Review: Siren's Storm by Lisa Papademetriou

Title: Siren's Storm
Author: Lisa Papademetriou
Publisher: Knopf
Publication Date: July 12, 2011
Links: Amazon | Goodreads
Source: Won
Nothing has been the same for Will ever since what happened last summer. One day, on an ordinary sailing trip with his brother, there is a strange accident. When Will wakes up, he learns his brother has disappeared, presumed drowned. Worst of all, Will can't remember what happened—his family finds him unconscious, with no memory of the accident.

Now Will and his best friend and neighbor, Gretchen, are starting a new summer. Gretchen seems troubled—her sleepwalking habit is getting worse, and she keeps waking up closer and closer to the water. Will is drawn to Asia, the exotic new girl in town. Nobody knows where she's from—all Will knows is that her beauty and her mesmerizing voice have a powerful effect on people.

Then there is another mysterious drowning, and Will and Gretchen begin to wonder: Is Asia just another beautiful, wealthy summer resident? Or is she something entirely more sinister . . . and inhuman?
Siren's Storm is a somewhat dark little story. It is an entertaining summer read, though not particularly fulfilling in some regards.

The story is told from the perspectives of Will and Gretchen. Of the two, I like Gretchen better. More is revealed about her feelings than those of Will. So I find Gretchen to be easier to relate to, while Will seems somewhat aloof. Will's aloof nature doesn't bother me, though, since he is affected by the loss of his brother, and has a difficult time being around people who react to him differently since the accident and therefore wishes to avoid social situations. Asia is an interesting character, and I like her. She is mysterious, quiet, and strange, but is also sympathetic.

The plot arc is meh in this one. Most of the book is spent watching the characters deal with the previous summer's events as well as the several "strange and mysterious" things that seem to be going on, which aren't very mysterious at all since the story pretty obviously contains sirens. The curiosities, investigations, town legends, and concerns take up the vast majority of the plot. This lengthy focus on the non-mysterious mystery makes the novel seem over-simplified, giving it the feel of a younger read, but then it contains some darker material that makes it feel more mature, so it leaves me feeling ambivalent. I don't like the constant focus on the characters trying to find out things that are pretty obvious, but I do like the sinister way in which the sirens are handled. The revelation, explanation, and denouement are all crammed into the last bit of the novel, making it a really back-heavy plot line with a huge information dump, which frustrates me. The ending gives the reader a conclusion, but also leaves several things ambiguous and open-ended.

My complaints about the plot structure aside, Siren's Storm is pretty entertaining, with just enough dark mythology to be creepy without being outright scary. I would like to have seen a little more character development and a little less focus on uncovering the truth, though.

1 comment:

  1. I hadn't seen a review for this one yet and I think it's one I might skip. I've read my share of meh books lately and don't really need another. Thanks for the honest review!


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