Silence for the Dead by Simone St. James
Andddddd…my Simone St. James binge ends…for the moment at least. I’m currently being held hostage by my current Book Outlet order, eagerly waiting for the very last Simone St. James book to add to my collection.
Side note: for some odd reason, I find Simone St. James really fun to type, so that’s why I keep awkwardly typing it every two seconds. 😄
Anyway, there is just something about the atmosphere that St. James can create and the way she wields it into the story. It becomes another fully developed and beloved character for me, and that is perhaps why I am so obsessed with her stories. I haven’t read another author yet that can create such a haunting and beautiful setting as well as James, and I’m just obsessed with her work. Is it too early to wish for 2018 so I can have her next book?
Let’s start off with this story, though, and get to the basics (via Goodreads, of course):
In 1919, Kitty Weekes, pretty, resourceful, and on the run, falsifies her background to obtain a nursing position at Portis House, a remote hospital for soldiers left shell-shocked by the horrors of the Great War. Hiding the shame of their mental instability in what was once a magnificent private estate, the patients suffer from nervous attacks and tormenting dreams. But something more is going on at Portis House—its plaster is crumbling, its plumbing makes eerie noises, and strange breaths of cold waft through the empty rooms. It’s known that the former occupants left abruptly, but where did they go? And why do the patients all seem to share the same nightmare, one so horrific that they dare not speak of it?
Kitty finds a dangerous ally in Jack Yates, an inmate who may be a war hero, a madman… or maybe both. But even as Kitty and Jack create a secret, intimate alliance to uncover the truth, disturbing revelations suggest the presence of powerful spectral forces. And when a medical catastrophe leaves them even more isolated, they must battle the menace on their own, caught in the heart of a mystery that could destroy them both.
I’m going to start off by saying that this is my least favorite St. James book so far, but with all the fangirling I’m about to do and how I still gave it a solid four stars, I’m really not sure how un-favorite it could be. And for it being my least favorite, it’s still pretty fantastic.
This book has all the things that makes St. James’s books perfection for me: mystery, romance, ghostie goodness, and an amazing atmosphere. It had it all, and it was all done nicely. The ghosts were creepy enough, the mystery was intriguing enough (although I kind of did figure some things out ahead of time but it was still super intriguing enough to keep me going), and the romance was cute enough. This romance wasn’t instalovey, and it progressed naturally in a swoony way.
Seriously, I can fangirl over St. James’s writing forever. You can see in my reviews of The Haunting of Maddy Clare, The Other Side of Midnight, and Lost Among the Living where I’m surprised I even found the words to speak over the squeals of fangirling.
Anyway, there was just a disconnect for me in the sense for this one that I didn’t experience in the other ones. Perhaps it was because I didn’t like Kitty as much as I had with her other heroines (too much lying for me although I did grow to like her far more throughout the book), and the atmosphere of the hospital wasn’t as thrilling as the spooky house? I’m just not sure, but I wasn’t as excited by it as the others and I’m not really sure I have a reason why.
I just can’t stress enough how much I want people to read her books. I have found the sub-sub genre of books I never knew I needed in my life and the author that is a master of it. If you’re looking for a good ghostie novel set in the 1920s, looking at the devastation of the first World War and also adorable ships, these books are for you. An Anna rating, and four crowns for this book binge ender!
*fangirling complete…until I get my hands on the next one…come on, Postal Service!!*
Check it out:
What do you think? Have you read this book? What setting will always get you excited and eager to read? Let’s discuss in the comments below!
P.S. I shall let you off the hook for tomorrow from my fangirling, but I shall be back Sunday with a week full of hyped up books (Roseblood, Gemina, Gilded Cage, etc.) and the Book Princess’s take on them!