The Silence by Tim Lebbon

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This isn’t a zombie survival horror, but “undiscovered creature” kind of horror. There was a live feed on Discovery Channel of a new cave system being explored. Robots and divers were exploring a new system when the feed turns frantic, people end up dead, and it goes off the air. What happened was they released a kind of bat-like animal that feeds ravenously on anything that makes any noise what-so-ever. A lone individual isn’t too dangerous, they are frail creatures and burst when you swing a club at them…. but what they lack in resilience they make up for in numbers. They swarm a victim and tear them apart like piranhas.

At the beginning of the book it made a reference to horror movies and how many rely on shock and gore to make something scary rather than making a movie that’s eerie and unsettling. I believe that whole-heartedly and I was excited that maybe this one would be a little different.

In a way it was, but in other ways it was very much the same kind of survivalist horror. I did come to like the characters, and there was a decent amount of time spent on the relationships between the characters and building up tension about who was going to live or die. It was too slow, though, there was too much time spent on the build up… at 40% I was checking to see how long I had left because I was starting to get bored.

What did make it somewhat more unique though was the type of threat and the ways to avoid said threat. Since the MC is deaf from the start, her and her family are able to use sign language to get around the fact they can’t speak. The flying things act like bats and use sound as their way to hunt. Now, this would not really work if they had true echolocation as was suggested in the book. Echolocation is supposed to build a mental image that’s as detailed as standard vision and would not have spared people who were just sitting very quietly as happened in the book.

The little bat things also laid eggs in their victims and spawned endlessly, and since they don’t just eat people but anything that moves, it’s not just a humanity wipe-out event, it’s all living things. Birds, cows, dogs etc – I think water animals were left alone, though.

I found some aspects of this to be predictable, but overall it didn’t take away much enjoyment from me. I did find myself rooting for the characters and hoping that they made it – so mission accomplished as far as the point of the book.


  • Plot: 10/15
  • Characters: 11/15
  • World Building: 9/15
  • Writing: 12/15
  • Pacing: 9/15
  • Originality: 10/15
  • Personal Enjoyment: 6/10

Final Score: 67/100 or 3.35/5 on Goodreads