“The story opens with Brie and her brother Pilot being chased by paparazzi. Brie thinks she sees her mother among them, the only thing is, her mother died months ago; thus begins, Silver Smoke.
It started off with a bit of a bang – Brie is almost immediately inducted into a secret group called the Hallows. The Hallows are nephilim (offspring of angels and humans) and they have special powers, the interesting thing though is, Brie seems to have powers while Pilot doesn’t. There is also Rykken, Pilot’s best friend, who seems to have issues of his own.
There are a lot of things going on in this novel, powers discovered, training to be done, mysteries to uncover and a whole new set of world rules to introduce, to be quite honest I found it very overwhelming. I felt as though this single book had enough information for two books, and in a way, that might have worked better. Due to the amount of information, there were times when some of the characters and storylines got lost.
I find it difficult to explain much of the fantasy side of the story, from reading it seems that there are a few mythical elements. There is the Hallows, the Silver Smoke (the villains) and then there is the story of the shark men and the selkies – another representation of Hallows and Silver Smoke. I wasn’t sure why there needed to be two different telling of the same myth in the same book, for a while I had a bit of trouble keeping it all straight.
I do admire Monica Leonelle’s imagination and the direction she took these myths. She did a great job in making them her own and in describing her world; however, I felt that character development lost to world building. I didn’t find myself caring about any of the main characters and the minor characters were very forgettable, so while I liked reading about the world it was hard for me to pay attention to what the characters were doing.
Though the book was called Silver Smoke, the group itself wasn’t the focus of the story so I didn’t feel the story was resolved. I’m also hoping that the Silver Smoke organization can be elaborated on in the next novel. There is definitely a lot to tell, I’m hoping the other novels are a bit lighter on the world building and heavier on the character building. ”
Shanella wrote this review Sunday, July 8, 2012.