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Silent Knife $4.99
Average Rating:4.1 / 5
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Silent Knife
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Silent Knife
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Petri W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/14/2015 13:39:26

Excellent debut novel. To be honest, I wasn't expecting anything this good, but was very happily surprised. While the female lead starts out as a bit of a cliche (hyper-competent vampire ninja, with dual katanas! :), she becomes much more interesting fast, as her past comes back to haunt her and several oddities in her fast promotion in vampiric politics slowly unravel. I liked how the book takes full advantage of Requiem's setting, as opposed to Masquerade; no more global vampiric monocultures and instead lots of local level "weird shit". In this case, interfaces with local mages, and some darker forces.

The plot kept twisting and turning, and managed to surprise me a few times. Well done. :)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Silent Knife
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Ken W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/27/2013 21:16:20

While this novel certainly is not bad, neither is it really any good. It rises a step above fan fiction, but shallow characters and underwhelming and cliched settings and trappings really drag this novel down.

It certainly adheres to the canon of White Wolf's 'Vampire: The Requiem' game world, but really offers little depth or interest. The fiction printed within the published roleplaying books is FAR better than this novel.

I cannot rate this 2 1/2 stars, so I have to downgrade it. Disappointing in quality and price. If this was fan fiction published on a website, I would rate it 3 or even 3 1/2 stars. As a "professional" novel, a lower rating is deserved.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Silent Knife
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Morgan C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/29/2013 17:18:05

I've actually got a bit of history with this one. Full disclosure, this novel, released last year on the White Wolf imprint, was something I've read a few times in the past few years. I've was a beta reader on one of the early drafts and I reread another version of the novel put up as a serial on the White Wolf website.

It's inspiring to see the book finally reach print, especially after all of the various versions appear to have improved and refined the story.

The plot of Silent Knife is steeped in the mythology of the World of Darkness, the fictional noir universe of White Wolf's many role-playing games. Silent Knife focuses more or less on the Masquerade, the treacherous and Byzantine politics of the Vampire world. Ariadne, the eponymous protagonist, is a relative newcomer to this world, changed into a vampire barely a decade previous, negotiating the relentless demands of her Prince, Liliane, during a full-scale rebellion. The leader of the rebellion, Roarke, possesses arcane powers unusual for the undead and legions of followers eager to upset the balance of Liliane's vision of a New Jerusalem. Although young by immortal standards, Ariadne is an important warrior for her Prince, possessing rare talent with the blade, and a predator's instincts for the hunt. As the body-count rises, Ariadne stumbles upon a remnant of her own old life, a man named Andrei she once loved. Even though the mortal who loved Andrei is long dead, she risks everything to be with him, to dream of some better life outside of Boston.

Nurenberg is a big fan of China Mieville and the most compelling parts of this novel stem from a similar impulse towards detail and world-building. Silent Knife's alter-Boston is a place invested with Lovecraftian cosmic horrors and the hidden machinations of powerful forces. Like Mieville, Nurenberg doesn't just want to tell a story. He wants to bring his metropolis to life, filling it with hordes of characters, living and dead, and weaving a grand spectacle of blood, sacrifice, and flawed redemption. I am not a big fan of fiction set within pre-defined universes but I appreciated Nurenberg's attempt to breathe new life into the genre. He chose atypical characters as vampires: the obsese, mordant Bourne is particularly vivid, a former labor organizer, embraced as a kind of sadistic joke by his philosopher sire, condemned to see history's pattern repeat again and again, without having the ability to change any of it.

This is the overall theme of the book, characters trapped a few steps outside of redemption, lurching towards acceptance. The tragedy of the story is that each character seeks that redemption from the same thing most likely to condemn them. Ariadne regains some measure of humanity by reigniting an affair with Andrei, but that humanity dooms both of them in a world that feeds off of mortals. Bourne can't help but long for Ariadne even though his unrequited desire for her, serves only to drive him deeper into fury and revenge. Liliane's vision of a shining city on the hill leads to unspeakable sacrifices, and ceaseless carnage.

Overall I think this is a fresh and seductive portrait of Boston noire. Like the city, it's a tapestry at once intimate and personal, but also panoramic and cold.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Silent Knife
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Jo F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/08/2013 02:58:52

Good read. Excellent addition to the series. Brilliant prose. Suspenseful. Once I picked it up, I had to keep reading. The imagery works on multiple levels. Cleverly written in the here and now, it hearkens to emotions of the past which may be inside us all, emotions that are with us though we know not what they are until someone or something gives them voice.

A great book. Highly recommended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Silent Knife
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Larissa M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/05/2013 20:51:21

Fast paced, lots of twists and action scenes, suspenseful. Well-plotted. Much deeper character development than the average game-based novel, which was the biggest plus. I was gratified that the protagonist defied my expectations on many occasions: not predictable = good.

