Authors: Lisa Papademetriou
Publication (dd/mm/yy): 01/08/11
Publisher: Random House Australia
Source: Publisher for review
Nothing has been the same for Will ever since what happened last summer. One day, on an ordinary sailing trip with his brother, there is a strange accident. When Will wakes up, he learns his brother has disappeared, presumed drowned. Worst of all, Will can't remember what happened—his family finds him unconscious, with no memory of the accident.
Now Will and his best friend and neighbor, Gretchen, are starting a new summer. Gretchen seems troubled—her sleepwalking habit is getting worse, and she keeps waking up closer and closer to the water. Will is drawn to Asia, the exotic new girl in town. Nobody knows where she's from—all Will knows is that her beauty and her mesmerizing voice have a powerful effect on people.
Then there is another mysterious drowning, and Will and Gretchen begin to wonder: Is Asia just another beautiful, wealthy summer resident? Or is she something entirely more sinister . . . and inhuman?
Siren's Storm is my first siren story, but it will definitely not be the last. I love books that revolve itself on some kind of mythology, and while the author doesn't get into the nitty gritty of it it was nice to get the feel of mythology. I'm only just writing a review like 2 weeks after I read it, so it's not going to be too well written, just warning you!
*sorry this synopsis thing is so dodgy and spoilery probably DON'T READ IT!!*
The book starts off really slowly. We are introduced to the setting first, with an article from the Walfang Gazette, where a huge storm is to arrive in the near future. Introduced to Will in the third person as he goes out and finds a creature lurking in the shadows. Creeped out, he drives onward towards his destination. The same creature, Will thinks, then drops off at a nearby creek, with him the only witness. And the next day, there she is, and she's the mysterious new girl, and there's something about her that's . . . off.
When I first finished this book I had set the rating straight up to 4.5 stars, but that was only truly reflective of the fast-paced bits near the end - not the whole of the book. Most of this book was just too slow for my liking, and while the mystery of it all did keep me going, I was still putting it down after each chapter. And after 2 weeks I remember fragments of the book, but not the ones that made me believe this book was THAT amazing. Basically, it was good but not great or amazing (in between 3.5 and 4 stars).
After about the 100 page mark I finally got into the book and was actually hooked, and actually wanted to keep on reading. I'm not sure whether this was just the situation at the time/recently (because I've been bored with book beginnings for a while now), but I've heard that other people struggled with the beginning too. I am glad that there will be a sequel, kind of. I found that the ending was a tad cheesy and although all loose strings are tied up, I don't think I'm ready to let go of Will and Gretchen.
In YA a majority of the "new kid" plot is with a guy, so I liked that this time around it was a girl. She was mysterious and beautiful and troubled and cryptic, the kind of girl that both petrifies and allures. Sounds like a siren (or rather, a seekrieger) to me!
Will and Gretchen aren't anything too special. Really, they're just normal kids who just happened to find themselves at the right place at the right time (or the wrong place at the right time). But I think it's that that made me like them, even a bit. More than that, I just liked how their friendship changes and deepens during that summer.
I hope to see more of Gretchen's life in the next book. Saying that, none of the "main-ish" characters were dull or boring or cardboard cutouts or cliches. As far as I could tell. If there was any disconnect, it was just because of the third person perspective.
That said, Siren's Storm is an evocative and cleverly-plotted siren novel that twists and turns so that once you finally think you've got it figured out, just like Will and Gretchen, you discover you were dead wrong. The build-up of the relationship between Will and Gretchen is cute, and helps lighten up an otherwise pitch dark summer read.
"Will saw her strawberry lips forming words, and hungered to know what they were. Will didn't care what she was saying. He wished he could catch each word from her mouth and preserve them in a jar, like fireflies.
* cheapest Australian e-store price
All links from Booko, because I'm too lazy to search each individual store anymore.
I have received this review copy in return for an honest review.
Challenge: Debut Challenge 2011 (AU)