My reviews of A Hunger Like No Other and Dark Desires After Dusk are available at TGTBTU. Expect even more reviews there next week.
By Joni Sensel
Teenager Aiden wants to be a monk so that he can become a scribe, rather than for love of God. He's an artistic young man who desires to illuminate text. He also possesses a strange ability. Objects, including people, hum of numbers. These numbers can give him some personality cues and such. As the book opens, he realizes Lana hums of eleven - the first human he's met with a number higher than ten.
Lana, a bastard daughter of the local lord, is forced to live at the abbey because she's something of a troublemaker. She possesses a sort of wood magic. She's a witch and a strong-willed girl in a time when those are dangerous things to be.
One day when Aiden is gathering apples to make ink and Lana is trying to run away, Vikings attack the abbey and village. They have also captured the lordling Brendan Donagh and are holding him for ransom. The two teenages devise a plan that uses their powers to rescue Brendan and make the Vikings leave.
Really, I cannot say much about THE HUMMING OF NUMBERS. I found it a bit boring and lackluster. There's some interesting thoughts about God, but that will probably make it seem more boring to younger readers. There are also references to rape that probably make the novel a bit too adult for the audience for which it is best suited. (In addition to finding it unsuitable for the intended audience, I felt Lana's rape did nothing to further the plot.) Most of the violence occurs off-page which allows it to remain appropriate for younger readers on that count. Fans of Irish history will probably enjoy THE HUMMING OF NUMBERS, but most other readers will probably be unsatisfied.
Find out more at Joni Sensel's website. THE HUMMING OF NUMBERS went on sale May 27th.