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Review: Daughter of Deep Silence

Title: Daughter of Deep Silence
Author: Carrie Ryan
Publisher: Dutton
Publication Date: May 26, 2015

I am the daughter of murdered parents. 
I’m the friend of a dead girl.
I’m the lover of my enemy.
And I will have my revenge.

In the wake of the devastating destruction of the luxury yacht Persephone, just three souls remain to tell its story – and two of them are lying. Only Frances Mace knows the terrifying truth, and she’ll stop at nothing to avenge the murders of everyone she held dear. Even if it means taking down the boy she loves and possibly losing herself in the process. Sharp & incisive, Daughter of Deep Silence by bestselling author Carrie Ryan is a deliciously smart revenge thriller that examines perceptions of identity, love, and the lengths to which one girl is willing to go when she thinks she has nothing to lose.”

Daughter of Deep Silence was definitely an out-of-my-comfort-zone read. I’m not usually a big fan of thrillers, and TV shows like Revenge tend to provide more anxiety than entertainment. But I’d heard good things about this book, so when I spotted Daughter of Deep Silence at my local library, I decided to give it a try.

Frances watched her parents be brutally murdered, and then her best friend die moments before they were rescued. At the urging of Libby’s father Cecil, Frances assumes Libby’s identity. Four years after the attack on the Persephone, Frances returns with a plan to find out the truth, and get revenge. After years of obsessive research and shaping herself into a new person, Frances is a force to be reckoned with. Daughter of Deep Silence was a complete departure from my usual reading, but it had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. The novel takes a running start and never ceases in its breakneck pace. I really enjoyed that aspect: the book whizzed by because there was so much constantly happening without pause. To see Frances’ meticulously constructed plan fall into place was awe-inspiring, if a bit disturbing. I loved that the story was so intense, that you never really get a chance to catch your breath.

Where things fell apart a bit for me were the other characters. Maybe it’s that Frances is so vivid that everyone else kind of fades in comparison. For a media trained senator’s son, Grey is conveniently easy to manipulate (seemingly because he’s a teenage boy and Frances is attractive). But I really got lost when it came to Frances/Libby. She’s spent the past four years becoming Libby, and then she develops feelings for Grey (again, or maybe still, despite making it her mission in life to destroy him and his dad), and then her entire identity seems to fall apart. Suddenly, she’s torn between Frances and Libby, and if I’m honest it all did my head in a bit. Frances struggles between her two “selves” and it made me feel crazy. Maybe that was the author’s intention, and if so congrats Carrie, because damn. The entire book is so focused on Frances’ plan and need for revenge, but then towards the end certain revelations came a little too easily/conveniently, and I wasn’t sure how to feel about the final “resolution.” Ultimately I enjoyed Daughter of Deep Silence and its terrifying intensity.

Daughter of Deep Silence needs to be on your radar if you love thrillers and revenge stories, because Carrie Ryan’s latest novel is filled with moments that will have you whispering “oh my god what is happening” late into the night. Seriously, I’m never getting on a cruise ship again.

Rating: 3.5 stars

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