As the cover suggests, Noise is a novel full of darkness and anguish. The true sadness of the story was contrasted with the beautiful writing, with Garcia Rose using words to create images and emotions in this fast-paced thriller.
Leon is a fearsome character. Born and raised in Nigeria, deaf and gun in hand, he was saved by an American family. It was then that he met Lily, his new sister, and instant champion. While Garcia Rose goes into frustratingly few details about his adoption, life in America, and how he forms such a strong bond with Lily, it’s clear that Leon would do anything for her.
However, Lily disappeared ten years ago and Leon hasn’t heard from her since he read her farewell letter and learned that she had run away to make a life for herself in New York. One day, he receives a postcard from her and knows she’s in trouble.
When we meet Leon, he’s turning New York City upside down in his search for his sister. His ‘disability’ does not disable him at all – in fact, the fact that Leon is deaf does not really change the way the story unfolds at all, except to add to his mysterious, fearsome demeanour. Not afraid to shed blood in his quest to find his sister, Leon breaks all of the rules.
The novel is quite short – somewhere between short story and novel. So, the action happens rapidly. One lead turns into another, and then suddenly the story is at it’s end, and everything comes to a head.
Never really about a happy ending, or coming out unscathed himself, Noise reads somewhat like a mission of self-destructive, and is definitely not a light read. Emotionally, it is intense. I’d have loved a little more background, and a bit more character development, but overall the story was very unique and riveting. I was also particularly interested by Leon’s childhood in Nigeria, as I work closely with South Sudanese refugees who faced a similarly troubled upbringing. For a darker read, Noise is definitely worth a look.
I received a copy of Noise from Kelsey at Book Publicity Services, in exchange for a review and my honest opinion.