I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
After reading a review at Under the Covers, I decided to request a review copy of The Siren for myself. Thanks to that review I had an idea of what I was getting myself into. I admit I felt a little dread upon beginning. Though there are seriously heartbreaking and (for lack of a better phrase) fucked up moments in this book, it had me reluctantly captivated. I had an almost constant feeling of fearful interest the entire time. And what a climax! I was wide awake at 1:00 in the morning greedily soaking up every last word. In the end, I felt loss and satisfaction all at once. I’m going to try (emphasis on try) to explain what is so great about this book. Bear with me.
Nora is still a bit of a mystery to me. Even with her soul bared on the pages of this book in a million different ways, I’m not quite sure how I feel about her. There are things I love about her, like her sense of humor and wicked wit. There are things I loathe about her, like her selfishness with Wesley throughout most of the book. There are things I just don’t understand about her, like her unconditional love for Søren. She’s an extremely complex character. Even if I’m not sure whether to love her, hate her, or pity her, I definitely respect her. There is so much heart put into her character. That’s one thing I definitely loved about this book. The characters have a complexity and heart to them that is kind of rare in books these days. Or maybe I’m just not reading the right books. Zach was a much more straight-forward character. I understood a lot more about why he was feeling what he was feeling and why he did the things he did. His relationship with Nora was interesting and comfortable, but it was no romance. I adored Wesley. What a sweet kid. His whole situation broke my heart a million times though. Those were the moments I wanted to throw something at Nora. There not much to say about Søren. He’s somehow terrifying and sexy all at once. Don’t get me wrong, I think Nora is fifty kinds of crazy to have ever spent years with that man, but on the page there’s just something about his presence. He dominates every scene he’s in with no mercy, which is very appropriate.
I loved the little pieces of Nora’s writing that were interspersed throughout the book. They helped set up background, helped me to understand her relationship with Søren. They also gave some insight into Nora’s feelings. For much of the book, I thought I knew exactly who Nora was writing about, but I was wrong. It was actually a pleasant surprise. There is a lot going on in this book, a few subplots that seem equally important. I don’t want to pin one down and say “this is what this book is about” because it’s about a lot of things. The characters face their own fears, their own shortcomings, their own mistakes. Every single one of them seems to learn something by the end. Frankly, I’m still not sure what that is, but I hope they do. They deserve it after all the pain and heartache. The Siren is definitely one of the most intriguing books I’ve ever read. Tiffany Reisz did a beautiful job with the character writing. I’m not sure I agree that this should be labeled as contemporary romance (it’s NetGalley categorization). There’s so much more to this book than that. Bravo, Ms. Reisz! I’m eager to read The Angel.