It is no small feat to begin a new science fiction series in what seems like the ordinary modern-day world…and then blast it into conspiracies and newfangled tech that’s light years ahead of what may be known now, all while crafting characters a reader can genuinely find themselves rooting for. What a winner THE SILENT BLUEBIRD by Elle M. Holmes is, accomplishing all this and more.
Slightly nerdy, slightly wounded from childhood with abandonment issues, the novel’s main character Sarah Mercedes (Sadie) Smith works at the Smithsonian as a curatorial assistant in the Department of Antiquities, though unfortunately this does not mean she no longer has to tour elementary school kids around the Natural History Museum. However, on one such tour day, a series of events rescuing a troublesome kid brings Sadie into contact with a guy named James, who has kind blue eyes. Except it later turns out James’ real name is Killian Quinn, and he’s actually an agent for a covert entity Sadie’s never heard of. But meanwhile, James/Killian is the first person Sadie’s found herself attracted to in ages. Until sadly, like so many people in Sadie’s life have done, James/Killian disappears. Except, really he doesn’t.
Without giving away too many exciting storyline surprises, let’s just say these two are destined to continue crossing paths as the plot thickens, because the trajectory of Sadie’s calm life entirely changes once a little contraption the size of an old-fashioned e-reader (known in certain very select, very secret circles as the CarterScott Device) enters the picture. On the plus side, the novel is packed with twists, turns and betrayals, while populated by characters readers can care about and/or loathe. In terms of weaknesses, the book does at times fall prey to summarizing how different folks feel and why they’re behaving the way they do, rather than sticking to effectively showing all vital story aspects via believable, palpable action and dialog. The tale also does rely a bit too heavily on repeating certain phrases and descriptions. For example, the fact that Killian has a crooked, infectious, confident, winning, signature, knowing smile is mentioned incessantly in what comes to seem like shorthand intended to make sure readers remember that Sadie finds him attractive. It would be much better and more effective to use such descriptions sparingly because really the sparkling — and sometimes resentful — repartee between these two characters serves the same function more enticingly.
Rich with off-the-cuff humor, THE SILENT BLUEBIRD by Elle M. Holmes is a spirited science fiction foray into ancient and modern knowledge, which certain power players are determined to keep hidden for their own use and abuse.
~C.S. Holmes for IndieReader