Saturday, January 17, 2015

Maya Banks -- Whispers In The Dark

Maya Banks -- Whispers In The Dark

Rated: ♥ ♥ ♥ . ♥   {3.90}
Action: ♠♠♠♠ / Emotion: ♣♣♣ / Romance: ♥♥♥♥.♥ / Sensuous: ♦♦ / Suspense: ♠♠♠.♠
Action: 4.0 / Emotion: 3.0 / Romance: 4.5 / Sensuous: 2.0 / Suspense: 3.5  //  Laughter: 1 / Giggle: 2  //  Tears: 0 / Teary: 0

Setting:       Korengal Valley, Afghanistan
                     Dover, Stewart County, Tennessee
                     briefly: Crescent City, California / Lincoln City, Oregon / Lake Talawa, California
Era:             Present Day (2012)
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Whispers In The Dark, the fourth book in The Kelly Group International "KGI" Series, by Maya Banks was an exciting, entertaining, enjoyable, quick read. This book was more adventurous than the previous three books in the series, but it did not get extremely high marks because Banks failed, again, to make that deep emotional connection between the reader and the protagonists.

Banks did a phenomenal job of drawing readers deep into the lives of the two main characters, {1} prisoner of war, Nathan Kelly, and {2} telepathic, Shea Peterson.   Who could not help but feel the same compassion that Shea felt for Nathan when she sensed that he was giving up.
He sat in a corner, his face in his hands, feelings of loathing and rage fired relentlessly through his brain.   He hated his weakness, hated that he wanted to die.   Hated that he wasn't able to help others who suffered with him.   (Shea, page 2)
Shea Peterson is a telepathic but she had no control over with whom she connects.   She has been running from the people or agency that killed her parents a year ago trying to gain access to Shea and her sister, Grace Peterson, who has an even more powerful gift than Shea's.
"It's different.   I know it all sounds crazy, but I can draw pain away from an individual.   I even seemingly absorb the wound.   But I don't really.   It's temporary.   Even the pain I take is temporary because after a while, it comes back.   Because I don't heal them.   I'm like a Band-Aid.   A temporary fix.   When it's all said and done the affliction remains."

"When you were hurt, I took your pain but I didn't heal your injuries.   You still bear the scars.   You had the cuts, you bled.   What I did for you was temporary.   What Grace does isn't temporary.   She actually heals the person.   She takes the wound or illness, siphons it away like I do with pain and it's like they never had an injury or were sick."

"The problem is, healing comes at a great cost to Grace, which is why she has to be so careful.   It's hard on her because she's so tenderhearted.   She can't stand to see people suffer.   She'd heal them all if she could.   But it would kill her.   And so she tries to stay away from people as much a she can because she can't refuse anyone."

"In some ways I have it far better than Grace.   The wounds do appear on me.   I feel the pain.   But it doesn't last long.   They appear and then they fade.   For the time they're present, they are very much real.   I bleed, hurt, feel it as though it happened in real time, as if someone stood over me with a knife.   But then they go away.   With Grace, she takes on the injury or the illness and her body processes it differently.   At a much slower rate.   She heals the wound itself, so it takes her much longer to rid herself of the injury.   She could die doing what she does.   If she gets overloaded."   (Shea, pages 105 and 106)
Shea is currently residing in Kansas City when she feels the overwhelming pain and hopelessness of Nathan, who has been tortured for the last two months of his captivity in Afghanistan.   Banks did an excellent job of portraying the confusion that Nathan felt when Shea reached out to him and spoke to his mind, took away his pain, comforted him, and gave him a sense of hope.   Banks also did a phenomenal job of building an unbreakable relationship between Shea and Nathan as they telepathically communicated during the first eight chapters of the book.   Banks really had readers hooked during this intense, difficult time for both Nathan and Shea.

Banks did a great job of describing the toll it took on Shea to connect to Nathan and to take his pain.   As Shea conversed with Nathan, it was obvious that Shea was a very strong, determined, passionate heroine.   Shea sent an e-mail to Donovan "Van" Kelly, the most computer literate member of the Kelly brothers, giving him an idea of where to look for Nathan and then in a very exciting scene, Nathan and his co-captive, Swanson (or "Swanny"), managed to escape their captors and run for their lives.   It was during this escape scene that Grace used Shea and Nathan as a conduit to heal Swanny who was mortally wounded, before Nathan and Swanny were saved by the arrival of the KGI Teams and Nathan's brothers, Sam, Garrett, Donovan, and Ethan.

