BOOK REVIEW: The Silence by Tim Lebbon

Really cool and emotionally driven snapshot of the beginning of a new and frightening world.

I’d had THE SILENCE on my radar for some time but hadn’t pulled the trigger yet mostly because I just had so many books on my TBR list and something else seemed to be in front of it for some time. When the movie landed on Netflix, I had tentatively decided not to watch it until I had a chance to read the book. Well, my wife is a fan of horror and thriller movies, and enough people were buzzing about this one that I relented and we watched the movie. It was good. Very well made and had some great suspenseful scenes. It was inevitably being compared to A QUIET PLACE because of the similarity of theme, but I felt they were both very different stories that stood on their own, people can pick their favorites.

So, after seeing the film, I finished up a couple books I was reading and got THE SILENCE to read. VERY glad I did. The movie was good, the book is an instant classic. The family unit in the story and the shifting POV from the daughter to the father was a perfect approach to tell this frighteningly realistic take on a world overrun by monsters. The characters felt like a real family, people we care about, and they never once took a false step or did anything that seemed unreasonable or unrealistic to who they were. The dialogue was damn near perfect. And the pacing was a masterclass in building suspense.

By the end of the novel, I was grinning ear to ear. Nothing about the book knocked me out of my chair. There were no twists that came in and turned everything on its head and made my mind reel. It’s not that kind of story. But what it shows is so frighteningly real and plausible, that I started looking around in the trees and powerlines for “vesps” perched and listening. THAT is how effective the story and the writing within this book was for me.

Excellent writing, great characters, and an all too plausible vision of an apocalyptic overrun of the world by creatures never meant to see the light of day. If any of that appeals to you, don’t skip this one. If you’re looking for a balls to the wall Mad Max style horror story, look elsewhere. This one scares you because it makes it all too real.

5/5, highly recommended. And I might even say this is one to check out in movie form first, which is never my normal recommendation. I feel like I’d have enjoyed the movie less had I read the book first. As it was, I was able to appreciate each one much more for the order I read them in.

Find the book in print, digital, or audiobook here.

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