It was a mere coincidence when I stumbled upon „The Flight of the Silvers“ back in 2013. It must have been a rather random retweet on Twitter and the book only caught my attention because I found the cover quite nice and the rainbow effect of the shiny silver dust jacket looked pretty cool – as you might know I always fall easily for pretty books. So I went to Goodreads, looked up some details of the book and read the blurb and just a few minutes later I had already pre-ordered the title which at that time wouldn’t come out until another few weeks. I was really excited for the book, however I tried to keep my expectations low since both the publisher Blue Rider Press and the author Daniel Price were completely unknown to me and I somehow saw nobody else talking about the book. And as much as I was intrigued by the description I had to admit that it also sounded pretty crazy and I was secretly a bit afraid that „The Flight of the Silvers“ might turn out to be a completely disaster – especially since I’m far away from being a hardcore science fiction fan but I actually do like wrecking my brain with a thought-provoking time travel story from time to time because I like playing around in my head with all the „what ifs“.
How I once stumbled upon a little gem of science fiction
When the book finally arrived I immediately started reading and it only took me the first few pages of the prologue to get me completely hooked. I had been a little bit worried that it might take the story a while to develop and pick up some speed because „The Flight of the Silvers“ was quite a massive book with more than 600 pages but on the first 30 pages I already witnessed a dramatic car accident with weird alien lifesavers, the shocking destruction of our planet Earth and the complete extinction of mankind – well, „complete“ except for six lucky (or unlucky, depending on the events that were supposed to follow…) survivors that suddenly woke up on an alternate Earth and discovered that they had suddenly developed some really cool and impressive talents but also that they had just as unexpectedly become persons of interests that were hunted down by several different parties with different intentions – some of them good but most of them not.
Six ordinary people in an extraordinary world
I flew through the pages and was amazed by Daniel Price’s worldbuilding which made this alternate earth setting with all it’s time-manipulation stuff, psychic superpowers, flying restaurants and the like completely believable without being a boring physics lecture that you could only understand if you had a Harvard degree. I also loved the characters (well, most of them, since a certain someone named Amanda Given was a real pain in the ass for me) who were just six completely normal people with lots of flaws who had suddenly become some kind of superheroes, lab rats for a dubious bunch of scientists and targets for everyone on this alternate Earth who didn’t like that six aliens with special abilities uninvitedly showed up on their planet and accidentally caused a lot of chaos.
Getting in touch with the author
I couldn’t help sharing my excitement through various status updates on Goodreads and Twitter and suddenly got a reply from Daniel Price himself who let me know that he was happy that I apparently enjoyed reading his novel. Besides making me a bit nervous in a „Oh my God the author of the book I’m currently reading is reading my thoughts about his book“ way it also made me even more excited about the book because I still considered myself a blogging rookie and it must have been the first time I actually got in contact with an author. Fortunately I immensely enjoyed „The Flight of the Silvers“ until the end and didn’t have to pretend still liking it and when I was done I knew that I had found a new favorite book of mine. I also hadn’t known that the book was the beginning of a series so that I was super curious how the story would continue and wanted to read the next one right away. Sadly I had to realize that it would still take the author some time to write the second book and I could also read between the lines that it wasn’t even 100% sure that he would be able to publish the whole series since „The Flight of the Silvers“ was only his second novel and being a rather unknown author he had to hope that his book would be successful enough.
Let the book pushing begin!
I was lucky that I managed to push „The Flight of the Silvers“ on Crini, one of my book blogging friends, who loved the book just as much as I did and so we made it our mutual goal to make as many people as possible read the novel so that we would have more people to discuss it with but also to do our part in ensuring that the Silvers series would live long enough to see its ending. We teamed up for some blog events like read-alongs, giveaways and even a „Flight of the Silvers“ game, knowing that we had found a little gem that deserved much more attention. Through this we also intensified the communication with Daniel Price who supported us a lot, answered our questions and kept us posted about his progress with the sequel. All this made „The Flight of the Silvers“ a real special book for me and sometimes it was really hard to be patient while desperately waiting for a release date of book two.
Three years of waiting are finally over!