The story then jumps forward six months and features Nathan in a state of turmoil, not willing to make any future plans because he is worried about not hearing from Shea in all this time.   He wonders if she has been captured by the people chasing her.   While Nathan stays away from his big family, he works on building his house in the new Kelly Compound.   Swanny shows up at Nathan's construction site and wants to know what really happened to him back in Afghanistan.   Nathan refuses to tell Swanny the truth.

One thing that Banks includes in all the books of the series (so far) is to include interactions between the Kelly family, which is growing by leaps and bounds.   Nathan takes Swanny to the home of Frank and Marlene Kelly, his parents, so that this battered, scarred, and lonely man can be another stray that Marlene decides to adopt.
Swanny had the same befuddled look on his face that most people did when encountering the storm that was Nathan's mother.   He looked torn between bemusement and wanting to hug the woman.

It had taken a lot of persuading to get Swanny to agree to have dinner with the Kellys.   He was self-conscious about his face, but then Marlene blithely ignored the scarring.   She kissed, patted and otherwise made it a point to let Swanny know she didn't care.   He'd instantly become another of her children.   (Nathan, page 64)
Banks paints a picture of the closeness of the Kelly family as Nathan interacts with his brothers and sisters-in-laws and even has a short special scene with Rusty, who is graduating from high school.   When Rachel joins Nathan on the back deck when he escapes from his boisterous family, she reveals her understanding of what Nathan is going through.
"I guess I'm not to that point yet. I just want everyone to stop looking at me . . ."

"With pity in their eyes?   With so much sorrow that you feel like you're going to drown in it?   With a look that says they're hurting with you and for you, and you just want to make it all go away so they won't feel so bad and worry all the time?"   (Nathan and Rachel, page 72)
Nathan's family is frantic when he takes a KGI jet and goes after Shea when she finally connects with him after having been held captive for a week.   You have to give marks to Shea for being an incredibly brave woman when she hides in that redwood tree.   Banks did such a great job of painting a picture of Shea in that tree with bugs crawling on her, it was amazing that she didn't scream out in disgust and fear.   Nathan found Shea in a culvert in Crescent City, California and takes her to a motel so he can tend her wounds and promise to keep her safe henceforth.

As expected, since there is such a strong emotional tie already present between Nathan and Shea, they make hot, passionate, deeply emotional love.   It was a surprise that Banks downplayed the sensuality in this book to the degree that she did.   Not that the sex between Nathan and Shea wasn't powerfully potent and relatively graphic, but Banks didn't spend a great deal of time on this aspect of their relationship.

After Shea gets one last communication from her sister, Nathan and Shea decided to be proactive, like Grace, in searching for the people who killed Brandon and Andrea Peterson and are hunting Shea and Grace.   Nathan and Shea return to the Peterson home north of Lincoln City, Oregon where Grace had been when she last communicated with Shea.   Nathan and Shea were forced to flee from professional soldiers who arrived on scene to capture Shea.

Nathan called his brothers for help and Nathan and Shea found their way back into the bosom of the Kelly family.   Banks addressed the issue between Nathan and his twin brother, Joe, who was having a difficult time dealing with Nathan's withdrawal.
"I would've done anything to help you.   I hated seeing you like that.   I've never felt so -------- helpless in my life,   And it pissed me off that you locked me out.   You closed yourself off from the rest of the family.   Okay, I get that, but not me.   I'm not just another member of your family.   I'm your twin.   We have a bond that goes much deeper than just family."   (Joe, page 200)
In a surprising twist, Adam Resnick and his go-to Marine, Kyle Phillips, play an important role in Shea's eventual recapture.   The Kelly brothers, Steele and his team, and Adam, Kyle and their team head out to rescue Shea in a somewhat exciting finale.   Again, Banks does not go into a great deal of detail when she writes her action scenes featuring these military men in all their alpha glory.

Instead, this book was about interpersonal relationships between Nathan and Shea and Nathan and his family.   Banks did a much better job of revealing to the readers what the Kelly brothers looked like in this book.   It is probably difficult for Banks to include so much descriptive detail in this series of books because she has such a large cast of characters who are playing recurring roles.   But you have to give her kudos for making the effort.

