Cover Image: We Hear Voices

We Hear Voices

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Imagine you're in a pandemic... I know, I know... it's a stretch, but just try.  Now imagine you're a kid that caught whatever "flu" (J5X) is going around, gets REALLY sick but then starts to recover.  But he's also brought with him a new imaginary friend named Delfy.  Imaginary friends are harmless right? 😉 Spider bouquet anyone? 🕷♥

As an only child you would've thought I would've had an imaginary friend but I never did.   I would make up scenarios in my head all the time and hold conversations where I was the voice of everyone that wasn't there... but they were people I knew and never someone that didn't actually exist.  I have ALWAYS been fascinated with imaginary friends and then couple that with kids turned creepy AND add a pandemic to the mix?  I'm in! Yes, I'm that person who watched all the pandemic movies when all of *this* occurred but anywayssssssssssss......

I'm SUPER torn in how I feel about this novel.  The concept it fantastic and the synopsis hooked me straight away. I do feel that some parts of the book felt like we were being told, rather than shown, what was happening.  And this was usually in a cluster of sentences that basically told the reader what happened over a short period of time.  It just seemed off compared to the feel of the rest of the read.  (cluster of sentences... paragraph, whatever 🤣)  I had fun with how the characters ended up intersecting but that ending.... 

Ok, let me say that I love when books get wonky. And this absolutely gets wonky.  I'm undecided if I'm LOVING on it or just kinda MEH about it. Either way, I swiped to the left one last time on my e-copy with a head shake and a smile.  There's certainly some plots holes but as a debut, I'm pretty excited for the whole concept of this story.  I'm gonna keep an eye on Green... I'm excited to see what else she has for us in the future.
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I'm definitely planning to purchase a copy of this for my library, although given the plague/pandemic nature of the story, I don't know how well it will circulate right now! But I found it to be creepy, haunting, and a great read overall.
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We Hear Voices is a debut novel by Evie Green and it did not disappoint. 

Where are my creepy kid troupe fans? There is a strange flu like virus called J5X infecting people. They are dying.  There are a few kids who are recovering from it with a new 'imaginary friend.'  This 'imaginary friend' is making them do very bad things.  

Billy is one kid who miraculously recovers from J5X with an imaginary friend named Delfy.  His family is overjoyed that he is better until the day someone very close to them ends up dead. Rachel, Billy's mom, realizes there is something very wrong with him.  His sister, Nina, is in a space program and is dating a rich kid named, Louis.  Together, with a friend, they try to figure out what is causing the virus and how it is linked to his past and his future.

I really enjoyed this book.  It is a bit of horror and mystery all mixed together. I love that the author did a great job intertwining the lives of the people in the book.  I am also glad the author didn't leave too much suspense as to the virus cause at the end of the book.  Now, I am hoping for a Book 2!!  

Thank you to NetGalley and Berkley for the #gifted copy of this ARC.
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Thank you so much to Berkley Press and Evie Green for this book, but sadly I could not get into it! I'm not sure if it was the pandemic theme was much too close to home or what it was, but I just could not keep focused on this book. The premise was amazing and the idea of a child having an imaginary friend who makes them do things or act a certain way is horrifying in the best way. Hopefully I will be able to come back to this one once the pandemic has passed, because I do think it has a lot of promise. I read about the first 50 pages but that was all I could do. For now it is a DNF for me, but I will keep it in mind to come back to for the future!
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We Hear Voices is terrifying and creepy, and even saying that would be just an understatement. With some heavy resemblance to the pandemic happening right now, the novel is set amidst an ongoing pandemic that affects only kids and the patients either die or those who come back alive, come back with an imaginary friend. What comes off as harmless involvement with an imaginary friend as a means of coping soon turns hostile and strange, turning into vessels of inappropriacy and blood-thirsty murderer of elders.

Rachel, mother of Billy, is a divorcee living with her uber supportive boyfriend and three kids, who was shattered to lose 6-year-old Billy to the deadly virus. But when he comes back alive, she calls it a miracle. More so when her third child, Beth, miraculously gets better after suddenly getting sick one night, she truly believes that luck was full on her side. Her older daughter, Nina, is a 16-year-old ambitious space fanatic who aims to build a better future for the next generations. Rachel, although slowly drowning in poverty, is happy and lucky with a loving family. That is until Billy’s behaviour gets way out of character and hostile, violent and dangerous, which leads her to put in him a special and mysterious asylum with other similar survivor kids.

