A review of Silent Light (Michaela & Trisha #1) by Kate Genet

Read March, 2012

Online plot summary: “Michaela knew it was a stupid idea to stay at her lover’s lake house just days after being dumped by the woman, but she found herself there anyway. The trouble is that she isn’t the only visitor – Trisha, another of Michaela’s lover’s conquests has invited herself around, just when Michaela wants to be alone. Worse, this feisty newcomer seems to delight in pushing Michaela’s buttons and soon she doesn’t know whether she wants to strangle Trisha – or kiss her.
Then there’s the distraction of the weird lights over the lake at night, and the haunting sound of a child’s laughter, when as far as they know, there isn’t a child for miles. Michaela’s convinced something is going on and Trisha is looking at her like they should find out what. But what happens when two headstrong women start digging up long-forgotten secrets and can they pull together long enough to survive finding out?”

My review: I like to review books I really like, y’know, so that, hopefully, others will read them, too, allowing the writer to keep on writing. It’s kind of important, especially with new or self-published writers. A caveat: these tend to run a little long. If you’re just gonna write “I enjoyed this book,” don’t bother. Just give it a good rating and move on. Otherwise, tell me why you liked it. Or didn’t.

First, Michaela and Trisha are two of the most engaging, fun characters I’ve come across in a long time, a very long time. While I love a good story, and this is one, it’s really the characters I read for. Probably why I read so many stories with lesbian protags; by and large, I just find them more interesting. There’s something about those characters, in whatever genre, that touches me emotionally. (BTW, I hate the term “lesfic” damned near as much as “sci-fi.“ Use them in my presence, and it’s a good idea to be moving away from me at the time.)

But, you guessed it, I digress. So, the characters: They’re funny, especially in their interactions. They’re feisty, but in a very non-abrasive way. They’re smart as hell, though Trisha’s somewhat insecure in her intellect, providing a nice contrast, since “insecure“ is a word that was obviously excised from Michaela‘s dictionary early on. They‘re brave, though here, too, Trisha is the more cautious of the two. Once they bond, they‘re loyal; you know, in a pinch, they‘ve got each other’s back. They‘re resourceful and they‘re caring. “Delightful” is a word I don’t use very often — or, at all — but it seems the right one, here. They’re simply a joy to read about. And, one helluva lot of fun, too.

One person remarked on the transparency of the plot, but they miss the point: this isn’t that kind of mystery. Yes, we, and they, know early on what’s happening, but what’s important is that, once they do know, our twosome come to the aid of a complete stranger, no matter the possible consequences to themselves. So, mystery as character development, sort of. But, though I felt I knew what was going on, plotwise, I still kept happily turning the pages to find out how it all came out. Genet’s writing is that good. If this were a conventional mystery, and you figured out who-done-it in the first ten pages, you’d still want to keep reading.

That same person also pointed out the short sentences. Geez, they don’t miss much, hunh? Yes, the sentences are short, and, for the most part, the syntax is pretty unvarying. What’s odd is that, while those two things would usually bug the absolute crap out of me, here, I wasn’t fazed by them. I attribute that to the charm of the characters and Kate Genet’s story-telling skills. The style seems to fit the story, and I think that’s important.

Since some people care about this, yes, boys and girls, there’s sex. The scenes are nicely written, in no way offensive, and well-timed as to when they occur in the narrative. Also, they’re not at all gratuitous, and they’re fun, which, of course, is what they’re supposed to be.

In conclusion, then, a most enjoyable, fun read. Highly recommended.

A final comment: When I read books that are part of a series, I almost always like to put a good bit of space between the successive volumes, anywhere from three to six months. In this case, the second I finished Silent Light, I downloaded Shadows Fall. That should tell you something.


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