Now that day has finally come and „The Song of the Orphans“ is out for everyone to read and the book is not only just as amazing as the first one, it’s even better! It’s also even more massive than the first one and comes with almost 750 pages now but be assured that not a single one of them is only even slightly boring. The story of the sequel sets in about six months after the events of „The Flight of the Silvers“ and once again it only takes the prologue to immediately pull you into the story (if you’ve already read the preview in the paperback edition of book 1 then you know exactly what I mean…). The six Silvers we already know from the first book (the sisters Hannah and Amanda Given, cartoonist Zack, (ex-)alcoholic Theo, Australian Nerd David and the insecure teenager Mia) once again have to face several serious problems: first of all they need to stop their new home planet from suffering the same fate as their old Earth and based on what they know so far they only have a short time left to do so and they’re also probably the only ones who can prevent the Cataclysm. Unfortunately the people known as the Gothams – natives of the parallel universe with similar abilities as the Silvers that derive from a catastrophic event in the planet’s past – think that it’s the Silvers who triggered the upcoming Cataclysm and that the only way to stop the apocalypse is to kill them. And of course the Gothams are not the only ones who are working against the Silvers since there’s still the Domestic Protections agency, Alt-America’s version of the FBI, who still have some unfinished business with the Givens and their friends.
Some long-awaited answers and many new questions
That’s already all I want to say about the story of „The Song of the Orphans“ since everything else would be a spoiler and the plot is too complex anyway to give it a short summary that does the story justice. For those who have been impatiently waiting for answers to all the many questions that the first book raised (and let’s face the truth, who didn’t have tons of questions after all that went down in „The Flight of the Silvers“) it’s probably most important if Daniel Price finally delivers at least some of the most pressing answers and thankfully he does. Of course you don’t get to see the whole picture and there will be dozens of new questions because there’s still going to be a third book but you’ll get much more information about the Gothams, you’ll meet other people from the Silvers’ home world and probably the most interesting part is what you’ll learn about the Pelletiers, the three weird beings who brought the Silvers to this new world in the first place.
Epic action scenes
While „The Flight of the Silvers“ in some parts felt like a road trip because the Silvers were on a wild chase for a big part of the novel the second book is a bit more stationary but that doesn’t mean that you don’t get to see any action. In fact „The Song of the Orphans“ almost felt like living through two or three huge and epic action scenes that led you through the story. If you’re not that much into action scenes (I for myself have a hard time staying focussed when I read too much action without a break) then be assured that these parts are very well-written and do a lot to continue the storyline. There are often multiple dramatic events happening at the same time so that you don’t even get a chance to get bored.
Complex personalities and relationships
However there’s still enough time for character development and while Daniel Price already did a good job in „The Flight of the Silvers“ and made his protagonists very complex and with interesting personalities you’ll learn even more about the Silvers in this one, especially regarding their relationships which play a huge role in the plot of the sequel. Don’t worry, „The Song of the Orphans“ didn’t suddenly became a space opera or some other kind of annoying romance but you should know that coupling plays an important role in the storyline. Personally I would have liked a little bit less relationship issues in this book but it’s definitely necessary to drive the plot forward.
A little bit of criticism…
Overall „The Song of the Orphans“ is exactly the kind of sequel I’ve been hoping for. You get even more epic parallel world action than in the first book and the story is even more complex and fascinating, especially what concerns the Pelletiers and their plan and motives. I already liked (almost, sorry Amanda…) all the characters in „The Flight of the Silvers“ but they grew on me even more and I really liked the new characters that joined the Silvers on their mission. The only things that bothered me a little bit were the already mentioned very strong focus on relationships and the fact that I sometimes had the impression that especially the Silvers had sometimes grown a bit too powerful which in my opinion made it a bit too easy once or twice to escape dangerous situations. Also I felt that Amanda was left out a bit compared to the other characters and after what I’ve said about her after the first book I still can’t believe that I’m actually complaining about that…
There’s always more to discover
If you’ve read the first book a while ago already and are unsure if you need to re-read it before you start the sequel then you might be interested in the plot summary Daniel Price wrote himself where he wraps up everything important that had happened so far in a very helpful and highly amusing way. And let me also tell you that you probably want to re-read „The Flight of the Silvers“ AFTER you’ve finished „The Song of the Orphans“ because there are some twists that let you see everything in a whole new light. And this is one of the many reasons why I love the Silvers series so much: It’s perfect if you just want an action-packed and mind-blowing science fiction adventure but it’s even more fantastic for readers who like to re-read because with every read you always find more little details that help you understand the story and it’s fun to go through the story again with the new knowledge and look for clues you might have missed the first time.
The fantastic sequel I’ve been waiting for
So if you’re only the tiniest bit interested in science fiction, time travel, parallel worlds, great worldbuilding, deep characters, epic action scenes and complex stories then do yourself a favor and go get „The Flight of the Silvers“ and „The Song of the Orphans“ right away and dive into a world that will keep you hooked from the first minute – trust me, you won’t regret it.