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Friday, March 13, 2020

Book Review: Breaking Silence by Mercedes Lackey

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This book is a sequel to 'Silence' and continuation of the SERRAted Edge series.
It is a significant improvement on the last book: the plot is tighter, the characters have more depth, and the book feels more a part of the wider series.

First things I liked. The book is written in limited third person and like most others in the series does offer glimpses into other characters points of view. This is useful in context because it allows the reader a better understanding of what is going on. The characters are fairly well developed and feel like individual people, and the elves are each clearly different characters. The characters are nicely nuanced, and the relationships are complex. As with the previous book there is a lot of shades of morality and I really enjoyed the way the authors made characters that seemed to be 'good' or 'bad' be much more ambiguous than that. The big open question in the plot does get answered in a very satisfying way by the end which made the ending feel more complete.

The reason I'm only giving it 3 stars however is much like the previous book there are some significant continuity errors and plot holes. I don't want to list them here and give any spoilers, but for a couple mostly spoiler free examples: in the last book we were told the main character had Elven ancestry on both sides but now apparently it's just from her mother, and the elves refer to the mc as everything from half-elven, to part fae, to human. For another, there's a scene where 2 elvensteeds jump somewhere then on the next page...2 elvensteeds jump somewhere, as if the authors forgot that had just happened. It really would have benefited from beta readers or a good editor.
There were also some story details that I found difficult. I could have suspended my disbelief enough to ignore that the characters seem to live in a perpetual summer; Staci arrives at the beginning of summer, the events in Silence take weeks at a minimum, months have now gone by and weeks pass in Breaking Silence but its...still the same summer? Honestly it would have made a lot more sense if it was et a year later rather than 'a few months'. And much like the last book this one leans heavily into the 'wonderkid' trope and that gets hard to ignore. I had a difficult time accepting that the teenage main character was the only one actually taking down any monsters or that the adults followed her lead. The idea that a who knows how old elf would panic during a magical attack and need the teenage human to take charge was just nonsensical.

That all said it's still an improvement over Silence and the characters are likeable. I'd read a new book in the series if there was one.

Expanded form my Goodreads review here: