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Storm Siren (The Storm Siren Trilogy) Paperback – June 2, 2015
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"Readers will easily find themselves captivated. The breathtaking surprise ending is nothing short of horrific, promising even more dark and bizarre adventures to come in the Storm Siren trilogy."--RT Book Reviews, 4 stars
About the Author
Mary Weber is the multiple-award-winning author of the bestselling young adult Storm Siren Trilogy, and The Evaporation of Sofi Snow series (all by HarperCollins). An avid high school, middle school, and conference speaker, Mary's passion is helping others find their voice amid a world that often feels too loud. When she's not plotting adventures involving tough girls who frequently take over the world, Mary 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 and the ocean.
Mary's debut, Storm Siren, was featured in the Scholastic School Book Fairs, and her novels have been endorsed by bestselling authors Marissa Meyer, Wendy Higgins, CJ Redwine, Shannon Messenger, and Jonathan Maberry.
You can also find Mary's fun interview in the paperback of Marissa Meyer's NYT bestselling, CRESS, and most recently, you can see her and her family as extras in the NETFLIX Original Series, 13 REASONS WHY.
She gets nerdy at @maryweber.com, FACEBOOK @MaryWeberAuthor, INSTAGRAM @MaryWeberAuthor, TWITTER @mchristineweber, and GOODREADS. Come say hi!!
- Publisher : Thomas Nelson (June 2, 2015)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 352 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1401690351
- ISBN-13 : 978-1401690359
- Reading age : 13 years and up
- Lexile measure : HL810L
- Grade level : 7 - 12
- Item Weight : 12.9 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 1 x 8.4 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #140,408 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Nym's battlefield training is overseen by Eogan, a court favorite of Lady Adora, the tyrannical ruler of Faelen. Eogan teaches Nym the extensive history of her people: how over 100 years ago, a war raged between a powerful shape-shifting wizard and the then king of Faelen. To end the war, a treaty was drawn up stating that all Elementals would be killed at birth, those born before the treaty's creation would be sent to camps to die. To this day, people of the Five Kingdoms (Faelen being only one of the five) are divided -- some say the treaty saved the kingdom because the Elementals were growing too powerful, too arrogant, too great in number... while others argue that the treaty turned the kingdom into a wasteland of debauchery. Now the area is at war again, hence the need for Nym's training, even though her Elemental blood is still kept a secret from most.
But it's not just Nym with fantastical blood. There's also her training partner, Colin, a Terrene with the ability to manipulate topography, and his sister Breck. Breck is one of Lady Adora's house servants and is someone Nym quickly befriends. Nym also learns of another race, the Luminescents, who are capable of seeing into the souls of people, reading their true intentions. Leading the Luminescents is Rasha, heir to one of the other Five Kingdoms. Rasha explains how the power works: the stronger one's dreams and intentions are, the more easily a Luminescent can read you.
Nym, having spent so many years pretty much just trying to stay alive, is surprised to see how quickly she becomes attached to these characters around her, especially trainer Eogan. As their bond grows, Lady Adora begins to take notice, becoming quite jealous. Her inner green monster grows so large that she pulls Nym aside and gives it to her straight: either keep interactions with Eogan strictly to the training grounds and speak only of training matters, or fear disfigurement... or injury to her friends. As the feudal tension throughout Faelen grows, Nym must make incredibly tough choices about who to trust and who to protect. If she's to save those she's come to know and love, save the kingdom she's come to call home, she realizes she must also find it within herself to embrace her powers rather than fight against them.
Man, did I get sucked into this one in a hurry! At surface level, Storm Siren is quite the enjoyable fantasy novel; the plot proves just layered enough to stay interesting to story's end yet the world building, while rich and detailed, is explained straightforward enough to be enjoyed by newbies to the fantasy genre. I also liked the variety within the characters themselves.
