Book Review: Daughter of Deep Silence
By: Carrie Ryan
Published By: Dutton Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: May 26, 2015
Page Count: 375
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Audience: Young Adult - Mystery/Thriller
This was one of my most highly anticipated reads for the summer. I was so excited to see that Carrie Ryan had a new novel out. Her debut novel, The Forest of Hands and Teeth, is one of my favorites, so I had high expectations for this novel. Sadly, my expectations were not fully met by this one. Ryan's strong writing and deep sense of characterization was still present, but there was something about this one that didn't lure me in as much as her previous work.
Frances Mace has looked into the face of death and managed to walk away virtually unscathed. She is one of the few survivors of the Persephone tragedy. The world believes that the luxurious Persephone sank in the middle of a brutal storm, taking all the innocent souls on board to the bottom of the sea. Frances knows what really happened that night was no accident of nature, but rather cold and calculated murder. The ship was attacked with the intent to leave no survivors, but through sheer luck Frances finds herself alive and in a lifeboat with her friend, Libby. The girls must brave the wilds of the ocean as they hope and pray for rescue. This portion of Frances' life is told through a series of flashbacks as the novel progresses. I found this to be effective and kept me reading as I wanted to know the whole story about what really happened the night of the attack.
Frances is found by Libby's father who hatches an elaborate plan in which Frances will take on Libby's identity. Together the two of them seek answers and a way to bring justice to those responsible for the attack. Frances loses herself to fully become Libby. She spends years studying Libby's mannerisms, habits, and preferences until she's ready to return to Libby's home on an island off the coast of South Carolina. Once she arrives, she must face ghosts from her pasts and find a way to quench her thirst for revenge.
I had a lot of trouble liking Frances. I was sympathetic towards her, but the majority of her choices once she returns to South Carolina didn't set well with me. I couldn't understand how she could continue to crave a relationship with Grey after all he had done. There were moments when I felt like Frances would meet some horrible demise because of her stupid choices; the girl lacked common sense for the vast majority of the novel. I didn't truly become vested in the story until around the 50% mark, but even then, I never got to a point where I liked Frances completely.
Ultimately, this one had some strong elements: solid writing, complex characters, an intricate mystery. This should have led to a riveting read that kept me locked to my Kindle, but there was just something missing. I didn't feel that spark you get when you truly love a book. Perhaps I put too much pressure on this novel and living up to those expectations wasn't possible. This is certainly not a bad read, but I just wanted more from it. The ending left me feeling lackluster and far from satisfied. There were some amazing twists, but coupled with my meh attitude about certain portions, this novel garnered a 3.5 rating from me. It's worth your time if you're looking for an action packed thriller this summer, but be prepared to deal with a main character who makes you work for it.
One Last Gripe: I was not a fan of the romance element in this one at all. It felt unrealistic.
My Favorite Thing About This Book: The twists and turns to find the truth
First Sentence: When they pulled me onto the yacht, I can't even stand I've been adrift in the ocean so long.
Favorite Character: Shepherd
Least Favorite Character: Thom
I’m the daughter of murdered parents.
I’m the friend of a dead girl.
I’m the lover of my enemy.
And I will have my revenge.
In the wake of the devastating destruction of the luxury yacht Persephone, just three souls remain to tell its story—and two of them are lying. Only Frances Mace knows the terrifying truth, and she’ll stop at nothing to avenge the murders of everyone she held dear. Even if it means taking down the boy she loves and possibly losing herself in the process.
Sharp and incisive, Daughter of Deep Silence by bestselling author Carrie Ryan is a deliciously smart revenge thriller that examines perceptions of identity, love, and the lengths to which one girl is willing to go when she thinks she has nothing to lose.