I love scary things (one of my favorite shows is Supernatural), and I’m drawn to psychological thrillers, so I eagerly downloaded The Murmurings once I was approved to read it. I’m glad I ended up giving Carly Anne West’s debut novel a try, because it was both genuinely spooky, and a good, moving read all at the same time. I was actually scared once or twice while reading, and that just doesn’t happen – I don’t scare easily. The fact that the main character Sophie is sometimes an unreliable narrarator only added to the twisted, trippy feel to The Murmurings. West’s book reminded me in a lot of ways of Lucid, another psychological thriller I enjoyed!
Sophie is reeling from the shock of her older sister, Nell’s death, and starting to hear and see the kind of things Nell heard and saw – murmurings, voices that aren’t dechiperable, things that can’t be possible. There was a Gothic feel to The Murmurings complete with a dysfunctinal family, and especially when the asylum Nell stayed at came into play throughout this book. Sophie is disjointed at times and doesn’t trust herself – so as a reader, I wondered if – I – could trust what was happening, especially when the REAL story began to unfold.
The Murmurings is one of those books where you think you’re going to read one kind of a story, then it turns into something else altogether. There’s a supernatural element that I didn’t forsee coming, and while at first it felt far-fetched, I relaxed into what THE MURMURINGS truly is – a mysterious, sad, ghost story. Blythe said it best in her review
; the first half is one sort of book, and the second half is another. And the second half is where The Murmurings really shines.
There’s a blush of romance that’s sweet, and gives hope to this otherwise starkly scary tale. West blended that romance in really tenderly, almost a hum in the background, and managed to balance the pacing really well, I thought. I never felt jarred out of The Murmurings.
Although I did feel like some things were wrapped up too neatly at the end, I had to work for my answers, which I liked, and the climax of The Murmurings played out in a pretty cool way. I almost felt like instead of reading a book, I was watching a GOOD scary movie – not one that relies on loud noises, but one that REALLY scares you, and leaves you looking over your shoulder as you walk through your dark house afterward, or afraid to dangle your feet over the bed because of what might be underneath.
If you’re looking for a deliciously dark, spine-tingling read, try The Murmurings. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.