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A Conspiracy of Whispers

(Whisper #1)

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  137 ratings  ·  44 reviews
Desires and loyalties clash when a sensual assassin and an intriguing enemy agent must fight together in this exciting debut by Ada Harper.

For Olivia Shaw, the danger of her assignments as a deadly Whisper agent is matched only by that of her hidden status: Liv is one of the caricae, extremely rare women capable of bearing children and therefore controlled by the Syndicate
Kindle Edition, 335 pages
Published January 15th 2018 by Carina Press
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Average rating 4.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  137 ratings  ·  44 reviews

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Freya Marske
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
A lot less Romance and a lot more Adventure than I thought it would be going in, this reminded me of the first couple of Vorkosigan books, in a great way: political court intrigue! military sci fi! danger-camping with a grumpy hostage with whom you are inconveniently falling in love! DELICIOUS. And the genetic dystopia made for a textured, solidly-build world, even though that kind of biologically-based soulbond trope isn't usually my cup of tea. This grabs the tropes and shakes them ...more
Skye Kilaen
Jun 22, 2018 marked it as no-thank-you  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't get past a couple things:

1) I kept running across language describing the characters that didn't seem like it went with the cover models, as if the book hadn't been written intending the characters to be people of color. This may just be me.

2) There was no justification given for why the reigning monarchy was good and the rebels were bad. Nothing about the schools, health care, ethics, what they provided the people. For all I knew, the male MC was on the wrong side of the fight.

Leigh Kramer
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I don't read much sci-fi but this, along with Taylor Brooke's Camellia Clock Cycle series, has made a believer out of me. Olivia had so much agency and I could not get enough of her relationship with Galen, combative one moment and swoon-worthy yearning the next. They turned me into a puddle of mush more than a few times. Fascinating premise, spectacular writing, phenomenal character growth. I could not put it down!

CW: (view spoiler)
Book  Minx
Mostly glorious with an incredible cast of characters and a solid main pair.

I’d have liked to see an apology from Galen in the resolution, as opposed to only one from Olivia. They both fucked up, they realised their mistakes, and I’m getting really tired of the men in m/f romances not carrying their weight in terms of growth and resolution. Almost all of the compromise is on her side.

There’s also some major gaps in the world building so this isn’t recommended for folks that want the details of
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
Originally posted on bookstagram:

A Conspiracy of Whispers by Ada Harper is a sci-fi romance that I keep seeing being recommended on romance Twitter. Sci-fi romance is a subgenre I want to read more of so I was excited to start reading this book. Futuristic setting with an assassin heroine, and a military commander hero from a foreign nation. I found the premise interesting enough but about halfway through, I realized this wasn't a book for me and I mostly
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So, so good!
Interesting post-apocalyptic world, the prickliest assassin/outcast heroine, a most caring Duke/warrior hero, queer secondary cast!

Full review:

What a great sci-fi/dystopian romance! I don't reach much SF but some friends on Twitter were raving about it so I decided to give it a try.

It depicts a futuristic world with genetic engineering and fertility/reproduction issues (CW).

I enjoyed the story a lot, both the twisty thriller/royal coup plot and the romance arc. Both leading
Jul 26, 2018 rated it did not like it
Lately this book has been getting a lot of buzz on twitter, both from authors and readers. That was enough to make me want to check it out. Sadly it didn't work for me. I read it for 15 minutes at lunch today, then switched to another book. Had to wait an hour for an appointment after work, read again for 15 minutes, then switched to another book. Now that I'm home, I'm ready to settle in to read the rest of this one tonight. After 15 minutes I'm finally throwing in the towel. A big reason why ...more
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved A CONSPIRACY OF WHISPERS by Ada Harper. Fun, funny, sweet and wonderfully action-y, it really pushed my Killjoys button (which is one of my favorite buttons). Olivia's a heroine you can't tell if you want to hang with or be, and as a hero Galen reminded me of...Han Solo? Circa Empire (which is very fitting). Fun, charming, frustrating, sometimes smug, always optimistic, loyal and romantic.
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I read the last third in a single sitting, which is pretty rare for me. My heart went out to Olivia, who despite her wounds and secrets never stopped being strong, and got lots of opportunities to kick ass. Galen is one of my favorite sorts of male leads, a hardened military leader who secretly has the heart of a puppy dog. Watching their relationship grow was delightful, as it turned a lot of romance novel expectations on their heads. And I appreciated the fresh take on ...more
Oct 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Review to come!
Deanna from Deanna's World
Dec 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A Conspiracy of Whispers is an intricate dance into a world where wars are waged and people are separated by their usefulness and function. In this world, a tenacious assassin and a patient noble battle for trust and their survival.

