. I never once thought the book has actually gone dark, more like very mild grey. Even though it did have the potential to really go there and make an impact, or at the very least be a thrilling read. It ended up being ok, just so very very ok. Nothing that made me really annoyed with the book, just a book that will slip out of my mind fast. 2.5 stars
In conclusion; The 100 would never.
Here are some good quotes though:
"I think most things begin to fracture without anyone realizing it’s even happening, a sort of splintered silence that gives way all at once under too much weight, and without warning."
"No matter how small the break, I can’t say with absolute certainty that I know every shade—every shadow—of their hearts. We’re all changing, each and every one of us. Every minute since the last of our parents died, every minute we’ve been stranded up here alone. We are as constant as starlight, yet every bit as unreliable: by the time it’s obvious a star has died, it’s much too late to prepare yourself for the darkness."
"And there are still lives at stake—mine included. Not just what could be taken away; a person can eat and sleep and breathe, but still be ash inside. I’m not quite to ashes yet, and I don’t want to be."
"When one heart breaks, it wants company, so it breaks another—which in turn breaks more—and more—and on and on from there. We all end up cracked."
This book cuts cleanly two ways for me. The first 50% I wasn't a fan of, but the second 50% was really quite good. Frankly, the first half was a little too slow-paced for a thriller, but once past halfway the book did catch my interest. And I never did suss out the culprit until the actual end (and found many people suspicious), so I did think that was done well.
The comp title of Illuminae did feel slightly accurate, though it lacked the same gripping intensity (and amazing AI) Illuminae had. And I did like the narrator's voice, I confess.
This was quite a fun book! While not perfect, I found it to be quite enjoyable and I was certainly invested in the mystery aspect of the story. Let's break it down into likes/dislikes, because I cannot really talk about the plot too much for fear of spoiling!
The Stuff I Liked:
•It was incredibly entertaining. Despite any other flaws, I just plain really liked the story. Is it murder? Is it a virus mutation? Something else? I am not telling obviously, but you get the idea- there are a lot of possibilities. Which keeps the reader engaged, as you'd imagine. And while I thought I might have figured it out a few times, I didn't actually until much later.
•The explanations seemed legit. I mean, okay, I don't actually know from a scientific perspective because I am not some kind of... space biologist or something. But to my common sense it sounded reasonable. And really, that is all I need. Sometimes in the "adults are gone" shtick, the reasons are... suspect at best. Here, that isn't the case.
•I really felt for Lindley and the other characters. Can you imagine all the adults just dying over a few week period? Because it sounds awful. Not only do you have to figure everything out on your own, but you have to deal with a crap ton of emotions while you're doing it. Then throw in dead friends and well, it's not a great scenario.
•The stakes are crazy high. I mean, they're in space by themselves with who knows what killing them. I don't actually think stakes get much higher, as a rule?
The Stuff I Didn't:
•Especially at first (but really throughout the thing) I had a hard time keeping track of who's who. Lindley is the main character, and narrator. And we spend a ton of time in her head, obviously. And she does spend time with other characters, but there are just so many of them. Even her "inner circle" is six people, and man, I had trouble keeping them straight.
•The romance situation is a veritable Gale-Katniss-Peeta love triangle. But where the aforementioned triangle added something to the story, I didn't feel like this one did. I didn't really care who, if anyone, she ended up with, though I didn't dislike either guy either.
Super entertaining and full of action and mystery, it's definitely worth checking out if you're a sci-fi fan!
I didn't finish this book because I didn't like the writing style. Every sentence was so horribly dramatic. You know that character in Inside Out who says "I would die for Riley" in THAT voice? It was like that. Every. Single. Sentence.
The Sandcastle Empire was one of my favorite reads from last year--an action-packed read full of deadly situations in a unique setting.
And This Splintered Silence did not disappoint, with its cast of characters who you doubt every step of the way and a main character struggling to maintain captainship of the spaceship, you're definitely invested in what's going on with these teens in space.
I mean, they're going through a whole lot with all of their parents dying and having to control 80 teens on a ship as their food supply dwindles and people appear to be dying from a mutation of the virus that killed their parents.