However, Banks left readers hanging when it came to describing the physical characteristics of Nathan and Shea.   You can kind of figure out what Nathan looks like compared to his brothers.
Nathan was slightly taller than Donovan, but he had a similar build.   Lean and muscular.   Donovan was a bit heavier, but Shea guessed that under normal circumstances Nathan would have been bulkier.   His body was still carved by the time he'd spent imprisoned and nearly starved.

Nathan's hair was lighter than Donovan's and his eyes were dark brown.   Donovan's were green, mesmerizing for the odd shade.   Not lighter, but not emerald either.   (Shea, page 185)
But Banks left readers wondering how old Nathan (and Joe) were.   How long had they been in the Army?   Did they join the Army straight out of high school?   Who was the older twin?   This lack of description makes it difficult to identify with the character, to 'look him in the eye' (if you will) as he talks to us from the pages of his book.   For a character to feel real, the author really needs to paint a better picture of what they look for those readers who have no creative imaginations.

The picture of Shea was even more vague than Nathan.   We are told that she is a tiny, delicate thing, whose silky hair is naturally blond and her eyes are blue, when she isn't wearing colored contacts to disguise the color.   Readers are in no doubt that Shea has a very strong will and is a kick-ass chick, who was a year younger than her sister.   But how old is Shea?   Although it was easy to identify with Shea and her willingness to help the wounded, helpless warrior she connected to, it was difficult to picture her as she walked through the pages of her book.

Banks did a fantastic job of connecting the reader to Nathan and Shea on an emotional level as she opened the book detailing their pain and their strong connection.   But, Banks, again, failed to connect to the reader on that deep emotional level that induces tears.   These scenes should have had me crying like a baby.   And while they were engrossing, that special emotional connection between reader and character was lacking.   That is one of the most disappointing things about the way Banks tells her KGI stories -- she somehow fails to elicit that intense emotional connection to the characters that makes for a really great book.

The same holds true for the connection between reader and the secondary characters.   Sure they are interesting.   Sure we want to read their stories, but that hook, that special something that creates that magical connection between the reader and that secondary character is also missing.   For instance, I can hardly wait to read Rio and Grace's story, the next book in the series, Echoes At Dawn, but that rich deep connection to Rio, who really is fascinating, and Grace, who is just as riveting, is missing.   One can only hope that Banks will tell Rio's and Grace's story in such a way that she creates that abundant emotional connection that makes for an awesome read.

Just like all the other books in the series, Banks is big into writing scenes between the Kelly brothers to emphasize the male camaraderie and closeness these brothers share -- in their own special masculine way.   And while this is always a wonderful additional to the story, sometimes the words that come out of their mouths come across as something a woman would say.   The male banter feels slightly off.   Maybe Banks wasn't raised with five brothers who insulted each other on a regular basis and doesn't really "get" how men talk to each other.   Maybe Banks should skulk around a military base to get some actual male-sounding insults.   Too often it seems Banks relies on the brothers throwing F-bombs right and left and shooting the bird at each other to appear more masculine.

Another thing that has been confusing for several books is all the showering and/or bathing that the woman do in these books.   Yes, it's great that the heroines shower off the muck, the day's odors, etc. but why don't the heros shower just as often?   It just doesn't make sense that the heroine showers and the hero just changes his clothes.   There is no way the hero smells as fresh as a daisy!   Take a shower, too, dude!

It was really great that Banks included a lot more adventurous action and adventure in this Military Romantic Suspense novel.   Too often Banks spends so much time featuring the interactions between the characters that she lets the action aspect of the story slide.   (When there is a well-built military man holding a gun on the cover a book, the reader expects to read some great action scenes.)   So far, Banks gives a shadowy description of these supposedly awesome ex-military Kelly brothers kicking butt and taking names in the background.   But Banks proves that she has a good imagination and can write a terrifically exciting action scene.
The grip eased around her body, and then she was simply swung over the second man's shoulder and he ran toward the drop-off as if her weight was negligible.

She was too drugged to scream when a helicopter suddenly appeared, hovering at the very edge, so close that it would only take a small jump to clear the space between the cliff's edge and the inside of the copter.

Oh God, no, surely he wasn't going to . . .

He never hesitated.   He ran and then they were airborne for the briefest of moments before they hit the floor of the helicopter with enough force to knock the breath from her.   (Shea, page 248)
And the man carrying Shea way wasn't one of the "super-elite, top secret" Kelly brothers.   It was the handsome young Marine, Kyle Phillips, introduced in No Place To Run.   When is Banks going to share with readers the KGI Operatives' and the Kelly Brothers' military prowess?

What Banks did do was feature the romance between Nathan and Shea.   Because of the unassailable connection that developed between Nathan and Shea during his captivity, when they finally met face to face, there was no doubt in anyone's mind that these two people were soul mates.   And Nathan and Shea were not afraid to voice and act on their deep feelings for the other.
She wouldn't leave him to die.   His survival had become all-important to her.   She didn't even know why exactly.   Or how they had forged the connection they had.   It was just another random aspect of her gift.   As random as everything else when it came to her abilities.   (Shea, page 15)

He needed her.
Needed to touch her.   Needed to hold her.   Needed to keep her safe.   (Nathan, page 102)

He'd never felt something so completely right in his life.   (Nathan, page 109)

She belonged inside him.   Deep.   The kind of emotion you didn't ever get rid of.   (Nathan, page 117)

"It's going to be we from now on," he bit out.   "There is no you.   No me.   Only us."   (Nathan, page 159)

Their lives -- their souls -- had been inexorably entwined from the moment she slid into his mind.   (Nathan, page 159)

He wanted her with every part of his heart, mind and body.   The connection that had been forged in hell was only growing stronger the more time they spent together physically and mentally.   (Nathan, page 159)

"Right now I need you to love me.   I need you to touch me so I'll feel safe again.   Being with you eases me in a way I can't explain."   (Shea, page 165)

She looked at him like he was the only man she saw, as if there was no one else who could do for her what she wanted and needed.   (Nathan, page 166)

She completed him in a way no one ever had or would   (Nathan, page 166)
Okay, so maybe Banks went a bit overboard with the gushy feelings, but the romance that existed between Nathan and Shea was the driving force behind their story.   Again, this Romantic Suspense book was all about the romance and the suspense took a back seat.   Sure, no one really knew who wanted to kidnap Grace and Shea, as Nathan, his brothers and the KGI teams were trying to keep Shea safe and locate Grace, but the suspenseful aspect of the story was not the nail-biting kind that keep a reader anxiously turning the pages to see what was going to happen next.   In fact, there were times, when the story slowed down to such a degree, that it was easy to put the book down and take a nap.

After reading a great number of the reviews of Whispers In The Dark posted on Good Reads, there were a few quotes from other reviewers that struck a chord or said something that I missed and would like to include as notes of interest.
Maya Banks is another author for me who makes me feel everything her characters go through.   Nathan's pain and anguish in the beginning are palpable.   (--Sandy M. of The Good, The Bad and The Unread)
How I envy Sandy M the feeling she describes in her review!   It just hasn't happened for me when reading any of Maya Banks's books!

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This is where I choose to read for enjoyment and suspend disbelief so that I simply can enjoy the process of reading.   (--Christi Snow of Smitten With Reading)
Well Said!   If only more people felt this way, then some of the harsh judgements in reviews would go by the wayside.

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I have read many of these KGI books now and I have to say that all the brothers voices sound the same to me.   Oh, the author tries to tell the reader that Garrett is a tight-ass and mean, and Sam is controlled, and Ethan is blah blah blah.   But what it comes down to is this: they always ACT the same way, in every freaking book.   The author can describe these characters to me as long as she wants and try to make them as different sounding as possible, but I would be hard pressed when reading these books, to tell you which character it is.   (--Megan Burback on Good Reads)
Sadly, this has a ring of truth to it!

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For reasons never explained, the people holding Nathan think he has vital intel and they torture him relentlessly to try to get him to tell (that's one of the holes in the story that bugged me).   (--Jennifer on Good Reads)
Excellent point!   Another example of Banks's ability to tell a story with dangling threads.   What information were the captors trying to get from their military captives?   (This seems to be a result of Banks failing to create background stories for her characters.)

