I haven’t read a thriller that’s grabbed me quite as quickly or thoroughly as “The Silence” did since I read Blake Crouch’s “Run” years ago. Like Crouch’s work, the cause of our potentially apocalyptic premise is only given a light brushing over. An unearthed cave in Moldova has brought forth flying creatures that have lived for millenniums in an isolated and endemic environment. Like bats, but larger, they hunt only by sound.
Oh yeah, and they multiply by laying eggs in the creatures (humans) they eat.
That hatch within hours.
And that become fully grown within days.
Such is the premise behind Lebbon’s work. Now, before I get started, there are some flaws to this story that require examination, the largest of which you’ll either get over (and thereby love the story) or become hopelessly jaded (and hate this novel). I won’t go into any spoilers here, but just know that people talking is about the extent of the noises that summon these “vesps,” as they are called. Walking through brush and forests, the noise of footsteps or gasps or clothes rubbing or any other type of “natural” noise that occurs from just breathing … all of these are completely ignored by the author. Yes, that’s a lot of missed opportunities. His idea of noise stems from speech, made even more manifest by a deaf girl leading her family when in reality, she’d probably be the most likely to make a sound without knowing it.
Now, get over that, and you’ll love this novel. Great family-centered drama, impossible moral decisions, plenty of scares, and two scenes, in particular, that will stay with me for a long time to come. It’s a poignant showcase of how quickly our modern lives would break down and fall into chaos should something unforeseen and unexpected occur.
Despite its flaws, this was one of the funnest reads I’ve tackled in awhile. Definitely check it out.