Or, well, they appear to be. But as the main character, Lindley, soon finds out, this is no virus. There's a murderer on board, and This Splintered Silence is a murder mystery full of twists that will leave you guessing as to who the culprit--or culprits--are.
I loved the murder mystery portion of this novel, and that's definitely my favorite part of this book! Reading Lindley go around trying to figure out the murderer--who might be among her friends--was definitely suspenseful and kept me on edge and guessing.
I had a guess, but then I scrapped it because it was too obvious, and in the end I didn't really end up getting the right person as the murderer as I had chucked my guess (which was incorrect, so). Definitely twisty and makes you doubt a lot of people, everyone is under suspicion except Lindley.
One of the things I love about Olson's books is just her writing style--a lot of her chapters are a little shorter, but it's still enjoyable with how she writes the book and pushes the plot along.
Where the star came off was honestly because I found it to be less--deadly feeling as The Sandcastle Empire, which is largely why I ended up liking this less. A lot of the boo is a mystery, and there's not a lot of threats that you can see, which was more present in The Sandcastle Empire. Like, the threats are largely hidden and a big part of the story is finding out who the threat is, not necessarily encountering that action.
So although This Splintered Silence wasn't as action packed, I love the mystery behind it. It's just a different vibe, and I like how flexible Olson is with her writing.
Similarly, Olson writes really good premises without a lot of infodumps, and you understand the situation that led these teens to live on this spaceship with their (now dead) parents.
And, I really enjoyed the character dynamics with the romance. I liked how Olson portrayed the main character under a lot of stress and not necessarily knowing what she wants, and I like how it wasn't really resolved by the end. The romance dynamics were very different, and I got the vibe that it's okay to not know what you want, which I really enjoyed!
Overall, This Splintered Silence was a great sci-fi murder mystery read that I definitely recommend to fans of The 100 and One of Us Is Lying, as well as anyone who has enjoyed Olson's work in the past. And if you haven't read any of these, well, you know you want a space book anyways!
Thank you so much to Kayla Olson for the ARC and Edelweiss + Harper Collins for the digital review copy in exchange for an honest review!
I had such high hopes for this book, but sadly I was disappointed. It's got great reviews, too, so looks like I was the black sheep yet again *shrugs*
Mostly I was bored. The mystery of not knowing why people were dying kept me going, but I found the plot and the book overall to be very dull. The prose was choppy and awkward and I had trouble getting into it. We are given ZERO description whatsoever, so I had trouble picturing the setting or any of the characters. They're in space. That's about all we get. The world building was abysmal.
I didn't care about any of the bland, uninspiring characters, least of all the main character. I forget her name and honestly can't even be bothered to look it up because I hated her anyway. She was one of those girls - the ones that like to "keep their options open." -insert violent eye roll- She kept bouncing back and forth between Leo and Heath - sometimes even kissing one then the other within mere pages of each other. It pissed me off, and ruined what tiny bit of enjoyment I was getting from the story (infinitesimal already).
I felt so apathetic toward this story that by the time things actually started happening, I couldn't muster up any fucks for it. The big reveal was just meh, and the ending was anticlimactic. I barely remembered anything - this book was forgettable at best.
This review was originally posted on Novel Heartbeat. To see a breakdown of my assessment, please visit the full review here.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>
I did not know what to expect from this novel, I hadn't heard of this book until recently. Now I consider it a fairly underrated novel! I would say this book is a combination of The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James and One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus. A murdery mystery set in Space. I could not tell who the murderer was until it was revealed, which impressed me so much. I really didn't have a clue! The story kept it's secrets until the very end. The story is entirely character driven, I found each of the main characters likeable as well as relatable. It was a fun, practical story. The only downside to this brilliant novel was the love triangle. I am not a fan of love triangles at all. I understand the reasoning behind the multiple love interests, it created confusion and guilt for one of the main characters, complicating the mystery. However, I'm still not a fan!
