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This Splintered Silence
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Book Discussions - 2019 > Final Thoughts - October

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Leander Public Library | 116 comments Mod
Our book club pick for October 2019 was This Splintered Silence by Austin-based author, Kayla Olson. Beware: there are major spoilers ahead!

This month, our discussion prompt questions were written by a staff member. As always, don't feel pressured to answer any of these if you don't want to. We like to offer them to those of you who want them. Without further ado:

1. Why do you think the author chose to set this mystery novel in space?

2. Lindley says of her best friend, Leo, “… Leo and I are the roots. Tangled roots, seeds sown in the same hole by so-close parents who wanted their kids to be every bit as close. Pluck either of us up, the other would die. Leave us as we are and we might die anyway, each choking the other out. Not always on purpose.” Do you think that is a fair description of their relationship? Why or why not?

3. After making communication with the station’s base, Lindley doesn’t correct them when they think she is her mother. Did she make the right decision? What would you have done?

4. Did you think Lindley was a good leader? What are the kinds of qualities needed in a leader?

5. Which character out of Lindley’s friends do you think was the most interesting? Which one was the least interesting?

6. Did the romance subplot impact the story in any way? If so, did you think it improved the story or no? Do you think Leo or Heath is a better romantic partner for Lindley?

7. Were you able to deduce the identity of the killer before it was revealed? Why do you think Haven did what she did?

8. Author Kayla Olson has stated that This Splintered Silence is a standalone novel. If you were to write a sequel, where would the characters be?


message 2: by Kristen (last edited Nov 05, 2019 03:27PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kristen | 129 comments This Splintered Silence earned this one-word adjective from me: decent. I don't mean that in a bad way, truly. Usually, what I'm trying to say is that it's average. That I'm left a little bit apathetic towards it, or maybe even that I didn't mind reading it but will mostly likely forget that I did. This is all true for this book; I looked forward to it for a long time, finally read it, and then actually, well, forgot about it. That's why I'm posting in the discussion in November, even though I read the book way back in early September.

So, yes, it's been quite a while and I'm a little fuzzy on the finer details. Luckily from my review and my saved quotes from the book, I've been able to piece together a little bit what I was thinking... but it may not be that coherent. (Sorry.)

Personally, I think the biggest con I had with the book was that I wasn't a fan of its plotting and pacing. The synopsis of the book flat out tells you that the kids and being murdered by a human--by one on their station--not by a mutated disease. This revelation took Lindley approximately half a novel to even think about, which meant that much less energy invest she invested in solving the murders.

And the love triangle. NO. I hated it so much. I didn't think either one of the guys were worth paying attention to. I didn't think Lindley had chemistry with either of them, and overall I thought that they detracted from the plot. Plus it was so frustrating that Lindley would go back and forth between them with little to no remorse, citing her stress as a good enough reason to string along both boys.

1. Why do you think the author chose to set this mystery novel in space?
While I was sort of ranty above, the fact that the novel was set in space was my favorite thing about it. We've all seen the "abandoned island" trope a la Agatha Christie; there is a new sense of loneliness when you're literally floating around in black space. It's not like they can scavenge for food or jerry-rig a water purification system for a questionable body of water. There are no animal dangers, no danger of dying to exposure (unless the station breaks and everyone suffocates on the void.) It's literally a situation of have or don't have, like their water and food stores, and of the fear of disease and other people, which can be so much more terrifying than attacks made by a starving animal (in my humble opinion.)

3. After making communication with the station’s base, Lindley doesn’t correct them when they think she is her mother. Did she make the right decision? What would you have done?
Honestly this decision frustrated me quite a bit. I know that Lindley makes a split-second decision, unable to weigh all the pros and cons, and I know that she did it out of a sense of preservation for herself and the other members of the station--they clearly fear the guy based on the planet the station is helping to terraform (sorry, I can't remember any of it.)

But, at the same time, looking at it from a slightly more mature perspective, it was selfish and childish. Lindley bemoans all of her responsibilities (self-imposed), claims that everything she's doing is to protect everyone, when in reality they're at danger of dying from disease, starvation, or thirst because she's unwilling to admit that she is not her mother. In a game of "what-if," pretending to be her mother seems like the more dangerous choice.

4. Did you think Lindley was a good leader? What are the kinds of qualities needed in a leader?
Like I said above, I felt like Lindley was prone to bouts of selfishness that is rather unsettling in a leader. Granted, I don't believe an ideal leader exists--someone who is selfless, compassionate, and charismatic is always going to have some sort of downfall. Lindley stressed me out with how hot and cold she was towards her position. Again, it was something she took the mantle of voluntarily, which greatly lessens her right to complain about it (once again, in my opinion.)


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