Book Review: Silencing Breath (Stealing Breath #2), by Joanne Brothwell

silencing breathSilencing Breath (Stealing Breath #2), by Joanne Brothwell

Just as Sarah Ross is learning everything she can about her new abilities as an Indigo Child and settling into a normal life with her beloved Evan, her entire world shatters when Evan disappears without a trace.

Desperate to find him, Sarah’s search leads her to a sadistic serial killer who confirms her worst fears are true; Evan has been kidnapped, and he is once again in the clutches of his abusive family of necromancers.

Sarah uncovers not only Evan’s dark past he tried so desperately to protect her from, but also The Key of Solomon, an ancient text for summoning the dead.
Knowing her abilities are limited in the face of this ancient power, Sarah is forced to face the Malandanti in order to save him. However, one question remains: once he is found, will Evan be the same man she fell in love with?

It’s been four years since Sarah Ross became entangled in Evan Valenti’s strange world of sorcery and skinwalking. They have settled into life in Seattle, complete with a cute house, coffee rituals, and morning sex when they can swing it. This particular moment, they don’t quite have time for the latter. Evan, a successful contractor, is due at a meeting with co-owners in 10 minutes, so they reluctantly settle for a steamy kiss, and then he’s gone. It’s just as well. Sarah, a senior at the University of Washington, has a meeting with a potential advisor. There she learns that not only will she be accepted to graduate school, but also she’ll be working with Dr. “Jerry” Goderich on research regarding psychopaths, starting immediately. There’s a man fresh off a kill sitting on ice at the prison and Jerry’s antsy to get into his head. That’s when Sarah’s beloved normal life comes to a screeching halt. She recognizes the prisoner on sight. She killed him four years ago.

Ms. Brothwell crafts a strong female lead in Sarah Ross. When we met Sarah in Stealing Breath, she was a girl struggling with teenage insecurities on top of her ability to feel the emotions of those around her. Four year later, all of them with Evan at her side, she is a confident woman with control of the power that could have easily destroyed her. Now, Evan has been taken away from her, and she will fight to get him back with little more than love and raw determination, even if it means confronting the devil himself. And when the Valenti family is involved, that’s not just a figure of speech.

The author doesn’t pull any punches with Evan’s situation. Sarah may not know exactly what Stefano, the older Valenti brother, is putting him through, but the reader gets to see all of it. Beautiful Evan is rendered vulnerable, made to bleed, and broken over the course of days with even his ability to plea for mercy silenced by dark magic. As a reader, I held on through every page that Evan could hold onto Sarah, and himself, long enough to be rescued, even as I wondered if anyone could.

This book was somewhat of a surprise for me, as I had some issues with Stealing Breath. However, those awkward bits were left behind in North Dakota along with Sarah Ross’ former life. Silencing Breath is a huge step forward for Joanne Brothwell. The writing is clean, the prose tight, and the stakes dire. There’s cause for  concern on nearly every page that Sarah and her allies won’t get out of this book alive.

I was given an advance copy in return for my honest opinion.

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One thought on “Book Review: Silencing Breath (Stealing Breath #2), by Joanne Brothwell

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