3.5 stars. I think most of my issues with this book come from the odd framing of it. We never get to see any kind of "normal" on the ship, and all of the plague that happened is dispassionately summed up to us in the first couple of pages. Since we have no baseline for how these characters interact when they're not dealing with all of this stuff, their relationships feel shallow and don't make sense. We're told several times that the core group of 4 were really great friends, and we see some of that, but mostly, everything feels awkward and forced and the end has no real emotional gravity or payoff. Throughout the whole book, Lyndley's actions are inconsistent and her motivations are unclear and it makes it really hard to connect with her or anything going on in the book.
dnf @ page 90-ish it pains me, but despite the premise of this being hella interesting and the lovely writing at times, i just have... no... desire... to return to this. I stopped reading last year in April. That's April 2019. It's January 2020. It's time to admit that I'm not going to finish this lol.
A space adventure?! Say no more! I’m not much of a YA reader these days, but for Kayla Olson, I will be. We spend our pages on a spaceship with Lindley and her crew as they grapple with a virus tearing through the ship. They’re just a group of kids themselves, but after their parents have died from the virus, they must step up to lead. This is a quick read!!
The concept is cool. Bunch of people stranded in a space station after viral outbreak with low supplies. It appears the virus is coming back, but it’s actually a murderer! Dun dun dun!!! Suspense is high as the heroine tries to figure out who it is before it’s too late.
The concept was interesting, and got me hooked into the book initially. Unfortunately, the execution was poor.
Repeated Spoiler Warning if you venture further!!!
The characters were bland. You only really knew Lindley, and her circling distrust and paranoia, as she rushes into bad decision after another. The rest of the six quasi-secondary characters could have had their names changed to their roles which they didn’t deviate from: “hot guy and childhood friend,” “hot guy with a crush,” “smart guy who isn’t important for anything other than operating comms,” “antagonistic girl who has no faith in main character,” and “overly nice and helpful girl who is obviously the murderer.” The remaining 79 kids on the station can be summarized into three groups: “the 3 with bit parts,” “the 7 who get murdered and that we have no emotional attachment to,” and “the nameless and unimportant rest.”
The ending was very abrupt. Everything came together for a happily ever after in the last couple pages. The “villain” in charge of Radix is fired/demoted (unclear) after the anticipated conflict just ends without conflict. The armed murderer is stopped by the unarmed main character and sent back to Earth. The corporation decides to give the space station to the orphans (um... what?!?). The weird and unnecessary love triangle is ignored. They manage to get all the supplies they need just in time.
The science/engineering... Yes, I know that science fiction gets some leeway on science stuff because of it being science fiction, but there are some things that are too egregious to overlook:
•Instantaneous communication with Earth: This one can be chalked up to some unmentioned faster than light communication equipment, but there would still be lag regardless. This item gets a pass by waving the science fiction wand, but it irked me a bit, so I mentioned it.
•Gravity: Okay, artificial gravity is expected in science fiction. But one does not have their spaceship in the hangar crash to the floor when the power cuts out to the gravity which they turned on to get the ship to float. The artificial gravity works backwards in this book, unless there happens to be gravity in space.
•Concrete: There were concrete floors and a concrete bunker on a SPACE STATION! No! Just no! Concrete would be one of the dumbest building materials in space. Heavy (sure in space there is no gravity, right? You still need to get it up there, and it would still have mass for when you need to move it), deteriorates (needs a lot of maintenance), porous (good luck with vacuum!), and vastly inferior to steel for all purposes it could possibly be used for on a space station. I nearly choked when I saw the words “concrete floor” and cried when I saw they had a concrete bunker.
•Fireplace: Lindsey had a fire place... on a space station... literally the last place you would want to have a trivial open flame consuming oxygen.
•Water filtration facility: First, the water is stored in huge transparent (presumably glass) orbs. No. It would be stored in steel tanks. Why go through the expense and difficulty of manufacturing and transporting a huge sphere of heavy and breakable material into space? For the engineering section of the station no less! It doesn’t need to be pretty. Weld some steel sheets together and call it a day! Second, the water is purified just by using a filter... um no. One does not purify used grey water with only a filter. Finally, the filtered water is loaded back into the same tank it came out of. Not only would this not work because it would recontaminate itself, but it would be the most inefficient way to clean the water even if it were possible to clean the tank while the water is in the pipes traveling back.
•The Starboard Side Lab: Oh yeah, talking about unnecessarily making engineering pretty with the glass water orbs reminded me. There was a panoramic window in what was essentially in the sample storage room. Both impractical on a space station and in an awful location because no one ever uses it.