Billy was really a creepy character to read about. The way the author described his actions and thought process really brought out the weirdness in the story, adding to the strange mystery of the imaginary friend. The progression from healing to violence was so smooth and well done, you really cannot see where it changes. Billy really steals the show in the first half, terrifying with every turn of page. There was a constant question in my mind while I read – “what would Billy do next?” – and I think it really accounts for the unreliability of his character. His bond with his sister was really sweet.

Rachel’s character was a mixed bag of emotions for me, to be honest. She seemed fragile at moments and then totally in control in other moments, and I think that really made her more real. Her worry and care for her children was one moving aspect of the story – how she was so tired and exhausted and yet, how she wasn’t ready to give up. I think with Rachel, the author created a vulnerable yet powerful women who knew how to stand on her feet and would fight. Her motherly instincts were portrayed fabulously, although at times I did yell for her to make more sound decisions. But ultimately, she was a lot women trying to find her own feet. At the same time, however, I also found her voice and actions to be annoying at times.

Nina, the older daughter, was my favourite character. Young she may be, but she was very practical and mature in her thinking and actions. Her meticulous nature led her to create an anonymous blog with her brother’s story, in order to connect with others who might have felt the same. Although this sounded selfish and dangerous, I also enjoyed seeing how it took over her life at one point. While she despised Delfy, the love for her brother was so wholesome and beautiful, and it traced out so perfectly in the story. She would do anything for family, and it showed, and I loved her for that. Her relationship with Louis was adorable too! However much I liked the two of them together for portrayal of a positive relationship, I was so happy that Nina didn’t go in the cliché lines of ‘I’ll do anything for love’ and made sound decisions at the end. Her devotion to her family and the welfare of the society as a whole was a commendable trait that I absolutely adored.

These characters really made reading more enjoyable due to their distinct voices. I enjoyed Graham and his love for Imogen, but at times I really felt detached with that aspect of the story. The asylum, run by Graham, is utterly creepy and even creepier are the kids and there were certain scenes in there really troubled me a lot. The author tried to add more of a supernatural element to the story, but I guess I couldn’t grasp it enough. While I loved Graham’s mysterious character right from the beginning, I do think we didn’t get much depth on his character as we did for the others. I wish there were more scenes with him, giving us a glimpse of his life before and during so we could've connected with him more.

The second half of the book leans more toward Nina trying to figure out the truth and outing Ben Alford (the vicious mastermind who is profiting off poor people) to the world. It soon turns into a deadly race to freedom and truth, and the stakes get higher, and boy did I love the chase! As I had already said, Nina was my absolute favourite character and the author truly outdid with her characterisation.

However, there were moments when the plot tended to shift away from the ongoing pandemic and focused too much on the chase to figure the truth. It leaned more towards uncovering dirty politics rather than focusing on the violent imaginary friends who loved spiders. I would have loved to see more of Billy and the kids cooking up absolute chaos but towards the second part, we hardly saw much of Billy. And whatever little we read about him, he was being his creepy self, sad and manipulative. I also felt like the end got a bit rushed and mixed up in its explanation, as everything was put forward way too much all at once.

Towards the end of the novel, I really was left gaping at my screen. It was not something that one would be expected out of such a story, and in that way, I think it was clever and marvellous. But at the same time, it was also abrupt and weird. Things started to heal and get better so easily, which of course made me doubt the whole situation. The author, I felt, also forgot to mention about the virus and the pandemic towards the end. But the epilogue is what went totally crazy and ended with a direct cliffhanger that was – yes – crazy. I literally have no other word to describe it other than crazy. And more so, it was highly bizarre and unsettling, totally creepy.

There were multiple storylines running together but they all connected well and took the story forward. The setting of an almost dystopian landscape was eerie and totally added more depth to the storytelling. While I enjoyed this setting, and there were so many relatable aspects in the story, I couldn’t help but skim through the science bits – maybe because it wasn’t given much importance for most part of the story. I really wasn’t a big fan to the ending, to be honest. There was a lot happening, but slowly. And then at the end it simply went crazy. 