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In closing, Whispers In The Dark, the fourth book in The Kelly Group International "KGI" Series, by Maya Banks was a quick, enjoyable, entertaining, but slightly disappointing read.   The main aspects of the book were composed of: {1} Nathan Kelly, an under-developed hero who had to come to terms with being a tortured prisoner of war and who was willing to step up to the plate to protect his soul mate; {2} Shea Peterson, a slightly developed, strong-willed, determined, caring heroine who used her gifs of telepathy and taking on another's pain to help rescue her hero; {3} several exciting action scenes featuring Nathan, Swanny, and Shea to make the story more adventurous; {4} no tears were shed and very few moments of laughter erupted because of the understated emotional connection between reader and the book's characters; {5} the strong romantic feelings that flowed between Nathan and Shea took center stage; {6} inclusion of hot, spicy, passionate lovemaking scenes; {7} the suspenseful aspect of the story was not intense enough to keep one anxious to turn the pages to see what was going to happen next; and {8} the addition of minimally developed secondary characters, including: {a} Sam Kelly, {b} Sophie Kelly, {c} Charlotte Kelly, {d} Garrett Kelly, {e} Sarah [Daniels]; {f} Ethan Kelly, {g} Rachel Kelly, {h} Donovan "Van" Kelly, {i} Joe Kelly, {j} Frank Kelly, {k} Marlene Kelly, {l} Rusty, {m} Swanson "Swanny", {n} Grace Peterson, {o} Steele, {p} Rio, {q} Terrence, {r} P.J. [Rutherford], {s} [David] "Cole" [Coletrane], {t} Adam Resnick, and {u} Kyle Phillips.   This book is a wonderful addition to the series and just like the previous books of the series, it lacks that specialness that makes it a book worthy of being re-read.
--Vonda M. Reid (Saturday, January 17, 2015 : 12:46 p.m.)     [359]

Books In The Series: "The Kelly Group International "KGI" Series"
# Date Title Hero Heroine
01.09-2010The Darkest HourEthan Kelly: ex-Navy SEAL, Fourth SonRachel Kelly: his wife, captive
02.12-2010No Place To RunSam Kelly: KGI co-Owner, First SonSophie Lundgren: daughter to arms dealer
03.03-2011Hidden AwayGarrett Kelly: KGI co-Owner, Second SonSarah Daniels: half sister of Garrett's nemesis
04.01-2012Whispers In The DarkNathan Kelly: prisoner of warShea Peterson: telepathic connection
05.07-2012Echoes At DawnRio (Eduardo Bezerra): KGI Team LeaderGrace Peterson: telepathic and healer
5.508-2012Softly At SunriseEthan Kelly: KGI Operative, Fourth SonRachel Kelly: his wife
06.01-2013Shades of GrayDavid "Cole" Coletrane: KGI Sniper, Steele's TeamP.J. (Penelope Jane) Rutherford: KGI's best sniper
07.06-2013Forged In SteeleJackson "Ice Man" Steele: KGI Team LeaderDr. Maren Scofield: Doctor in Costa Rica
08.01-2014After The StormDonovan Kelly: KGI co-Owner, Third SonEve "Evie" [Breckenridge]: On The Run From Step-Father
09.06-2014When Day BreaksDaryl "Swanny" Swanson: scarred from battleEden: supermodel
10.06-2015Darkest Before DawnHancock:: leader of Titan. . .