I would have been willing to overlook the bad science if it weren’t for the ending which dropped me from a 3 to a 2. The author should really learn about what they are writing about before they describe it. Or, when in doubt, use less detail and leave it up to the reader’s imagination.
Also... concrete on a space station. That still bothers me.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
*Source* Publisher *Genre* Young Adult, Thriller, Mystery *Rating* 3.5
Kayla Olson's This Splintered Silence is her follow-up to the novel The Sandcastle Empire. This is a story that is a mixture of science fiction and mystery. 17-year old Lindley Hamilton is the Commander of the station called Lusca. Lindley leads a group of second generation survivors who lived while the adults on the station died of a deadly pathogen. Learning how to keep the space station running, figuring out how to communicate with Earth, and making sure they don’t run out of food are just some of the issues they've had to deal with.
A book I wanted to love ended up being a murder mystery I’m not sure I buy but overall it wasn’t a bad novel.
“This Splintered Silence” begins at the end of a contagion that took the lives of the first generation of those who made the jump from Earth to space leaving behind a community of children to take the reins when a sudden death of one of their own with eerie similarities to the original plague threatens to unravel an already fragile social order as those in charge are forced to make decisions and rally the troops before it all erupts into chaos.
This book is definitely one of those somewhat bleak if it can break it’s definitely going to sort of vibes and that really plays to its strength as it wears down these young adults who were forced to grow up when those in charge died making them more susceptible to missing the signs of a killer amongst themselves. Not only are they dealing with the deaths and the threat of another disease they are also dealing with the more mundane problems of defense, food shortages and managing to help 80+ kids deal with their grief.
What didn’t work for me first and foremost was the love triangle aspect. In a book like this with so much going on I understand the distraction of a romance being a godsend but in this case we’re shown two very different people and a running theme of conflicted feelings that never get resolved. If you’re going to drag us along through a romance like that at least give us some sort of conclusion to it! Another thing that sort of bothered me was I really didn’t get the overall motive behind the killings, I think our main character made better points when going through her potential list than the actual explanation and maybe it’s just me which is fine but I like a better more rounded out why than what this book offered.
This isn’t a bad novel and once it starts it never lets up as it builds to this crescendo where everything’s gone wrong and bodies keep dropping but instead of being left on my seat waiting to see where we’d go next I’m just sort of laid back about it? I don’t know I think if you really enjoy that kind of tone of a book one Illuminae Files you’ll be disappointed but if you’re looking for something similar if not lite this is for you.
**special thanks to the publishers and edelweiss for providing an arc in exchange for a fair and honest review!**
RANT ALERT!!! Can this book just vanish out of existence? Please?
honestly, this book is everything I worry I never have to read in a story that I anticipated SO SO MUCH. A disease in space where all the adults are dead- sounds cool right? WRONG!!!
The taste of disappointment is truly bitter. This book was trying to be an epic and poetic space opera about leadership and ya know the usual group of misfits who were now in control of an entire spaceship...
Here are all the things wrong with this book:
- flat characters (their names can literally be swapped around and you wouldn't be able to tell them apart, THAT'S HOW INTERCHANGEABLE THEY ARE!)
-internal monologues in EVERY OTHER FRIKIN' PARAGRAPH! how many thoughts does this girl have?! And did I mention that every thought she has apparently means that ten pages should be dedicated to her reminiscing about said subject, only for me to want to roll my eyes so hard I wish they disappeared behind my eye sockets because of how much I DID NOT WANT TO READ THIS BOOK??????
-GLORIFYING CHEATING! this girl kisses guy 1 (who has NO PERSONALITY WHATSOEVER) and then kisses guy 2 (also void of any personal traits except that he's her childhood friend) and then presumes to kiss guy 1 again because she feels like he can protect her??? ARE YOU SERIOUS AUTHOR? I am fuming at how trash this book is- Don't get me wrong, I love love triangles BUT NOT LIKE THIS! and surprise surprise, this love business remains unresolved to the end! Legend has it our main character LiNdLeY is still kissing both guys today (and maybe at the same time?)