However, Evie Green has crafted a marvellous story that is equal parts creepy and atmospheric and scary. The parallels to our current situation, I think, made the reading experience far more terrific! I believe We Hear Voices is one of a kind dystopian thriller that is bound to make you uncomfortable with its spectacular and detailed writing and descriptions.
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This was an okay read, overall, but I think it suffered from not quite knowing what it was.

There's a pandemic that affects the world, and people just start calling it the "flu" (sound familiar?), but this pandemic affects children in a weird way - once they are suddenly well, they start to hear a voice, like an imaginary friend gone wrong, in their minds. Children with nefarious secret voices is prime creepy-fodder, and I was here for the ride. Also, spiders (!!).

But I didn't love the direction the book took. Billy's sister, Nina, is in the space cadet training program, and she hopes to travel to the new planet that humans plan on colonizing to save themselves. We learn early on that this is a kind of dystopic future world, where home-assisting AI is very advanced, corporations can employ people like indentured servants, and humans have visited a giant asteroid that is between Earth and the Moon and are planning to launch to some unidentified habitable planet from that asteroid. Things unravel further from there.

And the ending felt like a rushed whirlwind of resolution that just didn't feel on pace with everything else that was going on. I had questions, also, but not in the best way.
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Oddly timely subject matter, especially the opening scene depicting a post-pandemic world. It's sometimes difficult to believe this was written before the onset of Covid. While the premise is interesting and certainly snags the attention, I'm afraid I found most everything else about it a letdown. The story drags in places and the dialogue is poor. A wasted opportunity.
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This book got under my skin. Perhaps it's because it's set during a global pandemic (even though this was written before COVID-19 hit), but I had a low level of dread the whole time reading this book. The premise (what if a side effect of the pandemic was having a voice in your head that you couldn't get rid of) was fascinating and engaging. I really felt the helplessness of the whole family and the doctors. And as the book barreled along to a finish, I kept looking at how many pages were left and thinking, "They can't possibly wrap this all up satisfactorily by the end!" But lo and behold, not only did Green wrap things up, but brought it to an extremely satisfying and delicious conclusion. I look forward to Evie Green's next tale.
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While the premise of this book was thoroughly creepy, especially now, I just wasn't as drawn in as I wanted to be. I was all in until I realized what was happening to the kids and what they turned into, and that is where it fell a little flat for me. I still would recommend this book, I think part of my problem is that I have read so many horror stories that not too much is new.
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Wow this novel was addictive and had me hooked! There were so many twists and shocks that kept me entertained and wanting to read more to see what would happen next. Disturbing, dark, and thrilling, this novel will have you gasping until you turn the final page!

Rachel and her family were lovely people. When Rachel's middle child and only son Billy catches the pandemic known as the flu, she fears she is going to lose him like many others in the world who contract the flu. However, just when he is on the brink of death Billy miraculously comes back to life, to much the surprise and happiness of his family. However, Billy seems to be different since recovering from the fly. He now has an imaginary friend by the name of Delfy. Not only that, but he randomly does some creepy and disturbing things - asking strange and disturbing questions, some questions children his age do no ask, as well as taking a sudden interest in things that never seemed to interest him before. Happy to have her child happy and healthy again, Rachel is willing to look past all the red flags and the fact that he has a new imaginary friend. Afterall, she does have her son back.

What unfolds is a series of strange happening. It leaves you immersed into the story as you are eager to see what exactly is going on here, and why Billy doesn't appear to be the only one to have such an imaginary friend.

There are many intriguing and interesting characters in this novel and it is quite easy to follow along and read their individual stories and what they all have to do with one another. 

