Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Silence by Nathaniel Ewert-Krocker

The Silence is about a young boy named Sinclair Vox who is a story teller. When Paxton (the town Sinclair lives in) is taken by a plague of silence, Sinclair finds himself the only one left with a voice. Shortly after he discovers what has happened to his town, a mysterious man named Alden appears at his house and explains what this strange plague is and why Sinclair still has his voice. It turns out that people who have a powerful story, one worth telling, have the power to keep their voice. Sinclair also learns that in order to save Paxton, he will have to travel two hundred miles out of his town, to the Island City of Rieve. Before Alden and Sinclair set off on this journey, Alden reviles to Sinclair that ultimately it will be his own story that saves his town.
On their way to Rieve, Sinclair and Alden find themselves in Leighton, where they meet a musician named Joliette. At almost the same time Alden receives a telegram from an old friend saying the silence has taken the city of Veradane, and the person responsible is named Alicia Rhona. Alden suddenly becomes flustered and gives instructions to Sinclair to go to the great library in Rieve and speak to a man named Joshua who will give them an artifact to help them fight the silence. Sinclair and Joliette stick together and run into Sarah Averielle, the governor's daughter who is travelling alone. These three decide to stay together while they wait for a festival in Leighton to end so they can take a train to Rieve. Whilst waiting for the festival to end Sinclair and his companions visit the festival where they first encounter Alicia Rhona. Alicia is described as a raven haired woman who is filled with only sorrow and rage. Before they know what is happening Alicia has spread the silence over Leighton, and only Joliette's powerful songs can relieve the people of the silence. While Joliette stays back to fight off the silence Sinclair and Sarah are forced to take a train to Rieve separating them from Joliette.
On the train to Rieve, Sinclair and Sarah run into a major problem, Alicia sought them out to get information about Alden . When she discovers that Alden is on his way to Veradne, she insists upon visiting the front of the train to make it turn around and go to Veradane. Sinclair tries to stop Alicia but finds that the silence that had taken his hometown was nothing compared to what Alicia could summon, and that he is not strong enough to fight it off completely. Alicia also suggests to Sinclair that she had killed Joliette back in Leighton before getting on the train. This makes Sinclair so enraged that for the slightest moment he is able to summon the silence himself. Eventually Sinclair and Sarah are able to escape Alicia and they arrive at Rieve where Sarah's father lives.
In Rieve, Sinclair discovers that Alden was not able to meet him at the train station where he said he would, so Sinclair and Sarah make their way to the great library alone. Here they meet Joshua and discover the artifact they were meant to receive was the book in which an old, powerful storyteller, kept all of his notes. Before Joshua can give it to Sinclair though, Alicia arrives and takes not only the artifact, but Sinclair's notebook in which he keeps all of his notes about the story he is creating. Sinclair chases after Alicia to get his notebook back, while Sarah, worried about her father, runs off to his home. Sinclair manages to retrieve his notebook, but in the process Alicia takes him hostage, meanwhile Sarah is kidnapped by an associate of her father who has a plot to overthrow his place as governor. Knowing that Alden would show up for Sinclair, Alicia took Sinclair to the Governor's house where Sarah was being held hostage in an attempt to make her father step down as Governor. Sinclair manages to save Sarah as Alden makes his timely arrival to save Sinclair (exactly what Alicia would have suspected). When Alden shows up, Alicia tries to silence Alden will all her might, but Alden tells her that she can't silence him nor can anyone else, and this was a gift Alicia's sister gave to him. Alicia then flees the scene and Alden and the rest set off after her before she is able to do any more damage.
When Alden, Sinclair and Sarah find Alicia again she is even more enraged than she normally seems and when she tries to bring down her final wrath and silence everything and everyone once and for all, she instead creates the silence into a giant deformed monster that even she is appalled at. The monster looks as if it is heading west back to Paxton so Alden, Sinclair and Sarah set off after it. When the three arrive in Paxton, Alden is injured and is not able to go with Sinclair and Sarah to fight the silence. Alden reminds Sinclair that it will be his own story that saves his town. Sinclair runs after the monster And Sarah is not able to keep up. When Sinclair reaches the monster though he realizes he has no idea what he is supposed to do, finally when The monster is about to take over him, Sinclair has an epiphany about how his story will all come together, which makes the story powerful enough to destroy the silence.
Once the silence is destroyed, Sinclair discovers the people who had been taken by it still did not have their voices back. When Sinclair goes to tell them his story to heal them, he discovers he cannot remember what it was that completed his story. Then he realizes it is not the story he was writing which would save his town, but the story he had created by going on this dangerous journey. The power of the story he created was able to heal his hometown.

1) Was Alden's plan all along to send Sinclair on this journey alone so Sinclair would have the power to heal his town, or did he think the artifact that Sinclair was meant to retrieve at the great library would strengthen the story he was writing so he could heal his town?

2) Alden says that Alicia's sister gave him the gift to never be taken by the silence, does this mean the story they had lived together was so powerful that he could never be taken, or was there something else Alicia's sister gave to Alden which protected him?


Morgan O 7-8 said...

1) I think it is possible that Alden knew all along setting Sinclair off alone would create a story powerful enough to heal Sinclair's home, but I also think that Alden was hoping Sinclair would secure the artifact in case it would hold a story powerful to get rid of the silence once and for all.
2) The truth is I think both options could be possible here, but considering the state Alicia is in I am lead to believe Alden's story with Alicia's sister is how he became immune to the silence. Alicia sought out Alden to avenge her sister, which suggests something extreme happened which would make a story powerful enough to protect Alden.

Josie D 7/8 said...

1. I think that Alden knew that Sinclair's story was the one that could save everyone. Alden probably figured that Sinclair would have enough trouble to get to the artifact that even if the artifact was not helpful, the story coudl still save everyone.
2. I think Alicia's sister gave him the gift. Although, I will admit I'm a little lost.

PS- thanks for that ending spoiler.

Morgan O 7-8 said...

trust me there is a lot more to the ending, but absolutely nothing would make sense without me giving a part of it away. As to the part with Alicia's sister and Alden I was a little lost too. The book is the first of an unfinished series so I believe more of that story is to come. I am just curious, what makes you believe it was a gift that she gave him?

Abby M. 1-2 said...

1. I think that it is definately possible that Alden's plan all along was to get Sinclair to make his story and that he knew onnly this could save his town. Do we even know that the artifact he went after would have been able to save or help his town? It is possible Alden knew all along that Sinclair would have to create his own story and so he took him on the journey.