Thursday 27 November 2014

ARC Review: Sound of Sirens by Jen Minkman

Sound of Sirens (Tales of Skylge #1)
An ancient land protected by a Tower of Light, its people ever tempted by Siren song, and a girl who falls for the wrong boy.
On the island of Skylge, electricity is only for the Currents – the rich ruling class who once came from across the sea and brought the holy fire of St. Brandan to Skylge. Ever since, the light in the Brandaris Tower has protected the islanders. Heeding the Siren's call will drown your body and steal your soul, but the sacred light in the Tower will chase the merfolk away.
When Skylger girl Enna welcomes her brother back from a long sea voyage, he gives her a special present from the mainland – an electronic record only playable on a Current device. The problem is that Royce Bolton, Current heartthrob and the town’s most gifted pianist, wants it too. After she stubbornly refuses to sell the LP featuring his favorite artist, he suggests sharing the record by secretly meeting up in his private summer house. Taken aback yet thrilled, Enna agrees – and discovers that there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to Current society and the history of Skylge. Why do the Sirens tempt the islanders to give themselves up to the sea? And where does the Currents’ monopoly on electricity really come from?

While struggling with these questions, Enna begins to fall for Royce, risking everything to be with a guy who is clearly wrong for her. She will learn that the sound of Sirens isn’t the most treacherous thing out there to haunt her dreams.
(The setting of Tales of Skylge is loosely based on the Dutch island of Terschelling, or Schylge in the island’s dialect. Although the names and places in this book will sound very familiar to people living on the island, the characters and events are, of course, entirely fictitious in nature.)

Shona's review 3 of 5 stars

I wanted to love this book, it sounded like something I would have loved and instead I've come away feeling a little disappointed. 
Minkman is usually really descriptive in her story telling, able to pull the reader into the story so that we can see the places she describes, and this book is no different. I was able to see areas of Skylge in my mind as I read Enna's story. However, I felt that Enna's story itself was somewhat bland. The book promises mystery, mythology and fantasy, while also including the romance element but I found it mostly to be an awkward coming together of two people who had but one thing in common (their love of music) and both unsure whether they actually liked the other person. 

Two questions asked by the blurb of the book Why do the Sirens tempt the islanders to give themselves up to the sea? And where does the Currents’ monopoly on electricity really come from? are never answered. But these aren't the only questions left unanswered in the book. 
What is the Sadness? What causes it to manifest in some but not others? Why are Skylgers not allowed to use electricity? Why are they not allowed to mix with Currents? 
I understand that Minkman wants to set us up for the next book in the series but this book just gave us questions, there was no answers to be found. 

That being said... There are hints in this book that the relationships the Skylgers have with the Nixen/Sirens and the Currents are not quite what they seem to be and that does intrigue me. I want to know more, which is why I will be reading the next book in the series.

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