Voiceless, by E.G. Wilson

taytaybomar7's review

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Voiceless has a great beginning, an interesting set of characters, and an overall compelling world. I enjoyed this story quite a bit, as it gave me the feeling a CS Lewis novel might, one of sophistication and meaning—I'm fairly positive E.G. Wilson wrote this novel with a meaning in the back of her mind. It felt weighty.

But for the novel being so short, I felt let down a little. I didn't particularly enjoy the last half of the story because I feel like I fell off a track. Plot twists felt haphazard, and I didn't find myself all that shocked because of them. I found myself slightly confused at the end, not quite sure what happened.

It is a beautiful novel, the writing impressive, and I will for sure be picking up the sequel when it releases. It's one of those books you become invested in, but it has the feeling of an author learning. I'm positive that as Wilson's career extends and expands, the stories will become stronger, and definitively more powerful.

blogan27's review

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This book really spiked my interest and had me empathising with the characters the whole way. A good read for anyone who wants something to get their teeth into, but also isn't overly complicated.

paigestoturn's review

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At 13, Addy is infected with VoxPox and loses both the voice and the ability to write, leaving her story telling abilities dead. Over the years, Addy learns how to adapt and survive to her new life. Addy makes some progress, managing to communicate through her holo. It’s an unfortunate, but liveable life. That is until her older brother gets VoxPox and Addy knows she needs to search for a cure.
Voiceless is set in a futuristic New Zealand. It’s filled with sibling bonds, corrupt companies, the dangerous future of technology. Addy is on a mission to save her brother, not herself. She’s selfless and understandable for anyone who has someone they care about.
Where Voiceless fails is in development. The plot itself is refreshing and intriguing, but also underdeveloped.
Addy is so determined to risk her life for her older brother, but their relationship is empty. There’s some moments of closeness, such as Theo’s birthday gift and Addy’s worry, but the strength is not developed enough. Maybe this is due to how quickly the plot moved in early chapters. Addy loses her voice immediately and from then on the story jumps three years in a matter of chapters. The setting—through minor characters and the futuristic setting—is empty. Because of this, I found the plot then slowed for a while.
As it picks up again, Maunga, Addy’s suspect for infecting her, becomes the highlight of the book. The complexities and backstory make Maunga the most developed character in the book. Even still, I wanted more. I wanted to understand her.
Overall, Voiceless has potential as the first in a series. I hope the questions and development will progress in the sequel.

edgoff's review

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This would be a book I re-read. I'd pick it up when the series continued, or when E.G. Wilson puts out another series. I'd introduce myself to Addy and the wonderful world that is Voiceless again and again. Everything about this book is fantastically woven into an all-night read. It's smashed full of drama and description. It even has some of that teenage sass that people tend to laugh at. I was surprised to feel Addy grow as the book progressed with each plot twist and turn. You can feel Addy figure herself out as the reader does. It was enchanting. A thrilling book! I'm looking forward to see what else E.G. Wilson comes up with in the future. I'll definitely be keeping an eye on her.

Thank you NetGalley and AmberJack Publishing for the e-book in exchange for an honest opinion.

