Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Whisper the Dead ~ Alyxandra Harvey (earc) review [@bloomsburykids @alyxandrah]

Whisper the Dead (Lovegrove Legacy #2)
Bloomsbury USA Children's
October 7, 2014
408 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon

See my review of A Breath of Frost (Lovegrove Legacy #1) here to find out how the story starts meet the cousins as they discover their magic

Cousins Gretchen, Emma, and Penelope are all dealing with what it means to be a Lovegrove. For Gretchen, it means she often feels like her head is going to explode. As a Whisperer, Gretchen constantly hears the whispers of other witches' spells. And while this does help her to know when one of her own spells is going wrong, the incessant buzzing and pain the whispers cause makes it difficult to use her gift.

But when something evil begins to menace Mayfair, Gretchen must find a way to master her power. Along with her cousins, a madcap named Moira, and the icy yet irresistible Tobias Lawless, Gretchen faces deadly threats and unimaginable loss in the hopes of preventing the terrible Greymalkin Sisters from rising again.

The second book in The Lovegrove Legacy trilogy, Whisper the Dead will leave readers spellbound.

In the same way that A Breath of Frost focused more on Emma and her life, Whisper the Dead is more Gretchen-centric. While focusing more on one particular, different character for each of a series' books isn't something new, how Alyxandra Harvey does it feels different. This was Gretchen's story, but not at the expense of the other characters. Their lives are so intertwined, their bond so strong and each of them so much a part of the others' lives, that readers won't feel their characters are neglected.

The increased attention on Gretchen, her personal life and relationships is done so subtly, so seamlessly that it's only if you're really paying attention or looking back after finishing the novel that you realize more happened with her character. It may be my favorite example of 'Book 1 is Character A's book, Book 2 is Character B's book, etc.'

With all of the main characters so involved throughout the story, you also don't forget who they are, what you love about them or how they're apart of the characters' lives and world. At the end of Whisper the Dead, you'll only love all of the characters - new ones included - more than you already did. Or, you know, despise them if that was the plan.

Set in Regency London, the characters, events and word choice of the Lovegrove Legacy books will pull readers right into the time period. Even while the cousins spend most of the book flouting nearly all of the social norms of the time. Their defiance of the customs somehow makes them feel more apart of the period rather than less.

In Whisper the Dead, with Gretchen being more at the forefront, we see more of some characters who were part of A Breath of Frost but not as centrally. We have a better understanding of who they are and the part they play. We also get to see different sides of some of the characters we met in the first book. It's particularly enjoyable how they all come together, in their own ways, to play a part in the story. No one sticks out or doesn't fit.

Especially once the action really kicks in towards the end of the novel, this is one book you will not want to put down. It is great fun seeing the girls learn more about their magic and how to use it - and, perhaps, not use it. This magical London that the author has created is very inventive, unique and fun to read about. Some of the more usual magical ideas are present but most is new and so creative and fun.

The characters and the magic combine for an ending that is oh so good, but also has me ready to count down the days until the third book's release. Though I do wish there were going to be more than the three books.

review copy received from the publisher, through NetGalley, for review

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