Title: Whispers in Autumn
Series: The Last Year
Author: Trisha Leigh
Published: 24th July, 2012
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopia
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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.
The autumn 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.
The first thing the drew me to this book was the gorgeous cover. The plot was the second thing, it sounded interesting and like something I hadn’t ever read. The last thing was that it was only $4 as a kindle book on amazon, how could I pass up that opportunity?
I’m glad I didn’t, because I really enjoyed this book and it was definitely something I had never read before.
Althea lives in a world that is run by ‘The Others’, they are an alien race that has taken over the world and saved everyone from the dangers that threatened their lives. Like the animals that are outside the boundaries, they have diseases and kill anyone in sight. Everyone in the world is always happy and content, they listen and do as they’re told by the wardens. They never break any rules or curfew. They completely trust The Others, how could they not? The Others saved them. In fact, no one ever feels anything besides happiness and contentment.
Except Althea. Althea has been painfully aware since she was a child that she was different, that she felt things that no one else felt. She had different thoughts no one else thought. She moved from season to season, except Summer, without any control. Everyone looked through her, they barely noticed she was there. Ever since she could remember, she had a note that was written by a man named Ko, he told her she was different and that when the time came she would find others like her. And so her whole life she has hidden how different she is in the faith that one day she won’t have to hide any more. Ko is the only reason she has endured the lonely and painful existence that she is.
Then this one particular autumn, Althea meets Lucas. She instantly notices that he smells very strongly of pine, this is new and is something that she’s never encountered before. Somehow, something has changed.
The idea of this book was very interesting. An alien race has taken over the earth and gained control of every human, any human that resists control or the control does not work on them, is declared Broken. Whenever anyone is Broken they usually never come back from the healers. And no one ever questions where they went.
At first I had no idea what was going on. We’re introduced to Althea and she’s thinking about how she’s just woken up in Danbury, when she fell asleep in Portland, that she just left one season behind and has now woken up in autumn in a different place in the country. This is usual for Althea, she randomly wakes up in different places in the different seasons although it is always the same family in the place she wakes up in, the amount of time she spends in one place always varies. The more I read the more it started to make sense but still not quite enough. At times I did feel overwhelmed with having no idea what was what in regards to her world.
I found myself confused for most of the book and still find myself confused a little. I was never really sure what happened when Althea left one place and woke in another, how did no one notice? I found myself trying to figure out if her physical body left each place or her consciousness left and woke up in her ‘Danbury’ body or ‘Portland’ body or whatever. It was never really clear what happened when she left. If she just disappeared or just reappeared how did no one notice? Was she that invisible? Even to her ‘parents’? I don’t think it was explained well enough to make sense to me. That could have been because Althea had no idea herself and didn’t seem to dwell on it.
It kept me guessing:
This book definitely kept me guessing. But not because I kept guessing wrong, it kept me guessing because I wasn’t really sure what was going on that I didn’t know what to guess was happening. I had suspicions but there was never any solid evidence because nothing was ever stated as fact until the end. They were only implied or passed over and when things are only implied it makes me think “Wait, is that linked to the reveal at the end? Should I remember that? Or was it just said in passing?” so I found myself wondering what it was that was really going on.
At the end, the reveal seemed to be something that I thought had known half way through the book. Something that I had thought the main characters themselves already knew. But then when it was ‘revealed’ and I realised the reason I had been so confused was because the MC’s hadn’t known that piece of information at all, it was just something they had speculated over. Or denied. So I found the reveal not to be revealing at all. It made sense to me half way through the book.
Althea has a unique ability. She heats up when she gets very emotional. She finds she can’t control it. She heats up so much that she burns things or sets things on fire if she touches them. I found this really interesting and cool. But one thing that I couldn’t stop wondering that was a major flaw, was that when she said things like “I was scared if I touched anyone or anything they would burst into flames,” then why weren’t her clothes already on fire if she was that hot? There was no explanation. I mean, did her whole body heat up that way? Or was it only her hands? It’s just logical sense really.
Besides all of the confusion and the small niggle-y things that distracted me. I actually did enjoy this book, that was because I had never read something like this before. It felt new to me, refreshing and so very interesting. I do think there were things that could have been presented or portrayed better, the way things were explained needed a little more information or there were things that needed an explanation all together. But my curiosity over rode that and made me read on. Now I’m hooked.
Overall, I really liked this book and will definitely be picking up the next one.
Whispers in Autumn is more than a beautiful cover and interesting summary. It’s a very interesting and creative book that makes you want to power on and figure out what on earth is happening. Sometimes literally.
I recommend reading this book if you enjoy Science Fiction!