Book Review: The Queen of the Dead: Silence by Michelle Sagara

DAW
289 pp.

The Queen of the Dead: Silence ended up giving me a lot of nostalgia for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, even though Silence is almost nothing at all like Buffy the Vampire Slayer except for the entire “group of kids and one of them is extremely special with special powers,” thing. In this case, our main protagonist is a girl named Emma who is mourning the death of her boyfriend Nathan. She makes a habit of visiting his grave at night and one night she encounters Eric, a new student at her school and a very strange old woman.

The encounter awakens a powers that could get her killed–she can see and communicate with the dead, and even use the dead as a source of power for magic. Emma is a necromancer, though she really doesn’t want to be, and Eric is a hunter of necromancers. Emma manages to get a small reprieve because she is completely unlike the usual personality profile of a Necromancer (for one, she has lots for friends). This gets him into trouble with his superior, who sends him back up. From there it’s a short step to all of Emma’s friends discovering her powers and becoming a tightly knit “Scooby Gang” not unlike Buffy’s friends in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

I really enjoyed reading this book. Sagara has created an interesting and engaging bunch of characters who manage to transcend and occasionally lampshade their particular character niche. As an example, we have the “popular rich girl” character who runs her clique with an iron hand but instead of being set up as an enemy, she’s a close ally of the protagonist. There is no innate conflict between the quirky geek characters and the “popular kids” and Emma’s “Scooby Gang” includes members from both social cliques. It’s a nice change of pace, though I had some mental dissonance concerning the kids interactions. (They are too nice. Way nicer than the kids I interacted with during my long ago trip through the school system. I will be dreadfully clichéd and state it’s obviously because they are Canadian kids.) 

Overall this is a great book, and I am really looking forward to the next book.


Silence (The Queen of the Dead)

Silence (The Queen of the Dead)

 

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Filed under fantasy, Michelle Sagara, Review: Book, urban, young adult

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