book, Book Review

Storm Siren by Mary Weber

 About the Book: Book - Storm Siren
Author: Mary Weber
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Source: Author
Publication Date: 2014
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Series: Storm Siren, book 1
Genre: Fiction; Young Adult,
Fantasy 
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
It’s been a long time since I read a proper fantasy novel and if there is one thing I learned from journeying into the delightful Mary Weber’s debut, it’s that I’ve been missing out. There have been many friends urging me to read Marissa Meyer’s well known fantasy chronicles and I’ve seen various other books in this genre pushed (lovingly, of course) on readers, yet for some reason I had an idea affixed in my mind about the genre, one I must have unconsciously applied to every book in the genre. Fortunately I went into Storm Siren with an open mind. Nym is a young slave girl with a deadly touch – she’s a storm siren who can summon the worst of storms when she’s provoked. Today, on her fifteenth sell, she is enraged over an owner’s cruel treatment of a young girl and following a series of unfortunate circumstances, she is bought by the properly insane Adora, who claims alliance with Faelen’s king and offers Nym a choice: die or train to be a weapon against the incoming Bron forces out to provoke war with Faelen. Frightened of her own abilities, Nym joins forces with her training partner, Colin and their trainer – whose touch is able to still Nym’s powers, hoping that war is the last option.


One of the most anticipated books in the Christian fiction market I think Storm Siren lived up to those grand expectations – oddly enough one of its best qualities is its summary. If you read the synopsis, you are going to know
exactly what you’re stepping into, there isn’t really anything (apart from the secrets that come out in the course of the story) left unsaid in the “overview.” There are insanely outlandish characters and things (think Effie, only descriptively stranger) as well as supernatural powers that are revealed at various story points. Secondly, the character of Nym is well structured and transitioned. Because of her challenges, she isn’t a character who has the luxury of being immature and as a result, I think sometimes her narratives are very “dark,” which influences the larger scope of the novel after all, we do live inside her head throughout the entire novel. If there were anything that might keep readers from enjoying this, those would be the two things – the imaginative scope and its reach plus the (essentially) desire of the heroine to bring harm to herself because of her conflicting emotions.

But this is where the “bad” of the titular character ends. Nym is a surprisingly tender-hearted heroine, who is more afraid of hurting innocents than protecting herself as a race that is being hunted. She’s got empathy. Confused what her curse means and how it is meant to be used, she fights against being used as any kind of weapon – even against enemies. Beyond Nym, I really feel nothing one way or the other for the supporting characters, maybe because of the first person narrative or perhaps because I was so drawn into finding out “who” Nym is, either way, I will admit that I’m not nearly as invested in any other character by the time this book rolls to a close. Mary has created an interesting world sufficient to stand up to the best of the best. This isn’t merely “good fantasy,” it’s inventive and in a market that hasn’t traversed young adult or fantasy like the secular, this is just what was required. Past experience with the fantasy genre taught me to be distrustful of it because it wasn’t something that “read” well for me. Fortunately that pattern broke with this novel – I loved that there wasn’t any over explaining as to how this world came to be or great detail into the past of the Elemental’s or any of the anomaly’s. The prose flowed easily, pulling the interested reader into a fascinating world.

One of 2014’s best debuts, this novel creates a storm not just of its heroine’s making – it brings the genre to new heights spinning new twists, fear and perplex emotions into one solid punch, though not without the dismay of casualties along the way. Another thing to brace for is the arrival of a cliffhanger that leaves us questioning the practicality of waiting nearly a year to see what comes next in Nym’s dangerous world – and more importantly whether or not she’ll rise above those who seek to destroy her.

Synopsis: 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. – Goodreads

Coming Next from Mary Weber: Book 2 arrives June 2015… what will happen next? 

Sincere thanks to the author for providing a complimentary copy of this book for reviewing purposes.

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