Published by Horrific Tales Publishing, Voices is the final installment in the Whisper trilogy, written by the supremely talented Michael Bray. Although Voices stands well on its own, you will only really appreciate its continuity and nuances if you’ve read the first two books in the series. Although I maintain a relatively strict spoiler-free stance in most of my reviews, this review will assume you’ve read Whisper and Echoes and will include spoilers from the first two books, so beware.
Voices takes place where Echoes leaves off. Steve is dead and Melody Samson is determined to put the horrors she and her son Isaac experienced in Oakwell to rest, for the last time. Diagnosed with PTSD, Isaac struggles with hellish nightmares and Melody has nothing else to live for but Isaac. What neither of them realise is that Isaac’s nightmares are not nightmares at all, but something far more terrifying.
Those who read Echoes know that when we last saw Henry Marshall, he was safely tucked up in a mental institution and was no longer a threat to himself or anyone else. In Voices, Henry escapes and what he does when he gets out is bone-chilling, and more than a little disturbing.
Often when I read, I find my mind wandering. Perhaps I’m thinking about what I have to do the next day, or maybe I’ve taken the characters off on a tangent, not written in the book I’m reading. This is a downfall of having ADD (Who can relate?) and something I’ve learned to live with. What’s unusual, is that while I was reading Voices, my mind didn’t wander – at all. I was plunged into the story on the first page and had to force myself to put it down. Unfortunately, it took me a couple of days to finish, but that is only because life and work got in the way.
Although Michael Bray has worked on a number of different projects between Echoes and Voices, he picks up the flow and pacing in Voices perfectly, and it was as though he never quit. The characters were just as I remembered and the flow and pacing of this story is spot on with the others. The plot in Voices moves seamlessly as the story reaches its thrilling and completely satisfying conclusion.
Like many of you, I love book series. I like to see the way things intertwine and wrap up, but more often than not, I’m either disappointed in the lackluster ending or am left with more questions than answers. Voices, however, provides the answers to all the questions readers are left with at the end of the Echoes, and provides an ending I was completely happy with. A fourth book in this series would be fluff and would ruin what is, in my opinion, a damn near perfect series.
Before I go, let me give a shout out to Voices publisher, Horrific Tales Publishing. I have had the pleasure of reading most of the books this small press has released to date, and HTP deserve kudos for picking some of the best-written, most heart-pounding stories I have ever read. Besides that, the editing on every one of its books is stellar.
Although no official release date has been set for Voices, I have it on good authority that it will be available for your Kindle or bookshelf (paperback) sometime in late July or early August. If you’re a fan of dark paranormal horror, you need to add Voices to your collection.