Whispers of the Gone

Young Adult - Mythology/Fairy Tale
244 Pages
Reviewed on 10/17/2022
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Cloie Belle Daffon for Readers' Favorite

Life in the Enclave was much slower than in the cities, especially since Elves took their time because they have plenty of it; however, something seems to have happened. For once, the people of the Enclave seemed to be in a hurry. After the Rebellion, most Seeker Families were killed and in the Thrudore Enclave, only Sellusa’s family, the Natanus family, survived. Seekers were strong, courageous, and loyal and they arose in times of need. Selli has the blood of an adventurer in her and she was determined to carry out her duties and avenge her father too. She was summoned by Lady T’Serra because of urgent business - she found out that children have been going missing for the past two weeks. They have no idea who was behind this and it is up to her to look into the matter. Where will her adventures lead her to? What truths will she discover along the way? Read Whispers of the Gone by Julie Hodgson to find out!

Whispers of the Gone is a young adult fantasy book by Julie Hodgson and illustrated by Mona Lena. Selli is a determined and brave fifteen-year-old who carries a heavy legacy on her shoulder as the last remaining Samúð in Haltasia. Her quest to find the missing children uncovered surprising truths and the mission was fraught with danger. Her distinctive character captured my attention from the get-go. I was drawn deeper into the story because of Hodgson’s amazing ability to capture the reader's interest from the very first page and I was also hooked by the substantial plot and surprising twists along the way. The tale is filled with a healthy dose of adventure, conflict, mystery, and so much more! Hodgson created a unique world through detailed world-building and I couldn’t wait to explore every crevice of it as I read Selli’s story! Mona Lena’s illustrations of the characters and events add vision to this world and help the story come to life. The art adds a bright perspective to the already fantastic and engrossing tale. Fantastic work!

K.J. Simmill

In Julie Hodgson's Whispers of the Gone, very few elves were able to travel between the realms, and fewer still could hide the tell-tale signs of their heritage. But Selli was a Seeker with extraordinary gifts, including the ability to blend in. For years she had found her own adventure, until the day she followed in her father's footsteps and became the youngest Seeker in history. A Seeker's job was to be courageous, to step up when their people needed a hero, and they certainly needed one now. Elven children were going missing. Thrusore Enclave's best guardians had been sent to investigate, returning empty-handed. They needed a hero, a Seeker; they needed Selli, but she had no idea of exactly what she is about to stumble into. Everything is not at peace in Thrusore Enclave.

Julie Hodgson's Whispers of the Gone is a short children's fantasy occurring between the human realm and Elven enclaves. Written in a third-person narrative centering around the young Seeker Selli, the reader is introduced to a world similar yet different to our own.  While guiding the reader through the plot, it also attempts to make the reader consider issues such as the way humans treat their world, child poverty, and change, all through Selli's observations. The simple style of writing combines with some good visual images in a way that would appeal to a young reader. Action, danger, betrayal, and mystery fill the plot that has both somber and heartwarming aspects integrated within to create a fun read.

Susan Sewell

The children of an Elven community have gone missing, and the Seeker is commissioned to find them in the exciting middle-grade fantasy, Whispers of The Gone by Julie Hodgson. Young elves of the Enclave of Thurdor are mysteriously vanishing. When the High Elf requests that the Seeker Selli search for them, she begins by interviewing the families of the lost youngsters. After talking to the parents of the missing, Selli still hasn't found any leads. During her search of the Enclave, Selli discovers that orphan children disappeared long before the other children were taken, only no one noticed. When Selli is captured by a human, she finds that things are not as they seem. Tortured and betrayed, Selli is in trouble. Can she rescue the Elven children before it is too late? Will she meet the same fate as those before her?

Whispers of The Gone by Julie Hodgson is a fabulous fairy tale set in a charming kingdom. With an uncomplicated, straightforward plot, the book is perfect for children just beginning to read fantasy. I appreciated the storyline, with the main theme being good winning over evil. Likable and engaging, the orphans' characters won my heart from the onset. Although the plot is well-written, the story takes a rather drastic turn, and I was surprised that the elven children used firearms. Even though their use was in self-defense, I was disturbed that the children felt that they had to resort to this. Despite the violence, this book is a lovely story that will entrance readers ages twelve and up.