Reviews for Strangled Silence
'Oisin McGann is truly an authentic Aristotle of adolescent fiction, writing with as much means to entertain as well as to educate. There is something wonderfully akin to the exploits of Robert Muchamore as Oisin blends compelling action against a realistic and forceful narrative. With a piece of fiction so relevant to our current political situation and a contemporary voice which depicts characters with such translucent and evocative quality, Strangled Silence grasps attention with unwavering intensity. Wielding an inventive flair all of his own Oisin McGann is by far one of the most exciting authors you could hope to grace your bookshelf.’
John Lloyd, Waterstones in Bath.
'Strangled Silence presses all my political buttons and I was going to love it before I even started reading but positive prejudice aside, it really is a great book. The three central characters are all credible and sympathetic - even alien nut Chi, but particularly sad and confused veteran Ivor. And the manner in which the central conspiracy is eventually revealed to be a combination of cock-up and domino effect is not only credible, but a rather sad indictment on government.
'It's pacy and direct and energetic, and it might also wake up the political sensibilities we're always bemoaning twenty-first century adolescents have forgotten all about in favour of iPods and Wiis and designer labels. Recommended.’
Jill Murphy, The Bookbag (gives it four and a half stars out of five)
'This book has a no-nonsense start. Straight into the drama and intrigue, setting up an unusual story. . . This is a hard-hitting novel. I would recommend it for older teens. Challenging and intriguing.’
Chris G. Chicklish
'Strangled Silence is a gripping, and well-paced book that, while ostensibly written for the young adult market, has appeal for all people of all ages and riffs brilliantly on very contemporary themes. Where there is war, there is propaganda, and in this hi-tech age there is also an all-pervasive media presence, spoon-feeding a gullible public the kind of war stories that the government want them to hear - all is well, we will protect you - and all the while these stories perpetuate the war by breeding fear and compliance into the population. Add to this constant CCTV surveillance, erosion of privacy and violation of civil liberties in the name of 'peace' and this novel presents a very contemporary landscape upon which to dwell.
'But it's not a finger-pointing, fist-waving book. At its heart is a great story played out by a rich selection of nicely realised and well rounded characters, each with their own agenda but well matched as a team. The dialogue crackles along nicely and there is a neat sub-plot involving Amina's brother and a military training program at his school that plays nicely into the main story at the end.
'In the wake of recent events in Iraq and Afghanistan and the questions in some quarters about why and how we came to be involved in them, the issues raised in Strangled Silence are a whole lot darker and more complex than the average teenage genre fair and I applaud the author for going there. And while there is brainwashing and hacking and mad conspiracy theories, nothing is really what it seems and there is no neatly wrapped and packaged ending because, as Oisin will tell you himself, life isn't like that.
'Strangled Silence starts out well and maintains a kinetic energy that keeps going right to the last page. It's quick and clever and presents its ideas in a no-nonsense way that, hopefully, will rouse the current crop of adolescent readers to question what goes on around them in a way that, sadly, most adults do not.’
Robert Grant, Sci-Fi London/Oktoberfest 2008
Robert interviewed me for the Sci-Fi London Website, you can see it here.
'Well, at least it has flying saucers. Oisín McGann’s new novel Strangled Silence is one of the most menacing looking books I’ve seen for a while. It’s all black, even around the edges, which makes you think you’re not looking at a book at all.
'The flying saucers help lighten the atmosphere somewhat, which is good, as otherwise this would be a much scarier story. It happens here and now, in a normal London, post Iraq war, with a new war in fictional (I hope) Sinnostan. And it’s not the terrorists who are the most frightening. What is the Government up to?
'This thriller is just that little bit too real and too likely. And that’s including the flying saucers. Conspiracy everywhere, a bit of brainwashing every now and then, subtle violence, and not so subtle violence. And who wants to travel on the tube from now on?
'Amina is a work experience journalist and Ivor was wounded in Sinnostan. Chi is a computer nerd and Amina’s brother Tariq has problems at school. They all get caught up one way or another with the seemingly crazy and inexplicable things that are happening. As it’s fiction, the reader feels that surely they will be all right in the end? But will they? This feels very real, and very scary.’
'Gripping... every boy needs to read books that contain this sort of adventure... if boys are to
read, they have to fulfil their testosterone fuelled imagination. This book does that in spades!'
Nina Hoskins, Rickmansworth Community Times
'A sinister, shadowy world of conspiracy theorists, political double-dealing and media distortion. McGann, in his most accomplished young adult novel to date, handles all of these (and more) with an excellent pace and occasional flashes of ironic humour. The result is an impressive and highly intelligent political thriller.'
Rober Dunbar The Irish Times Weekend Review
'Intriguing mystery thriller with a conspiracy theory that's not too far-fetched. Great characters, great story.’
Book Crossing gives Strangled Silence eight stars out of ten.
'Now and again you read a book that makes you sit back and seriously consider the world we live in. Strangled Silence, by Irish author Oisin McGann is such a book.
'It's a book for teenagers (and adults) dealing with big, meaty ideas: modern warfare, misinformation and the press, mind control and brainwashing – and it's, for the most part, utterly gripping...
'McGann is a terrific storyteller, unafraid to tackle weighty, important subjects, always moving forwards and stretching himself and his craft. He is to be commended for this exciting, worldly read. I look forward to seeing what he does next.'
Sarah Webb, The Irish Independent
'Oisín McGann’s latest novel is a tightly plotted, fast-paced conspiracy thriller. From page one it fires off the starting line and races along at an exciting pace, while the unusual and complex plot will keep readers intrigued. McGann switches to follow different characters throughout the novel, changing scene effortlessly, which lends a cinematic feel to the writing. Not only exciting and enjoyable, the tense mood and the London setting make way for a very relevant and current story in the wake of the terrorist attacks, illustrating how everyday lives are affected by the threat of violence in the modern world. Strangled Silence is a slick and well-paced thriller that older readers should engage with and enjoy.’
Donal Cumiskey, Inis Magazine
'Uses an imaginary world to evoke some of the most dangerous elements in contemporary political culture.’
Celia Keenan, The Irish Independent
'I really like this book. . . a brilliantly written thriller.’
Robert Dunbar, Today with Pat Kenny on RTE Radio 1
Strangled Silence made Robert Dunbar's list of top 30 books of the year in The Irish Times on Saturday.
'A fast moving, adult-style thriller.'
The Northern Echo
(For Strangled Silence, Ancient Appetites and Small-Minded Giants)
'Tense and exciting. . . his wonderfully imagined books, with their
sinister edginess, will have won new fans.'
East Way Echo
'This book is an effective introduction to the genre of political thriller, a place filled in the adult world of fiction by the likes of James Patterson. Oisin McGann gets the reader involved right from the start through his instantly recognisable urban settings and detailed, well-developed characters. . .
'This is a book for older teenagers and there is swearing and some fairly shocking scenes. However, taken in context, this helps to create a pacy, tension filled thriller, which keeps the reader guessing as to how the story will end and if all the characters will make it, right to the last page.’
Christian York, Write Away
'This gripping and thought-provoking novel will fascinate teenagers who are intrigued by conspiracy theories.'
Leicestershire County Council (one of their books of the month)