I finished this book a couple days ago and I listened to it completely on audiobook. I remember checking it out before from the library but I never actually read it when I had it. The only reason I read (listened) to it this time was because I am on a Kiera Cass kick. More on that later.
I read somewhere a few days back that Kiera Cass actually self-published this book in 2009, but that was before the Selection series became popular. So she republished it last year and made some edits. Really the reason I read this one is because I really like the Selection books.
Anyway, this story is about a girl who becomes a siren, hence the title. One bad thing about listening to the books is that there are some unusual names in the book and I really couldn’t figure them out until I googled “The Siren characters.” For example, the main character is named Kahlen, pronounced like “Collin” and her love interest is named Akinli (“It’s a family name”). At first I thought his name was Mckinley, and then I thought it was Akinley, and then I found a tumblr post about the characters, which led me to Akinli. There are also characters named Miaka, Aisling, and something that sounds like Effama, which I can’t find online.
The story starts with Kahlen on a ship with her family. The ship goes down but she wants to live. Turns out it went down because the sirens were singing everyone to their death. So because Kahlen wants to live, the Ocean allows her to live if she agrees to become a siren for 100 years. Flash forward 80 years. Kahlen has new siren sisters and they can only speak out loud to each other. If a human hears their voice, the human immediately tries to commit suicide in the ocean. The sirens never age, never get sick, don’t have to eat or sleep, and once they have served their term, they are reborn and don’t remember anything that has happened.
The whole reason the sirens exist is to lure unassuming humans to their death to keep the ocean going. A recurring theme is sacrifice one to save a thousand. One of the best things about this book is how the Ocean is personified. She actually communicates with the sirens, and Kahlen has a real relationship with her. But the Ocean is super jealous and doesn’t show her affection well. Anyway, Kahlen has a hard time with what she has to do to serve the Ocean, and surprise, she gets involved with her love interest.
One of the worst things about this book was how fast the love connection was made. Kahlen literally saw this boy twice and she was in love with him. She seriously made her sisters move to another house because she was in love already. And of course he turns up again later and Kahlen has to hide him from the Ocean because she doesn’t accept wives or mothers (too much attachment) and then there’s this really twisty situation where Kahlen and Akinli are both suffering and it’s apparently because they are separated, even though they have literally made contact probably five times by this point. But still, they are both dying. Eventually, the sirens figure out what’s going on and Kahlen’s sentence is cut short so that she can go to this boy and save them both, even though she doesn’t remember him once she’s human again.
At the beginning of the book, I thought things were going really slowly, and that it would be hard to get into it. By the middle I was hooked and I really felt like the story was going somewhere. But by the end, I think things were wrapped up too quickly and just kind of faded away, so if there were about 20 more pages it probably would have felt like there was more closure to the story. Especially because the epilogue was maybe 2 pages, which was intended to wrap up the entire book.
There were several potential plot points that I imagined could have happened with the love thing going on and all that the Ocean was capable of, but they never came to fruition. And on top of that, there were lots of unanswered questions at the end, and I feel like there could have been a sequel but I read somewhere else that this was just a standalone book and that would not happen.
All that to say, it was a pretty good book and I’m glad I finally got around to reading it because it was a very creative and unique concept, but I still think the Selection series is better.
Here’s to a decent sized post,