Saturday, 7 March 2020
A Cold Silence by Alison Littlewood | review by Stephen Theaker
Of the author’s six novels so far [mid-2017], this is the one definite misfire. As a sequel it’s admirable in that it doesn’t try at all to retread the very successful first book, but it reads like the novelisation of a play or a television pilot. The bulk of it, well over two hundred pages, is pretty much one or two very, very long conversations, with a couple of changes of location to break things up. That makes it a quick read, though, and it is good on sibling relationships, and the way families mess each other up, and it’s interesting to see the long-lasting consequences for the survivors of the previous book. The method by which the game arranges for people’s wishes to come true is fascinating, an excellent idea rich with the potential for stories, but unfortunately that all happens in the backstory, in the dialogue and the revelations, rather than being part of the action of the book. ***
This review originally appeared in Black Static #60.