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A Reader of Fictions: Review: Whispers in Autumn

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Friday, February 22, 2013

Review: Whispers in Autumn

Whispers in Autumn
The Last Year, Book 1

Author: Trisha Leigh
Pages: 388
Source: For review via YA Books Central

Description from Goodreads:
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.

Then 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.

First Sentence: "Before my eyelids crack open I know I've traveled again."

You know what? I don't read too many self-pubs, because there are so many that are poorly edited or have truly nightmare-inducing covers. I could never make it a policy to not read any, though, because there are self-published authors like Trisha Leigh who totally work it. She has amazing covers (the four covers for the series fit together to make a face) and her books have been edited. I had no issues reading this and didn't stumble across any glaring errors.

On top of being well-written and edited, Whispers in Autumn has one of the strangest, most unique premises I've encountered in dystopian fiction, which, believe me, is saying something. Perhaps most obviously, there are the aliens. Earth has been taken over by an alien race that keeps moving around, as it uses up home-world after home-world. These aliens, called simply Others, have strict control over human society, regulating marriages, the number of children couples can have, education, what people can eat, and anything else you can think of. Everyone thinks the Others are wonderful, never questioning their role, but Althea has begun to wonder.

Of course, Althea isn't like everyone else. She's not just one person, but three. She has three families and three identities. No, she's not living a secret triple life or anything, at least not the way you might be thinking. During the fall, she lives with the Morgans, and she spends winter and spring with other families. Althea cannot control when the change happens, nor does she no why. She just knows that she's different, Dissident, because of the note in her locket.

Though I cannot deny that this is a concept that's hard to wrap my mind around, I also appreciate the freshness, and definitely kept flipping pages to figure out what the heck is going on. Leigh doesn't have every answer for the reader yet, but it's clear that she's thought things through, and I have hopes that the world building will be logical unto itself. The season-changing elements are actually rather mythological almost in their origin, which is really cool.

What left me cold was Lucas. Sorry, I couldn't resist, because Lucas has cold skin. Actually, it's the characters as a whole, not that they left me cold exactly, but that I'm not really engaged with them. Perhaps because their lives are so alien (man, I am hilarious today!) or maybe it's that they engage in very few everyday, low stress activities to ground me in their reality. I like Lucas and Althea, but I'm not emotionally attached to them, and the other characters are pretty flat. Also, while I'm grateful Lucas and Althea are avoiding instalove, I'm not really feeling the connection between them at this point.

Trisha Leigh's Whispers in Autumn is a quality self-published novel with an original plot and a mystery that will leave the reader wanting to know more. I will definitely be moving on to the next installment, because Leigh still has my curiosity fully-engaged!

Rating: 3/5

Favorite Quote:
"Those feelings he sets off in me don't have a name. It's not love. Not yet.
     But maybe something like it."

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Blogger Amy said...

I really enjoyed this book, but for some reason haven't picked up the next one. Well, I haven't had time that's why. I will at some point though because I am super curious to find out what happens next. Great review!!

February 22, 2013 at 2:24 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Hahaha, that is how I feel all the time. "Why haven't I read this awesome book yet? I must be crazy! Oh wait, no time." I'll be reading Winter Omens soon!

February 22, 2013 at 2:26 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

I love these covers too but I was unsure about the book because aliens aren't really my thing...but I'm going to try it now! And I may already have it on my kindle, have to check!

February 22, 2013 at 3:17 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Well, aliens can do a really wide range of things. These aren't crazy space monster aliens, though, so that might help. They can put on the guise of humans.

February 22, 2013 at 3:18 PM  
Blogger Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer said...

Lovely review, I have this in my tbr pile somewhere and the Alien things is what drew me to it. I agree the covers are wonderful!

February 22, 2013 at 3:55 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

You know the tbr pile is reaching the danger zone when you can't find things in it anymore!

February 22, 2013 at 3:56 PM  
Blogger Renae @ Respiring Thoughts said...

This is dystopia? Oh my gosh, I completely fail. I never read blurbs so I had no idea what this series was about. Whups.

Hooray for well-done self-pubs! I've almost completely given up on them lately. Very few, in my opinion, are actually on level with something I could pick up in the bookstore, so I'm more likely to dismiss them. And of the various flavors of dystopian, aliens are one of my favorite and the kind I tend to have relatively good success with. It's always bad when a reviewer says they can't connect with characters, though. Hmm.

February 22, 2013 at 4:17 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

I don't read blurbs either. I mostly look at the way things are shelved on GR, which leads me astray a lot. So, whoops to me too.

True. The editing alone makes a big difference. I'm not completely opposed to reading self-pubs, but I like to see a lot of good reviews coming back first, and I want to know the author won't find me and harrangue me if I don't like it. Besides, they're generally less accessible, what with not being available from the library.

As much as I'm about character connection, I feel like I don't really connect that often. :/

February 22, 2013 at 4:19 PM  
Blogger Bekka said...

I almost never read self-pubs or even small press. They're hardly ever on par with books that have been through the ringer of traditional publishing. I'm very close to writing them off completely.

This sounds pretty interesting, though. I'm not a big sci-fi reader, so I haven't read about aliens at all, really. I kind of want to know more about the seasons/families changing, and also, where does she go in the summer? So many questions! *adds to tbr*

February 22, 2013 at 5:08 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

I wanted to read this series, solely because the covers go together so well. But hearing that it's a well-written and well-edited self-pub makes me even more eager to pick up a copy.


February 22, 2013 at 9:17 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

I just checked and I DO have this on my kindle...yay!

February 22, 2013 at 10:34 PM  
Blogger Jamie said...

It really is SO hard to find good self pubbed and the initial turnoff is typically the covers. But I totally didn't realize this was self pubbed until I started reading your review. I'm so glad the writing and editing aligned because now I def want to check this one out! ALIENS AND MIND CONTROL. Sounds like fun!

I so appreciate you spotlighting books I would have otherwise heard of!

February 23, 2013 at 1:02 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

True. I'm trying to resist doing that, because I know there are gems out there, but I am VERY particular. More so all the time.

Well, she doesn't move about by season, exactly. It's sort of complicated to explain. She doesn't have summer, though. She doesn't know why either, but she wants to go to there!

February 25, 2013 at 1:56 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Ooh, yes, and I know you read more self-pubs than some, so you should definitely give this a go. I think you'll enjoy it. Some action and well-edited. Woo!

February 25, 2013 at 1:56 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

They did such a good job with the covers. This is probably my least favorite one, just because they got better as they went along, and it's so awesome to watch the face come together. I approve, designer. I approve. The full set won cover snark, which is pretty hard to do.

February 25, 2013 at 1:57 PM  

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