The Ancient Whisper

Book One (A Whisper of a Mystery Trilogy) (Volume 1)

Fiction - Mystery - General
390 Pages
Reviewed on 05/19/2018
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite

The Ancient Whisper: A Whisper of a Mystery Trilogy, Volume 1 by M.A. Appleby is the story of Ellen Andress, a woman who has her life turned upside down when she is kidnapped and taken somewhere. A mother and a fighter, she becomes suspicious when she finds out that she has been taken away by some men who say they are FBI agents. Given a new identity, she takes things into her own hands to get back her life and make sure that she and her family safely make it out of this conspiracy that they have found themselves in. What is the actual purpose of kidnapping her and her family? What can Ellen do to get safety for herself and her family? Can she even get out of this life that forces more powerful than her have given her?

The Ancient Whisper is a mystery that I loved reading. It had me on the edge of my seat and kept me guessing and guessing until the very last chapter. This is not your garden variety mystery; it has substance and it easily connects with the reader. Try as hard as I might, I was unable to find any loopholes in the story, which was really refreshing. The tension and mystery were so thick that I could almost taste them. I really enjoyed how the atmosphere was created and then carried forward. In fifteen chapters that have been uniquely named, author M.A. Appleby gave the story a lot of substance and ensured that the reader stayed invested and interested in the story all the way to the end. The characters are very well-developed and actually add to the story and keep the reader more interested. I enjoyed the flow of the plot and how the author mixed horse racing and betting without deviating from the actual story line. I loved it and really enjoyed it!

Kim Anisi

The Ancient Whisper is book one in A Whisper of a Mystery Trilogy by M.A. Appleby. Ellen, the main character, finds herself the "guest" of a prince, probably in the Middle East somewhere, who doesn't reveal much about himself or the reason why Ellen is not where she thought she'd be: back home with her family. Ellen learns that the plane, in which her husband already was, has exploded, and that another woman had, for unknown reasons, taken Ellen's place after knocking her out (with drugs) at the airport. After a weird time with the prince and his people, Ellen is taken back to where she had been drugged, but things don't improve much: after all, she's supposed to be dead and somehow has to prove she truly is herself. The FBI puts her in a special protection program, and sends her off to manage a dilapidated horse farm with no money and no income. Her kids are reunited with her, but the world Ellen enters to make money is not the least dangerous one. And the FBI agents aren't really FBI agents.

I wasn't quite sure what I was getting into when I started The Ancient Whisper by M.A. Appleby. Just like the protagonist, the reader has no clue about what is happening. And that's not a bad thing! Just like Ellen, you learn one thing at a time and not always at the time when you WANT the information. This helps a lot with keeping readers glued to the page. I liked the plot, but had some ambivalent feelings about Ellen. But then she turned out to be a really savvy woman who had to build something from ... well, not ashes, and not nothing, but what she had to work with would be a challenge for everyone. In addition, she also had to deal with the mystery surrounding her situation. As well as the main plot, there are plenty of side plots to add to the entertainment value of the novel. It's not really light-hearted, but also not an incredibly dark story. It's a pleasant read, and exciting enough to make you keep turning the pages even when you feel like you should actually turn off the lights and sleep!

Donna Gielow McFarland

The Ancient Whisper: Book 1 of A Whisper of a Mystery Trilogy by M.A. Appleby is a very different sort of whodunit. Ellen Andress is at the Kauai Airport, ready to travel home from vacation with her husband, when she wakes up disoriented and trapped in a Middle Eastern country. Apparently she’s been abducted, but her kidnappers are a kind prince with a really long name and his enormous sidekick. They assure her they are working hard on a plan to send her back and she must trust them, but they refuse to explain anything. Ellen is not the type to just accept this, but her protests accomplish nothing (she’s pretty funny, though). The story winds its way past the FBI, the CIA and the boys’ club at the racetrack as Ellen finds a way to make the best of her situation.

The Ancient Whisper kept me on the edge of my seat as I tried to figure out what was going on. Appleby doles out clues excruciatingly slowly, making Ellen’s frustration feel very real. This is not a book where the reader can accurately predict what will happen next. Besides the lure of the mystery, it is impressive to watch Ellen’s inner strength as she handles what life throws at her. As the story went on, I was hoping the ending was going to be worth it and it certainly was, but it was also very complex. I had to read some sections a second time in order to understand what happened. Nevertheless, I highly recommend this family-friendly novel with a sophisticated plot for YA and adult readers. For the best impact, jump into the first chapter right now without reading anything more that might contain a spoiler.