Characters Found In "Whispers In The Dark"
Character Description
Nathan Kelly[Hero] a soldier; imprisoned; warrior (2) prisoner for 2 months (23) determination; iron will (47) small, closed-in spaces made him break out into a sweat (57) panic attacks; battling demons; looked at felt like patchwork doll (59) youngest son (68) not ready to join KGI yet (69) honorable; determined; beautiful; confident yet vulnerable (139) taller than Donovan, but had similar build; lean; muscular; lighter hair than Donovan; brown eyes (185) very close to Joe; always worked and served with Joe (199) Army (225) flew helicopters (250)
Shea Peterson[Heroine] telepathic; her gift was random (4) could ease people's suffering for a little while (5) steely resolve (20) honeysuckle shampoo (27) bossy (35) contrast between sisters was striking; petite; blond; paler skin (41) died honey blond hair dark brown; changed appearance every few months (46) blond hair; blue eyes (104) can only take away someone's pain, it's temporary (105) soft; beautiful (125) big surprise in a little package; fierce; unafraid to get the job done (162) appeared delicate, but a force to be reckoned with (166)
. . . . . .
Aamil[One Appearance] guide Sam hired in Afghanistan; dressed in tattered pants and shirt, Western-style hoodie that was thin and filled with holes (39)
Baker[Rare Appearances] KGI operative on Steele's team; assigned protective duty over Shea(27)
[David] "Cole" [Coletrane][Rare Appearances] [Book 6 / Shades of Gray] ex-military (225)
Sarah [Daniels][Rare Appearances] [Book 3 / Hidden Away] Garrett's fiancé; no plans to marry until Nathan was found (24) fussed at Garrett about his language (40) quieter than Rachel; still seemed ill at ease and overwhelmed by all the family members (67)
Dolphin[Rare Appearances] KGI operative on Steele's team; assigned protective duty over Shea (26)
Charlotte Kelly[Secondary Character] Sam and Sophie's baby (242) a miniature of Sophie; all blond hair and big blue eyes; beautiful like her mother (315)
Donovan "Van" Kelly [POV] [Secondary Character] [Book 8 / After The Storm] Nathan's brother (18) always on the computer (20) building a third team; picky (69) blunt (85) smaller than his brothers; damn good fighter (87) a born sucker for women and children (174) shorter than Nathan, but had similar build; lean; muscular; darker hair than Nathan; odd shade of green eyes that were mesmerizing (185) Marine (225)
Ethan Kelly [Secondary Character] [Book 1 / The Darkest Hour] Nathan's older brother; married to Rachel (6) bigger than Nathan and Donovan, taller, broader shoulders; black hair; startling blue eyes (185) looked like Garrett (195) Navy SEAL (225)
Frank Kelly[Rare Appearances] Nathan's father (64)
Garrett Kelly [Secondary Character] [Book 3 / Hidden Away] Nathan's brother (18) planned to wed Sarah at end of summer (67) bull in china shop (85) looked like Ethan; black hair; startling blue eyes; slightly bigger; his expression, his demeanor made him seem even bigger; wasn't someone you'd ever want to cross (195) Marine (225) trademark impatience (274)
Joe Kelly [POV] [Secondary Character] [Book x / Title] Nathan's twin (2) laid up; in a cast; still in the Army (24) training with a KGI team; impetuous; wanted to rush in and fix Nathan; nothing got him down (62) leg still bothered him, not 100%; trained hard with KGI teams but still not cleared for missions (66) youngest son (68) being assigned to Rio's team (69) very close to Nathan; always worked and served with Nathan (199) Army (225)
Marlene Kelly[Rare Appearances] Nathan's mother; a storm; kissed, patted, adopted Swanny into the family (64) nothing stopped her when she set her mind to something; collecting strays was a lifelong habit (68) force of nature (230)
Rachel Kelly[Secondary Character] [Book 1 / The Darkest Hour] married to Ethan; fragile (6) small frame (71) wasn't pushy; quiet strength (72)
Sam Kelly [POV] [Secondary Character] [Book 2 / No Place To Run] Nathan's brother (18) anal hardass; took responsibilities as oldest brother way too seriously (85) few words; to the point; always with orders (164) lighter hair than Garrett; same blue eyes as Garrett; (196) Sophie's husband (242)
Sophie [Lundgren] Kelly[Rare Appearances] [Book 2 / No Place To Run] Sam's wife (81) all blond hair and big blue eyes; beautiful (315)
Andrea Peterson[No Appearance] Shea's presumed mother; scientist, heading a top-secret, government operation (183) did not like the way the scientists were treating Grace and Shea (185)
Brandon Peterson[No Appearance] Shea's presumed father; scientist, heading a top-secret, government operation (183) did not like the way the scientists were treating Grace and Shea (185)
Grace Peterson[Secondary Character] [Book 5 / Echoes At Dawn] Shea's sister (1) could heal people; special; vulnerable; her gift was as much a curse as it was a true gift; good; tenderhearted to her detriment (5) Shea's best friend; Shea hasn't seen in a year (9) contrast between sisters was striking; taller; darker skinned; long raven hair (41) older sister (44) can actually heal people (105) beautiful; dark hair; toned; tanned (124) year older than Shea (142) curvy brunette; lean, well-toned body; fit (211)
Kyle Phillips[Secondary Character] leader of Marine team Resnick brought to Del Rio; missing the tip of his left ring finger; he was in the Peterson home; one of Resnick's pets (245) young; handsome (248)
Renshaw[Rare Appearances] KGI operative on Steele's team; assigned protective duty over Shea(26)
Adam Resnick[Secondary Character] KGI's CIA contact (24) there isn't much that goes on he doesn't have at least the resources to find out; has his fingers in so many dark holes and crannies that half the world is afraid of pissing him off (219) born in same lab as Shea and Grace (260) born in the same lab as Grace and Shea (273)
Rio[Rare Appearances] [Book 5 / Echoes At Dawn] KGI team leader; dark skin; longish, unruly black hair; dark eyes (198) big man (213) Rio and his team were quiet, determined, seemed to stand back and study what was around them (215) an unknown; highly classified; came recommended from highly decorated military officials; he served off the books (225)
Rusty[Secondary Character] smart mouth (26) 18-y-o; gravitated towards Nathan because he was more understanding of her than other Kelly brothers; Marlene had taken her in when Rachel had been rescued; had been defensive, bratty, sullen; over time had earned her place in Kelly family (65) planned to attend University of Tennessee (67)
P.J. [Rutherford][Rare Appearances] [Book 6 / Shades of Gray] smart-ass (39) former S.W.A.T.; crack sniper; best the KGI had (225)
Dr. Maren Scofield[No Appearance] [Book 7 / Forged in Steele] doctor that KGI rescued from Africa a few years ago (306) kindness that put Shea at ease (313)
Sean[No Appearance] sheriff's deputy; honorary member of Kelly family (83)
Steele[Rare Appearances] [Book 7 / Forged In Steele] KGI team leader; blond hair; tall; piercing blue eyes; cold eyes (198) eyes like blue ice; muddy blond hair with lighter streaks through the short-cropped strands; authority figure; commanded respect (217)
"Swanny" Swanson[Secondary Character] [Book 9 / When Day Breaks] captured along with Nathan (21) ragged cut from left temple, over his jaw and lower to his neck (48) hadn't regained all his weight since captivity; wound on face had been deep and long and snaked over the left side of his face; lines grooved into his forehead; smattering of gray at his temples; hell had aged him (60) self-conscious about his face (64) no family (68) man of few words (96) tall; lean; almost haggard in appearance; cheeks were hollow and skin stretched tight over his bones; scars on his face were still puckered and raw looking, even months after his rescue (185) Army (225) shy; self-conscious; liked to cook; a perfectionist (227)
Taylor[One Appearance] captured along with Nathan; shot in front of Nathan (21)
Terrence[Rare Appearances] Rio's right hand man; quiet; determined; seemed to stand back and study what was around him; big, terrifying man; Shea felt he was a big, kind, understanding teddy bear (215)

