Home > Book Review, Joe Ledger > Book Review- Deep Silence by Jonathan Maberry

Book Review- Deep Silence by Jonathan Maberry

Deep SilenceI love well written series fiction. As a reader, it’s some of the most rewarding types of storytelling around. You get to go on a journey with characters and watch them grow and change as they face adversity and the harsh realities of their world. The right writer will have you knowing and loving these characters as if they were your own friends and family, and Jonathan Maberry is just such a writer. Over the course of nine novels I’ve come to view the title character of his Joe Ledger series as a brother at arms. Him, his faithful dog Ghost, and the soldiers, scientists, and support staff of the secretive organization they work for, the Department of Military Sciences, are people I love spending time with. Some times that time can be rough and painful because Maberry’s cast are larger than life heroes, but they are still human beings who routinely confront man made and fantastic horrors. So, sometimes, the stumble and fall, but as I said they’re heroes, and when they fall they learn from their mistakes and get right back up. So the Ledger novels are often fun, exciting, harrowing, heartbreaking, and inspiring tales. “Deep Silence, the newest installment in the series, is all of that and more.

One of the best things about the book is it’s full of payout moments for long term fans of the series. The plot of the book heavily involves mysteries from two previous adventures. I’m not going to spoil it and tell you which ones. Part of the joy of the novel is getting the answers for yourself. I will say though that in “Deep Silence” you get some concrete answers about the mysterious world Ledger and the DMS live in. They’re the best kind of answers though, ones that raise more questions. As a reader I was left feeling like I was just seeing the tip of a very large and fantastic iceberg, and I can’t wait to find out more about lies below the surface.

Tone wise, the Ledger books are masterfully fixed cocktails that blend the trappings250px-JonathanMaberry of military thrillers with other fantastic genres. I can tell you there’s a lot of science fiction elements at work in “Deep Silence,” but sci-fi is often about confronting the unknown. That can be a scary thing. And as fans of Maberry’s work know he’s a master at telling horror stories. So, prepare yourself Ledger fans! You’re going to be scared and your heart is going to break a number of times while reading this book. I cried on a couple of occasions. That also means though that you’re going to clap and cheer just ad often. Because as we all know, Joe and the DMS are a never-say-die crew.

The horror in “Deep Silence” is a particularly chilling blend too. Quite a bit of it comes from strange and sinister sources, but there’s also a significant exploration of the horrors people can do to each other and themselves.

If you’re thinking that sounds like a recipe for some great character moments you’d be right. Joe has a lot of very cool and personal moments in “Deep Silence.” I also didn’t think it was possible for me to love his dog, Ghost, even more, but thanks to some very poignant passages in the novel I do.

Joe’s long time brothers and arms Top and Bunny don’t get as big a focus in “Deep Silence” but they do get some huge scenes that offer new and cool insight into their characters. I’ve talked in depth in past reviews about how fantastic Maberry is at action scenes, but what I haven’t touched upon as much is his great ability to add to character with those slam-bang fight sequences. There’s an especially cool scene in “Deep Silence” that made me understand and like Bunny even more than I did. It’s just a couple of paragraphs from his point of view, but they’re particularly insightful and moving.

Deep Silence” also gives a number of the DMS support staff time to shine. You get some more clues about their enigmatic leader, Mr. Church, which is always great. For me though, the DMS’ new head scientist Doc Holiday really stole the show. She got a lot of great moments that showed how cool and layered a character she is.

Readers also get to spend some time with Tracy Cole, a member of Echo Team who was introduced last novel. I loved her introduction and enjoyed getting to know her more in this book. We also met some of Echo Team’s brand new Spec Ops shooters. My favorite, is the team’s new sniper. And it’s not the first time I’ve fallen in love with an Echo Team sniper. Maberry seems to have a real knack for creating fascinating and fully fleshed out sharp shooting characters.

So, as you can guess I utterly loved “Deep Silence.” It’s one of the best novels in the Ledger series, and one of the best things about it is it moves the series forward in so many new and exciting directions. I can’t wait to see where Maberry takes things next.

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Categories: Book Review, Joe Ledger
  1. December 26, 2018 at 8:00 pm

    I loved this book. Love the whole Joe Ledger series (well, except for Predator One). You are absolutely right about his ability to add character to the fight scenes.

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