Twisty, twisty, twisty, The Quiet Room by Terry Miles takes you on another strange path down the Rabbit hole.
The “Rabbits” series by storyteller Terry Miles is based on the world created by his serialized podcast of the same name with the titular catchphrase, “R U Playing.” So again, we are faced with the question, “What is Rabbits?” And frankly, there is no way for me to illuminate that, but I can tell you what I know.
The series idea of Rabbits is a swirling collection of chapters and stories hinting at an underground game called Rabbits. It’s characters and us readers following clues and seeing patterns in multiple dimensions. In The Quiet Room, the second novel in the series, Rowan Chess is starting to see patterns; the idea of Rabbits is popping up around him. To such an extent that it is getting hard to ignore them. On the flip side, Emily Connors suddenly finds herself trapped in a dimensional stream where the game does not exist and nothing feels right.
While the story had me in the first pages, this is a dark and complicated read; it is the type of story that would be difficult to wade through if you are not thoroughly familiar with the first book. Even then, because of the complexity, you may have had to reread the first book recently to familiarize yourself. The Quiet Room hops from area to area, dimension to dimension, and person to person. It is not a narrative that moves in a straight line, jagged line, or anything resembling a line, more like a yarn knot. That is one of the positives and detractors of a story like this. Some folks who read it, myself, included love puzzles and piecing the story bits together. But compared to the first book, The Quiet Room has an even faster pacing. I got lost a few times, and that is saying something because I had to keep notes in the first book to keep it all straight. Some of it is too much, and I wish Miles had developed things further in a couple of areas to solidify characters so I had a general feel for them, but maybe this is him setting the series up for a grand crescendo. Honestly, anything with this story is possible.
If you like your stories with traditional storytelling, characters, plot arcs, or narrative structure, this book will not be for you. But if you want to walk on the wild side and try something different, possibly cult-worthy, I suggest giving this a go….after reading book 1, Rabbits.