Nym is no damsel in distress! She is strong, yet she rages like a wildcat when triggered. She also has great capacity for love, though those around her sometimes have their work cut out for them getting through those emotional walls she's put up. Then there's solid but smirky Eogan, perhaps one of the sexiest men I've met in fantasy in a long while. And for those who are always on the hunt for fantasy with a diverse cast -- male lead Eogan is described as a beautiful, dark black man! Eogan does a nice job of balancing pep talks to get Nym to believe in herself (and trust that she's not a monster unworthy of love or respect) with "I have no time for your nonsense tantrums, pull yourself together" shutdowns. Loved it!
I also got a kick out of Myles, even though I was sometimes frustrated with him, as most of the time I was conflicted with what to make of him! For large chunks of the story he seems to be an adversary to Nym but then he'd turn around and offer help but then have the reader wondering about his motives. He has powers of his own, as well as a stutter that gets in the way of his trying to build up that presence of possible wickedness. Hard to truly hate someone when you just end up feeling bad for them!
Underneath the fun fantasy adventure though, what I truly appreciated was the powerful, motivational message at the heart of the novel: that what you think might be a flaw within you might actually end up being your greatest strength, if you only learn to harness it rather than fight it. Nym spends so many years fighting this guilty feeling that she's this monstrous thing that doesn't deserve to live... until she is brought to that moment in life when she's placed in this reality where only her exact talents can save a nation of people. That's such an inspiring idea to bring to a reader -- that the thing you've spent so much time trying to stifle could end up being the one thing down the road that people will need to get them through... you just never know! So now where will Nym's new-found truth take her next? Wherever it is, you can bet she'll be more likely to have her eyes on the horizon rather than her feet!
This story deals with several themes, the main ones being self-harm and self-worth. Nym struggles to see her “curse” as a “gift.” I’ve read so many other books that have their main characters bemoaning how their gift is a curse, and it usually just comes across as a poor attempt to make the main character a reluctant hero. This isn’t the case in Storm Siren. Nym’s powers truly are a curse throughout most of the story, in that they have caused her nothing but pain and misery.
Most of the characters you will either really love or violently hate. I especially loved Nym’s horse, Haven. Even though she was only a background character, and an animal at that, her personality was developed from the very beginning when she tried to trick Nym.
There is only one thing that I’ll say against this story. It is written in first-person, present tense. While some people might like that style, it’s a bit like fingernails on a chalkboard to me. If the story is good, I can usually get into it and ignore the tense, but every once and a while, a particular passage will jerk me out of the story because of how the tense sounds. However, this story was good, and I could ignore it most of the time I picked the book up, once I had read a page or two.
Not to imply that the story is all fun and games. The story progresses at a rapid pace, pausing only to explain the histories of the nations involved as needed. No fantasy adventure would be complete without a fair share of battles and training and desperate escapes, and Storm Siren is no exception. By the end of the book, the death toll is fairly high, but rather than feeling gratuitous, it only serves to highlight the dangers of the war facing Nym’s people and all that is truly at stake.
Nym makes for a sympathetic main character. Although she has lived as a slave in some form or another for most of her life, she is anything but a victim. And Colin is just too much fun. He’s sweet, a little goofy, and slightly adorable, but that doesn’t stop him from being quite formidable in battle.
(Slight Spoiler Alert: Can I just say that, despite all the readers who’ve been swooning over Eogan, I personally liked Colin so much better! I never really got Nym and Eogan’s “connection,” or saw anything between them other than that she thought he was really, really, really handsome … and we’re supposed to believe that he thinks the same about her … so it’s got to be love, right? Not exactly a firm basis for a relationship, if you ask me.)
As for Adora, well, let’s just say it’s been a long time since I have so thoroughly disliked and despised a character. From the first time I met her, I couldn’t help hoping she would get her comeuppance and that it would be a doozy! Note: partly because of Adora, and partly because of Nym and Eogan, I’d suggest reserving this book for older readers, ages 14+ or so.
I was not overly fond of the hissing speech pattern given to one of the slightly more dubious characters in the story. It seemed like too much of a desperate attempt to make this character seem stereotypically evil, but that’s just my two cents.
