This Splintered Silence by Kayla Olson
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication date: 27 December 2018
Genre: Young adult science fiction
Page count: 368 pages
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This review is spoiler-free.
I’ve been reading so much fantasy lately and I’ve had a craving for some great sci-fi. Enter This Splintered Silence — a book I had heard nothing about until I had the opportunity to request a copy. I’m so glad I took a chance on this novel — it is a fast paced sci-if thriller that will delight fans of Lauren James’ The Loneliest Girl in the Universe.
Lindley Hamilton has been the leader of the space station Lusca since every first-generation crew member on board, including her mother, the commander, were killed by a deadly virus.
Lindley always assumed she’d captain the Lusca one day, but she never thought that day would come so soon. And she never thought it would be like this—struggling to survive every day, learning how to keep the Lusca running, figuring out how to communicate with Earth, making sure they don’t run out of food.
When a member of the surviving second generation dies from symptoms that look just like the deadly virus, though, Lindley feels her world shrinking even smaller. The disease was supposed to be over; the second generation was supposed to be immune. But as more people die, Lindley must face the terrifying reality that either the virus has mutated or something worse is happening: one of their own is a killer.
I love any sci-if story that deals with isolation in space, and This Splintered Silence scratches that itch perfectly. The small, self-contained world on the space station is claustrophobic but homey, familiar but completely alien to the reader. Olsen manages to lay out the different section and areas of the station artfully and without interrupting the story, and you gain a seamless sense of familiarity with the setting. While the book is a little slow to start, the beginning pages serve well heighten the tension and set the stakes of the story. The thread of tension, claustrophobia, and dread that Olsen threads through the narrative is so incredibly effective — I couldn’t put this book down!
I really loved Lindley as our main character. She’s a teen thrust into an incredibly difficult position — command of a space station and all its young residents — after all of the adults are killed by a virus. The representation of her anxiety and panic was so incredibly realistic, especially as the situation on the station gets worse and worse. I suppose I can see some readers potentially finding her annoying or off-putting, but as someone who suffers from anxiety I really saw a lot of myself in her and have so much respect for her.
If you like sci-if thrillers, this is definitely one to consider picking up. Packed with tension and suspicion, you wont be able to put This Splintered Silence down!
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