Thursday, 2 July 2015

Clare Reviews Revenge: I Am Her Revenge by Meredith Moore vs Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan

Title: I Am Her Revenge                                        Title: Daughter of Deep Silence
Author: Meredith Moore                                       Author: Carrie Ryan
Series: No                                                               Series: No
Rating: 5/5                                                               Rating: 4/5

On the surface these two books are almost completely different. I Am Her Revenge follows Vivian who has been raised with the sole purpose of getting revenge on the man who hurt her Mother. Meanwhile Daughter of Deep Silence is about Frances who, after a devastating ship wreck, takes on the identity of her best friend Libby. She finds out that certain people, including her one-time love have been lying about the sinking of the ship. She sets out to discover what they are hiding and to get revenge. So all these books seem to share is a vengeful purpose.

Both Vivian and Frances are fairly unlikable characters. Although Vivian starts unlikable and grows to be wonderful whilst Frances almost develops backwards, she starts as a sympathetic character and then twists herself so much that at some point I stopped rooting for her. This is the main difference between these books and the reason I Am Her Revenge got the extra star. I loved Meredith Moore's characterisation. Vivian is possibly one of the most compelling characters I have ever read. Yes, she is twisted and cruel at times and she is undeniably manipulative. But she is also vulnerable and hurting. Frances, started vulnerable. But she made terrible choices along the way. Which I suppose is where these two characters differ, Frances has a choice. Vivian doesn't.

The plot of Daughter of Deep Silence was interesting at first, there was plenty of vengeful planning and some interesting scenes and I was keen to find out what the truth was. But as the book wore on I got fed up with Frances' decisions and that kind of affected my enjoyment of the plot. I Am Her Revenge was a fairly slow burner. There were bits that were disturbing or worrying and the menace of Vivian's Mother was ever present which kept me turning the pages.

Frances had to deal with her ex-boyfriend/crush since he and his father were the object of her revenge plot, but she finds herself remembering what she loved about him and wondering if he could be as bad as she had thought he was. I never really felt their romance, it wasn't insta-love in the sense that they had already dated when she was Frances but when she shows up as Libby, he doesn't recognise her but still falls in love fairly quickly. There are some quite interesting awkward moments inside Frances's head where she becomes a little jealous of herself. I didn't dislike the romance and it never got to a point where it took over the greater plot. Vivian's love interest situation is a little more complicated. And it's complicated to even describe it without giving spoilers. But I will say I loved the way it was handled and I think everything went the way it should have done. (Sorry - vague).

Vivian also had a great villain in Mother. Capitalised. Always. She was creepy and menacing and even from an ocean away she still terrified Vivian. She was so twisted and bitter and I almost got goosebumps every time she was mentioned or appeared. She made any scene that much tenser. And it was wonderful. The villain in Daughter of Deep Silence was less menacing in a way. You don't find out really who the main villains are until near the end of the book, and the Senator and his son are way too domestic and harmless seeming to provide any real menace. Towards the end everything became very intense which was when the book got a whole lot better. Things were happening, characters were developing, mysteries were being revealed. That part I liked. But compared with the always-looming threat of Mother it was a lot tamer.

Overall both books were very good and I would definitely recommend picking them up. However I Am Her Revenge comes out on top since it was near perfect in almost everything. I think if I had read Daughter of Deep Silence at any other time than right after I Am Her Revenge I would have liked it a whole lot more. I am very excited to read more of Carrie Ryan's books and I am waiting eagerly for anything else Meredith Moore writes.

Let me know if you've read either of these books and if you agree or disagree with my comments.              

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