My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Publication Date: January 26th, 2016
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Mermaids, Sacrifice, Soul Mates, Sisterhood
Love is a risk worth taking.
Years ago, Kahlen was rescued from drowning by the Ocean. To repay her debt, she has served as a Siren ever since, using her voice to lure countless strangers to their deaths. Though a single word from Kahlen can kill, she can’t resist spending her days on land, watching ordinary people and longing for the day when she will be able to speak and laugh and live freely among them again.
Kahlen is resigned to finishing her sentence in solitude…until she meets Akinli. Handsome, caring, and kind, Akinli is everything Kahlen ever dreamed of. And though she can’t talk to him, they soon forge a connection neither of them can deny…and Kahlen doesn’t want to.
Falling in love with a human breaks all the Ocean’s rules, and if the Ocean discovers Kahlen’s feelings, she’ll be forced to leave Akinli for good. But for the first time in a lifetime of following the rules, Kahlen is determined to follow her heart.
Kahlen was supposed to die.
Instead, she has been sentenced to a hundred years of murder.
She was a human, but now she is a siren: deadly but irresistible. Her voice is poison, death. When She’s hungry, the Ocean calls for Kahlen and her sisters to use their singing to drown humans. Kahlen has been doing this for eighty years. She doesn’t age or get sick. And while she never relishes in stealing lives, she never dares disobey the Ocean.
Until she meets Akinli.
They weren’t supposed to meet, and she wasn’t supposed to fall in love with him. They can’t be together – yet, Kahlen is bewitched, and even the Ocean can’t keep her away from the only boy who seems to see past her beauties.
Alright, I know. I know how this may look to you. You may think – not again! Not another clichéd story focused on the soul mates concept!
Come on, you know Kiera Cass doesn’t do eye-roll worthy.
There are two things you need to know:
First, this is not a retelling of The Little Mermaid. It really, really isn’t, so if that’s what you’re expecting from this, there’s no doubt that you’ll be disappointed.
Second, while the blurb gives the illusion of it, the story is not inundated with romance.
Of course her meeting Akinli is the catalyst, but everything that comes after plunges us into new themes, such as motherhood, sisterhood and self-discovery.
Kahlen is the Ocean’s favorite. To Kahlen, the Ocean is like a mother to her, and the latter loves Kahlen as if she were her own daughter.
The Ocean is definitely a villain-ish bodiless being in the story, but it’s still hard to hate Her. She doesn’t like taking human lives and definitely cares about Her sirens. Sometimes She’s despicable, but other times you can’t help but feel pity for Her, as surprising as this may sound.
Kahlen’s sisters are everything to her. They live together and keep one another from breaking apart. Now that she’s met Akinli, she needs her sisters’ support more than ever, since she doesn’t think she can live without him much longer.
What makes this book less clichéd is Kahlen’s trying. She tries for months and months to stay far away from him and let him live a normal and human life. And it doesn’t feel forced, or for the sake of the plot: it feels real, because he’s her first love.
Throughout the process of finding ways to be with her loved one, she also finds herself. She’s always been the obedient one, but she slowly realizes that the Ocean may not at all times be right and that’s she’s ready to climb mountains for Akinli.
Akinli is just so friendly and guileless that I couldn’t stop myself from continuously mentally smiling at him when he was around – which isn’t that often.
We also have back stories on the sisters – how their lives were before becoming sirens – and I thought that added deepness to the story. Plus their love for Kahlen brightens the atmosphere of the story.
Regardless of the killing part, to me, reading this book was like watching a Disney movie.