Saturday, April 19, 2014

A Whisper in Time by Elizabeth Langston

Rating: ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Obtained from: Netgalley
Read: April 19, 2014

Rescued from a life of servitude by the boy she loves, Susanna Marsh escapes across two centuries, only to be plunged into a world she's ill-prepared to face. Unable to work or go to school, Susanna finds herself dependent on others to survive. Immersed in the fun and demands of his senior year of high school, Mark Lewis longs to share his world with the girl who's captured his heart. But first he must tackle government bureaucracy to prove Susanna's identity. Overwhelmed by her new home, Susanna seeks refuge in history and in news of the people she left behind. But when she learns that danger stalks her sister, Susanna must weigh whether to risk her own future in order to save Phoebe's happiness.

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I'm sorry folks, I tried, but I am done with the Whisper Falls series. I was willing to overlook my concerns after book one, but book two, A Whisper in Time, gives me little hope for book three so I am opting out here and now.  

Like book one, the narrative is remarkably lopsided. Susanna and her younger sister, Phoebe, are hugely sympathetic characters, but Langston's leading man, for the second time, falls short of the competition. His story arc isn't remotely comparable to Susanna's and the disparity in their maturity levels undermine the authenticity of the relationship they share. 

Another problem I have? Consistency. Langston follows up with Susanna's mother, but doesn't reference Mr. Shaw, the fiancé she was about to marry at the conclusion of book one. I'm pretty sure Mrs. Lewis is bipolar as her character is drastically transformed. Langston even reimagined the parameters of traversing the space time continuum in ways that actually contradict the first novel. This is a follow-up, there is an obligation to build on the established foundation and Langston's decision to veer off course made her story very difficult to swallow. 

My tolerance was tested further by the wealth superfluous plot points. Gabrielle Stone was an entirely unnecessary addition to the cast. Whatever is going on with her boyfriend is never really explained, but the same could be said of Marissa's relationship woes one shouldn't be surprised by the lack of clarity. No one seems to care that Mark has lost interest in competitive biking which is odd since his training was so dominantly portrayed in Langston's debut and don't get me started on Susanna's quest for contemporary identification.

Not for me and not something I'd recommend readers in any age bracket. 

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The decision was made. I would return to the past. Yet I would do more than merely warn my sister against the dangers faving her. I would leave behind a cure. 
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