Overall a great book that I recommend.
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This one is a bit hard to review, because while I don’t think it’s really horror and would more fall into science fiction genre, I still felt it was very scary!  The reason I found it to be so scary, is it so similar to reality today with the Covid-19 pandemic and it was written prior to it happening, so definitely realistic!  Chilling. fast paced, with some amazing character development!  The second half sort of slowed down and I guess shifted focus, making it a bit harder to finish, as I wished it had continued the way it seemed to move the first half!  Over all, I would definitely highly recommend, as I do think it will chill you to the bone, Since it’s a lot like our world today!  
Will buzz around platforms and use lower amazon reviewer number on release date!
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A fun, scary thriller that is perfect for cool, crisp October days.  If you are looking for a Halloween scary read, this book is a good pick.
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A future horror story that makes you wonder about the safety of space exploration. What happens when a “flu” results from a secret space mission and is causing survivors to hear voice that control their lives.
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Evie Green had no idea how timely this sci-fi thriller would feel by the time of it's release. Yet, being in the midst of a pandemic only enhances the horror aspects and even gives a somewhat relatable feel at times. The novel is set in the near-future when a pandemic has already overtaken the world. There’s a mysterious flu killing the majority of people who contract it. So Rachel is understandably worried about her young son, Billy, who is sick with this flu until miraculously he recovers, but not without a new addition to his life. Billy all of a sudden has an imaginary friend named Delfy. Rachel knows kids have imaginary friends, so this doesn’t worry her until Billy starts doing strange and frightening things that Delfy told him to do. And Billy isn’t the only kid a suddenly new imaginary friend telling him what to do after recovering from the flu. It is happening to other kids who suddenly recovered. This book is an adventure with everything going on. The setting is creepy especially with what’s going on in the world right now. The characters are very well-developed and even relatable. This is a perfect read if you’re looking for something creepy and suspenseful. Highly recommended!
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A pandemic has over taken this near dystopian future. It has already killed millions. Rachel prays for anything,  everything,  to have it spare her little boy, Billy. But at what cost? Is his imaginary friend a coping mechanism, or something much more sinister? This is an enthralling novel that hits a little close to home in the middle of COVID, but buckle up you're in for a ride!  I sincerely hope a sequel is on it's way because I'm deeply invested in Nina, Rachel, Al, Beth, and Billy. 

Thanks to Netgalley for this copy in return for my review.
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In a world that eerily parallels the pandemic currently faced, one small boy recovers from near death only to have found an imaginary friend who seems to control his very actions, actions that are often terrifying and unexplainable. What could be happening to this innocent child? Is the voice in his head real? How will his mother deal with the horrors she must face? Is she prepared to admit something is not right? What of the others who have recovered? Do they hear voices, too?

WE HEAR VOICES by Evie Green is a dark tale of family relationships, paranormal events and questions the unknown and the unexpected and the unbelievable.

Well written, Billy is a typical small child who begins doing horrific things. His mother seemed too caught up in having a perfect family, almost seeming to deny a problem until further into the story. The addition of a doctor “studying” pandemic-recovered children adds a brilliant element as all is slowly revealed.

A perfectly evil read for the upcoming Halloween season.

I received a complimentary ARC edition from Berkley Publishing Group! This is my honest and voluntary review.
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I thought this was okay! I wish it leaned a little more on the horror side versus sci-fi/dystopian. Writing & plot was fine, but didn’t do much for me personally.
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If you're looking for a thriller, a scary story to keep you up at night this Fall, you must check out WE HEAR VOICES by Evie Green. It gave me Imaginary Friend vibes, which I loved, but this is an utterly original work that's hair-raising and bound to turn your knuckles white.
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From the description I was expecting a horror, but what I got was more of a dystopian sci fi. Maybe that's why I was declined when I first requested an advance copy elsewhere. The reason I gave for wanting to read this was that I love horror that features creepy kids. Maybe I should have taken the hint that this book was not for me, instead of requesting an advance copy here.
When young Billy recovers from the mysterious pandemic it's like the miracle that Rachel has prayed for. So many have died from this new virus that she is, at first, willing to overlook the strange behavior that has come with this recovery. The way that Billy seems so obsessed with gaining knowledge can't really be a bad thing can it? Yet soon the voice in Billy's head has moved him from doing inappropriate things to downright aggression and threatening behavior. Rachel seeks help but being poverty stricken leaves her with few options. Enter the doctor who knows more than he is telling, and is willing to treat Billy for free. Meanwhile Rachel's daughter has a new boyfriend who she has met in space skills while preparing to colonize a new planet. They boyfriend has a half sister who also suffered this voice in her head. 
While Billy and his strange affliction did hold my interest and Rachel trying to make do while living in poverty is quite relatable I did find myself skimming the bits about space skills.
It was just an OK read for me, but others will probably enjoy it more, especially those who enjoy dystopian sci fi.
I received an advance copy for review.
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I was definitely expecting more of a horror, while this was much more of a sci fi story. The characters are compelling and the writing style keeps you interested, but the "twist" is pretty obvious.
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