Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Publisher: Merit Press
Publisher: Merit Press
Published: March 7th, 2017
Page Count: 320 pages
Source: From publisher in exchange of an honest opinion.
For fans of The Book Thief and Raiders of the Lost Ark, this thrilling new novel set during World War I features a girl who must pretend to be a male soldier to save her younger brothers.
Adi is an outrider, rejected by both her British father’s and Indian mother’s cultures, so she is no stranger to trouble. But when a mysterious agitator called “Coal” kidnaps Adi’s twin brothers, Adi has to rely on herself to find them. With strength and cunning as fierce as any boy’s, she decides to cut her hair and put on a military uniform to slip unnoticed through the chaos of the early days of World War I. When Adi finds a pocket watch that could be the clue to her lost brothers, she must figure out a way to decode it—before time runs out.
*The Reader's Review*
Okay, um, wow. Silent by David Mellon is such a captivating read. It's perfect for fans of Historical Fiction since it is set during World War I but it will also appeal to readers who love a bit of magic and mystery!
This book is about the struggles of a young Indian-British girl who is unfortunate to be caught up in the schemes of a stranger called Coal. Having messed up his plans, he kidnaps her twin brothers and gives her a mysterious pocket watch containing four riddles to solve within a four and a half year countdown in case she ever wants to see them again. As an extra note of precaution, Coal takes away her ability to speak and forbids her to write for help or he will harm the twins. Thus begins Adi's mad race to solve the puzzle, taking her from the comforts of a mansion straight to military action of World War I.
To be honest, I was not expecting Silent to be such a thrilling read. I love historical fiction yet it's been a while since I became so invested in one. Maybe it helped that it has magic (I love magic), but I believe it mostly had to do with the wonderful characters and how we learn the history of each of them.
My favorite character is of course, Adi. She's smart, selfless, and incredibly brave. Her voice is taken away, but she finds other ways to get herself heard. It's amazing how by the end of the novel, she has so many people trying to help her! I also loved George, who is the first guy to take Adi seriously and gives her the push she needs to keep solving the riddles. I fell for him hard (something I wasn't expecting from this novel). But the one character who stayed with me is Doc. He's the father figure that Adi needed in her time working in military camps and his support was elemental for her survival.
The thing that I really don't know how to explain is the magic inside this book. It's strange and mysterious, all part of the enigmatic Coal (who is the one that throws Adi into this quest). I mean, I call it magic because how else to explain Coal's unusual abilities? But you know, I believe Silent perfectly portrays how some things in history, events that happened AND happen in real life, sometimes cannot be fully understood or explained. And how this mystery is all part of the charm, the thing that sets room for speculation. In any case, I enjoyed it!
All in all, Silent might start off a bit slow but once you get past the first chapters and Adi's pocket watch starts ticking, you'll be drawn into the story and won't be able to get away. The thrilling mystery, Adi's journey, and the beautiful illustrations that accompany each part o the story make David Mellon's novel a compelling read worthy of your time. Highly recommend!