Locations, Organizations Found In "Whispers In The Dark"
Location / Organization Description
The Kelly Group InternationalKGI: (40) Kelly brothers ran a top-notch military ops group; a private organization that took jobs nobody wanted or had the means to complete; they often contracted with the US government, but they just as often took assignments from the private sector (6)
Afghanistanwhere Kelly brothers were conducting missions to try and find Nathan (25)
Belizewhere Rio lives (69)
Charleston, South Carolinacity to which Resnick took Shea (263)
Colombiawhere Rachel had been held [for a year] (40)
Coloradostate Shea was in when pulled to side of road to connect with Nathan (12)
Costa Ricawhere Maren currently worked (306)
Crescent City, Californiawhere Shea was hiding, waiting for Nathan (94)
Del Riowhere operation involving Sophie went bad (245)
Dover, Tennesseewhere the Kellys lived (18)
Fort CampbellKGI received permission from Uncle Sam to train there (69)
HossKGI computer (24)
Kansasstate from which Shea fled (42)
Kansas Citywhere Shea had a close call (45)
Kelly Compoundwhere the Kelly family was building their own homes in tandem with the new KGI war room; in various stages of construction (23)
Kentucky Lakelake near the Kelly compound (208)
Korengal Valleylocation of caves where Nathan was being held (21)
Lake Talawawhere Nathan rented a lodge for him and Shea (161) 11 miles south of Oregon border (164)
Lincoln CityGrace and Shea grew up in home north of here (136)
Paris, Tennesseewhere Swanny had rented a motel room; across lake from Kelly compound (63)
Sangre de Cristo Mountain Rangein New Mexico (284)
Stewart County, Tennesseewhere KGI and Kelly family located
University of Tennesseewhere Rusty planned to attend college (67)
war roomnew; in Kelly compound (23)
Wheeler Peakin Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range; highest mountain in the range; housed the top-secret research facility that held Shea (284)
Wilderness Campingname of business that rented lodge to Nathan and Shea (164)