Long story short, I did enjoy reading Storm Siren, and I’m sure I will pick up the next book, Siren’s Fury, when it releases!
Top reviews from other countries
Mary Weber's writing is fantastic, weaving a world of warring kingdoms, magic and political machinations, with a hint of steampunk thrown in. There are thankfully no infodumps here, all the details are swen through the story. I love authors who give their readers enough credit to put the pieces together themselves rather than grinding the pace to a halt for pages and pages of characters explaining everything like their name was Basil Exposition. I could picture every elaborate party, every stunning landscape and every burst of magic. Truly, this is a world to get lost in.
I adore Nym! This kind of book lives and dies on it's protagonist and Storm Siren doesn't disappoint. Nym is an emotional wreck after a lifetime of suffering the effects of a curse she can't control, guarded and prickly, but still with enough of a conscience to feel the weight of every life she takes, intentional or unintentional. The self-harming angle is sensitively done here, where Nym tattoos herself with tributes to her victims, and while this could easily come off as mawkish or exploitative, it's nicely handled. The "woe is me, I'm so lonely, cursed etc" got a little wearying, especially with the first person pov where there's no getting out of the protagonist's head, but it made a refreshing change for a heroine to ask why, to ask questions rather than just being led on a merry dance by characters she barely knows as happens in so many YA books. She is what lifts this book from a middle of the road YA fantasy to something special.
And speaking of refreshing changes, hold on to your hats. Nym is white, and love interest Eogan is black. I know, shocking right? Well no, not really. Because this is 2016. Unfortuantely, diversity is in short supply in YA, so I was pleasantly surprised to read an interracial romance, and even happier that the book mentions is in passing a few times without making a huge deal of it. I've read a few moans about the love triangle on Goodreads, but honestly I didn't read it that way. Earth-shaper and fellow recruit to the war effort Colin was more of a friend to Nym than anything else, and while he tried his luck, it seemed more his flirtacious nature than insta-love. Maybe because I find Colin such a deeply unsexy name, I didn't see him as the third wheel. Eogan all the way! Admittedly his power was very convenient, and in such a large kingdom - one of many - it seemed a little hard to buy that he and Nym had met before, but that's just me being picky. I loved the scenes between him and Nym as he helped her take control of her power and her gradual thawing towards him.
The moral complexities usually swept under the rug are all present and correct, and given the weight they deserve. Nym isn't just blasting faceless, nameless bad guys like it's nothing, every action and inaction she takes is justified and addressed. Is she a villain for the lives she's taken? Is Adora a villain by forcing youngsters into taking up arms for their kingdom? Is Lord Myles a villain for being prepared to sell out Faelen's king in order to end a hundred year war? Nothing is black and white. Except Draewulf. He is a villain, the big bad of this trilogy, and he's one of the best (or worst depending on your pov) in ages! Despite not putting in an appearance until the final chapters, his shadow hangs heavy over the story, his threat and malevolence there even when he isn't.
That ending though! I genuinely couldn't believe what I was reading! I read the last few pages about three or four times because I thought there's no way that just happened. There's cliffhangers, and then there's this! I was so traumatised I wouldn't read book two in the trilogy until I had my hands on book three. I've now got the full series so am going to be braving the rest over the coming weeks. If I had to sum up this book in one word, it's epic. I absolutely loved it from start to finish. If you want YA fantasy with magic, swoonworthy love interests, awesome bad guys, lands far far away, epic wars and all wrapped up with one of the best heroines in my opinion ever to grace the pages of fantasy, for the love of books - read Storm Siren!
Review originally posted at [...]
So the story starts with Nym being sold at an auction – at the age of seventeen this will be her fifteenth sale into slavery. Each of her past owners has wanted to give her back for one reason and one reason only – she is cursed – and eventually, accidentally, something bad will happen to whoever owns her. Her gift, or curse as she sees it to begin with, is uncontrolled and untrained. Her emotions are her trigger and until she learns how to embrace them she will always be a constant danger to those around her. This point is made at the auction when one of the buyers provokes a reaction out of her and ends up getting fried with lighting. It’s at this market sale that Nym is sold to Adora after displaying her gift. To say Adora is a little strange would be putting it mildly; lets just say she marches to her own drum and I wouldn’t trust her as far as I could throw her.
