Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Quietus - Vivian Schilling

Moments before the crash of her chartered flight, Kylie O'Rourke sees a raven perched on the plane's wing, as still as death, staring at her. Regaining consciousness in a Boston hospital, Kylie finds herself haunted by unnerving memories of the crash, of the survivors, and the rescuers--and when her fellow survivors start dying one-by-one, she knows she's living on borrowed time.

I am a bit at odds with most of the reviews I read of this book. While I enjoyed the story I thought it lacked the creepiness to keep me up at night and the fast pace to make it a successful thriller.

Kylie, her husband Jack and friends Amelia and Dix are all involved in a plane crash. They survive with some injuries but none of them has any special recollection of the event except for Kylie - who remembers waking up in the snow with the others, arriving at a cabin and meeting some supernatural people - they all remember waking up strapped to their seats.

In the next few days Kylie starts having visions of one the people she met in that recollection of hers, he seems real enough to talk to and touch but everyone keeps telling her how she is just confused and how near death experiences can change you. She starts to doubt her own sanity and her relationship with her husband, not that good to begin with, starts suffering.

The story ends up being a mix of psychological analysis - do near death experiences exist? - religious aspects - is our death determined by a higher entity and what happens when you don't die when you are supposed to - alternate reality - Kylie is the only one that sees ghosts and magical beings. I thought the concept was interesting but the execution not so much. There were too many things happening, too many references and the link to an event in Kylie's past just seemed like one more distraction from the main plot.

I was never intrigued enough for it to be a page turner and I definitely was not kept awake at night because of it... besides I think the ending was a bit at odds with the rest of the book.

Grade: 3.5/5

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