Ada Harper is a new-to-me author and I have fallen in love with her writing. The reading experience is a subtle but complex dance across the senses interspersed with moments of spine-tingling adrenalin in action-packed scenes. When I finished the book, all I could
M.E. Garber
Mar 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fast, amazing read. I would give this 4.5 stars if possible, but I can't. Therefore, since it's not quite a perfect book, 4 stars it is.

This is an SF romance where the romance isn't the only thing going on. It's dense, intricately layered, and meaty look at biology, gender, and society that features many things missing from so many other books. All the characters are complex and great, the world-building awesome, and the actions everyone takes are completely believable (well, except one; more on
Rebecca Armstrong
Dec 25, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: netgalley
EDIT: Noticed this was marked as a Glbt book - I would argue no. It has a couple who are side characters and barely in the actual bulk of the book. As it's a romance as well, I would say this was misleading to people who want to read actual Glbt books.

For Olivia Shaw, the danger of her assignments as a deadly Whisper agent is matched only by that of her hidden status: Liv is one of the caricae. When her handler sends her into the Quillian Empire, her mission is complicated when her hostage is
Nicole Terry
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi-romance
Sci-fi romance falls under passion reads for me. I don't consider myself scientifically inclined but I'm fascinated by the possibilities. But only if isn't bogged down with too much science. As I said, I'm not scientific. I want a futuristic story with a foundation of romance that's going to entertain me at the same time it enlightens.

A Conspiracy of Whispers definitely filled both expectations.

It started slow, loaded with terms and descriptions. At several points, I had to stop and go back and
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fun, action-packed, sexy, romantic, delightful read! Recommended on Twitter by Bree, one half of the Kit Rocha writing team, it seemed this was the book EVERYONE in Romancelandia was reading last week. :) I had a bit of a worry at the back of my mind that this could be another case of me hating a romance that everyone else was head over heals for (ie: The Bollywood Bride), but quite happily, I loved it!

So it's a sci-fi, post-apocalyptic, hints of fantasy book, peopled with a truly
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was described to me as ‘courtly intrigue and adventure and romance’ and also ‘what if a/b/o, but like, actually thought through and not completely stupid’ which is exactly what it delivered and I had a GREAT TIME despite usually being extremely lukewarm on the genetic- or pheromone-based soulmate trope.

Here’s what you can look forward to when you inevitably plow through this whole book in a day (it’s hard to put down!): a golden retriever and a cat, in human form, learning how to be
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sf, lgbtq
If you like cinnamon rolls that look like they could kill you and could actually kill you, you're in the right place!

I really enjoyed A Conspiracy of Whispers, which I read in the span of one afternoon. I couldn't put it down, and afterwards, I found that the characters and setting really stuck with me. The main characters, Olivia and Galen, are both well-rounded, and I found myself rooting for them right away. The worldbuilding is creative and fun, with two wildly contrasting settings living
Apr 04, 2018 rated it liked it
I didn't really know what to expect of this book to be honest. I won it in a contest the day it was released so all I really knew about it was that it was science fiction and some romance. I'd say it's a pretty even mix of those two; which threw me at first as I'm not a big reader of romance novels. That said I found it to be pretty entertaining; the kind of book I can generally sit down and read over the course of two nights (this one took me MONTHS only because my kindle is dying and won't ...more
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a pleasant surprise! I expected a simple "mistrust and lust at first sight" but there was so much more here. Yes the main characters do have great chemistry (both figuratively and literally cuz this is SF y'all), but instead of just a "roll in the hay, roll credits," that attraction is acknowledged and then consciously explored to decide if it's a foundation for more. Personal agency and enthusiastic consent are front and center, and it's pretty dang sexy.