Nym is an Elemental and a very rare one at that, as Elementals are supposed to be born male. But more importantly she is alive which is unheard of as once born they are meant to be killed due to an hundred year old law. Her power is off the scales but she has no idea how to control it and she end ups letting it control her. It’s this power that Adora wishes to harness to win the war. So she gives Nym two choices: she can either be charged with the murder of the man at the market, along with being an Elemental, or she can be trained to control her gift and be used as Faelens greatest weapon (although she does keep correcting herself by saying defence when she sees how Nym reacts to being called a weapon). All Nym has ever wanted is to be able to control what’s inside her and even though she doesn’t think it can be done she is willing to give it a try.
It’s when her training starts that she meets Colin, a Terrene who can move the earth around him and their trainer Eogan who seems to be able to block, or in Nyms case calm, other Uathuils gifts. To be able to get Nym to calm down enough to focus on her gift he has to be touching her – not that she minds. From the moment she meets him she is drawn in by his mysterious nature. You can see why she would slowly fall for him but with him constantly going hot and cold with how he reacts around her she can never quite figure out how he feels about her. With the threat from Bron’s attack drawing ever closer the training becomes more intense as Eogan tries to get them battle ready. They are Faelens last hope of survival but with ulterior motives coming to the surface, danger lurking around every bend and secrets just waiting to be revealed it will take all they’ve got to get them ready for the battle that’s coming. To be able to save a world that even Nyms not sure is actually worth saving.
The counting Nym does can get a bit annoying at times but that’s just how her mind works. A very in-depth story with creating the fantasy world that they all live in but I felt at times like it needed to be explained a bit more. It was almost like in places you were already meant to know everything about the world you were reading about. Also with it being a long book you might have hoped that some of the other reoccurring characters, like Breck, Princess Rasha and even Colin to some extent, would have had a bit more development or back-story told about who they are. But then I guess a theme I’d noticed throughout would be that it’s not the past that defines you but the present, and the hope for a better future. I did like the dreams Nym has throughout that interlink different scenes – showing her past and possible future. The story ends with one hell of a battle scene, so much happens in it – self-sacrificing, back stabbing, air ships, ghosts of past coming back to haunt the present and you also get to see what Nym and Colin are really capable of doing with their gifts. The final end twist can be seen a mile off but even while reading you are hoping that you are wrong. It just leads you right into wanting to know what happens next. Bring on Siren’s Fury and show us what Nyms going to do next.
None of the characters were very fleshed out. The character of Adora in particular could have been way more intricate - but her obsession with colour made her into more of a caricature than a clever villain. The main character, Nym, isn't great. For someone who has been a slave all her life, she hasn't got very good survival skills - and she's not particularly submissive, as you would expect a slave to be. I don't know why she hadn't been killed by the time she got to her second or third owner, given that it seems that she was sold onwards because she hurt them by not being able to control her powers.
The plot was fairly interesting, but I think the timeline was way too short - especially for the love interest. I would have cared way more at the final twist if that had been properly developed. The twins could have used some fleshing out as well.
All in all, I wouldn't recommend it, but I didn't hate it.
The 1st person narrative is a bit stilted in places, and while I think the idea's and characters could have been interesting somehow this book was a chore to finish (I think it comes back to the way the narration was handled). The ending after the initial twist (which was good) was painfully predictable.
So it was OK, but I think there are definately better book in this genre.
I would rate this as a good read to get the time by though not one of those books that leave a lasting impression. But then there are still 2 books to come. If you liked "Snow Like Ashes" by Sara Raash, I am almost certain you will enjoy Strom Siren too, though personally I liked Snow Like Ashes better.