**Note: I am providing reviews for each book in the series thus far. Each book builds upon each other so if you have not read the previous book there may be spoilers just in the synopsis. However, I do not include spoilers of each book in my reviews because what fun would that be?
Whispers In Autumn
The Last Year, Book One
by Trisha Leigh
Published July 24, 2012
Format Reviewed: eBook
In 2015, a race of alien Others conquered Earth. They enslaved humanity not by force, but through an aggressive mind control that turned people into contented, unquestioning robots.
Except sixteen-year-old Althea isn’t content at all, and she doesn’t need the mysterious note inside her locket to tell her she’s Something Else. It also warns her to trust no one, so she hides the pieces that make her different, even though it means being alone.
Then she meets Lucas, everything changes.
Althea and Lucas are immune to the alien mind control, and together they search for the reason why. What they uncover is a stunning truth the Others never anticipated, one with the potential to free the brainwashed human race.
It’s not who they are that makes them special, but what.
And what they are is a threat. One the Others are determined to eliminate for good.
Althea is an anomaly. She has emotions; she can be happy or sad and can do what the vast majority of humans cannot. She can cry. She also smells like Jasmine, like Summer nights. What makes her different is a secret. She can't tell anyone or even express any feelings other than contentment when she is around people. The Others are always watching. And although Althea hasn't had any reason to fear the Others, she knows that something is wrong. The only thing she has is a necklace with a letter hidden inside that tells her she is different, a Dissident, and to trust no one except for those who are like her, and that she will know them when the time comes.
Althea can also Travel. She can jump from one place to the next, from one season to another, except for Summer. She has awoken in Connecticut with the Morgans, her Autumnal family. Each season Althea has a different family. They do not realize she is gone during the other seasons and when she returns, life continues as normal. When she meets Lucas, a boy she can sense, a boy that smells like Winter, she must decide who is trustworthy and who isn't. Especially when another boy shows up, one that smells like earth but doesn't act like a Dissident should. Althea has to learn to trust herself and muster up strength she didn't know she had to find the answers she so desperately needs.
The aliens in this book are scarier than some because they are able to take over everything so seamlessly and without resistance. How did they come into power? One thing I noticed that was absent was religion. There isn't anything other than the Others and what they say. No deviating thoughts, well, no individual thoughts at all. One thing I don't quite understand is why they have corralled humans away from all other living things? The fact that they can't even cook their own meat, it is brought to them is weird. What purpose does it serve other than being taught to fear? I also think that the name for school is very apropos. School is Cell and the classmates are Cellmates and the teachers are just talking monitors.
Both characters Althea and Lucas are likable and genuine. The world building is creative and believable. I could imagine life being exactly as Trisha designed. I think that is another thing that is unique about this book, that it wasn't some far-out story. The twists and revelations were surprising, but yet had truth to them. Everything in this world is connected in some way and no strings are left untied.
I have to say that this is one of my most favorite dystopian books and I recommend it to everyone! I love everything about Whispers In Autumn. The genre is a mix of dystopian and science fiction and is pure awesome! I immediately fell into the story and could not stop reading until I turned the last page. Even then I had book two on hand so I didn't have to wait long for more!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
The Last Year, Book Two
by Trisha Leigh
Expected Publication Date: September 25, 2012
Format Reviewed: eBook ARC
Althea and Lucas barely escaped the Others’ clutches in the autumn, and were separated in the process. Alone and on the run from the cruel alien race determined to exterminate her, Althea struggles to adapt and survive in a world she never imagined.
When a boy named Pax appears out of nowhere, he quickly recognizes Althea for what she is – a human/Other hybrid just like him. Althea begs him to help her find Lucas, but Pax refuses, intent on following his own mysterious agenda.
The Others’ presence continues to devour the planet’s resources, and if history is an indication, they won’t leave until Earth is destroyed beyond repair. Althea and Pax sense the only way to save themselves – and maybe their home – is to understand the powers simmering inside them.
Together they push the limits of their capabilities in the quiet Wilds, but are soon confronted with a terrifying fact: no place is safe from the relentless pursuit of the Others.
Least of all their own minds.
Picking up right where Whispers In Autumn left off, Althea is on her own. Cadi has Lucas and he is safe...somewhere. Althea has traveled to Iowa and must get away so that the Others don't find her. She starts trekking to Portland and finds a friends along the way. Pax smells like apples and cinnamon; he is Autumn. Now Althea knows of the four, but where is Lucas and what have the Others done with the real Deshi?
The friendship that develops between Pax and Althea is sweet. She has to examine her feelings for him, but this isn't what I would say is a love triangle. It reminds me more of the friendship between Harry and Hermione; they love each other and rely on one another, but it isn't more even though it may feel like it in the moment. It is also beautiful to see the way they cling to each other after having to hide and never really having friends all their lives. Also, she now has a pet, which is unheard of in this world as the Others have eliminated interaction between animals and humans.
As they travel through the Wilds to Portland, Althea is being targeted mentally by the others. If they can't find her body, they will find her mind. More insights into the world and its inhabitants are revealed and so many things change and just Ahh! I can't even tell you what I am excited about! I think this book is even better than the first, if that is even possible. I can't wait to see what is next and what we may fight out about the other characters. And we still have Spring and Summer to go...
Winter Omens is a touching, insightful, and beautifully written book. I really loved the way the song/Bible verse "To Everything There is a Season/Turn, Turn, Turn" weaves together the events in both books. Everyone should check out this series, not just YA readers or even Sci-Fi/Dystopian fans. This is a book that will get inside you and stay there! The Last Year series is one that I will be adding to my shelves in all forms. Plus, the covers of both books are gorgeous and represent the Seasons well. I think when all the books are finished, all the covers together will create something special.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Favorite Quote: "People don't question the Others. They rule us, maintain a pleasant society, employ us, but they are not us. They are Other." -Whispers In Autumn
FTC Advisory: I was given a copy of each book from the author for an honest review as part of a blog tour. No backroom deals or whispered promises were made.
About the Author:
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Trisha is an author of Young Adult fiction from Kansas City, MO. She’s currently writing/revising/cursing her next novel.
Raised by a family of ex-farmers and/or almost rock stars from Southeastern Iowa, Trisha always loved to tell stories. After graduating from Texas Christian University with a degree in Film, she began to search for a way to release the voices in her head. Trisha wrote a thriller and a couple of ghost stories, getting her feet wet and learning with each discarded manuscript. When she attempted her first YA novel, which would become Whispers in Autumn, she was hooked. Trisha knew then her heart lay with telling stories about and for young adults, and for anyone who loves to read and recapture those fleeting “first” moments.
Her spare time is spent reviewing television and movies, spending time with a large, loud, loving family, reading any book that falls into her hands, and being dragged into the fresh air by her dogs Yoda and Jilly.
Like everyone, Trisha’s had some ups and downs, but life is good. She’s writing. She’s happy.
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