Reviewing Silence, by Becca Fitzpatrick

For as much as I hyped this book in my mind and on this site, I was really disappointed with it. So much so, that I didn’t even review it when I first read it (in one sitting, the night of its release, October 4, 2011). Silence is the third installment in the Hush, Hush SagaHush, Hush being the first book; Crescendo being the second.  (Read my prior posts on this saga here, here and here).  I’ve since read the book again, and again was disappointed, though not as much as the first time. This is probably as close as I’m going to get to liking it, so I might as well review it now. Warning: review contains spoilers.

Let’s jump right in with some reasons why I was disappointed. First, Nora and Patch didn’t have sex. I know, I know – that’s a very superficial reason to not like the book. I mean, it’s a YA book; in the majority of those I’ve read in the genre, the characters never actually “go all the way.” I suppose it’s all about the message you’re sending to the potential audience. But surely it’s a known fact that a large audience for YA books is the over-30 female crowd. Hello, Twilight anyone? The problem with Twilight was that, while Edward furthered the message of no sex until marriage (a good and honorable message), Bella was all about having sex and becoming an immortal blood-sucker but “oh my gosh, do we really have to be married? And so young? I mean, what will people think?” Seriously, I think the fangs would be more off-putting than the ring, darlin’. But I digress. So here we have two books of scenes crafted to make you drool over Patch … hundreds of pages dedicated to how he looks, how he smells, what his touch feels like … and an ending (albeit prior to the cliffhanger) insinuating that Nora and Patch are both ready, willing and able to do the deed. But then you get a third book of … nothing. Well, close to nothing, anyway.

Second, let’s talk about the cliffhanger. So at the end of Crescendo, Patch, a redeemed fallen angel, had disavowed his obedience as a guardian angel to the archangels and wanted to go rogue with Nora. For two books, the two have had a hard-fought relationship. Not much time for hand-holding and ice cream when two supernatural races  — the archangels and the Nephil (offspring of fallen angels and humans, who’ve been forced for hundreds of years to give up control of their bodies for two weeks every year to fallen angels’ possession) — are at the brink of war and you’re caught in the middle because, it seems, you’ve got a little bit of Nephilim blood in you and your boyfriend’s an angel. Not wanting anyone or anything, including the archangels, to come between them any more, Patch takes Nora to his place, a place secret and protected from his enemies. Or so he thought. Just as the two lovebirds are about to get busy, Hank Millar, a.k.a. The Black Hand, and his Nephil minions step out of the shadows and interrupt the bliss. By this point, Nora knows that Hank (a pureblood Nephil) is her father and Hank undoubtedly wants to use Nora in his Nephil-army-building hijinks. Given this sort of send-off, I thought for sure that book 3 would be Nora and Patch against the world, or at least together against the warring races.

So Silence comes out and I’m beyond thrilled. It had been promoted for quite some time as the final installment of the series. Thus, the reason why I expected the “us against the world” and the sex. Instead, we’re started back at square one, or at least it feels that way. Hank has taken Nora captive and is forcing Patch to spy on archangels and fallen angels and whomever else he can. Patch finally negotiates a deal with Hank for Nora’s release (at which point, I’m screaming, “No, we don’t negotiate with terrorists!” at the Kindle app on my phone). The deal, of course, had conditions … one of which includes erasing Nora’s memory, far enough back to where she has no memory of Patch. Seriously. No memory of Patch! That.is.just.wrong. Of course, slowly, painfully, excruciatingly, Nora’s memories come back and she and Patch work together to ultimately defeat Hank Millar. That defeat includes Hank’s death and Nora is left as the heir apparent to Hank’s throne at the head of the Nephil army, an army ready and waiting for her command to attack the archangels. Nora makes the decision to call off the war all together; she will not lead Nephil forces against the archangels, she will not be the final straw that starts the brewing war and inevitably kills thousands, including humans. She and Patch are together, alone, with time to relish in each other. And they don’t have sex. It’s ridiculous. But I’ve already said that.

Just when it all seems to be over, Nora and Patch return to her home to find several Nephil waiting on her; the message is clear: the Nephil are ready to take a stand, they are ready for a war, and she can either stand with them or be removed from the equation. Having stayed up all night to read the book, because I couldn’t put it down (which, yes, is an indicator of liking it; okay, fine, you caught me), the ending left me flabbergasted. It seemed to be another cliffhanger. But why would the final book have a cliffhanger?? I read the acknowledgements at the end of the book, which I’ve probably never done before, and Fitzpatrick says something about enjoying sharing Patch and Nora’s story with us and I think, “What.the.hell? A cliffhanger? On the last book? No way.” So then I proceed to her website, and discover there on her home page, an announcement dated just a few short days before Silence‘s debut, that a fourth and final book would be released in Fall 2012. Okay, okay. So it’s not over. There’s still time for them to be together against the world. There’s still time for them to have sex. Oh, yeah, and end the war and all that jazz. But, yes, time for sex. This is a good thing.

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