The main pairing is M/F but the
Marcella Christie
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance, sci-fi
There is nothing sexier to me than someone putting their partner first, and that's pretty much *entirely* what A Conspiracy of Whispers is: a race between Olivia and Galen to see who puts the other first the most often and in the biggest way, and it is LOVELY. I've read this twice -- the first time, I vacuumed it up in a day. The second time, I took like four days because I wanted to absorb all the political intrigue and post-chaos world-building I missed the first time around because I was too ...more
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Hi, hello, I loved this so much. I think if you go into this expecting a plot heavy sci-fi with a fantastic romance arc, you'll be the happiest reading it than if you go in thinking it's a romance with some sci-fi. But Galen is one of my favorite romance heroes of all time. I love him so much. He's so soft even though he's a soldier. And Olivia is a freaking badass queen and I love her too. But Galen is just... He's everything. Also, I'm very excited about the sequel, but honestly, I think this ...more
Nov 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
DNF. Nope. Nope. Nope. All the things I dislike about M/F romances. The female in a societally submissive caste, ultimately dependent on the male alpha character with a heart of gold to fix her problems, but it’s okay in the end because they fall in love. Gag. Very little character background or motivation development. Other characters being stuck-up know-it-all’s. A whole romance, not to mention country changing politics, happening on a very abbreviated timeline. Just very formulaic ... at ...more
Tyler Hayes
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Ada Harper has crafted an engaging, fascinating world, populated it with deep and enthralling characters, and put it through its paces with a plot that is both high intrigue and military action and personal emotion and psychology. The character arcs of Olivia and Galen are clear and distinct without being a bludgeon, and the emotions are so well-crafted I cried and hurt and laughed and loved with them throughout. On top of all that, it’s a kissing book, and one executed with masterful skill — ...more
Margaret Smith
Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Adventure, intrigue, discovery

Love this book! It's an adventure almost from the start, and just keeps going. Travel through dangerous wild lands disguised and with a dangerous hostage? Check. Outcast assassin pretending to be something she's not just to survive? Check. Complex military manoeuvres with terrifying weapons? Check. Political machinations with fire consequences? Check. And a couple who have to learn to see past their preconceptions to understand each other. So good, really, read it!

Jo  (Mixed Book Bag)
Jan 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, netgalley
I started out fascinated by the story line as Olivia captures the Red Wolf, Galen De Corvus. Their journey is a story in itself. When that journey ended the story seemed to blog down. I kept reading and it picked up but the action was a little uneven. There was some interesting world building and back story making up the plot. It could have used a little more editing but was still interesting. Olivia wants to change the world and it will be interesting to see if the story continues in future ...more
E.L. Roux
Oct 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow! This story is amazing

This novel was like two books in one. The fantasy/sci fi aspect of the world building was amazingly in depth and realistic. The characters were strong and memorable, while the plotline left me reading way too long in the night. The love story was beautiful, heartwrenching, and wonderful all rolled into one. The agency of each character was beautifully written and a joy to read. I can't wait to read book 2!
Book 11 of my NEWTsReadathon2019 challenge! This satisfies the Acceptable level for Ancient Runes since it was recommended by friends.

This book was sooooo cool! I adored the writing. Olivia was such a BAMF, and Galen matched her perfectly. There's a variant of the alpha/beta/omega trope, and I was so here for it when it's well done! Lots of intrigue as nations jockey for position and the main characters caught up in the middle of it. Highly recommended!
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance
Fun, very trope-y romance. Wonderful emphasis on consent and bodily autonomy (particularly given the "biological types"/soulbond theme which can sometimes go awry), as well as a very diverse crowd of secondary characters (gender, sexuality, (dis)/abled bodies, etc.).
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The best sci-fi fantasy romance I've read in years. Amazing.

What the title says. Fast paced, excellent works building. Consent. Emotional honesty. I'm looking forward to more in the series.
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