Took a chapter or two to get used to the language/ style, but the gothic style was appropriate to the setting and intended tone. Overall, it worked well.

I gave this novel a 4: not my favorite, but once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Silent Knife
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/02/2013 23:29:55

I tend to judge gaming fiction very differently than 'regular' fiction, but this is due to the difference in use. For me, gaming fiction brings the world alive, moves the game beyond mere mechanics and shows the reader how the game world works. It should show the reader the nuances of the game world and offer a potential Storyteller insight that is useful for future games.
I own almost every oWoD novel White Wolf produced and there was certainly a mixed bag in there, ranging from the truly atrocious ('Masquerade of the Red Death') to very enjoyable ('Clan Novel: Setite'), so this is the yardstick against which 'Silent Knife' will be measured.

I found it to be extremely average. It wasn't a trial to read, there was enough variance between the characters and the overall plot was fine. But that was it. There was nothing that stood out to me as exceptional, but likewise nothing that made me want to walk away either. If you are running a game of Requiem, it is worth looking over, and the characters' motivations and mannerisms will be something worth taking away from the novel. At this price point the ePub version (which rendered wonderfully on my Android tablet) is a low investment, and the page count long enough to tell the story, but you can knock this over in a day or two. Whilst I can't really fault it, there isn't anything extraordinary about this novel either - hence the clear 'middle of the road' of three stars.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Silent Knife
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Melissa F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/27/2012 16:56:04

There's not much I can add that hasn't already been said, good or ill, about the book - I liked it, and I can't wait for the next V:TR book to come out. Werewolf is actually my favorite game...any chance for some Forsaken novels, WW?



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Silent Knife
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Joshua M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/24/2012 19:47:08

I'm a long time Vampire: The Masquerade player, having cut my teeth on the system about 19 years ago...to be honest, I had not given nWoD V:tR a first look out of good old fashioned stubbornness...I would not even have picked this book up had a friend not suggested it to me..and honestly, I'm glad I listened to him. I saw a lot of the same "spark" that made the environment in the early days of V:tM so worthwhile and appealing, back when it was much more simple and streamlined, before it began to get bogged down in it's own contradictory legend. The author really managed to capture the essence of what makes "Gothic Punk" work.

It's clear the author is writing to what he knows with regards to the setting, in the same way that Hamilton writes to what she knows about the setting of St. Louis, and I will admit that as a "Masshole" of over 25 years, the setting endeared the book a bit to me. As to the charge regarding "purple prose", I think that's overly harsh; the author's bio in the back states he's a teacher, and his love of the English language is certainly evident...while I feel there were a few points here and there where a certain economy of wordcraft might have worked out better, by and large I felt that the writing was very descriptive and layered. I got an immediate mental image of the story, the characters, and the settings, from early on in the book; it's rare these days that a work of fiction can get it's story and character to "pop" into my minds eye so easily from the get go.

Honestly, I'm actually considering picking up Requiem and giving it a fair shot, if the world it presents is anything like the one described in Silent Knife. So yeah, I would say this is definitely a good opening move to White Wolf's return to fiction publishing.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Silent Knife
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by newcaprica90 n. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/24/2012 09:50:01

This is actually a pretty good read.

Upsides: I like the protagonist, and how there is a tension between the "war" plot and the "relationship" plot. It's well paced, such that you never feel one of those plots becomes too dominant. The character of Bourne (sort of a minor antagonist/uneasy ally) is delightfully obnoxious and I found myself looking forward to the scenes that had him in it.

Downsides: The "magic" component in the story feels a little vague, but then, I've never quite been comfortable with the blood magic/thaumaturgy-ish elements of White Wolf's vampire games, as it just feels a little too "high fantasy" for what, in my eyes, should be a gritty, realistic urban setting. There are also some formatting errors in the printing - screwed up indents, italics for flashbacks that stop when they were clearly meant to continue.

Bottom line, magic stuff aside, this book felt like a Vampire novel should...dark, paranoid, overly emotional, lots of sturm un drang, gothicky...and not afraid of a few gory scenes. If this is the shape of White Wolf's new Vampire books, then I approve.

  • NC90


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Silent Knife
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Pete T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/23/2012 20:28:46

It pains me to say this, after waiting so long for White Wolf to get back into fiction, but the writing is horrific. It's riddled with dragging description and Purple Prose.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Silent Knife
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Globe C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/09/2012 19:51:02

I've waited a long time for White Wolf to renew its fiction line, and this book was worth the wait. The story moves along nicely, and there are one or two plot twists I did not see coming. It's sort of equal parts "Felicity" and "Kill Bill," but somehow the mashup seems to work. That, and Mage has always been my favorite White Wolf product line, so it was a special treat for me to see Mages (and Boston, my hometown!) figure prominently. Hopefully this is the beginning of a robust renewal of WW fiction...



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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