Book Review: Storm Siren By Mary Weber
Title: Storm Siren
Author: Mary Weber
Series: Storm Siren #1
Publication Date: August 19, 2014
Genre: YA, fantasy, magic
Source: Amazon Purchase
SYNOPSIS (FROM GOODREADS):
“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.
I read the sample of this book on kindle, feel pretty confident about it, saw that it has some pretty good reviews, and took a risk. Although the reward for risks is worth it, there is always a chance for mistakes from taking risks. And this is a consequence I had to take for taking a chance and buying a book.
But why would I hate this book? It's got some hate-love relationship, and "a beautifully electric world of suspicion, super abilities, and monsters." Well, let's just say that this book managed to destroy and waste a whole bunch of well-prepared materials into a lousy mess.
As usual, I'll start off with the characters. But today before I get to that I really want to first make a point with the names. Anyone that know me personally knows how I am all into mythological, unusual, and magical names. If anyone like me even bothered to researched the name, you'll see that (thankfully) the author didn't choose the name randomly but based on the heroine's background and character. Nym basically means anonymous, and if you've read the book you'll be able to make the connection to how it connects to Nym's desire to stay hidden and under wraps. But everything turns south when there's too much of it. Sometimes, if the character is built well, the name can be the most normal name in his world and it'll still become a symbol. Let's take Percy Jackson for a sample. For those who don't know who Percy is (what are you doing here?), he is the powerful son-of-Poseidon protagonist in Rick Riordan's popular Greek mythology series the Percy Jackson series. How normal is the name Percy, and no less the surname Jackson?! However, the meaning behind the name is no less significant than this book's fancy mythological names. And the simple, normal Jackson represented Percy's human side and gave us as readers a...clean feeling from all those fancy names. It's like when a room gets too flowery and fancy , it gets annoying and dizzy. But sometimes the simple white wall could be just, or more beautiful from all those decorations. And it's just like that in the book. I understand this is a magic world, but...it just felt a little bit...to overboard. Even though all fantasy/world building books do that sometimes they set a pretty good boundary on their names better than others. I'm not saying that these names are bad, but just that there are too many beautiful decorations in this book and too much positive turned negative.
Now, let's move on to the characters. Nym is kind-hearted, sympathetic, and deadly in her ability. But I personally believed that she is way, way, way too soft. And what annoys me the most is that this book contains the cliche that I absolutely hate the most, and that is when a heroine's soft side get in the way. I'm not saying that being compassionate is wrong, but the correct way is to know when to be compassionate. There's a thin line between bravery and stupidity, and many authors somehow just didn't get the message. There are many examples in the book when the writer shows us how extreme Nym is in herself from guilt, most knowingly how she mark (cut) herself every time she accidentally kill another person with her ability. And there is, even more evidence from all the times her soft side got in the way. This basically ruins the book for me, because half the book is her crying, screaming, and basically having a childish fit just because she believes something is cruel. Life is cruel! Understanding is good, but do not let it get in the way of something greater! When you let your emotion control you you'll only take more lives from the problems you caused, and isn't that what you are whining about in the first place? Beside from that, there really nothing else about her, which come to the ultimate point I'm trying to make and that is her one-dimensional character, which became one of the main factors for this book's failure in my eyes.
And then there's Eogan. He is no better since he is also one dimensional. Here's a summary: hot, powerful, calm (inside joke only people who read this book would understand, you're welcome), mentally strong, hot, and...that's it.
World building, finally! The world building is definitely not bad (I've seen worse), but it's not good either. It's extremely normal. I don't feel anything when I read it, and the best example is how the cliffhanger has absolutely no effect on me. If I truly enjoyed this book, that kind of cliffhanger is the kind that urges me to throw my kindle against the wall in rage. But this is my reaction:
When something as cruel as a cliffhanger bounces off a reader with no effect, you can basically conclude that this book is a failure. I'm not going to say much about it.
Another reason is probably because when a reader read millions of different world building and plot-lines, you will only notice a world building when it's done horribly. My final advice. Do NOT check it out, do not waste your money on it, and feel lucky that you read my post before you bought this book. But if you bought it already...well, sucks you be you 😛