Feb 14, 2013

YA Review: Whispers in Autumn by Trisha Leigh

Whispers in Autumn (The Last Year, #1)

Whispers in Autumn by Trisha Leigh

My rating: 5 of 5 stars (4.5, but rounding it up)
Published July 24th 2012 by CreateSpace (first published July 21st 2012)
Source: Amazon free Kindle download 
Goodreads Summary: 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.
Then 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.
I've seen Whispers in Autumn around the blogosphere a lot, but I don't think I ever read the full summary. I basically went into it blind, with no expectations at all. It turned out to be a good tactic, because I was more than positively surprised.
The idea was to read a few pages to see what it's about. I couldn't put it down until the battery on my ereader died.

The story sucked me in from the first page. Althea wakes up in a different family every season, and no one seems to notice that she's been gone. Her "family" and schoolmates look at her but don't seem to really see her. The only thing that she keeps is a necklace with a mysterious note, and the smell of jasmine. On top of it all, the humans are under heavy mind control from an alien race called the Others. The humans are robots, deprived of emotions and free will. Althea is resistant to the mind control, and she seems to be the only one, until she meets Lucas who smells of pine trees...

I love it how Trisha Leigh placed small clues throughout the novel. Some things you can guess, while other keep you on your toes until the end when all the elements (the seasons, the smells, the strange abilities) come together. The romance is everything but insta-love; both Althea and Lucas know they can't trust anyone, while at the same time they long for someone to confide in. Both of them are great characters, and I'm looking forward to seeing where the sequel takes them.

One thing I wasn't completely happy was how, whenever it seems that Althea is in real danger, she gets away. The suspense builds up so many times and then takes a dive. I hoped for more face-to-face action. The final action scene was great, I just wish there was more of it throughout the novel.

The final impression when I turned the last page was that the first book set up the stage for what's sure to be an awesome series. Whispers in Autumn is compelling and well-written, and Trisha Leigh created a part dystopian, part sci-fi world that is bound to please fans of both genres. Given that I'm a fan of aliens, sci-fi and dystopia, this book was "my thing" from the first page to the last one.

Books in the series (click on the covers to see them on Goodreads)
Whispers in Autumn (The Last Year, #1) Winter Omens (The Last Year, #2)
Betrayals in Spring (The Last Year, #3) Summer Ruins (The Last Year, #4)

And instead of the trailer, here's a song that appears in the book.  

Why Watchmen?
Why not? :)

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