Monday, May 9, 2016

The Siren - Kiera Cass

Title: The Siren
Author: Kiera Cass
Publisher: HarperTeen, 2016 (Hardcover)
Length: 327 pages
Genre: Young Adult; Fantasy
Started: May 1, 2016
Finished: May 9, 2016

From the inside cover:

Years ago, Kahlen was rescued from drowning by the Ocean. To repay her debt, she has served as a Siren ever since, using her voice to lure countless strangers to their deaths. Though a single word from Kahlen can kill, she can't resist spending her days on land, watching ordinary people and longing for the day when she will be able to speak and laugh and live freely among them again.

Kahlen is resigned to finishing her sentence in solitude...until she meets Akinli. Handsome, caring, and kind, Akinli is everything Kahlen ever dreamed of. And though she can't talk to him, they soon forge a connection neither of them can deny...and Kahlen doesn't want to.

Falling in love with a human breaks all of the Ocean's rules, and if the Ocean discovers Kahlen's feelings, she'll be forced to leave Akinli for good. But for the first time in a lifetime of following the rules, Kahlen is determined to follow her heart.

This is the same author who wrote the Selection series, which I adore. This is the first book she ever wrote, but wasn't traditionally published until now (obviously because The Selection series was so popular). Thankfully for me that I read the Selection books first, because this one was not as impressive as those.

Kahlen and her family are the victims of a shipwreck in the early twentieth century, inferring from details that the book opens begins during the Depression era. When Kahlen begs to be saved, the Ocean listens and makes her a Siren like those that caused the shipwreck that killed her family. Kahlen and her sisters (fellow Sirens) are beautiful girls (the Ocean doesn't take wives or mothers as Sirens) with voices that lead people to their deaths by drowning, just like the myths. They must orchestrate shipwrecks that give many lives to the Ocean every year or so, which wrack Kahlen with guilt, causing her to make scrapbooks about her many victims. She looks forward to the end of her one hundred year "sentence" when she can return to being human, but the memories of her life as a Siren will fade. When she meets Akinli, a boy at the college in Miami where Kahlen and her sisters are staying, she finally understands why some of her sisters pursue relationships with humans during their service. But when Kahlen actually falls in love with Akinli, she knows she has to forget him or else be destined to see him age while she remains unchanged.

This book had much of the appeal the Selection books had, but wasn't as impressive overall. I liked Kahlen as a character, as well as her sisters (especially Padma), but Akinli fell a little flat. The romance angle felt rushed (hellooooo insta-love), but if you're willing to overlook that then perhaps you'll enjoy this more than I did.

If you're a fan of the author's Selection series, you might be a bit disappointed with The Siren, but still worth the read in my opinion.

Thoughts on the cover:
Quite pretty and fitting.

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