Dec 29 2011 12:00pm

Fresh Meat: Maya Banks’s Whispers in the Dark (Jan. 3, 2012)

Whispers in the Dark by Maya BanksMaya Banks
Whispers in the Dark
Berkley Sensation, $7.99, Jan. 3, 2012
Nathan is being held captive and is in agony. His saving grace is the voice of an angel who eases his pain and helps him regain enough strength to escape. When he does, she leaves him with a void that he can barely stand. When he escapes and returns to the KGI, he hears her again-now she needs him.

Her name is Shae, and she’s on the run with her sister. A government group wants to harness their abilities to heal. The KGI wants to help- but can Nathan quiet his soulmate’s doubts and convince her that they are meant to face these dangers together?

Maya Banks’s Whispers in the Dark is a story of human connection, but in this case, it’s a telepathic connection. Even in our darkest hour when we have lost all hope, this book says all we need is one person to reach out to us to give us the strength we need  to carry on and overcome, to reveal the strong bond that can develop between two people from that shared experience.

Nathan Kelly is an American soldier fighting in Afghanistan. He’s been captured, hidden and tortured by the enemy.  He has no idea if it is day or night, or how long he has been held captive. Two of his friends have already been killed, and he has lost his will to fight his captors and just wants the release of death. But then he hears the voice of an angel in his head. Has he finally lost his mind? Would it even matter? Whether real or imagined, this voice brings him comfort, takes his pain and gives him the strength to fight back and escape.

Whatever had happened today, whether he’d finally broken from reality or not, he felt a renewed determination to live. To fight.

He focused on his family. He’d live for them. This would pass. He would survive it.

“Yes. You’ll live. I won’t let you give up.”

The angel whispered, and he felt some of the horror of his mind recede.  If he could, he would grab on and wrap the Angel around him.

We know that she is not an angel; she’s a telepath. Shea Peterson is halfway around the world when she hears Nathan’s mental cry of pain and torment.  But she and her sister are in hiding, and she can’t risk weakening herself making the psychic link with him. When he finally starts to give in to his despair wishing to die rather then spend another day in hell, she can’t stop herself from connecting with him.  She gives him her strength and takes away his pain.  Nathan can’t understand her selfless desire to save him but his connection with Shea is what gives him the strength to endure and eventually escape his captors.

She wrapped herself completely around him, holding him, offering her warmth and caring and all the while he could smell her blood from the wound given to him.

Never, never had he felt more helpless as he sat there being slowly carved up by a knife the he couldn’t even feel. He couldn’t even feel her pain.  She was working hard to keep it all from him.

Tears ran freely down his cheeks, not because of what was being done to him, but because she suffered in his stead.  It was more than he could bear.

“Just be still, Nathan, and maybe they’ll leave you alone. Don’t do anything to anger them.  Please.  It will all be over soon.  It’s only temporary for me.  You know this.”

Once he is finally free, Shea breaks the bond between them, and Nathan feels a tangible loss, as though he’s lost a piece of his soul. Mostly, he’s afraid that she was actually just his imagination. When Shea finally calls out to Nathan for his help, he comes running to her side. And I confess I was as nervous and excited as Nathan when they finally got to meet in person.

His heart nearly stopped as he pulled onto the shoulder. His palms went slick on the steering wheel.  His pulse raced so hard he was light-headed.

Just a few feet away was Shea. The woman—the Angel—who’d invaded his mind. All his doubts surfaced, but all he had to do was open his door and get out. He would have his proof and until now he’d had no idea how badly he wanted her to be real.

This story shows us, as Shea says, “There is no shame in needing someone,” and that a selfless act of kindness towards another person will bring so much to all those involved. Here Nathan and Shea are connected on such an intimate level, both by their telepathic link and their similar experiences of capture and torture, and the bond that grows between Shea and Nathan is so compelling you can’t help but feel part of their story.


Lucy Dosch writes book reviews for her blog  Her e-reader has turned her love of reading into an obsession.  When she is not reading, she likes to spend time with her husband and two daughters.

Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
1. tjmom
Love this KGI series..honestly, haven't read a Maya book I didn't like..Thanks for all the stories you have!
Pamela Webb-Elliott
2. Spaz
oh wow, a telepath?? I can't wait to read this book, looove this series.
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