Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Into the Sounds by Lee Murray Review

Book cover for Into the Sounds

Into the Sounds

On leave, and out of his head with boredom, NZDF Sergeant Taine McKenna joins biologist Jules Asher, on a Conservation Department deer culling expedition to New Zealand’s southernmost national park, where soaring peaks give way to valleys gouged from clay and rock, and icy rivers bleed into watery canyons too deep to fathom. Despite covering an area the size of the Serengeti, only eighteen people live in the isolated region, so it’s a surprise when the hunters stumble on the nation’s Tūrehu tribe, becoming some of only a handful to ever encounter the elusive ghost people. But a band of mercenaries saw them first, and, hell-bent on exploiting the tribes’ survivors, they’re prepared to kill anyone who gets in their way. As a soldier, McKenna is duty-bound to protect all New Zealanders, but after centuries of persecution will the Tūrehu allow him to help them? Besides, there is something else lurking in the sounds, and it has its own agenda. When the waters clear, will anyone be allowed to leave?

Lilyn’s Into the Sounds LOHF Review

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author for review consideration.

‘Into the Sounds’ was not planned, but it was apparently meant to be. So many people loved the characters and country we were introduced to in Lee Murray’s Into the Mist that we made a mighty noise and got the sequel we needed.

Murray knew what she was doing with ‘Into the Sounds’, and smartly avoided giving us a cookie cutter follow-up. Instead, we get a book that focuses on something a bit smaller, but equally important. Also, we get to experience a little bit more of New Zealand, which I loved. We all know it’s a gorgeous place, but she brings it to life for us in a way a shot of Hobbits walking along a mountain top cannot.

Never fear, though, there is a very large creature in this creature feature. One of the things I like most about Murray’s writing wasn’t something I particularly expected to care for one way or the other. I like that her creatures are actually possible. They’re not aliens. They’re not engineered mutations gone wild, etc. They’re actually semi-believable, and that adds a nice element to the story.

The characters are lovely as always. I felt for Trigger and the situation he was in. Too often our wounded warriors get forgotten about or written as though they had adjusted fine and everything was good to go. This felt much more realistic. Jules and Taine were present, of course, but the love story is still not the most important thing. There were others you’ll recognize as well, but I’ll leave those for you to discover.

I feel like the author’s greatest strengths lie in her characters, and her ability to show us all the land she loves.

‘Into the Sounds’ was a lovely read that I finished over a couple of days. The only area I really wasn’t in love with was the fights. Some of them worked well, but others – particularly involving the creature – I just couldn’t ‘see’ the way I can see the rest of her writing. The pacing, dialogue, and action are all lovely. The story is an intriguing one. The bad guy was a very believable evil and I spent most of the book – as appropriate – hoping he would die a truly horrible death.

If you liked ‘Into the Mist’, you will not be disappointed with ‘Into the Sounds’.

Get your copy at Severed Press | BetterWorldBooks | Amazon


About Lee Murray

Headshot of Lee MurrayLee Murray is a multi award-winning writer and editor of fantasy, science fiction, and horror (Australian Shadows, Sir Julius Vogel). Her titles for adults include the acclaimed Taine McKenna series of military thrillers (Severed Press) and supernatural crime-noir series The Path of Ra co-authored with Dan Rabarts (Raw Dog Screaming Press). Among her titles for children are YA novel Misplaced, and best-loved middle grade adventure Battle of the Birds, listed in the Best Books of the Year 2011 by New Zealand’s Dominion Post. Dawn of the Zombie Apocalypse, the first book in a series of speculative middle grade antics, is forthcoming from IFWG Australia. An acquiring editor for US boutique press Omnium Gatherum, Lee is a regular speaker at workshops, conferences and schools. She lives with her family in New Zealand where she conjures up stories for readers of all ages from her office overlooking a cow paddock.


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