Monday, November 9, 2020

We Hear Voices by Evie Green

Billy was on the brink of death, one of many to catch J5X, the virus ripping its way through the population. But just when all hope is lost, Billy recovers. And that's when Delfy appears. Or rather, doesn't. 

Rachel believes Delfy is Billy's new imaginary friend adopted, she thinks, as a response to having been close to death. But what Rachel doesn't know is that Delfy isn't the only imaginary friend to have appeared after a recovery from the "flu." In fact, a local doctor has begun focusing exclusively on such cases. And he knows that it's only a matter of time before Delfy starts to have increased influence over Billy's behavior. 

As Rachel struggles to support her family and deal with Billy's increasingly disturbing acts, his sister Nina, one of a handful of students accepted into an elite space program, has started her own investigation into Billy's new friend. Soon it becomes clear to all of them that there is nothing normal about Delfy at all. 

We Hear Voices is a near future science fiction with some great horror undertones. It's also a weird one to read in this current climate, but don't let Covid deter you!

Rachel, her partner, and her three children live in a London that is similar to today's except for a few things. First, a mega corporation has bought up most of the city's land and housing and a good portion of the city is employed by said company. Second, the world is on the literal brink of sending people to live in space. 

People refer to J5X as a flu, but it's nothing of the kind. There's no cure and it's killing swaths of people across the world. And yet some people do recover. Billy is one of the lucky few. Which is why Rachel doesn't see what Nina sees from the start, that Billy's new "friend" isn't an innocent response to isolation and loneliness. 

We Hear Voices is not without flaws. I was somewhat underwhelmed by the ending, especially considering the momentum that drives the plot up to that point. But I did love Rachel and Nina and the world-building involved in this particular story. And even with Covid running as background noise throughout my reading, I found this to be excellent escapism. I'm actually kind of hoping that there'll be a sequel, but I'm not at all sure if that's in the plans (the deal announcement is only for the one book, sadly).

If you're not necessarily a fan of science fiction or horror, I should point out that this is more in line with a thriller that has a lot of family drama components. The main thrust of the novel is Rachel's concern about her family. The genre elements definitely take a backseat to this, making the novel one that I think will appeal to a very broad audience. 

We Hear Voices is out December 1 from Berkley!

Preorder a copy from your favorite indie via Bookshop!

1 comment:

Tammy Sparks said...

This sounds so good! I have an eARC and I may have to bump it to the top of the pile😁