‘The Siren’ book review: A heart-wrenching story of silence and song

The Siren is now available at Liberty Books stores and online.
Order now: http://libertybooks.com/bookdetail.aspx?pid=28008

In Kiera Cass’ The Siren, a young girl, whose life was spared to become one of the Ocean’s own, finds herself torn between love and duty to a greater purpose.

Sirens have always been known as tragic, terrifying creatures that use their beautiful voices to lure sailors to their deaths. Their incredible beauty only adds to their allure, drawing more and more innocent seamen to their end courtesy of jagged coastlines and rough waters.

For whatever reason, we never found ourselves capable of seeing things from the Sirens’ perspective, until now.

About ‘The Siren’

Kahlen’s world is turned upside down in an instant. One second she is trying not to feel seasick, and the next, she and her entire family are drowning in both song and sea. Kahlen has enough of her wits about her to sense what is going on despite the song, and she throws out a plea of desperation to be saved from her fate. To her surprise, someone answers.

From that day forward, Kahlen’s life is not her own. She becomes a servant of the Sea. She isn’t alone, as her Siren sisters are there to share the burden they now all have to bear, but her fate is a lonely one. 100 years as a Siren, and then she will get a chance to live out the life she lost in peace. When all is said and done, there will be no memories of her time before becoming a Siren, and no memories of her time in service to the Sea.

Kahlen accepts her service, and is a devoted and dutiful daughter to the Ocean. She struggles with each and every sinking, but never allows herself to be overcome by her grief. She finds a balance in her new life as a bringer of death.

Then Kahlen meets Akinli and everything changes.

Before we dive into all the good parts of The Siren, we have to admit something to ourselves: This is not an entirely happy tale. Kahlen and her sisters spend much of their time as Sirens trying to either forget the pains of their pasts or desperately grasping at happy memories that continue to float away. There are bright spots in the story, but the turmoil created by the nature of their job casts a pallor over the entire book.

As long as you are in the mood for the somber, emotional intensity of this story, we don’t doubt you will love it. There are so, so many layers of deep and honest sentiment in The Siren. In addition to the obvious angst radiating out of Kahlen because she wants and can’t have Akinli in her life, you have all the intense dynamics between the girls serving the Sea, and the bonds between each of the girls and their Ocean mother.

The book tells us all about how the job of a Siren could be done by one individual, but because of the demands of the position, the Ocean never allows one soul to do it alone. The relationships between them are forged through strife and death, as each Siren is created when they are at risk of death and beg the Ocean to spare them. The vulnerability of that time, coupled with the dark task that befalls them once they begin their time as Sirens, brings the girls together in a special and lasting bond. It’s even more gut-wrenching to then realize that the bond between the girls has an end-date stamped upon it.

Set aside all the somber parts, and you get a genuine connection between two old souls. Kahlen finds her solace in a boy named Akinli, and his understanding and honest reactions allow for a bond that surpasses anything the mystical Siren-hood can handle. How their love manifests itself came across as a bit of a surprise, but the realness of it is never in question.

There are so many reasons why you should read this story, but all of them come down to its heroine. Kahlen is a resilient, powerful girl whose world always seems to be shifting. While we aren’t bound in servitude to the Sea, we can definitely empathize with her responses. We all have duties and responsibilities we wish we could shirk in favor of indulging in our passions. We all want to drown in all the things that bring us joy. The reality is that we must find a balance in our lives between what we want to do and what we must do. It’s not an easy feat for anyone, but stories like this help remind us how to survive the struggle. There are things in life that will always try to drag us down, we just have to find a way to break the surface now and again and breathe a sigh of relief in those moments.

This book review is written by Kristen Kranz and published in Hypable.
Web link: http://www.hypable.com/the-siren-book-review-kiera-cass/

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