Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan
Genre: Young Adult / Thriller / Romance / Contemporary
Publisher: Dutton Books
My Rating: 3/5
Synopsis: In the wake of the deadly devastation of the luxury yacht Persephone, just three souls remain to tell its story – and two of them are lying. Only Frances Mace, rescued from the ocean after torturous days adrift with her dying friend Libby, knows that the Persephone wasn’t sunk by a rogue wave as survivors Senator Wells and his son, Greyson, are claiming – it was attacked.
To ensure her safety from the obviously dangerous and very powerful Wells family, Libby’s father helps Frances assume Libby’s identity. After years of careful plotting, she’s read to expose the truth and set her revenge plans into motion – even if it means taking down the boy she’d once been in love with: Grey Wells himself.
I really wish this book had been better. I’ve made it clear on my blog that I’m a big fan of Carrie Ryan’s zombie YA trilogy The Forest of Hands and Teeth. The setting was unique, the characters likeable, the writing bleak and full of tension. Yet, unfortunately, Ryan just couldn’t carry this over into her new YA novel, and it really pains me to say that.
As a YA thriller, this novel just didn’t thrill me. At times Ryan’s writing was poetic as I’d remembered it from The Forest of Hands and Teeth, but mostly it wasn’t anything special. The main character of Frances, who assumes Libby’s identity, was a bit hit and miss; sometimes I liked her and was rooting for her, other times she just really annoyed me. I think Ryan handled Frances’ identity confusion and ruthlessness well – who even is she anymore? She isn’t carefree Libby, she isn’t shy Frances, so who is she? – and I did enjoy that aspect of it but, like the writing, the protagonist wasn’t anything special either. Neither did the twists shock me; there just wasn’t enough punch behind them, most probably because I wasn’t too enamoured with the characters or the plot.
As for the romance, it also fell flat for me. It didn’t feel real. Grey was just, well, a bit of a wet fish, and I found their insta-love to be unbelievable. Which is also a shame, because I felt Ryan handled romance pretty well in her previous trilogy. But here, it just didn’t work for me. I wasn’t rooting for them to be together and, when Frances tells Grey an important truth (I don’t want to give away any spoilers), his reaction seemed very rude and spoilt to me; after all, we know from the blurb that he’s been lying about the true fate of the Persephone, so I don’t think he really has the right to be angry at someone else for lying!
The only characters I did like were Shepherd and Detective Morales. They were the only ones who felt realistic to me and they were secondary characters.
So, overall, a bit of a disappointment. I think Ryan is better suited to Horror and really ramping up the tension. I think Contemporary just isn’t her forté so, as a fan of her zombie trilogy, I’m hoping she’ll return to Horror and Sci-Fi in the future.
Have you read Daughter of Deep Silence? What about any other novels of Ryan’s? Do you agree with my review? Let me know in the comments below!