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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Death Whispers by Tamara Rose Blodgett (Death Series #1) (Review)


Genre:Young Adult, Paranormal
Publication.Date  March 30th 2011
Pages:353
Published By:  Tamara Rose Blodgett
WebsiteTamara Rose Blodgett
Death Whispers - Goodreads
My review copy:Review copy from the author (Thank You!)
Where to get: Barnes and Noble | Amazon




     Death Whispers, a Futuristic Paranormal tale of friendship, romance and government intrigue, explores the life of fourteen year-old, Caleb Hart, "normal" teen and corpse-raiser...

Caleb has the most rare of the paranormal powers, Cadaver-Manipulation (aka corpse-raiser). In this world of the future, with Brain Impulse "pulse" Technology's wide-spread use and influence keenly realized, routine school inoculation has expanded to include a pharmaceutical cocktail, which once administered, unlocks the genetic potential for paranormal abilities. Using this small window of puberty, teens who have the genetic propensity find themselves manifesting extraordinary gifts; some of which garner the full attention of our government. Caleb must camouflage his new "talent" during the mandatory eighth grade Aptitude Test so that he remains undiscovered while establishing choice for his future. However, events beyond his control systematically reveal Caleb and his friends, which force them to fight for their freedom. In the midst of this struggle, his girlfriend's father battles to reassert his abusive dominance in her life while a couple of "peer enemies" thwart his efforts of secrecy at every turn. In the explosive climax, Caleb must protect his friends, and Jade, the one he loves...at all costs.
(goodreads.com)


"It was gonna be a hurricane of crap, and I was in the eye of it."
"Mom knew about The Hunger. In fact, I would use the phrase, “I Hunger.” Which loosely translated meant something like, what is there to eat in this house in the next five seconds. My friends also had The Hunger and we'd fall upon the kitchen table as locusts, and The Hunger would be abated, temporarily."

     
     Yes! Finally a story told from a male protagonist’s point of view! Ever since I read Patrick Ness’ Chaos Walking Trilogy, I was on the hunt for another book like that. I thought Ness did a great job in his book, but Tamara Rose Blodgett did an even better one! I was literally blown away by her writing style and flawless storytelling. Tamara, are you really an Indie writer? It’s really hard to believe that!

     Random rambling aside, let’s get down to the plot! 

     The protagonist of this book, a fourteen-year-old boy named Caleb Hart, discovers that he possesses a very rare paranormal power. He can raise and control the dead. This special power, called Cadaver Manipulation, might seem like a pretty cool and useful thing, but in reality it’s nothing but trouble. It’s a very unique quality, only one person before Caleb has been (un)lucky enough to have it and this person, well, let’s just say he didn’t end up well. 

     Caleb happens to be the son of the first scientist to map the human genome. When we meet him it’s year 2025, and the world sure has changed a lot. For one thing, the technology is super advanced now. People don’t use normal phones to communicate anymore, they “pulse” each other, which basically means that their phone devices were modified to pick up their thoughts and send them to whoever and wherever – instantly! (I personally think it was a totally brilliant idea!)

     In eighth grade, all the kids must take the nationwide aptitude test to determine what kind of paranormal power they possess and how strong on the scale from 1 to 5 is it. Apparently puberty is the exact time when everyone has to get tested, because scientists have proven that that’s the time when the abilities come online.  And what kind of abilities are we exactly talking about? There’s a wide range of paranormal powers you could have, from something as benign as Empath, Telepathy, Pyrokenesis, Astral-Projection to a more troublesome ones like AFTD.  AFTD stands for Affinity for the Dead. This ability usually means that someone can communicate with the dead. However, in Caleb’s case, the ability manifests itself very strongly, not only can he hear the dead, but he can also animate them and control their actions. And like that wasn’t enough already, Caleb discovers that when someone/something is about to die, he can resurrect them. Although it sounds like a very useful ability, it might also be a very problematic one. Let’s not forget that we’re talking about a young teenager here. Caleb wants to go to school and hang out with his friends. Above all, he wants to be able to decide his own future. That, for sure, won’t be possible, if the government officials learn about his powers. No doubt he would be taken away from his family and forced to work for the government.  It seems like the safest thing to do, is staying off the government's radar and ensuring that he won’t be discovered. But how to do that when the aptitude test is only a few days away? 

     I loved it! I genuinely loved it! Death Whispers is one of those “can’t-flip-the-pages-fast-enough” novels. The story flow is so natural and easy-breezy that your mind won’t even register the pages turning,. It’s as if you’re watching an episode of your favorite TV show or your best friend is telling you the most intriguing story ever! It gave me goose-bumps! 

