Lake Silence by Anne Bishop

Lake Silence is the sixth book in the sixth book in Anne Bishop’s The Others series. However, unlike the previous five book this one isn’t about Meg, Simon and the other characters in Lakeside. It seems that their story is over (for now?) and a new setting and cast of characters is introduced. I didn’t know this before starting this book, at first I was a bit surprised and uncertain if I wanted to continue the book but in the end I really loved this new story line.

This new sub-series is set in Sproing, shortly after the Big Event described in previous books. The relation between the humans and the Others is strained, the Others having made sure that the humans realize that they are not the dominant species and that the Others have to be listened to. Where Lakeside was a big city and many humans living there had very little contact with the Others, it’s a different situation in Lake Silence. Which is on the edge of human civilization and only reachable through Others’ land.

The main character of the story is Vicki DeVine. She has recently divorced her husband, he found a more attractive and younger woman, Yorick Dane. As a settlement in the divorce Vicki got a vacation place on the edge of Lake Silence, The Jumble, that was once owned by Yorick’s aunt and nobody in his family had any use for it. It was run down, by the time the book start Vicki has started renovating the place with the money she also got in the divorce settlement. It turns out that Yorick’s aunt had and agreement with the Others, who owns the land of the Jumble, that it would not only serve as a vacation place for humans, but that it also is a place where Others who are interested in having contact with humans can get to know how to do so. One of those joining Vicki is Aggie Crowgard.

Aggie finds a dead body on the edge of The Jumble and the detectives on the case try to pin the murder on Vicki. She gets help from her lawyer, Ilya Sanguinati (a vampire). The temporary chief of police of Sproing Wayne Grimshaw and his former colleague, turned bookshop owner Julian Farrow also find it hard to believe that Vicki is responsible for the murder and try to figure out what is really going on.

Despite the new characters and setting I really liked this start of the new sub-series. Where the Lakeside books felt aimed more at young adults this book had a more adult feel. This is mainly due to the fact that Meg was very childlike, having to learn to live in both the human and Others’ world. Lake Silence also had more adult themes, mainly dealing with spousal abuse.

I liked how Vicki just takes the deal the aunt made with the Others in her stride. She doesn’t treat the Others staying at The Jumble and in Sproing any different than humans; with respect. As a result she earns their respect. Different Others are introduced in this book, there are the Pathergard and the Beargard and the Elementals have a more prominent role. Also, Sproingers are introduced. Which are a species only find in Sproing and comical, sometimes mischievous and protective of those humans they like.

As I said, I really enjoyed this book. It was hard to put down and quick to read. Vicki is a good main character, she and the other important characters have enough potential for good character development in subsequent books. The only drawback I can think of is that I now have to wait for the next book.

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