Thursday, 5 May 2011
Review Thursday - Siren, by Trisha Rayburn
Series: Siren (#1)
Author: Trisha Rayburn
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
I loved Siren, but it may be too slow-paced for some.
Vacationing in Winter Harbor, Maine, is a tradition for Vanessa and Justine Sands, and that means spending time with the Carmichael boys. This summer, Vanessa is determined to channel some of her older sister’s boldness, get over her fear of the ocean, and maybe turn her friendship with Simon Carmichael into something much more.
But when Justine goes cliff-diving after a big family argument, and her body washes ashore the next day, Vanessa is sure that it was more than an accident. She is more certain of this, when she discovers that her sister was keeping some big secrets and Caleb Carmichael’s gone missing. Suddenly, the entire oceanfront town is abuzz when a series of grim, water-related accidents occur, with the male victims washed ashore grinning from ear to ear.
Vanessa and Simon team up to figure out if these creepy deaths have anything to do with Justine and Caleb. But will what Vanessa discovers mean the end of her summer romance, or even life as she knows it?
Siren drew me in from the first page. Although the book started a bit slow for my tastes and some of the earlier transitions were truly awkward, I enjoyed reading about Vanessa and her fears for everything. The writing is a bit apprehensive and shaky to start with, but by the fifth or so page I wasn't even noticing writing flaws anymore. I was completely drawn in to this irresistible world and characters.
Unlike some reviewers, I had no problem with the (lack of) parental concerns in this book - it features characters that have finished high school, so I didn't feel that the parents acted strangely at all.
Vanessa is a truly sympathetic character who I felt I could really empathize with. With all of her self-doubts and insecurities and all I found her incredibly endearing and enduring. I found her romance with Simon completely believable and sweet - especially when taking into account what's exposed about their romance by the end of the book.
The one serious gripe I have is that the mythology wasn't fully explained or fleshed out. Sirens are so fascinating (and pretty rare in genre novels too!), I would have loved to learn more about them and their lives, although I'm willing to concede that that may still lay ahead for a future book.
I love a good bitter-sweet ending and I love my characters nuanced and not all-good and always right, so the choice Vanessa makes in the end both with regards to Simon and her heritage seemed real and satisfying, although I'm still not quite sure what exactly happened during the climax (F.R.U.S.T.R.A.T.I.O.N.!)
I truly look forward to the next installment of this series, Undertow, set for release in Winter 2011 (OHAI Southern Hemisphere!), although I would suggest that you first read an excerpt of the book or loan it from the library before deciding to buy it - it may not be everyone's cup of tea. That said, however, this book and its sequels are definitely going to go onto my bookshelf!