Hello readers! Hope you're all having an awesome end to your weekend, I know I am! Tonight I'm sharing another review with you guys of a recent release I devoured earlier this month from an author I absolutely love. I met this incredible woman at UtopYA last summer and her enthusiasm and optimism have inspired me since. She's such an inspiration to all of her colleagues and fans. I am so excited to have read my first read from her. On the chopping block tonight? Hear the Crickets by the incredible BJ Sheldon! Before we get to my thoughts, here's a bit about the novel and our author:
B.J. lives in the Black Hills of South Dakota with her best friend and husband, Steven, an Army veteran. They have 3 daughters, 3 cats, and a dog – all of whom are trying to take over the world. She grew up in Iowa and spent many years in sunny Arizona before finally settling down in the hills that she loves. She has a B.S. degree in Project Management from the University of Phoenix and has a PhD in life. B.J. began reading at age 4, and by the 4th grade had already read most of the literary classics. Her hobbies include cuticle care, fighting off zombies, and traveling through space and time with a mad man in a blue box.
After meeting BJ Sheldon in person and experiencing her warm, inspiring personality, I could not wait to finally devour one of her novels. When I was contacted by her publisher seeking review for her upcoming release, Hear the Crickets, I jumped a the opportunity. After reading the synopsis I was confident this would definitely be right up my alley. As anyone who follows my posts regularly will know, I'm a huge fan of this trope and can never get enough. Could Sheldon hold her own against some of the greatest writers of our generation?
In true One Guy's Guide to Good Reads fashion, I'll get my few negative critiques out of the way first.
I sat on this review for some time, because I really didn't know how best to put my thoughts on my two biggest criticism into words. So I'll just throw them out here on the table and then rave later. First off, there were a few lulls in the book. Nothing bad, just quite a bit of down time in between action scenes. Sheldon definitely feels the dead zones with lots of thoughts and reflection, but it was odd pacing for me as a reader to see so many high octane scenes followed by chapters of no action. Not bad, just unexpected for a novel of this particular genre.
Second, I really did not care for the main character. Skyy was not likable, nor relatable for me in almost any way. I personally found her to be pushy, rude, and extremely selfish, with very little regard for those who love and care for her. In one aspect I almost believe that Sheldon wrote Skyy in this fashion deliberately. As so the reader can see the redemption of the character. And in a way, I definitely saw the redemption, but it still wasn't enough for me to ultimately care about her eternal well-being. I loved the supporting cast (we'll discuss that later), but I have to say that it was difficult at times to read a story in which you don't care for the main character. This could just be an 'Ethan-thing' but it did hinder my reading experience slightly.
Okay we're done with the negatives, let's rave!
So when it comes to the plot of Hear the Crickets, I was really intrigued. I have read quite a few angel/demon/watcher-esque novels as they are one of my favorite tropes, but this one definitely stood on its' own and stood out. Sheldon does an incredible job taking the legends and twisting them to fit her own version of the story. It's both memorable and intriguing. Research clearly went into this read and this blogger definitely appreciated the attention to detail that Sheldon put into this novel. Especially regarding the archaeology and geology aspect of the story, Sheldon did an incredible job with the science and the historical aspect of Hear the Crickets. As a detail-oriented reader, that was really noteworthy for me. (That being said, I would have LOVED to see more of the historical settings that Sheldon briefly mentioned in the novel. Maybe more of that in coming sequels?) The plot was full of twists and some gripping backstories for our characters that I didn't see coming.
And the ending?! You best believe that this guy is ready for the sequel, I NEED to know what happens next.
I've already expressed my thoughts on Skyy, the main character in the novel, but haven't touched on the others. While I may not have cared for Skyy, I absolutely loved the rest of the cast. Each character was written to their full potentials, each had an emotional past and an important role to play in the plot. It was really interesting to see where some of the most... obscure... characters fit into the story. My favorite character, by far, was that of Skyy's human-best friend, Sean. Sean is nerdy, compassionate, and loyal to a fault. He loves and cares for Skyy unconditionally, even though she is a pretty rough friend to have at times. I think Sean is a character than many readers will be able to relate to. His role in the story for me was one of the most heart-wrenching and I really loved the was Sheldon utilized his character. Love Dorian and frienemy Lillith proved to be two more extremely well-rounded characters that I loved reading from.
This novel really features some absolutely incredible themes as well. Sheldon had me catching the feels on more than one occasion. Covering powerful subjects such as depression, acceptance, love, destiny, life, death, and family, Sheldon proves that life is so much more than just an adventure from point A to B. I'm not kidding, I caught some major feels when reading this one.
Sheldon has crafted an elegant tale full of spirit, reflection, and redemption; Hear the Crickets is not to be missed. A powerful beginning to a series with massive potential, add this one to your TBR today!
As you can see, I had a couple of big critiques for Hear the Crickets, but in the end, it was a read that I did thoroughly enjoy. I can't wait for more from Sheldon and this series. I am granting Hear the Crickets a well-deserved 4-star review. A highly recommended read for all readers YA and up. Don't miss out on this new series from Sheldon and Whiskey Creek Press!
Alright readers, that's all I have for you on the topic of Hear the Crickets by BJ Sheldon. While not without some issues, it was still a novel that I was really excited to have read. I know I'll be anxiously anticipating its' upcoming sequel. Be on the look out for more on that as info becomes available. Thank so much to Whiskey Creek Press for supplying me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review and thanks to the reader for stopping by! Until next time, Happy Reading!