     I can’t emphasize enough how wonderful the narrative voice is. The dialogs are so full of life and natural! Some authors seem to have a big problem with dialogs, they’re either too flat or way too overdone. For TR Blodgett writing from a 14-year-old-boy’s perspective seems to be as easy as breathing.  Her writing is simplistic, easy to read and entertaining. I had so much fun devouring this book. 

     The characters are fantastic, too! They’re realistic, intriguing and vibrant, and it’s easy to get emotionally involved in their story. I especially liked Caleb’s parents, they reminded me of my parents in so many ways! My favorite characters, though, were the JJ’s – they were hilarious and I really liked how they supported Caleb. 

Bottom line… I am a FAN!!!
Looking forward to seeing where TR Blodgett takes us in the next installment.

20 comments:

Bonnie said...

This sounds like a fantastic read Evie! "For TR Blodgett writing from a 14-year-old-boy’s perspective seems to be as easy as breathing" - finally! I get so thrown off by awkward and unrealistic dialogue. As always a fantastic review Evie - I cannot wait to read this book!

Dana said...

Sounds great. I also like hearing from male points of view. Especially if the book is well written.

Tamara Rose Blodgett said...

Thanks for your interest...I think my four sons may have *helped* with banishing the awkwardness! lol! :D

Andra said...

Hey Evie :)

I've seen this book popping up, but the cover wasn't very interesting to me...I do like your review though...sigh* looks like another book added to my TBR pile...

Phanee said...

I recently read Beautiful Creatures which is also from a male point of view and it was so refreshing!
I really like the sound of this book! Hope I get to read it soon! :)

Tamara Rose Blodgett said...

Thanks for your feedback on cover and male POV...it's very good to hear what readers think. I have changed the direction (slightly) for the book cover art for books 2 & 3...and Beautiful Creatures, didn't realize that was male POV (thanks!)

featherlyhearts- said...

Like that review. Makes me really want to grab this book and read it.

Tamara Rose Blodgett said...

Evie's a super-professional book blogger, giving the reader enough of the story [in her reviews] so they can make an educated purchase (and our [collective] time is pretty valuable too!). Thanks again Evie, you keep promoting diversity by your thoroughness! :D

Thao Huynh said...

Yeesh, what a complicated story to read! It's like Wall-E, adult version with more technological advances. And YES, we need more male characters too!

I especially love novels that make you read nonstop after each page, and from your review, this is one of those books I'm looking forward to.

Tamara Rose Blodgett said...

I am goal-oriented with writing a work that doesn't "lag" or "bog-down" the story. As a reader, I'm against boredom [while reading]...and as an author, that is how I like to write as well :D

Thanks for your comment! Tamara

aurora M. said...

Like nothing else I have heard of. Thanks for the review. I know this will be a great read! I wish that something more would have been done with this cover but whats inside sounds intriguing.

Krystal said...

The synopsis looks terrific! I will definitely look this book up.

Tamara Rose Blodgett said...

@Aurora...I've been listening to readers and in subsequent "Death" books have moved the cover art in a different direction. I have revamped the "Death Whispers," cover art to something that reflects better the tone of the series. The new cover reveal will be August 3rd. Thanks for your feedback. I listen to my readers! "Death Speaks" will publish on August 15.
:)

Tamara Rose Blodgett said...

@Krystal...TY~! :)

Yvonne said...

Ooooh sounds like my kind of book but i prefer characters that are older, like 16/17 and up. The idea of a 14 yr old being in love seems a bit ridiculous to me. How would they even know what love is at that age?!

Tamara Rose Blodgett said...

@Yvonne...thanks for your comment about DW! This will be a five-book series and I began it with everyone "almost 15" so they could grow up on the pages. Also, I met my future husband at 13 and we've been married 25-years in January. (Sometimes young love works...)The MC is an intense and protective young man and I "got away with it," knowing that I had come into contact with one such as he ...*winks*. Thanks so much for commenting :D

FairyWhispers said...

oh my, this book sounds really confusing

Tamara Rose Blodgett said...

@FairyWhispers Nah, not so much...but right now you can read it for free from Amazon or NOOK! I'm running a special promotion for the month of September that coincided with book two. :) I have faith you'll keep it all straight... =D

Munnaza said...

I've never heard of this book before, but it sounds really interesting. Cadaver manipulation is something I've never run into in fiction, I love how science based it is, and the fact that it kept you reading and totally engrossed makes the story sound even more appealing. Definitely adding this to my to-read list. Thanks!

Mary Preston said...

I can't believe I had not heard of DEATH WHISPERS before. It looks like such a great read. I love page turners.

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