Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Siren's Call HBIC Review: Emily @ What Book is That?

Title: Siren's Call
Author: Devyn Quinn
Page Count: 383 pages (pdf format)
Publisher: Signet
Genre: paranormal romance, fantasy
Copy for review provided by the author in anticipation of an honest review
*Note: This title will be released on August 3, 2010*

50 words(ish) or less: Tessa Lonike, lighthouse keeper and secret mermaid, figured that interrupting Kenneth Randall's suicide attempt is a good thing with no strings attached. When he comes back to thank her, the stage is set for a whirlwind that neither of them ever anticipated.

True story: when I was little, I was a huge fan of Disney's The Little Mermaid. Like, as much of a fan as a five/six year old girl can be, which is pretty intense. This right here was my favorite part of the movie:

Nice, right? Well, take that image of happy merfolk floating around with their anthropomorphic companions and put it in a box and put that box out in the yard, because Siren's Call is nothing like those things at all. Instead, it's simultaneously the story of the rediscovery of a lost civilization, a freewheeling fall into another dimension, a lecherous ex getting the comeuppance he so completely deserves (Jake, I gnash my teeth at you) and, also, two broken and hurting people coming together to try to decide if a relationship between them is worth the trouble. Categorizing this book in one genre is remarkably difficult; instead, it's kind of like a sampler platter, offering some samples of a variety of genres and serving them up together.

The book is certainly a romance to start off; Tessa and Kenneth are a good fit as a couple since Kenneth doesn't mind that Tessa is a mermaid and isn't put off by her standoffish exterior; likewise, Tessa understands the grief Kenneth has been suffering under since the murder of his wife and his desire to have some semblance of order in his life. Both of them are a little gun shy towards relationships so the way theirs developed felt remarkably natural; at the end of the day, Tessa is afraid of commitment and Kenneth is afraid of experiencing devastating grief and loss again; both of them have to decide if they are willing to overcome their hangups to be with each other and the resolution of that story line was satisfying for me.

This story really veers off the beaten path when it comes to the lore of the Mer people, the search for their lost civilization a la Atlantis, and the unique powers that the Mer people possess, especially Tessa and her sisters. There's a lot of data packed into this novel and a lot of ground is laid for future books in this series.

I did have some qualms with the book; Tessa's sisters played a huge role in the first half of the book and then pretty much disappeared in the second half; Jake (Tessa's philandering ex-fiance) is a complete and total douchebag and watching Tessa contemplate giving him a second chance was really, reeeeally irritating, and there were a few times when the angst between Kenneth and Tessa became almost enough to overpower the pace of the story. Additionally, it was hard to process all the information about the Mer and their history while juggling the issues Tessa and Kenneth were having plus the reintroduction of Jake all at the same time.

I do think, though, that this is a good book for folks who like paranormal romance but without a lot of groping and adult scenes (this book safely eschews a Scandalous Books designation, although the adult content that is included here is very well written) as well as folks who like urban fantasy or more traditional fantasy novels. I'm definitely interested to see what else happens in this series, and while the book was devoid of singing lobsters, there was plenty here to hold my interest.

Overall Grade: B+
Blog with Bite rating: 3/4

So what music would I pick to supplement this review of Siren's Call? Well, it would have to be something unique, but still nautical, like this:

But maybe that's a little too orthodox...maybe something like this would be better:

Either way, you've got something that takes familiar elements and renders them into something fun and unique, which, ultimately, describes this book perfectly.



ParaJunkee said...

Your video accoutrements always get me. I will play Snoop Dog all day at work to drive my coworkers crazy. Hee hee. I also just have to say your reviews always blow me away, you lay a book out like it has just been filetted. They are so much deeper than mine. *sigh*

Anonymous said...

I second that....where do you come up with all that genuis Em????

Emily said...

Awww, you ladies are too kind!

While I'm reading, I write down little things that either stuck out as either OMGAWESOME or things that made me want to chuck the book across the room. I either stick a post it note on the cover or have a text file open on my netbook- I'm really excited about the notes feature on kindle pretty much for this exact reason. When I go back to write the review, I look the stuff that stuck out to me enough to merit writing it down and base my review off of that.

Oh, and I waste a lot of time on YouTube. The mashups this time came up when I was trying to find Under the Sea without anything added to it!

Anonymous said...


My 5 Monkeys(Julie) said...

great review and love the mix of snoop dog ..very awesomeness