"Whispers In The Dark" Quotations
72"You can't make yourself feel a certain way"   (Rachel)
96"You don't understand.   How could you?   We were in the worst sort of hell.   We weren't living day to day or even hour to hour.   We survived minute by excruciating minute.   The next day was an eternity away and we didn't want it.   Death wasn't the enemy.   It was our salvation.   Our hope.   Because only then would we be able to escape our reality."   (Swanny)
159"It's going to be we from now on," he bit out.   "There is no you.   No me.   Only us."   (Nathan)

"Maya Banks -- Whispers In The Dark" Review and Information Links
Rated Posted Site Notes, Comments, Etc.
----Maya Banks' WebsiteAuthor
----Maya Banks' FacebookAuthor
----Maya Banks' TwitterAuthor
--12-19-2013Maya Banks' Blog--Maya Banks / very interesting article about readers' reviews
. . . . . . . . .. . .
----Fantastic FictionList of Maya Banks' Books
----Fict FactList of Books In The Kelly Group International "KGI" Series
----Fiction DBList of Maya Banks' Books
. . . . . . . . .. . .
4.55 average{215 reviews}Amazonas of: January 17, 2015
4.50 average{385 ratings}Barnes & Nobleas of: January 17, 2015
4.0001-09-2012Book Binge--Tracy // pretty good review
1.0001-18-2012Book Binge--Casee // justified why did not finish book
--09-26-2012Book Lolly--Maren Hayes // can't tell if she likes the book or not
C01-03-2012Book Pushers--MinnChica // so-so review, not concrete justifications
4.0001-05-2012C.S. Maxwell--Trish // okay review, nice quotes
3.0002-01-2012Delighted Reader--Shari // okay
5.0012-27-2011eBook Obsessed--Lucy Dosch // slightly PR sounding, good quotes
2.0001-19-2012Fiction Vixen--Amy // run on thoughts, but validated points {gr}
positive12-28-2011Fresh Fiction--Krystal Larson // PR review
4.5001-12-2012Geeky Bloggers Book Blog, The--Felicia // [qv] no qualifiers
4.0009-03-2012Gone With The Words--Jess // brief, gushy PR-sounding review
4.33 average{9,849 ratings}Good Readsas of: January 17, 2015
4.5001-08-2012Good Reads // Aunteeexcellent review
5.0010-21-2013Good Reads // Malindalots of story detail // brief review
5.0005-21-2014Joyfully Reviewed--Miranda Grissom // PR review
4.0003-03-2012KD Did It - Takes On Books--Kathy Davie // liked format more than review
4.01 average{62 ratings}Library Thingas of: January 17, 2015
4.0001-10-2012Maldivian Book Reviewer's Realm of Romancegood review // excellent quote
Article03-10-2012Marilyn's Romance ReviewsMeet Maya // interesting details
not sure03-10-2014Melissa Blanchard Book Corner--Melissa // complimented reader of audio version
5.0003-22-2013Novels on the Run--Michelle // really like this "quote" driven review
4.0002-06-2012Obsession With Books--Sharon // good review, several valid points
5.00 / Sexual--Once Upon A Romance--Lori Graham // brief PR-sounding review, no qualifiers
4.0001-15-2012Once Upon A Twilight--Trudy // more brief synopsis than review
4.2 average{130 ratings}Paperback Swapas of: January 17, 2015
3.0007-10-2012Reading Between the Wines--Crystal // brief review, not much detail
4.30 average{23 ratings}Shelfarias of: January 17, 2015 // --Paige included heavy spoilers
4.0010-24-2013Shooting Stars Reviews--Whitney // disjointed synopsis, unjustified review
C-01-16-2012Smexy Books--Mandi // pretty good, somehow disagree
A++ / Hot01-15-2012Smitten With Reading--Christi Snow // a few good points
A+01-04-2012The Good, The Bad and The Unread--Sandy M // great review
3.00 // Hot: 3.0001-02-2012Under The Covers--Francesca // great review, slightly disagree {gr}
C-01-11-2012USA Today / Happily Ever After--Mandi Schreiner // see: Smexy Books
5.0002-09-2012Yummy Men and Kick Ass Chicks--Julie // good, even though not in total agreement
3.9001-17-2015Wolf Bear Does Booksshorter post on Amazon, Fiction DB, Good Reads, Library Thing, Shelfari

♥   Disclaimer:   This Book Was A Birthday Gift From My Sister
♥   Very Subjective Rating

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