The Siren – Kiera Cass
My mind is with the ocean as of late. I recently got addicted to Netflix’s Mako Mermaids while I’m currently writing a Sci-Fi/Fantasy novel that also examines the mysteries of the deep. So when I read the description for Kiera Cass’s The Siren, I was immediately intrigued. I knew it would be one of those books that sucked me in, and I was right.
At first, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I soon found that Cass had incorporated some very interesting elements. But first let me tell you a little bit about it. Kahlen comes from a wealthy family around the 1930s and is traveling on a ship with her family when eerie music consumes the guests on the ship, enticing them to jump into the water, to be swallowed by the ocean. Only Kahlen fights back, pleading to live. With that request, she is met by three beautiful girls—sirens. They give her a choice to either die … or live as a siren, as a sister to the girls for 100 years and join them in their commitment to feeding the Ocean. What does she eat, you may ask: lives.
Far be it from being evil, which is what you might expect when an entity is eating people, the Ocean instead tries to be a nurturing mother to her sirens, even though her grasp of humanity is at times shaky, making her seem like a hot-headed teenager instead of the ancient embodiment of life on this planet. This personification of the ocean as not a person but an energy of sorts was what made me really stop and deem this novel unique.
Following a prologue, we are flashed eighty years later, where Kahlen is haunted by the lives she’s taken looks and forward to the end of her remaining 20 years so she can become human and leave behind the death. And yet, she is very close with the Ocean, the Ocean’s favorite siren in fact. It is this relationship that is fascinating because of Kahlen’s sadness over what they do to keep the Ocean fed. I would have liked an explanation as to why the Ocean needs to eat people, but while there was never any reason given, it didn’t take away from the overall theme.
Regardless of how Kahlen feels and the nightmares that plague her, it isn’t until she meets Akinli, a human boy she begins to fall for, that her life as a siren begins to fall apart. The conflict, love story, and test of friendship that ensues kept me turning the pages into the night.
Lovers of YA fantasy who don’t mind a little “insta-love” (a term I abhor, FYI), and a unique take on siren mythology, will be drawn into this book as well. You can find it on Amazon for $12.99 in Kindle and for $6.13 in paperback.
***Note: The edition I read is the newest edition. Apparently, Cass initially self-published The Siren and it was re-edited and relaunched with Harper Teen in January.