Friday, February 27, 2015

Book Review: Storm Siren by Mary Weber

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Title: Storm Siren

Author: Mary Weber

Series: The Storm Siren Trilogy #1

Genre: Fantasy

Audience: Young Adult


“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.

**5 stars**

Oh my ... oh dear ... *gasping for breath* *grasping for reality*... WHEN IS SIREN'S FURY COMING OUT??? :D

I hardly know what to think of the whole story yet, but my mind is whirling with the epic-ness of it.

Alright. Let's try for some orderly thoughts here ...

Storm Siren was raw. Gripping. Emotional. Powerful.

Nymia is a slave. Fourteen scars encircle her arm, one for each time she was sold. A fifteenth is about to be added, but by who? Because Nym has a secret. Who dares take the white-haired girl with storms running through her veins?
     With a strange twist of events, the young Elemental lands in a place of great power, and great peril. Secrets brood and danger lurks; and Nym has to decide. —Cower within the shadows of fear and the broken past, or embrace her gifts and soar.

Storm Siren is a unique fantasy, mixed with an element of dystopian/sci-fi. There’s Elementals, skin-changers, bolcranes, and slightly creepy war horses. Then we have airships and crazy parties where equally crazy people come in dressed in ludicrous costumes and pink, blue, or orange hair (something akin to the people of the Capital in The Hunger Games). I would call it fantasy for the most part, but definitely had a sci-fi feel at times.

I don’t even know what to say. Trying to gather all my thoughts together here … This book took me on a wild, hair-raising, exciting journey full of twists and turns. While I didn’t appreciate every aspect of Storm Siren, I found myself quite fascinated, and was quickly caught up in the story.

Nymia. Who wouldn’t feel for her? The tumultuous, dangerous, raw feelings raging around inside her have the power to erupt into a full-blown storm. She has a dark past that leaves her scarred in more ways than one, and faces a future full of more emotional pain and terror. She’s an incredible character … relatable, I feel. Real.

Eogan … was an interesting guy. *smiles* I must admit, I was quite startled where his backstory wound up to. I felt like I didn’t get to know him as well because he was so layered in secrets, but you still glimpsed his own personal pain, and his caring for Nym. I’ve decided that I quite like him, now that I know all his secrets.

I loved Colin!! *grins* Though he tended to show an appearance of thinking highly of his looks and such, he countered that quite nicely with charm, kind-heartedness, and sacrifice. *Sniff* I won’t say anything about his story … but the bald-headed Terrene boy is great, *smiles*

There was a really great group of characters. Pretty much all of them had me guessing about who they were/what they were doing; and then getting surprised (or shocked), and so on. The villains were done well I think. In a way that shows their depravity, but yet doesn’t render them to the typical “bad guy”. I was intrigued by them all.

The whole theme of Storm Siren was powerful. Perhaps not in the way one would expect, but still, it touched me deeply. This book, though Mary Weber is a Christian I believe, is not meant to be Christian fantasy. However, it still had an incredible allegory woven throughout. The memorial scars. The crippling fear. The self-hatred. And then we watch it morph into something strong and courageous. It’s a theme of self-worth and not letting your gifts and abilities be taken over by evil, but rather using them for good. Now here’s where I make an important note. I understand how someone could take it differently; I myself felt thrums of “I’m powerful” , “I will save myself” and that kind of thing. But … well, I guess for the most part I just took it as an allegory of us seeing our worth in God’s eyes, and finding the courage to use the gifts He has given us boldly for good. I was expecting the usual, kind of shallow, dark story of YA, non-Christian fantasy, and I suppose that’s why I noticed the poignancy of the allegory in Storm Siren. If you take Nym's story as a boost to rely on your "strong" self rather than God, than you probably aren't getting the drift I am. But if you naturally take the theme of Storm Siren as a more healing/realizing you have a purpose sort of story, then I would say its a pretty great tale.

That being said, I still did squirm a little at some of the parts about Nym controlling the lightening etc.; and how pressing her pulse renders ... this, and her squeezing someone’s hand renders … that. It can all feel a little too much like tapping into the "earth’s powers", or your own "inner powers" and whatnot. So yes, I was a little wary. Yet, the more I read, the more it didn’t seem so much that way. I guess sometimes with fantasy, I just take it all in as fantasy, and I can read it and understand it (sort of), without feeling its some strange new-age thing. I don’t know. You’ll have to read it and see for yourself. Controlling the elements kind of seems like a hot topic in fantasy books these days. It’s definitely not my favorite, but Mary Weber wrote it all in such a thought-provoking, allegorical way, that I was intrigued.

There was a fair amount of “swearing” in this book, albeit, in the fantasy language. So they’re unfamiliar words, but you definitely get the drift. Also, there were a few heated romance moments, and some men acted a little inappropriately around Nym or other women. Also, there's immoral issues alluded to now and then, especially with Nym's owner. Nothing too drastic, just caution to younger readers. Also, quite a bit of violence. We have some quite creepy/frightening scenes, and some utterly strange and scary animal creatures. Some descriptions of violence or gruesome detail went a bit overboard for my taste; but still, nothing too horrific in my opinion. I would say the audience for Storm Siren should be older teens to adults.

Um … I’m still not sure what to think of the treacherous wolf-guy and his disturbing abilities. I’m leery of too much werewolf/witch type things for sure. So, along with the element powers and such, I really need to read the next book and see where those two things go to truly decide how I feel about them. I’m okay with them for now … but you just never know what could happen next. So it really remains to be seen if I can safely recommend this book.

So. What can I say? I was captivated and thrilled. I was mildly startled at the unexpected, then quite surprised, then shocked. Ooh!! A page-turning adventure for sure! I loved the scenes between Eogan and Nym … (except at times they did get a bit overly romance-y). I loved how he could help calm her storm, ^_^ The fantasy world, the customs, the war, were intriguing and alarming. The whole story leaves you wanting more. Especially when you get to the end!!!! I sensed it coming deep down, but still, I jumped a little inside. OH NO!!! What’s going to happen?? I refuse to think that things will go as expected! Haha.

Like I said, there’s no center Christian allegory in Storm Siren. But a creator is alluded to a handful of times. And there is this special garden that … well, you’ll have to read about it yourself. But it was a poignant moment in the book, and I felt it had something to do with the creator. Can’t quite remember. This book tells a dark story for sure, but there was such a redeeming tilt to it. It was incredible to watch the characters grow… in heart and soul. I don’t know how to explain it, but I don’t feel like the darkness overwhelmed this story. I saw this beautiful picture through Nym’s story. It was truly poignant. I guess it remains to be seen if her start upward is going to make her powerful and trust in herself, or…. Yeah, I don’t know. Christian allegories are important within fantasy to me; but I felt I could still appreciate Nym’s story a lot.

But … so much remains to be seen. I’m so dying to read Siren’s Fury to find out what happens after that devastating cliff-hanger. We’ll see, we’ll see. Right now, I have hopes for this series. If you’re looking for a strong Christian allegory, this book isn’t that. However, I still found the main story of it to be moving. And its an incredible, exciting fairytale-ish/fantasy sort of story in any case! *smiles*


  1. Fun review! I love seeing Christian authors walking into the YA market and Mary's was a fun read for certain. :)

    1. Thank you! Yes, it just had that great fantasy feel to it, :) I'm excited to read more by her!

  2. flopped for me, but if I start hearing incredible wonderful things about the second and third book, I might continue the series. So I'll keep my eye out for your future reviews. ;)

    1. Alright, :-) :-)

      Yeah, I have hope for the second book, but, we'll see I guess...!