I’m 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.
The Persephone has burned up while at sea, and gone to the ocean floor. Four people managed to escape the devastation that killed hundreds. Two of them are complicit in the mass murder, and lie to the world about the events. Unbeknownst to them, however, two others escape in a life boat. One dies after drifting at sea for seven days awaiting rescue. Only one, 14 year old Frances, is left to speak for the dead, but who will believe her?
Her best friend Libby died just hours before rescuers found them. Libby’s father, Cecil, crushed by his loss, believes Frances’ story and convinces her to become Libby, so that he can protect her. Orphaned by the tragic events, she agrees, and switches identities with her best friend. “Frances” is buried and mourned.
Four years later, her adopted father dies, and Frances/Libby makes her move. She will avenge her parents’ and friend’s deaths.
I enjoyed this book, start to finish. It was a LOT of fun to read, but it was not the revenge story promised. In YA fiction, you expect more. There should have been more anger, more hatred, more desire for revenge, more cliffhangers and plot twists. Instead it was less that, and more “I still want the boy I wanted four years ago, even though he might have had a hand in killing my parents.” So, not entirely believable.
Frances is an inconsistent character, and not really likeable, even though you would think she would be incredibly sympathetic. I never got the feeling that she connected with anyone, including the man who had saved her. The inconsistencies stood out far too much for me; she spent four years studying Libby’s life, becoming her, and then made obvious errors of behaviour, showing glaring omissions from what was supposed to be meticulous research.
The pacing is good, the flashbacks a bit repetitive but still work in the story. There is always action, with no lags or long periods where the reader has to wait for something to happen. There is a twist, which is expected in a revenge/thriller type novel, but it is, unfortunately, ordinary. It did not grab me and throw me against the back of my seat and make me reread pages, searching for clues.
With all that, it was a fun book to read. Carrie Ryan is a gorgeous writer. Her use of the language, her structure, everything is so well done that any flaws the plot might have are hidden by her ability to take you deep into her story. The novel just did not challenge me the way I had hoped or expected.
So read it for fun. It is a fast one, good for an afternoon curled up with a cup of tea, when you have no desire to step foot outside the house. Although there is death and a bit of graphic description, it is appropriate for the entire age range of YA.
Daughter of Deep Silence is published Dutton Books for Young Readers.