“I raise my chin as the buyers stare. Yes. Look. You don’t want me. Because, eventually, accidentally, I will destroy you.”
In a world at war, a slave girl’s lethal curse could become one kingdom’s weapon of salvation. If the curse—and the girl—can be controlled.
As a slave in the war-weary kingdom of Faelen, seventeen-year-old Nym isn’t merely devoid of rights, her Elemental kind are only born male and always killed at birth—meaning, she shouldn’t even exist.
Standing on the auction block beneath smoke-drenched mountains, Nym faces her fifteenth sell. But when her hood is removed and her storm-summoning killing curse revealed, Nym is snatched up by a court advisor and given a choice: be trained as the weapon Faelen needs to win the war, or be killed.
Choosing the former, Nym is unleashed into a world of politics, bizarre parties, and rumors of an evil more sinister than she’s being prepared to fight . . . not to mention the handsome trainer whose dark secrets lie behind a mysterious ability to calm every lightning strike she summons.
But what if she doesn’t want to be the weapon they’ve all been waiting for?
Set in a beautifully eclectic world of suspicion, super abilities, and monsters, Storm Siren is a story of power. And whoever controls that power will win.
In a word (or three): Interesting—very interesting.
As far as holding the reader's attention goes, Storm Siren has plenty of action, romantic tension, mysterious characters, revelations, and drama to keep the story moving. I got through the story fairly quickly because I wanted to know what would happen, what choices Nym would make, and how the romance would play out. To that I say, bravo!
As for the setting, situations, and motivations, I confess I'm torn. I certainly appreciate the creativity involved. Tackling fantasy world-building—complete with battles and politics—is no easy feat. I liked that the "powers" involve nature but are unique in that they go beyond strict elements. (For example, instead of fire, water, earth, and air, Nym can control storms and all the varying aspects of them, like lightning, wind, and rain.) On the other hand, I really didn't feel that I got enough history and back story to firmly grasp Nym's world and why certain people have these powers.
Now, this is the first book in a series (so more explanations could be coming in future installments), and with fantasy, I know you sometimes just have to accept that this is the way the author wanted it to be, so it is. But building from that slight disconnect with Nym's world was a disconnect between me and Nym herself, as well as the other characters. It was intriguing viewing their stories from a distance, but I didn't feel emotionally invested. Lots of deaths. Lots of injuries. Lots of pain and hurts. All sad, certainly, but I just never quite got into the hearts and minds of the characters.
Other things that bothered me: The not-quite swearing. (The characters use made-up words common to their own world/language, but the slang vibe and real-world parallels annoyed me.) The slightly uncomfortable romance due to awkward (not necessarily inappropriate) touching, apparently necessary to the plot. (Plus, the hero's secrets and ever-changing attitude wore thin for me.) Weird villains and societal norms. Ambiguity regarding the religious element and some of the plot points. The characters' attitudes in general.
For those who enjoy some of the more mainstream YA (young adult) fantasy and dystopian stories, this is an interesting crossover book that has some hints of inspirational fiction in it, but leaves that side of things sort of vague and "mystical." I found it to be an entertaining read with its fantasy setting, peril, and trust quandaries. But I personally didn't find it to be overly compelling. There is, however, a contemporary angle to Nym's character with those marks on her arms that might have a more profound effect on other readers.
*With thanks to Thomas Nelson, NetGalley, and Crafty Booksheeps for providing me with an e-copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*
About the Author
Mary Weber is a ridiculously uncoordinated girl plotting to take over make-believe worlds through books, handstands, and imaginary throwing knives. In her spare time, she feeds unicorns, sings 80's hairband songs to her three muggle children, and ogles her husband who looks strikingly like Wolverine. They live in California, which is perfect for stalking L.A. bands, Joss Whedon, and the ocean.
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