novelbloglover's review

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Book Review
Title: Voiceless
Author: E. G. Wilson
Genre: YA/Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Rating: ****
Review: The opening to Voiceless was pretty good we meet Adelaide Te Ngawai who is a student at Te Maru Girls’ Grammar and is helping another student Maunga runs a study session. However, when it is Addy’s turn to present Maunga stabs her with something, a drug that makes her pass out, definitely a really gripping first chapter. It turns out the shot Maunga gave Addy was a man-made disease commonly known Vox Pox where it made its victims mute but also destroyed all their creative abilities. Addy slowly adjusts to being voiceless, but it isolates her greatly and despite learning to type well she lacks creativity in her stories and therefore fails every creative assignment at school and she can’t tell anyone how she lost her voice but Maunga threatens to go after her friends if she does plus no one would believe her.
As we approach the ¼ mark in the novel it has been eighteen months since Addy lost her voice, when Theo informs her that the virtual pyschoidentity simulator has been created and soon becomes life changing for many people and Addy thinks about going to TheraPRG for some time but always held herself back because writing is a required part of the session. However, things change when Theo returns home one day, and he has Vox Pox too, Addy immediately prepared to go to TheraRPG and prove Maunga and everyone else wrong.
As we cross the ¼ mark in the novel, Addy Enters to virtual world looking for Maunga to get her voice back but for a while everything she encounters is designed to mess with her mind unless she comes across Seth a ghost in the system. As he is the first person she has encountered she realises she can talk her and tells Seth everything that has lead her to this point and he agrees to help her as she knows where Maunga is gone and really seems like he actually wants to help Addy. I was a bit disappointed that the virtual world doesn’t go into extreme depths about its origins or what others experience but I hope we will learn more through Seth as they head out on a quest of sorts to find the woman who stole her voice.
As we cross into the second half of the novel, Addy and Seth makes their way out of the city with some help from another ghost Dave which is a lot more difficult than it seems as most of the transportation is designed for ghosts meaning pilgrims like Addy can’t use them, but they manage it through some smart intellect and quick thinking. When the final reach the area of the mountain Maunga is supposedly waiting in Addy realises that Seth has been playing her fulfilling both his promise to her and Maunga. When they finally come face to face Maunga confesses she was dating Seth’s original and after they drifted apart she met ghost Seth and they started up again. When Addy demands to know why she stole her voice she learns that Maunga was being blackmailed by the woman who created the Vox pox saying that if Maunga didn’t steal someone’s voice she would lose hers and Addy was just a convenient opportunity. Maunga also tells Addy that because she can influence the sim and her timer has gone over the regulated four hours she is the only one that can help Maunga track down the woman who has destroyed both their lives.
As we cross into the final section of the novel Maunga and Addy have to find the woman, but Seth can’t come with them. We learn they are going to see Caroline York the overseer at Breach who has a ghost of herself inside the system and it is ghost Caroline they are going to see. When they get there Caroline explains why she did everything and Addy makes a decision that is going to change her life forever but before she has to leave her brother promises that he will return her home as soon as he can.
I can’t say too much about this book without giving away a lot of the twists but I can’t wait to get into the sequel Expression as soon as I can.

deadgoodbookreviews's review

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Full review up on my blog:

Sounds pretty cool doesn’t it? I’ve been gradually trying to dip my toe into the waters of science fiction and I think this was a really good place to dip. There wasn’t too much science babble to confuse me but there were elements of futuristic-ness that made the whole thing seem very exciting. I get why people read this genre, I mean fantasy is my first and only true love but I’m coming round to the idea of science fiction.

Anyway, back to the matter at hand. I thought that the way Wilson conveys the change of suddenly losing one’s voice and also one’s creativity was handled well. I think this kind of thing is always a bit tricky and you can sort of feel the author wanting to get on to the meat of the story, but they don’t shy away from conveying the difficult emotions that come from being totally isolated from the life you once lived.

Addy is a pretty cool main character. She managed to deal with her condition without becoming aggressively whiney and nor does she feel unrealistically brave. She does what she does because she has to, not because she is the saviour of mankind or anything.

Let’s talk about the ‘psychoreality’, this is kind of therapy crossed with inception. There are dream-like elements to the way things work but it all comes down to some kind of science in the end. Maybe I have a tendency to skim read detail or maybe this just isn’t explained as you’re meant to understand as much as Addy would have understood. At any rate, the science isn’t the most important part, the story is.

This is a story that touches on many themes, defying adversity, the threat of medical advancement, siblings, enmities and overcoming enmities, the whole nine. They’re all woven together into an enjoyable story that will have you anxiously flipping the pages to find out what happens next.

I’m interested to see where the story will go in the second part of the duology and I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled.

My rating 3.5/5 stars, this isn’t precisely my cup of tea but it was an enjoyable read.

By the way, I received a digital advanced review copy of Voiceless from the publisher (Atthis Arts, LLC) in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I wouldn’t recommend things unless I genuinely thought you would enjoy them!

mermaidmoonqueen's review

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I received a copy of the book from the publisher on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Voiceless is the debut novel of E.G. Wilson, and while it's not the strongest debut ever, I feel that it is a pretty respectable one, especially with such a unique premise. The main character, Addy's, voice was stolen when she was 13 by a school bully named Maunga. From there, we follow Addy as she struggles with what happens to her. At the age of sixteen, Addy tries this test, called VPR, which sends someone into this world that's a bit of the subconscious, a bit of another world. She goes there to confront Maunga about why, exactly, she stole her voice.

While I didn't feel that this book was fantastic and wonderful, I did enjoy it and was absorbed enough to finish in a couple days. I stayed up at night to finish it because it was an easy, fun read. It was definitely a book that I could see being a favorite of a middle-grade reader. There were quite a few things I also thought this book did well.

