But that’s only because author J. D. Netto allowed me the absolute PRIVILEGE, of reading an advanced copy of his newest book and the third installment to The Whispers of the Fallen series, The Gathering of Souls – a very appropriate title when you get the reference. Every time I open another one of his novels I say to myself, “This one is my favourite”. However this time I may be sure that The Gathering of Souls is definitely my favourite – well depending on how the last book goes. It’s truly amazing to see a talented author come so far after witnessing all the hard work he’s put into his novels. I can say, without a doubt, that The Whispers of the Fallen series is up there with the great YA series such as Harry Potter, Chronicles of Narnia, and potentially Lord of the Rings – but perhaps geared towards a younger audience.
In the third installment to the series, Isaac, and his remaining companions head home, to Agalmath in attempts to rescue the companions who they believe betrayed them. With only two days to make it they can’t afford to waste any time. Along the way they’re stopped by Shadows, Fallen Stars, and Blood-drinkers, who will stop at nothing from delaying their journey. Times seem dire for the book-bearing heroes, however it is Isaac’s firm belief that the Creator wouldn’t have sent them on a suicide mission that keeps them grounded, and they continue to press on and manage to outwit their opponents every single time. However, when faced with mortal peril at the hands of Lucifer himself, who’s to say they’ll still have their unyielding faith then?
Throughout the entire Whispers of the Fallen journey, Netto has continued to grow in popularity amongst Fantasy and YA readers of all ages. He interacts with his fans often through his instagram account and street team, and even has a new EP coming out to accompany the series. It’s been so amazing watching him throughout this journey as someone who met him just after the ARC of the first book came out, up until now.
The first thing readers will notice, is that a lot happens in this approximately 300 page book, in a very short span of time. It really is about the only critique that I have to give about this novel as everything in it is absolutely fantastic. The scenes are well-played out in terms of character development and character interaction and action scenes. In short, there isn’t too much talking and there isn’t too much action – it is a good balance of both. The conflicts also don’t just come from the enemies, but with personal struggles that characters face, which in my opinion are far more difficult to overcome.
But be warned that despite all this, the novel does take place in what is approximately TWO DAYS.
There was something about the flow of time that irked me, because so much was happening that you forget… “Wait a second…it has only been a whole day since book two.”
There’s NOTHING REALLY WRONG with an entire novel taking place over the span of two days but it just got to me somehow. Perhaps other readers won’t notice it.
Another great part about this novel in particular, again, was the internal struggle with our heroes/book-bearers. Often in movies and books like these, especially Narnia, LOTR, Harry Potter, it is difficult to have faith when you can’t see the end when you have nothing assuring you that what you’re doing is right. Several of the characters in this book experience the internal struggle which I think is extremely character building rather than them being SO POSITIVE all the time, however at the same time…..they became somewhat annoying and whiny as people tend to do in those sorts of situations so don’t hold it against them. There may be times where you want to beat or slap them for being so insecure…but they mean well…I think.
My favourite bits were about 3/4 a way through the book when everything just…gets AMAZING, but spoilers so I won’t tell you. All I’m going to say is you’ve been waiting for this moment the entire series and it is well worth the wait! Some bits will surprise you and I promise some bits you will see coming, and if you didn’t, well….I mean…what can I say, just enjoy the ride.
Readers prepare to EAT UP The Gathering of Shadows and keep your eyes peeled for the final book in the series. I know I’m looking forward to it and finding out what happens to our heroes next. So if you have a young adult into fantasy or are readers looking for some adventure that perhaps wants something a bit darker, then I highly recommend this series. I promise it’ll be well worth the read.
5/5 Hearts of Love