The Silent Land by Graham Joyce

(8.5/10) A very good read; a mix of fantasy and love story. It flows well and is well worth reading at least

A skiing holiday for Zoe and Jake turns disastrous when they both are engulfed in an avalanche. This leaves them a familiar place but with their situation becoming more and more unfamiliar. They discover that the village that they were holidaying in is deserted, no one is contactable, food does not go off and candles do not burn out.

A brilliant story which from the first chapter is hard hitting and the bleakness of the story brings the action to the fore. Graham Joyce has created in the first chapters a sense of uncertainty that makes it a real page turner. I think this is mainly down to the palpable eerie feel to the mountain as a life-changing force. The only real characters in the book are Zoe and Jake but this does not mean it lacks in story, it actually adds to the feeling of desolation in their situation and the story develops along with their heightened feelings for each other. There are also interesting asides in the book on how the couple have dealt with death and love in their previous lives and this is what the book really is about, death and love.

The sense of foreboding continues to build throughout the story as the sense of reality of what is happening dawns on the characters. Part way through the book I was not sure where the story was going as the obvious truth was revealed. From this point on, it does become a more haunting tale and, for the reader, from this point on it is even more important to reach the end and discover the reality.

A very good read; a mix of fantasy and love story. It flows well and is well worth reading at least twice.

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