Review: Whispers in the Dark

Whispers in the Dark
Whispers in the Dark by Maya Banks

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a good reading week so far. Two four star reviews in a row! The KGI books are a hit or miss. Sometimes they are dead on and other times they are just good. This one, is a four star because it dragged out emotions of sorrow. Anything which moves me to tears will automatically hit a 4 star. This book is a tear jerk-er with strong people tortured in horrible ways. Ms. Banks avoids the graphic details. Just enough is demonstrated to give the feeling of utter helplessness and despair from both Nathan and Shea.

Nathan is a prisoner of war when a mission goes south fast. He's tortured and lives day by day as his teammates are eliminated one by one. To take a hardened trained military man and break him down to a naked, starved, beaten man filled with despair is a very difficult thing to watch. What Ms. Banks described is probably even less than what really occurs out there in the world. This makes the gruesome palpable in it's gentle telling. While the reader is assaulted with disturbing imagery, Shea is a telepathy who's unique abilities allow for sharing of pain. Shea takes on the pain for Nathan to keep him sane. It's horrific for both Nathan and Shea. It builds a bond which is unbreakable.

Shea is on the run from an unknown nefarious organization. They want her for her healing ability. What she can do for men out in the battlefield is impressive. If the healing didn't debilitate her so badly, she would be part of a perfect weapon. I can see the merits of this and I can understand why the military would want this so badly. If there were teams of people like Shea, it would truly be a powerful weapon. It would also take a completely amoral person to authorize this type of research and development when the negative side effects are life threatening.

This story is a good mix of damaged white knight riding to the rescue of a princess who can kick butt. It's nice to have main characters who are damaged and vulnerable yet refuse to give up and become victims. Yes, at times there is deep despair. They don't bounce right back, unrealistically. Instead, they work through the trauma and it takes time. This is actually crucial because it shows how even the strong can posses moments of doubt and need time to recover. No one is a superman or wonder woman. The part which moves me most is the family aspect and how the Kelly family circles the wagon and protects. This will be a theme I never tire of and will always look favourable upon. It reminds me of a Chinese parable in which the emperor shows how united his sons can withstand anything, but individually they will collapse. This book is recommended for paranormal romantic suspense lovers who enjoy angst and redemption.

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