Actual rating: 0.5 stars
This review is also posted on my blog at Thoughts and Pens
Before we proceed to the actual review, here's an attempt to put some accurace into the blurb!
Silent Echo, a wannabe Glee meets Greek Mythology parody tale, is the ultimate modern day coming-out-from-a-loony bin story. It is a thrilling ride that achieves that perfect blend of instalove, no action, absence of humor, psychotic teen angst, apple technology, and most importantly, horrible music-- the universal language of pathetic Sirens and sissy boys.
Attention: If you hate spoilers, PLEASE DO NOT READ THIS REVIEW! But if you’re angry and want something to fuel it then by all means, go ahead and read it.
Warning: If you are a Percy Jackson fan, please do yourself a favor and do not even attempt to read this. Chances are you’ll gonna end up comparing a lot of things in this book to that of Rick’s work. I am not saying that Silent Echo is a PJ rip off but because it’s about Greek mythology, one can’t but make some comparisons. Unfortunately, it happened to me while reading this book. Perhaps, I was so invested with PJ that I can’t help but be frustrated with Silent Echo. So frustrated that by the end, I was near to shredding the whole thing into pieces. Luckily, I was reminded that I am reading an e-book and the worst that I can do is delete it.
Although I hated Silent Echo to the roots of my hair, I couldn’t deny the fact that its beginning managed to suck me in. Who wouldn’t when Portia’s handicap was really interesting? Silent Echo would be my first read about leads who can’t speak and who can’t hear. But my happiness was fleeting as the numerous flaws of this book gradually overwhelmed me.
It started with me realizing Portia’s true personality. She had my sympathy at first and then as the story evolved, I saw the real her. She’s a brat with little to no depth at all. She had this on and off hatred for her mother just because she could feel that her mother was disappointed with her having no voice. By the way, it wasn’t thoroughly explained, just mentioned ephemerally. The whole time I was reading Silent Echo, I am more inclined to see how her parents loved her. As a matter-of-fact, I can’t see Portia suffering from any kind of abuse just because she couldn’t speak. I understand that her mother might be a little disappointed and who knows, might be hurt because her daughter lives on silence, but there was more love there. Her bratiness increased when her powers as a Siren began developing. She became this b-tchy girl who I just want to slap. It might be because she was possessed by the evil sisters Parthenope and Ligeia but I couldn’t see that she was striving so hard to fight them. Instead, goddess that she might be, she depended on the gods to help her. Her attempts to shake off the evil that’s possessing her were futile. She always ended up in the nurse’s clinic for Leto to fix her up. Throughout the whole story, there was little development to Portia’s character unless you count how her made up songs were getting worse to worst. And the way she treated Felix and Max, that wasn’t cool. The story ended with her not really comprehending the breadth of what she’d done. Even her regrets were superficial.
When I thought that I was getting a reprieve from Portia’s bratiness with the introduction of Max Hunter and Felix Fein, I was in for another disappointing ride. Felix is Portia’s bestfriend whose handicap is hearing. I expected that I would root for him but he’s just gorgeous on the outside but on the inside, he’s a total meeh. And then there’s Max Hunter, the love interest. Honestly, he’s just a prop. His character development only extends to being good at singing and writing horrible songs apart from being unreasonably kidnapped at the end by Portia. That’s what you only need to know about him.
Just forget about the parents, Jacqueline and Charlotte. The latter might have some issues going here and there but for me, this review can still get the message across without mentioning her.
And now, for the gods. I was mortally wounded after it dawned on me that I’m gonna be meeting cardboard versions of my favorite mythology gods and goddesses on this book. They’re so crisp and flat that you can interchange all of them and it wouldn’t make a difference. Oh wait, did I mention that Athena suffered amnesia here and forgot that she’s the goddess of wisdom and battle tactics?
“My dearest sisters, a great victory have you won here today. I pray there will be much time to rejoice. But now, I beg you, tell me how we shall treat the mortals that have witnessed both the horrors and the miracles we have seen here today?”
If that is not stupidity, I don’t know what to call it. Don’t even ask me about Ares, Dionysus and Zeus. Frankly, Silent Echo has the lamest cast of Olympian gods evah. The ending had me laughing and foaming with rage at the same time. Imagine a whole entourage of powerful gods being rendered useless by three Sirens (2 dead, 1 alive) and a wannabe minor god in the person of Proteus. That’s just great.
Silent Echo didn’t stop there. The romance tortured me too. Instalove was another downfall of this book. It was so sudden that I felt I was momentarily unseated. After knowing each other for days (around 4-5 days), Max and Portia was literally eating each other’s mouth. And without even thoroughly enjoying their instalove relationship, Portia started to hurt Max because of the evil that possessed her. Surprisingly enough, she took to Felix whom she ignored when she was all over Max. Even more surprising was that she told Felix all her secrets but she never told Max even at the end of the story. But she’s still going out with him. Anyway, more on that later.
