CM . . .
. Volume XXIV Number 36. . . .May 18, 2018
Toronto, ON: KCP Loft/Kids Can Press, 2018.
312 pp., trade pbk. & hc., $12.99 (pbk.), $18.99 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-5253-0041-7 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-77138-938-9 (hc.).
Grades 9-12 / Ages 14-17.
Review by Tara Stieglitz.
“Subject Six-Eight-Four, place your hands above your head and turn to face the wall.”
The crackling voice comes through the intercom speaker beside the door to my cell. I know I have only two seconds to do as I’m ordered before the guards come storming in here and force me to obey. My body can’t take any more abuse after my session with Vanik today, so I quickly stand and do as I’m told.
“We’re entering the room. If you make any sudden movements, we won’t hesitate to stop you.”
I don’t acknowledge their words. There’s no need. I know the drill by now. I know that even breathing too loudly could scare them into sending a Tasered bolt of electricity into my body. It’s happened before.
The guards take their jobs very seriously at Lengard, the secret government facility buried deep underground that constitutes my “home.” I’m classified as Level Five threat. They don’t know what that means, and that makes them nervous. All they know is that I’m dangerous.
Whisper begins with an unnamed narrator. She is known to those who keep her imprisoned at Subject Six-Eight-Four or by the anonymous code name Jane Doe. She refuses to speak, and she refuses to tell her captors her real name. For the past two and a half years, Jane has been kept in a secret underground facility, and her routine has been the same. She gets sessions with a psychologist who probes her mind, she gets martial arts training and she gets poked, prodded, tortured, and abused by a sinister scientist who tries to unlock the secrets of her mind. She wears nothing but a smock and is fed nothing but nutritional shakes. She doesn’t know who her captors are or what they want from her.
One day, her routine changes. Instead of seeing a stream of sinister examiners, she gets taken to a library and meets a young man who is kind to her and who lets her read in the library for hours on end. This event is the catalyst that changes her existence forever. Jane may not know why she is held in this secret facility, but she does know that it is important that she not speak because her words hold power. On a day that changes her life forever, she speaks a word and reveals who she is. Jane soon gets caught up in a secret world of people with dangerous powers. She is left not knowing what is true and whom she can trust.
Whisper is a gripping page-turner with compelling characters and heart-wrenching action. Lynette Noni is an established author of young adult novels in Australia; with Whisper, her North America debut, she will have readers seeking out her other novels as they await a sequel. Whisper will be enjoyed by fans of speculative fiction.
Tara Stieglitz is a librarian at MacEwan University in Edmonton, AB.
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