Book Title: The Flight of the Silvers
Author: Daniel Price
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Publisher: Blue Rider Press
Date Published: February 4th, 2014
Date Read: February 20th, 2014
Format: Hardcover, borrowed from work
Cover Love: (Those little rainbow people in the picture there are actually silver in real life). I actually love this cover. It’s really eye-catching, mostly because the silver of the figures can glare in the overhead lights and BLIND you.
“Without warning, the world comes to an end for Hannah and Amanda Given. The sky looms frigid white. The electricity falters. Airplanes everywhere crash to the ground. But the Givens are saved by mysterious strangers, three fearsome and beautiful beings who force a plain silver bracelet onto each sister’s wrist. Within moments, the sky comes down in a crushing sheet of light and everything around them is gone.
Shielded from the devastation by their silver adornments, the Givens suddenly find themselves elsewhere, a strange new Earth where restaurants move through the air like flying saucers and the fabric of time is manipulated by common household appliances.
Soon Hannah and Amanda are joined by four other survivors from their world—a mordant cartoonist, a shy teenage girl, a brilliant young Australian, and a troubled ex-prodigy. Hunted by enemies they never knew they had and afflicted with temporal abilities they never wanted, the sisters and their companions begin a cross-country journey to find the one man who can save them—before time runs out.”
What I’d Add: The events described in said synopsis ^ are all pretty surface level stuff. Most of those events happen in the very beginning! I would have thrown in some kind of mention of the twists, the red herrings, the Who Do We Trust theme (poor “Silvers” can never tell who is on their side), etc.
It’s Sorta Like: It’s a little X-men-y (special powers, people discovering this factor while in a school of sorts), and there’s LOTS of time bending, a hint of Groundhog Day in a sense. Also reminds me of the TV show Fringe.
My Grade: B+
I’m doing this a lot lately: finishing really awesome, new books that are the first books in a series…that hasn’t been finished yet (See also: Red Rising).
UGH. Flight of the Silvers is SO GOOD. It suffers a little from its huge and sprawling cast of characters, but I can appreciate the wide scope of the narrative and its people.
For example…the following is a list of the people you need to keep straight by the story’s end:
- The Silvers themselves: A group of people who were given bracelets to escape the apocalypse of their Earth, harvested, in a sense, for their abilities (I liked that they were an array of ages. It lent variety to their voices). There are five (sometimes more) separate points of view in this group.
- The medical team who house the Silvers when they first arrive in AltAmerica.
- Another group of people with abilities who attack the Silvers multiple times throughout the novel. Their names and abilities, especially in scenes where they are in close proximity with The Silvers, are sometimes tough to separate.
- The all-powerful, alien looking super race family – the Pelletiers – who act as a deus ex machina sometimes…but they’re also pretty spooky and dangerous. I like that they don’t just pop up. They pop up and drop some spooky knowledge. I get the feeling they’re integral to the story, and not just there to rescue The Silvers.
- Then there are the government officials chasing The Silvers down because they tend to break a lot of laws when they’re out in public. This group is led by a memorable, dreadlocked tough-cookie-cop kind of woman, but add to her the names of people she orders around and it gets hard to keep everyone straight.
SO. That’s a lot of people! That’s a lot of backstories, morals, relationships, and attributes to flesh out. Some are developed better than others. The Silvers are pretty well explained, although I think the two sisters who open the novel, Hannah and Amanda Given, are paid attention to the most. This is definitely a book you have to pay attention to. I have a feeling that it would be difficult to drop for a week and then pick up again. Luckily, this book is so well written, and the plot so action packed (gotta love an author who can write an action scene!), that it’s not difficult to demolish this thick monster of a book in a short amount of time.
I would like to see The Silvers grow and fill out more as characters. In the grand scheme of this grand novel, they are the ones the reader gets closest too, but sometimes it doesn’t feel like quite enough. The other groups of people you have to keep track of hurts this goal (the goal, as it is in most successful fiction, is to understand – even if we don’t enjoy them – round main characters). Because you’re so busy keeping track of these other people, the semi-large cast of main characters don’t feel so familiar by the novel’s conclusion. Hopefully in the second installment (The Song of the Orphans as it is currently being advertised, due out sometime in 2015 – UGH THE WAITING!) gets us a little closer to our Silvers.
I’m anxious how all of the parallel storylines, the warping of time, and dead characters that keep cropping up again and again (I’m not spoiling anything when I say that a man named Judge is killed before we ever really get to know him, yet somehow remains integral to several character’s backstories and futures) will pan out, but I will most certainly tag along for the ride that is this series!