Thursday, February 19, 2015

Silence for the Dead by Simone St. James [Review]

Silence for the Dead4.5 out of 5 Robots!

Silence for the Dead by Simone St. James

Genre: YA Historical Fiction/Thriller
Release: April 1, 2014
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: NAL
My Copy: Publisher
Reviewer: Shannon

Book Summary:
In 1919, Kitty Weekes, pretty, resourceful, and on the run, falsifies her background to obtain a nursing position at Portis House, a remote hospital for soldiers left shell-shocked by the horrors of the Great War. Hiding the shame of their mental instability in what was once a magnificent private estate, the patients suffer from nervous attacks and tormenting dreams. But something more is going on at Portis House—its plaster is crumbling, its plumbing makes eerie noises, and strange breaths of cold waft through the empty rooms. It’s known that the former occupants left abruptly, but where did they go? And why do the patients all seem to share the same nightmare, one so horrific that they dare not speak of it?

Kitty finds a dangerous ally in Jack Yates, an inmate who may be a war hero, a madman… or maybe both. But even as Kitty and Jack create a secret, intimate alliance to uncover the truth, disturbing revelations suggest the presence of powerful spectral forces. And when a medical catastrophe leaves them even more isolated, they must battle the menace on their own, caught in the heart of a mystery that could destroy them both

(Courtesy of the Publisher)

Shannon's Thoughts:
This was another surprise hit for me.  I mean, the premise sounded good: historical fiction, creepy setting, disturbing happenings in a mental institution.  But I have heard zilch about this book, so it was hard to know what to expect.  I ended up really liking it though, even if the ending was a little crazy pants for me.  

Here is what I liked:
**The time period:  I've discovered I really like WWI era.   

**The setting:  I thought the idea of having the setting be a mental hospital for shell-shocked WWI vets was really intriguing.  So much more is known about PTSD, but back then suffers were sent to mental institutions and considered "madmen".  It was heartbreaking seeing what these men were going through.  

**The creepiness:  This book has it in spades.  A true psychological thriller.  I loved never really knowing where the story was heading.

**The characters:  I really liked Kitty.  She was plucky, resourceful, tough, but also very compassionate.  She takes the job because she is trying to hide from her past, but really comes to care about the men.  And in turn, they come to care about her.  I loved watching them rally behind her.  

**The friendships/romance: My favorite part was the relationships that develop between Kitty and the men, Kitty and the other nurses, and mostly Kitty and Jack.  I adored their relationship.  It starts slow and unrushed.  Jack becomes a safe haven for Kitty and in turn Kitty helps Jack find himself again.  I just loved these two.

Here is what I didn't like:
**Honestly, there wasn't anything I didn't really dislike.  The only thing I wasn't too sure about was the ending, which took a turn I wasn't quite expecting and was straight up crazypants.  Again, I didn't dislike it, but it was maybe just a teeny tiny bit too much.  But only a teeny bit.

If you like historical fiction with plucky protagonists, or thrillers with a truly creepy edge then I highly recommend this book for you.  One of the first gems I've discovered this year.

Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.



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