‘Tragic Silence’ – E. C. Hibbs
When tragedy strikes Bianka Farkas one night in her native Hungary, she loses more than a friend and her mobility. Some things are harder to understand. Waking up in a hospital, Bee struggles to remember exactly what happened the night she was attacked and witnessed a brutal murder. Memories of a mysterious figure plague her as well as bizarre and terrifying changes in her over the next few years. Facing this new horrifying reality with a surprising ally, Bee finally has the chance to take her revenge but at what cost?
About the author:
E. C. Hibbs has lived all her life in Cheshire, north-west England. A lover of stories from an early age, she wrote her first ‘book’ when she was five, and throughout school was a frequent visitor to the younger classes to read her tales to the children.
Living so near the coast, she loves anything to do with the sea. She studied Animal Behaviour at university and longs to work with marine mammals in the future. As well as nature and animals, she also has a soft spot for history, and loves paying visits to castles, cathedrals and museums.
There are many things she could be without, but writing isn’t one of them. She carries a pen everywhere, in case an idea appears, and takes pride in still seeing the world as brimming with magic. Besides writing, she reads obsessively, her favourite genres being the classics and all kinds of fantasy. She also enjoys Disney and horror films, practising Shotokan karate, drawing, archery, and playing with her very cheeky kitten.
When I realised this was a vampire story, I was expecting something along the lines of biting humans, beautiful and ageless vampires with turning humans thrown in along the way. But ‘Tragic Silence’ is very different to previous vampire stories I have read and it was refreshing to read this alternate take on such a popular genre.
Set in Budapest, readers are presented with Bianka who has suffered seeing her best friend murdered by a vampire. She is hospitalised and deeply traumatised by the experience. Through flashbacks, we understand how Bianka lands in hospital and who the horrifying figure is that is haunting her. The opening chapters really focuses on Bianka and her experiences and this sets up the narrative for the rest of the novel. Whilst it is a first person narrative, Bianka’s telling of the story makes this rather densely descriptive, to the extent that I found it distracted me from the action when it happened. That being said, you get a true insight into her character but because it was so heavy with her thoughts and feelings, I found the narrative became a little tedious in places and prevented me from enjoying the plot development as much.
I really enjoyed the fact that this is primarily set in Budapest. I rarely read stories set so far away from home and though the plot moves to London, Hibbs keeps up the cultural references with different names for vampires and smatterings of Hungarian dialogue. This is another feature that makes ‘Tragic Silence’ a refreshing read because this is so unexpected. It works well with the different vampire angle that Hibbs offers and it helped maintain my interest in the story.
What really makes this a vampire story with a difference is how the whole process of turning into a vampire is presented. Bianka’s boyfriend, Frank, plays a key role in telling her all about the change and his explanations were really intriguing. So unusual, I liked the whole process that was presented and the entire lack of certainty, even for our protagonist, Bianka.
My rating of three stars reflects the dense narrative in this plot from Bianka’s perspective. This is an interesting vampire story but I found her voice too present in the story and this certainly slowed the pace down. There are lots of features in this novel that make it stand out from other vampire stories and this makes the read more enjoyable. Not one in a series, it made a change to read something with a conclusive ending, and this is something I definitely applaud the author for! Definitely give this a go if you like vampire stories because this is so different, but just anticipate the slower narrative.
This book was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.
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