Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Review: Hush by Dylan Farrow

Words are a powerful thing, and those who know how to use them hold power. This is something which I've noticed quite a bit in the last years especially. So, when I ran across this book, I was definitely intrigued. Words. Power. Magic. Sounds like a very potent combination, doesn't it?

Hush, #1
by Dylan Farrow
Wednesday Books
YA Fantasy
384 pages

OCTOBER 6th!!!

Seventeen-year-old Shae has led a seemingly quiet life, joking with her best friend Fiona, and chatting with Mads, the neighborhood boy who always knows how to make her smile. All while secretly keeping her fears at bay… Of the disease that took her brother’s life. Of how her dreams seem to bleed into reality around her. Of a group of justice seekers called the Bards who claim to use the magic of Telling to keep her community safe.

When her mother is murdered, she can no longer pretend.

Not knowing who to trust, Shae journeys to unlock the truth, instead finding a new enemy keen to destroy her, a brooding boy with dark secrets, and an untold power she never thought possible.



Words hold more magic and power than life itself in this fast-paced read, which introduces an intriguing theme and world.

Written words and ink can kill and are forbidden in Shae's world. Considering she lost her own brother to the plague ink brought, this is something she'll never question. But sometimes words hold magic in the spoken form too. When the Bards come to town, their Tellings can bring the blessings so desperately needed, but their price is a tithe that the town can't afford. Shae herself is sure, after her brother's death, that she might be cursed thanks to the plague too, and seeks out the Bards for help. Instead, she finds her mother dead on the floor, stabbed with a golden dagger. But despite promises of finding the murderer, the town tries to shove the death under the rug. Shae refuses to ignore her mother's death and decides to take matters into her own hands. But when she travels out to find the Bards and, hopefully, the murderer, she runs into more than she would have ever dreamed.

First off, I had no clue this was written by a well-known personality, one of Mia Farrow's children. Which in this case is probably good because it definitely didn't effect how I saw the book. 

This is a very interestingly woven theme and surmise. The readers meets Shae in a small, rustic, farming town, where people work hard, food is scarce and life is tough. The author spends a few chapters letting the reader get to know Shae and her situation. It's hard not to like Shae and root for her as her desire for truth, difficult past, and shunned status make her easy to sympathize. The writing flows very well in these first chapters, introduces friends, secrets and heart-ache. The first encounter with the Bards offers a wonderful touch of mystery and magic and nods at what is to come. These chapters drew me in and had me excited to read the rest.

The rest, however, isn't as tight. 

The writing is honestly well done and the author definitely has talent, but the story didn't always take the time to give characters enough depth to care about them and often made decision jumps, which made me wonder what in the world had just happened. It's as if too much was pushing through too fast, and there were even a couple moments which confused. Yet, I didn't want to put this one down, either, because it is an interesting tale with so many tense moments and intrigue. But the further along the story goes, the more stumbles hurt the flow. Especially the ending left me with a 'huh?' as a character from early on suddenly reappears to 'help', which I have no clue why. It just happened as if it had to for whatever comes in the next book. And that is too bad because I could have loved this read and desperately wanted to.

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