Book Title: Melody 8 – Book Three: A Sound for the Deaf
Author: Ernie Howard
Publication Date: September 17, 2019
Indie Athenaeum Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Picking up after the startling events of “Book Two: The Witch of the South”, Melody continues her quest to gather allies as directed by her grandfather. She then meets up with nineteen-year-old Iggy and his thirteen-year-old sister Adelaide for the first time.
Living alone on the beach, with no one else around them, Iggy somehow can make his way through this post-apocalyptic landscape even though he is deaf. But he has a special ability as well, which is one of the many reasons Melody is seeking him out.
But Carlton Feast has other plans. Planning the next evolution of his insidious plan to dominate the populace, he needs Melody if he has any hopes of succeeding. But how does he know so much about her and her companions?
These two storylines coalesce together into one surprising conclusion where I didn’t expect anything to happen as it did. It also made me sad at what I read and how it impacted Melody and her friends. I’m especially concerned for Melody and what all of this means for her moving forward and how it will affect the rest of the overarching plot.
In the hands of a lesser author, this story could easily have been a carbon copy of book two, replicated its formula and taken the bland and predictable path. Not this author! Thankfully, it has much grander and more original plans in mind.
Melody is becoming shrewder than she was before and more calculating as a result of the circumstances she finds herself in here. This demonstrates some good character growth and promises to make for a more dangerous dilemma in the next book in this series.
Iggy and Adelaide get some strong development as well as we meet them and learn more about their circumstances. Their adaptability and teamwork prove to be helpful here and I look forward to seeing them become a closer part of Team Melody with Brenton and Sam. Working together, I got the sense that Melody is building a pretty formidable group of people here, which only has me looking forward to seeing what the author has in store coming up.
We also get to see much more of the larger plan Carlton Feast has for the world and how he plans to rule it with an iron fist. Feast is a fearsome beast of a man, with no compunction about using people for his own ends and considering them to be disposable once their usefulness to him ends. And further revelations behind the experiments he’s been conducting are critical to seeing the larger storyline for the entirety of this eight-part series.
It makes me afraid for Melody, knowing this is what she will have to face before this series concludes. I’m also curious about how he will use a critical piece of leverage he gains here. I also look forward to knowing how he will use the knowledge he has about Melody and her past.
Once again, the author paints a perfect picture with my imagination and fully makes this dystopian landscape real. The emotions his writing brings forth are so very evocative and stimulate my senses to the point where I feel like I am in the story itself, witnessing it like I’m living there in the flesh. It gives me the shivers to think about that landscape and the hell that living in it must be like.
The best example of that here is the sense of forlorn loss, desperation, and loneliness that Iggy and Adelaide experience. Left to their own devices and the tragedy that befell their mother, they are all by themselves except for those who have been horrifically transformed by The Song.
One of the many interesting things about this novella is that it is told from Melody’s point of view like she’s telling a story to someone but especially to the reader. But the story immersed me into it so well, I almost forgot this is happening. Then, when you hit a statement that is both mysterious and ominous, it smacks you in the head with its tease. These crucial glimpses into Melody’s past made me want to find out exactly what she is referring to RIGHT AWAY.
This is a clever blend of storytelling styles, characters and emotion-provoking dilemmas that proves to suspenseful, exciting and mysterious. All of that adds up into a series that I continue to enjoy and want to read more about as quickly as possible. I’ll be (trying to) wait patiently for Book Four.
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Previous Indie Athenaeum book reviews about stories by Ernie Howard include “Gramps: A Time Travel Short Story“, “Night Portals Boxed Set – Books 1 – 8“, “Melody 8 – Book One: The Day of the Song” and “Melody 8 – Book Two: The Musical Witch of the South“.