|Read (August 1-5, 2014)|
Publication Date: August 19, 2014
Publisher: Thomas Nelson/HarperCollins
Number of Pages: 320
Genre/s: Young Adult, Fantasy
Source: ARC provided by publisher via Netgalley
You might want to see my initial animated review. I am told it's hilarious. *straight face*
“I think some have to fight harder to choose good over evil because the evil's got it out for them. And maybe it's because those're the ones evil knows will become the strongest warriors, recognizing true wickedness when it rears its head ... Maybe the ones who've struggled with true evil are the ones meant to make the biggest difference against it, you know?” - taken from an uncorrected ARC
In a nutshell, Storm Siren is about an orphan slave girl suddenly thrust in the middle of a long waged war between two kingdoms. She was bought by a batshit crazy slave owner as a pawn and a weapon to end this war once and for all. She must then prove her worth and learn to control her abilities or she would be hanged for the abomination that she is.
Nym is a lost, broken girl plagued by guilt, grief and self-loathing. She sees herself as nothing but a monster cursed at having an ability that could kill anyone that gets too close. Cheeky and cynical, it's equal parts exasperating and empowering to see her come to terms with what and who she is. Is she a monster that brings only havoc and destruction or is she the savior that will ultimately save her kingdom?
Eogan, her ability trainer, is mysterious and frustrating. Hot and cold, his attitude inconsistencies drove me crazy. But it is not without good reason and glimpses of his true feelings showed that he cares and understands Nym more than he will ever let on. He makes her feel visible and safe, feelings that Nym tried to hide with indifference. I ship these two so hard. It was hard work and I totally have to beg Mary Weber to finally make my ship sail and when it did, it was unfrakingbelievable.
“I stare back, as if to defy him and whatever his problem has been. Except something hungry stirs behind his gaze, and the next thing I know he's taking my heart for a thirsty-leap into green depths, and I'm drinking him in as fast as I can, excruciatingly aware of how parched I am.”
— Goodness. *fans self*
But Eogan is not there merely to make us swoon because he is definitely a character in his own right and plays a bigger role than being Nym's love interest. And guys, Eogan is a person with color! I don't even want to make a big deal out of this because it shouldn't even be a deal in the first place, but he is, and my heart is so happy. And since we're talking about not your usual run-of-the-mill characters, we have here a bald, well-muscled flirty guy and a sassy blind friend. Even Nym has a mishappen hand.
Like I said, the romance was perfection for me. There were gazillion chances for Weber to go for the love triangle route but she didn't. The romance, while one of the best aspects of this novel, is just an excellent backdrop as it was supposed to be, because this story is most importantly about Nym's journey to self-discovery and self-redemption.
But what is a fantasy novel without a solid worldbuilding?
I am greatly delighted to say that the worldbuilding here was off the charts. It's bursting at the seams with its commitment to geography, language and social structure. The steampunk-esque details and magic system were interesting. But what I admire the most was how Weber handled the enslavement aspect. It was not swept aside and used simply as a means to make Nym's history colorful but it was treated as a real problem that needs resolution. I hope in the next installment Weber will give focus on the perverse nature of some men in this novel because they really irked me out.
“...But instead of my power exploding like a thunderstorm, it comes as a gentle tide. A heart surrender. Almost painful in its approach, beckoning tears to my eyes as it renders my defenses nonexistent. And suddenly I can't remember why I ever needed them anyway because the very power I've spent my life cowering from is, at its core, pure.”
The prose was simply lovely. No matter how eager I was to turn pages after pages, I had to pause once in a while so I can reread some passages that were just beautiful. This novel made me come alive with its electric magic and the come down from the high was pretty agonizing. There were plenty of WTF moments, swoon-worthy moments, hair pulling moments, awe-inspiring moments and gasp-inducing moments. The ending was all of these combined and it was brutal. In truth, Mary Weber has a dangerous persona that concerns me, yet I'm beyond excited to read the next installment.
Highly unpredictable, imaginative and vividly woven, this book is the reason why I am reading fantasy novels. Storm Siren rocked my world from the very beginning and left me reeling as I turned the last page. Mary Weber has truly written a wonderful, riveting debut novel and it's definitely one of my best reads this year.
A copy was provided by the publisher at no cost
in exchange for an honest review
in exchange for an honest review