-The writing, oh dear Lord the writing. Trying to be poetic and failing so miserably. The same metaphors about stars repeated OVER AND OVER AGAIN I LITERALLY WANTED TO DIE
-And finally.. tHe bIg rEvEaL oOoOoOoOo...which ends in- wait for it- literally three pages. THREE PAGES! i want to cry- all that time i wasted on this book only to skim read the last hundred pages..
There you have it folks, if you truly value your time and good sci-fi, look elsewhere. I pray nobody has to go through this experience.
2 stars becuase I actually finished it. I recieved this book in a bookish box for the month of nov I believe. I did cancel my sub and after reading this I'm pretty happy about that decision.
This was dull and I had many problems with it.
1. They were in space yes but I know nothing about their living space. Was it a ship was it a station what did it look like consist of just anything. No descriptions like at all.
2. Why weren't these kids all in space better prepared for life without their parents? The kids were immune the adults were not so why were they so helpless.
3. Immaculate conception? How did all these kids get there. Was there families ? Sperm donors ? Were they all part of the experiment? I was almost 2/3 finished when I saw some kids had a mother and a father.
4. The lead gal got on my nerves. No water but hey let me take a long hot shower. Stupid
5. Why was this ship/station so dependent on earth when the whole point was for them to be self sufficient on another planet ?
I just didn't get it and I didnt even care. I need to lay off YA after this one
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
"I think most things begin to fracture without anyone realizing it's happening, a sort of splintered silence that gives way all at once." What's the last book that kept you up at night? For me, it was This Splintered Silence by Kayla Olson! This book was, in a word, phenomenal. It had so many twists and turns that I couldn't tell which way was up and which way was down! Needless to say, the ending completely took me by surprise. Plus, Kayla's writing is stark and fresh, with the kind of perfect pacing that keeps you engaged regardless of what else is going on around you. Her mc has a strong, relatable voice. The setting (space!) was super cool, and she described it so vividly it made me feel like I'd really been there. Aaand, for those of you who enjoy a good love triangle like me, this book has one that will tie your heartstrings into knots. Needless to say, if there was an above-5-star rating, this book would get it. But, since there isn't, 5 stars! All the stars!
An arc of this book was sent to me by Harper Collins and Kayla Olson for a book tour. All thoughts and opinions on this book are honest and my own.
Rating: 4.5 / 5
Beautifully written, engaging and character driven book. This book is a perfect mix of science fiction, romance, thriller, and suspense. The prose of this book was just so beautiful and natural, and it brought the development of this story so perfectly! It was perfectly paced, and I found myself devouring this book real quickly.
I've been looking forward to THIS SPLINTERED SILENCE since I first heard of it. As a fan Kayla Olson's debut, I was extra psyched because books set in space have a special place in my heart.
The YA market has blended quite a bit into the adult market, and I'm happy report that THIS SPLINTERED SILENCE was, most definitely, a book written for teens. Lindley's decision making process reminded me a lot of my younger years, where immediacy trumps all. By that, I mean that every problem feels like an emergency, and when problems are *actually* an emergency, the tension feels like it will break you in half. Using the space setting also added to the urgency, as there was a thin line between life and death to begin with, so when things started to go wrong with the space station itself, Lindley used every bit of strength in her reserve to keep it together. Non spoiler alert: it only sort of worked.
Combining grief and a lack of sleep, some decisions were doomed for failure, but Lindley and her crew never gave up. There were a few areas that I wished were stronger, storylines that could have been more fleshed out, but because Lindley's internal journey took centre stage (in first person POV) there wasn't much room for others. That said, I'm not sure the story would have worked in third person.
Overall, I didn't connect as strongly to THIS SPLINTERED SILENCE as I did to Olson's debut, THE SANDCASTLE EMPIRE, but for actual young adult readers, I think it's a solid choice.
At the beginning I was really interested by the premise, but sadly went downhill from there.
It got pretty repetitive, and there was lots of monologuing from the protagonist about the same sorts of things which kind of lowered the tension. It also did that thing that I don't like in YA mystery where I feel if I read this again there still wouldn't really be clues I could follow to help me pick the killer; it just came out of nowhere for shock value. Romance was also unnecessary but also not super overwhelming which was nice.
Overall some interesting themes about morality and responsibility but sadly fell victim to the genre :(