Living Within the Pages – Book Review #1

24 08 2010
Title: Siren

Author: Tricia Rayburn

Series: Siren trilogy (#1)

Amazon Rating: 4.5

Goodreads Rating: 3.82

Alex’s Rating: 3.5

Overview:

Siren is a YA paranormal novel focusing on, you guessed it, sirens. It all begins with Vanessa and her sister Justine and their two childhood boy toy friends, Caleb and Simon. This summer something goes terribly wrong and Justine is found dead. Not long after, Caleb disappears too, Vanessa goes back to the place where her sister died, and starts digging up information on the secrets Justine kept and her mysterious death. Simon joins Vanessa in the hunt to find his own brother and save him from hating himself (Caleb was in love with Justine, distraught by her death). Soon Vanessa meets Paige and her sister Zara and everything starts to unwind. Vanessa discovers Zara is a siren and some own interesting facts about her personal family history. The book follows Vanessa and Simon in a bit of a love tangle, trying to uncover Justine’s secrets and save Caleb, all the while fighting off the terrifyingly beautiful Zara and her charms.

Although I love YA fiction, I loved the premise of this story, and I loved the folklore, I couldn’t help but be left wanting. The ending was inappropriately placed as I feel much was left to be desired. I wanted to know what happened between Vanessa and Simon, what about Caleb? I know those who have not read the book and therefore don’t know what I mean about questioning the relationships between the characters, but I have to throw it in here.

As for the plot, the story had/has great potential (if it becomes a series). If it becomes a series, then I know why I was left hanging on at the end. I agree with the other reviews (on Amazon) that it was well written and interesting, but I couldn’t help but believe that some of the mythology and folklore could have been explained a little better. I know what sirens are mythologically speaking, but what are they and how are they different in this story? I could try to flesh it out for you, but I don’t feel like it was done justice. If the author had been pushed a bit further developing the idea of using a powerful creature like the siren, I believe this story could have been truly superb.

I do believe it is worth reading, if anything to give other writers an idea about how to flesh out their mythologies a little better. As for characterization, that I believe, was done beautifully. Not only were the primary characters interesting, but so were the secondary. Twists and turns definitely kept me reading and I finished the book in a little over a day. It is a wonderful piece to add to my YA fiction collection, but unless there is a series, the best rating I can give is 3.75 stars.

I do not regret buying or reading this novel, and I encourage any paranormal/supernatural YA or adult fiction reader to buy and read this novel. It is smart, sweet, but a little under-developed, and therefore I cannot join the troops among the 4+ star ratings!

Great job though to Tricia Rayburn and I truly hope this is one of at least a trilogy as Vanessa’s fate (both personally and romantically) are definitely left up in the air.

**I just found out this is the first in a trilogy. The second Siren book is due out summer 2011, and the third is due out summer 2012. (Update made: Sept. 20, 2010)

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