Published by Sky Pony Press on June 6th 2017
Genres: young adult, fantasy
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In a world where music is magic, the echoes can kill you.
Chester has been traveling from village to village, searching for his kidnapped father. One night while fiddling to earn a few coins, he accidentally connects to the Song—the music that fuels every aspect of the world. It’s illegal to interact with the Song—only a licensed Songshaper may bend music to his will—and when Chester is caught, he’s sentenced to death.
But just before the axe is about to fall, someone in the crowd—a member of the infamous Nightfall Gang—stages a daring rescue, whisking Chester into the Hush, a shadowy nightmare mirror-world where Music can be deadly and Echoes can kill.
Susanna, captain of the Nightfall Gang has been watching Chester. She needs his special talent to pull off an elaborate plan. And she’ll risk everything to succeed. Even Chester’s life.
It’s always an exciting thing when a book catches you by surprise in a totally unexpected way. I didn’t expect a thing from The Hush; in fact, I’m trying to make my way through the books I am behind on quickly, and I was prepared to DNF this one. Instead, I found myself enraptured by like page ten. It really is that good.
The Hush started was published first in Australia, and I do believe this is the author’s first published work in America. I’m really thankful, and I hope they publish more because she has a GREAT imagination, and she’s exactly the type of author I named my blog after. The Hush is inventive, original, unique, and compelling. The world-building is realllllyyy something, and it’s impressive in a whole new way.
Chester gets caught playing illegal Music with his violin in a bar. He’s almost executed, but he’s saved by a member of the elusive Nightfall Gang who are sort of like Robin Hood, in that they still from the rich and give to the poor. In this world, the rich are people who are allowed to play Music and create magic by connecting to The Song. The very highest of these are called Songshapers and they train at an academy called the Conservatorium, where they hone their skills.
But people are disappearing from their beds–stolen away in the night. Chester’s father is one of these people, and he wants to find his father more than anything. When he is saved by the Nightfall Gang, he joins up with them since they have similar goals. Unbeknownst to Chester, there is a secret world only accessible to those that play Music, called The Hush. The Hush is full of overflow magic, scary creatures, and traps. The Nightfall Gang uses The Hush to hide and sneak so they can secretly complete their heists and burglaries.
What I loved so much about this book was how well thought out and detailed the world-building was, considering this book is a standalone. It was detailed and deep, yet not tedious. The plot was paced well and tense, yet not angsty in the least. Angst is a thing I love sometimes, but not usually. What I want from a YA fantasy is a good story with well-developed characters, decent pacing, a little romance but not too much, and I got all that. In a way, it sort of reminded me of The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer in that there was a group of people working together toward a common goal. They banter, they have a great relationship, they are diverse, there is great representation.
I highly recommend this book, and I’m almost sad that it’s a standalone because I wouldn’t mind having more stories set in this world. I am definitely looking forward toward what this author will do next. She’s a brilliant writer.