Luc de Clapiers once said that:
“Emotions have taught mankind to reason.”
Emotions are defined as: Any of the particular feelings that characterize such a state of mind, such as joy, anger, love, hate, horror, etc.
So imgine for a second if you were stripped of yours. Imagine that you walked through life in a bubble, completly oblivious to changes, or at the very least incapable of responding to them? Sort of like being a robot without all of those pesky wires.
People around you die, or disappear and you are void of any natural response. Even if they are related to you. Nothing. Nada. You retain your pleasant manner and happy smiles and go about your day as if your new born child wasn’t stripped from your hands.
Not a pretty picture right? To be unable to reason with the circumstances that surround you. Void of attachements and feelings.
Now imagine if there was a way to correct all of that. Put back one of lifes most basic but important characteristics. Would you want to? What if it came at a cost? How much would you be willing to pay?
“In 2015, a race of alien Others conquered Earth. They enslaved humanity not by force, but through an aggressive mind control that turned people into contented, unquestioning robots.
Except sixteen-year-old Althea isn’t content at all, and she doesn’t need the mysterious note inside her locket to tell her she’s Something Else. It also warns her to trust no one, so she hides the pieces that make her different, even though it means being alone.
The autumn she meets Lucas, everything changes.
Althea and Lucas are immune to the alien mind control, and together they search for the reason why. What they uncover is a stunning truth the Others never anticipated, one with the potential to free the brainwashed human race.
It’s not who they are that makes them special, but what.
And what they are is a threat. One the Others are determined to eliminate for good.”
While I enjoyed Leigh’s rather interesting alien filled jaunt into dystopian literature it did not come without reservations. First of all being the mix of two very complicated genres.
Science fiction is based (mostly) around scientific or technological advances and major social or environmental changes.
Dystopian literature is a genre that explore social and political structures.
When written out they don’t sound all that difficult to combine. A little tech talk here, an evil government there. No problem. But in the case of “Whispers in Autumn” the choice to combine these two very complicated genres almost backfired.
Because in order to establish both these elements in the story, societies had to be formed. Technology had to be advanced, and sub-races had to be establish. AKA information overload. For the first 40% of this novel there were so many half references and vernacular idiosyncrasies that I found it tough to keep up with them all. Althea was all but invisible to her peers until 65% and Leigh never even gave a hint as to why. The first few pages focused soley on season hoping, but we are clueless as to what that actually is (even though it is continually brought up) until almost 70%. Because of this (and a startling lack of external dialogue until almost 50%) I found my “give-a-crap” meter at almost a zero when it came to caring about the plot.
Thankfully, three quarters of the way through I finally saw what Leigh was trying to accomplish….and it was pretty interesting. Here was (ultimately) a dystopian society (in it’s most basic form) structured by aliens. NOT THE GOVERNMENT.
And their way of keeping everyone in check?
Not by mind control, or at least not in the fashion you would expect, but by controlling/eliminating the human races emotions. No emotions, no rational thought. Who is going to fight back when they don’t think they have anything to fight back about?
It was not until I checked out of my own head that I began to appreciate the picture Leigh was trying to paint. And though it was flawed in more than one place (for instance the connection between Althea and Lucas, which ran more in the direction of cute versus engaging) I appreciated the effort (Leigh) put forth in trying to create something new.
With a little more focus on characters and a little less info hoping this could have been a solid win for dystopian lovers everywhere. As it stands…it was an interesting book. I didn’t love it. I didn’t hate it. And I look forward to seeing what Ms. Leigh can pull out of her hat for the next installment (now that her debut butterflies have flown the coop.)
Happy Reading my fellow Kindle-ites and remember: “The advantage of emotions is that they lead us astray.” - Oscar Wilde
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About Trisha Leigh
Raised by a family of ex-farmers and/or almost rock stars from Northeastern Iowa, I’ve always loved to tell stories. After graduating from Texas Christian University with a degree in Film, I began to search for a way to release the voices in my head. I wrote a thriller and a couple of ghost stories, getting my feet wet and learning with each attempt. When I attempted my first YA novel, which would become Whispers in Autumn, I was hooked. I knew then my heart lay with telling stories about and for young adults, and for anyone who loves to read and recapture those fleeting “first” moments.
My spare time is spent reviewing television and movies, spending time with my large, loud, loving family, reading any book that falls into my hands, and being dragged into the fresh air by my dogs Yoda and Jilly.
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