The setting in this book is really unique and prominent. Voiceless is set in a futuristic New Zealand, but the really interesting thing is that most of the characters are Maori, which is not a culture that you ever see in literature, much less YA literature, MUCH LESS YA fantasy literature. But the thing I also liked about this book was that it wasn't focused on the Maori culture- it was just seamlessly integrated into the story. You could tell from the names (first and last), the casual greetings put in, the casual tidbits of culture spread throughout the book. So that was really cool for me. It's also set in the future, so there a lot of cool technology that we get to experience as well. Overall, the setting was just really well done.

The plot of this book is already really unique and interesting. Maunga, the girl that steals Addy's voice, does so by injecting her with a man-made virius called Vox Pox. Little is known about Vox Pox, except that it steals your voice and your creativity. So dancers lose their ability, painters can't paint, etc. For Addy, she loses the ability to write. Everything she writes is basic. But this is just the set-up of the actual plot, which takes place in the VPR, where Addy goes on a journey to confront the person who did this to her in the first place and find out why.

Now, sadly, I have to talk about the weaknesses of this book, and I also think that there were quite a few weaknesses here. The first being the characters. A large part of the problem is with Addy. We follow Addy from ages 13 to 16, but this novel isn't long because it skips around. The problem with that is that we don't really see Addy struggling with the depression she says she gets after Vox Pox. We hear about it (it's never called depression though but like, why not?? What's with the dumb "black fog" imagery?? Just say depression, it literally doesn't matter) but honestly we never see Addy depressed. We see her pull away from friends and work really hard to be able to speak through writing but that's... really it. And to me, that's a big flaw. If you want to skip around in time, that's fine, but at least give us snapshots to the important things (like the depression you keep saying the main character has???)

Another thing is that the character's motivations are all really flimsy. Maunga's motivation to give Addy Vox Pox isn't revealed until the end and even then it's just kind of a set-up for a bigger, badder boss (who is, by the way, the most random of characters.) Except that bigger, badder boss's motivation is like... non-existent.
SpoilerThe big boss is like "yeah, I made vox pox for science" but she never explains what she's trying to discover from Vox Pox or why she made it in the first place.
So you just end up unsatisfied with the whole WHY of the novel, the mystery that keeps you reading.

And then there's Addy. Addy is a really flat character. The author tries to give her some dimension by having her battle depression, but because we don't see her going through it, she remains one dimensional. And it's really sad, because on the surface she does have what it takes to be a great protagonist, but because she has no depth she falls flat. She seems to be self-sacrificing, but I really don't understand WHY she has to be. And her reason for sacrificing herself is her brother, but we hardly see them having meaningful interactions at ALL throughout the whole book. So her motivations are just as flat as she is.

In the end, this story has an interesting plot that just can't carry it through all the flaws in the characters and in the motivations. There's not enough WHY to carry on through the HOW of this novel. I am hoping that the flaws in this book are resolved in the sequel however. I will be giving the sequel a read, but I'm hesitant to say I recommend this book or series because of the big weaknesses it displayed.

aliciasirvid's review

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Adelaide Te Ngawai's voice is stolen, and not just her voice, her ability to communicate. She knows who infected her, Maunga Richards. But why would Maunga give her Vox Pox?

It's the worst thing imaginable, especially for a writer, but Adelaide's brother makes her a device to help her cope, and slowly but surely Adelaide begins to claw her life back. Still, nothing about the illness makes any sense, it's restricted to a small area, and appears to be a man-made condition. But how? And why? Adelaide is determined to unravel the mystery.

She plans to confront Maunga in a virtual reality world, and what she finds is what makes this book so fascinating. I loved the bizarre world of the virtual reality, and how the plot twists and turns inside it.

Although character and the plot were at times subserviant to the themes, it was still a fun book, and EG Wilson did a great job of exploring her dual themes of self-expression and disablity. For a new author, she had a strong, and enjoyable voice relevant to her character, and as a part of that voice, there were poem-style interludes to add resonance. I enjoyed the interludes, but never fear, they're not vital to the plot.

An enjoyable read, with interesting social commentary, and definitely an author to keep an eye on.

didyousaybooks's review

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I was given an ARC review of this book by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Sadly, I’m DNFing it right now. I went to 54% but no more!
It’s just so confusing, all over the place and so badly characterized.
It starts pretty ok, albeit a bit confusing but intriguing enough. But just as it starts, it goes downhill from there.
You get no character development, the « plot » jumps weeks, months YEARS ahead very quickly and it’s just useless. Pointless. Voiceless indeed.

Sorry, I tried and now I pass.

kelseykeating's review

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I can honestly say this book is one of the most unique I've read. It's a debut novel, and falls into a few traps debuts tend to. However, this world is unlike any other.
It's a quick read and I'm looking forward to finding out what happens in the second book!!