Review: This Splintered Silence by Kayla Olson
I don’t even know where to begin with this one. I guess the beginning.
I fell in love with Kayla Olson’s writing in The Sandcastle Empire; it’s beautiful and fluid, something that is just a joy to read. This Splintered Silence is no different.
Ironically, I always read books about viruses while I’m sick (please, don’t do that— it will freak you out) But it did allow me to read This Splintered Silence in about 48 hours. As a slow reader, this is huge.
What about This Splintered Silence caught me by the hand and never let me go? Everything. The prose, the characters, the thrill; it’s everything I’ve been needing.
We all know I love science fiction, but YA seems to have a gap in that genre. I think my last space read was Obsidio (and we all know how that went *incase you forgot*). What Kayla does is combine a high stakes thriller with characters who are still figuring out who they are and how they fit in the world.
Character-wise, I have to say I loved every single one. And did I mention the love triangle? (What? Camille liking a love triangle? GASP!) Yes, the love triangle is something I really appreciated in this book. But hold that for one moment, because we need to talk about Lindley. Easily one of the most impressive character arcs I’ve seen in a while. Lindley is a character that everyone connects with in some way or another, and it is messy and hard and beautiful every step of the way. It’s far and few that I feel we get genuine characters, and Lindley joins those ranks.
Pause one moment and let’s talk about prose. This Splintered Silence is a space thriller, but Kayla’s prose almost steals the show. Each sentence is crafted and polished until it gleams like the hull of a spaceship. It just feels real. What do you mean by that, Camille? Well, it’s hard to explain, but it just feels like I could know any of these characters, and each individual voice comes through so clear.
Like I said, I’m a sucker for space. I love settings in space ships, space stations, space itself; and This Splintered Silence does not disappoint. As time ticks down, as the stakes get higher, you can feel the claustrophobic setting of Lusca station. As the plot comes at you headlong, the space station leaves you nowhere to hide (except maybe under the covers). And while we don’t leave the space station, how Kayla describes the stars is my favorite parts of the setting — see post title.
But, my favorite thing about This Splintered Silence are the chapter titles (now every author knows my weakness). There is nothing quite like reading the chapter title and holding your breath, hiding your face, reaching for the next page… it’s something I wish more books had.
So why should you pick up a copy of This Splintered Silence? Well, do you like space? Thrillers? A bit of mystery? Fantastic cast of characters? This is definitely for you. Or, you know, if you’re looking to fill your space-based science fiction needs. In reality, Kayla’s prose will grab you, the plot will tighten around you, and before you know it you’ll be reading the final sentence of a book that is hauntingly beautiful. I mean, if I put it on the shelf next to Illuminae, you know it’s good.
‘Til the next time,
The Literary Empress