Next, Silent Echo talks a lot about songs. Duh! Singing is Portia’s power you know. Expect that you’ll be reading a lot of made up songs here. I have mixed feelings about it though because one of the songs was in a way good.
Like this one…You have a way, you charge the air,
With cobalt eyes and chestnut hair.
And though your lips don’t make a sound,
They speak of being pleasure bound.
Can one moment produce this draw?
And do you feel it too?
A current filled with shock and awe.
I’ll search for truth in you.
But this one here along with many others had me facepalming and laughing…I am blessed organological,
My powers are robotical.
I am your diametrical.
You’re no longer majestical!
We started antiphonical,
You thought your words demonical.
But my verse exorcistical—
The real Portia is mystical!
Moving on, there’s the weak plot. Basically, Portia existed to combat the two evil sisters of Leto/Leucosia. As in literally. And I can’t understand the logic behind that. Portia wasn’t even a descendant of Leto (Khloe mentioned that she might be cousins with Portia’s parents in the end but that’s really fleeting. By that time, you’ve pretty much ripped this book apart with great satisfaction). The two evil sisters are already dead and serving time in the Underworld when Portia was born. Surely, the gods can handle them without the help of a mediocre godling, isn’t it? The story is not even about saving the whole world thingy. The only point of the story is that Portia solely existed to defeat Parthenope, Legeia, and Proteus so that they cannot bother Leto anymore (these three are already dead, mind you). If you think about how Venus made a special effort in choosing the parents who will create Portia, you’d think that the girl will have a larger and more important role to play. Apparently, the author got lost on how to weave a solid story for Portia. I couldn’t believe that I’ve spent my time reading 330 pages for a weak story such as this one.
As much as I want to finish this review, I couldn’t. I am more than frustrated that I need to vent all these feelings. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR! Silent Echo has the creativity of a slug. The world building sucked so bad. Mytikas (the highest peak out of the 52 peaks of Olympus) is just like any other mountain. I’ll bet our mountains here are more impressive than the dwelling of the gods. Even the communication system of the gods, no way. I was really thinking along the lines of offering drachmas to communicate to the gods but NO. Instead the author settled for the good old internet and Macs to communicate to the gods. And by the way, before I forget, this book is an Apple advertiser. Brace yourself for the onslaught of unnecessary information about all the things that you can do with a Mac or with an iPhone. That. Was. Terrific. In. A. Sarcastic. Way!
Lastly, the ending, it was a totally BOOMING WTF moment! Seriously?! Honestly?! Really? WTH? For the love of —– Heavens, save me from this ordeal! Was that even conceivable? The almighty gods’ powers were rendered useless against two pathetic dead Sirens and one Mystique (X-men) wannabe minor god. How was that even possible? And then here comes an untrained (instead of training, she mostly spent her time flirting with boys and manipulating her friends) Portia whose only talent is singing awful verses. Suddenly, she became powerful (without transition because if she’s not b!tching around, she’s in her bed or in the clinic getting fixed up) and manages to vanquish the three lamest villains I have encountered in my whole life. As if this book was really determined to kill me by inducing a heart attack, Portia, Athena and Leto decided that Max should forget the whole episode on Olympus, thus, he was unknowingly forced to drink the Lotus flower whatever. But most surprising was that they let Felix decide whether or not he wants to forget what happened.
The last pages give us a scene where Portia and Max got back together as if nothing awful had happened. REALLY? Portia. Portia. Portia. Your mind must have been unhinged. Max is supposed to be your boyfriend and you can’t even trust him with the truth. You’ve HURT him emotionally and you almost killed him for crying out loud yet you have the nerve to hold hands with him without feeling disgust for yourself. What sensible characters would do is that they would call a time out and find themselves first. For the meantime, they would try to stay away from the ones they love especially if they knew the danger they could inflict to the latter. But you Portia, I can’t even… *sighs furiously & rubs temple* I just wish that you went with Parthenope and Ligeia to Tartarus so I would never see you again.
This book is recommended to:
- Fans of Apple Products
- People who appreciates awful verses
- People who doesn’t know anything about mythology
- People who have the patience of a turtle
- People who loves paper dolls for characters
NOT recommended to:
- Fans of Percy Jackson because you will most likely burn this book to the ground
- Fans of Homer’s Odyssey ( Tip: Go and re-read the Odyssey!)
- Fans of Greek Mythology (Chances are you’d pray to the gods to have this book obliterated to nothingness. Just stick with your good ol version of Greek mythology.)
- Fans of Android products (all the mention of the Apple products here would totally ruin your reading experience and might urge you to start writing a book that has a lot of references to Android. We don’t need that, do we?)
Ps. The only lesson that I learned from this book is how to write a bad verse.Oh Portia, Portia, Portia!
What happened to ya?
Take some advice, will ya?
Didn’t you ever think of killing yourself, did ya?
Do us some favor & do it now, will ya?
Note: All quotes/verses used in this review are from an uncorrected ARC and are subject to changes. ARC was acquired from the Publisher through Netgalley. Thank you!