Sunday, July 19, 2009

THE SIREN Review - Kiera Cass


Imagine a world where you're granted a second chance at life, but forced to give up everything you love? That is the story of Kahlen, our beautiful heroine in the new book, THE SIREN by Kiera Cass. When approached to read this one, I was admittedly a little nervous because I hadn't heard anything about the book; nothing good, nor bad. I agreed to take the book on and as some other books I have had the fortune of being presented with, am quite glad that I did. THE SIREN was refreshing, haunting, and beautiful all wrapped up into one lovely little package.

The Siren by Kiera Cass
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 276
ISBN +13: 9781440154232
My Recommended Age Group: Young Adult to Adult
Released: July 7, 2009

From GoodReads:

"You must never do anything that might expose our secret. This means that, in general, you cannot form close bonds with humans. You can speak to us, and you can always commune with the Ocean, but you are deadly to humans. You are, essentially, a weapon. A very beautiful weapon. I won't lie to you, it can be a lonely existence, but once you are done, you get to live. All you have to give, for now, is obedience and time..."

The same speech has been given hundreds of times to hundreds of beautiful girls who enter the sisterhood of sirens. Kahlen has lived by these rules for years now, patiently waiting for the life she can call her own. But when Akinli, a human, enters her world, she can't bring herself to live by the rules anymore. Suddenly the life she's been waiting for doesn't seem nearly as important as the one she's living now.

My thoughts:

Kahlen is a loving, dark haired beauty. When life takes a disastrous turn and she's faced with the decision of death versus a century of servitude, she chooses the option that will allow her to continue living. Years later she'll question that decision, wondering if her "life" now is worth the nightmares that she must face. Kahlen is a siren. Along with her sisters, she answers to the Ocean and helps to lure unsuspecting victims to their watery deaths with her voice of liquid gold and looks to match. Being kind and good natured at heart, Kahlen has a difficult time with the actions that she must perform in order to gain a second chance at life. Her journey, from the very beginning, makes for quite the fascinating read and, at least to me, makes THE SIREN wonderful and unique.

THE SIREN is actually a Young Adult novel although many of the characters in the book are above the Young Adult age. Cass does an amazing job of filling the story with just the right amount of details to satisfy any young adult reader while actually making for a great book for many adults as well. I personally find great enjoyment out of both Young Adult and Adult books, but I found that THE SIREN really seemed to satisfy both categories of books.

Part of THE SIREN follows Kahlen as she unravels the mysteries surrounding her new life and her feelings about it. Can she accept what she has become? Will she always harbor hate for the Ocean for what She has done to Kahlen or will she come to accept and give thanks for the gift she has been given? Cass creates an epic story here as we follow Kahlen through her ups and downs. By the end of the book, I feel that we the reader get to know the Ocean practically as well as Kahlen does. Her feelings, both positive and negative, pop off the page and swirl around, pulling us closer into the story.

While THE SIREN is great for anyone looking for a great drama or adventure read, it also satisfied those of us that like a touch of romance in our stories. Now, the romance doesn't really hit the surface until about halfway through the book, but when it does, oh boy hold on. Cass can write romance like nobody's business! She creates the perfect hero to go along with our lovely heroine. Akinli, a hard working fisherman by day and knight in shining armor by night, is a puzzle piece match to Kahlen. Cass's writing is such that, without being blatantly obvious about it, we can tell that Kahlen and Akinli are practically soul mates. While the first half of the book details Kahlen's life and struggle to understand herself, the romance between Kahlen and Akinli dominate the second half. It is this romance that really makes THE SIREN shine.

As I mentioned above, one of the best ways for me to describe THE SIREN is to say that it is haunting. I don't mean that there are literal ghosts floating around, rather there are ghosts of emotions still flitting about my head. THE SIREN is not always a happy book. There are times when it can be sad, frightening, and downright depressing. As Cass mentions in the story, it is the dark that makes the light shine even brighter. Without the sad parts, without the parts that leave you on the edge of your seat on the verge of tears, the love and hope in the story wouldn't flow through quite as nicely.

After pondering the review for a bit, I had to come back here and mention one final thing. I've mentioned that THE SIREN became one of those books that has stuck with me, constantly replaying through my head even though I finished the story. I think that a large reason for this is the amount of realism that Cass imbues the story with. The Ocean is a living, breathing entity. She speaks, she has feelings, she uses her great waves to cause things to happen. The Ocean is as much a character as Akinli, Kahlen or any of Kahlen's siren sisters. I hadn't realized this until after looking at some of the photos of Port Clyde, Maine on Cass's website. I saw a photo of the ocean and my first thought was that She really was alive! That's the strength of Cass's writing, allowing my brain to meander in the realm of the impossibility long after her words have ended.

Fair warning time: There are a few scenes of kissing, that's about as far as the passion goes in THE SIREN. Those of you that like heat in your stories, I think there's still enough to keep you interested. Those of you that like a more innocent book, you should find yourself pleased with THE SIREN.

Writing: 9
Interest: 9
Passion: 10
Originality: 10
Characters: 10
Pace: 8
Overall: 56/60 - A

Book Cover: 3/3

THE SIREN was wonderful and earned an "A" in my rating scale. I loved the book and would recommend it to anyone looking for a great Romance, a great Adventure, a great Drama, and/or a great Young Adult read. There were a few times, especially with the second half of the book, where the pace seemed to get a little choked up and quirky, but overall, the story flowed quite nicely. Cass's talent with the written word is obvious as is her wonderful imagination. She has created a story unlike one I have read before, incorporating both the light and the dark.

THE SIREN was a story of life and it was a pleasure to read. I'm looking forward to experiencing more of Kiera Cass's work. My only wish for THE SIREN was that it wouldn't end!

2 comments:

Steph Su said...

Wow, nice review! I haven't heard of this book but now I really want to read it!

Anonymous said...

I've read it and I LOVED it!!!! Your review was right on! It's a great read!