Review: Siren Song

Posted: November 7, 2011 by in Books that are Mediocre (3/5 single_star) Meta: Cat Adams, Urban Fantasy

In BLOOD SONG (EBR Review), Celia was attacked by a vampire, but not turned completely. Instead she’s an “abomination”, a sort of vampire limbo, with both perks and disadvantages. She also learned that her great-grandmother is a Siren—yes, the magical variety who can sing men to their deaths—and since being bitten it appears that these traits have finally manifested for Celia. The perk: men come when she needs. The disadvantage: women hate her.

One would think that having some supernatural abilities might make life a little easier. Not for Celia, who’s convinced that everyone thinks she’s a monster: the Sirens, the vampires and the humans. It’s all a big mess. And because of who and what she is, someone wants her dead, and will do anything, even call up demons, to finish the job.

SIREN SONG (Amazon) begins with a big action scene right off the bat. After the events in BLOOD SONG, Celia was being taken to an institution that would make sure she’s safe to be roaming among the general public. On the way her and Dr. Scott are attacked, physically and mentally. They survive, but her relationship with the good doctor is irrevocably damaged, and she’s no closer to discovering the assailants’ motives.

Unfortunately, that opening scene consists of the majority of the book’s excitement for the first three-quarters, and the story moves forward much slower as Adams builds up the piecemeal plot. The pace hiccups in places, as Adams tries to move quickly from scene to scene, event to event, making the pacing less consistent compared to the first book. Fortunately, the sundry information and events finally tie up nicely in an exciting conclusion.

In the meantime Celia must deal with her new abilities. It’s rare for abominations to live as long as she has, because usually their sires turn or kill them soon after they’re first bitten—fortunately hers is dead. She refuses to drink blood, but she’s limited to a liquid diet, and watching her try to deal with it can be amusing. Add to that her Siren abilities and no man can really trust her and all women hate her. She handles these wrenches in her life with aplomb…mostly. At this point it’s just getting through it day by day, but she refuses to give up. We see few other characters from book one (alas very little of the sexy werewolf and Celia’s Italian former boyfriend), other than a big scene with the ghostly Vicki. We instead get to know others better, including John Miller, the mage who owns a bodyguard firm (potential romance?); Bubba, the bail bondsman whose office is on the same floor as Celia’s (fisherman, tough guy… Mensa member?); and Celia’s Siren relatives.

In fact the entire second half of the book deals with the Sirens. We get to see their culture, with their queens and their island isolated from the rest of the world. It doesn’t feel like anything special, though, and not particularly interesting other than to learn about Celia’s origins. It turns out, though, that it’s a good thing Celia goes, because it appears that their role in all of these events, even the ones in BLOOD SONG, may be deeper than first thought.

For a middle book in a series, SIREN SONG is rather mediocre, and not worth trying to read as a standalone. Relies too much on everything around it.

We see more of how mage magic works, which was interesting and well done. The roles of magic in this world are important—from the everyday variety to creating protective wards to how they fight with it. Adams used clairvoyants a lot in BLOOD SONG, and they were interesting and affected the plot. This time around there are several clairvoyant ‘prophecies’ but they’re vague and pointless, which was frustrating.

For a middle book in a series, SIREN SONG is rather mediocre, and not worth trying to read as a standalone, because the story depends a great deal on what came before. Despite this, at least we’re clearer who the bad guys are, and their motives—which was my big frustration in BLOOD SONG. Still, the world building, character progression, and cast is what keeps me interested, and I’m looking forward to reading the conclusion, DEMON SONG (Amazon).

  • Recommended Age: 16+
  • Language: A couple handfuls, not as much as in BLOOD SONG
  • Violence: Lots more peril than BLOOD SONG, and the couple of fight scenes are as exciting and detailed as the ones from the previous book
  • Sex: Referenced, with only minor details

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