The Silence by Tim Lebbon

Rating 9.0/10
A dark, foreboding tale of what can happen when curiosity gets the better of us.

Known for his apocalyptic horror novels, Coldbrook, the Cabin in the Woods and 30 Days of Night, Tim Lebbon has had his novels made into successful movies and won three British Fantasy Awards, a Bram Stoker Award, a Shocker, a Tombstone and was a finalist for the International Horror Guild and World Fantasy Award.

In his latest horror novel, everyone is excited at the finding of a cave that is perhaps millions of years old. The Discovery Channel televises the unearthing of the cave, and as the find of the century it is on everyone's minds, but there is something altogether sinister that hides inside these depths.

Ally has been deaf since she was very young and watched the cavers delve deeper to find out what is down there. Then she witnesses carnage as the cavers die one after another in a horrific scene that shocks her to her very core. For Ally, being deaf has been difficult as her classmates have been cruel; teasing her (though she does get her own back at times on the bullies). Despite her problems she is a fun girl to read about and can survive in the quiet of a new place she and her family have. But can they be as quiet as her when the evil comes to feed?

Ally loved horror movies more than most: The Thing, Alien, The Shining, but knows that they aren't real. This makes what is happening in Moldova much more frightening than watching it on TV as this time what Ally sees on TV is real and the plague is spreading even though Russia has closed off its borders. The source of the rioting and mass fleeing is bat-like creatures the size of cats. In Bucharest they are calling them Viespi, wasps and the more they wreak havoc and kill, the more there are as they breed rapidly in the bodies of the dead they have killed. The most haunting aspect of the Viespi is they have no eyes, like the aliens from Alien but possess sharp teeth and are relentless around humans. While Ally, her family and other families watch the news as it is being broadcast, they know it will only be a matter of time before the Viespi reaches them, and thoughts of evacuation run through their minds. People are being advised to stay in their homes as mass migration isn't the answer. The media says that the threat of the Viespi is being lessened by the army, but are they telling the truth?

The common fear is that they can't destroy the Vesps (as the UK public are calling them) and any attempt is met with death. The Vesps have been found and studied by scientists and it has since been noticed that they are an anomaly, a creature unknown to humans that could have been woken after their cave had been investigated, and as they are blind, they can use their own sonar to navigate their way around the country. Just as the reader thinks nothing else about the Vesps is terrifying, they can multiply so fast after laying dormant for so long, possibly thousands of years and could overrun the world if left to do so.

Amidst all the horror, other people try to keep a sense of normality. Ally has only one friend, Lucy, whom she chats to online, sharing her innermost secrets. Her family takes them to Scotland as they think they will have a better chance of survival there, but getting there is the hard part as chaos surrounds them. The people are scared, angry and anything could happen to them. Danger is on every corner, it is every man and woman for themselves in a lawless society as people are desperate and want what her family has and will take it.

The Silence is a dark, foreboding tale of what can happen when curiosity gets the better of us. It takes some real guts to read this novel all the way through as Ally and her family might not reach their destination.

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The Silence reader reviews

from England


I actually loved the book but hated the ending. If you want a really good read try 'Bird Box' stunning!!!

from US


Tim Lebbon is an accomplished author but he is NOT responsible for neither CABIN IN THE WOODS (Drew Goddard/Josh Whedon) nor 30 DAYS OF NIGHT (Steve Niles).(David, Tim Lebbon wrore the official novelisatons of both Cabin in the Woods and 30 Days of Night. Thanks, Lee)

9/10 from 3 reviews

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