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Storm Siren by Mary Weber ARC {4.5 Stars}

Storm Siren by Mary Weber is the start to what promises to be an amazing epic fantasy series with multiple magic systems, complex politics, and a very troubled main character. I absolutely loved finding out about Nym’s power and the horrible past it has brought to her as she was passed from slave owner to slave owner. Nym is a very broken character, but that hasn’t numbed her to the horror of death and I absolutely loved that she learned to be a kick ass heroine, but still never wanted to kill if she didn’t have to. Storm Siren sounds typical on the surface, but there are so many details where it excels and I think it will appeal to both YA fantasy fans and adult epic fantasy lovers.

Note: I received an advanced copy of Storm Siren from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Storm Siren by Mary Weber ARC {4.5 Stars}

Storm Siren by Mary Weber (Storm Siren #1)
Published by Thomas Nelson on Aug. 19th, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 320 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
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“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?

4.5 Stars

Strengths:

  • The magic in Storm Siren is absolutely awesome. Nym is an Elemental and has power over storms, but that isn’t the only kind of magic to be found in the land and nearly every region has their own breed of magic, some more nature-based, some very dark, and some with their own interesting twists. If you love magic as much as I do, you won’t be able to put Storm Siren down!
  • Storm Siren does a wonderful job of having a diverse range of characters without making them feel forced. Nym’s trainer is described as having extremely dark skin, her servant and friend is blind, and Nym herself has a permanently disabled hand. These various traits didn’t define any character though, which is exactly how diversity should be included in stories.
  • I absolutely loved Nym. She’s a bit abrasive and definitely broken given how many people she has accidentally killed when her power over storms makes her lose control. However, she also dearly values life and never becomes completely comfortable or nonchalant about killing even animals if she has any choice. This specific characteristic makes her feel exceedingly realistic and refreshing compared to the many heroines we’re faced with that seem to no longer care about human life because they are so “tough.”
  • Storm Siren could have easily become bogged down with world-building given the complex politics, history, and magic in the world. However, instead Storm Siren succeeds at dropping tantalizing hints that just make you want to learn more. I will be reading the sequel the second I can get my hands on it because I can’t wait to explore more of Nym’s world.
  • The writing of Storm Siren is heart-breaking. Nym faces a lot of trials and I was sobbing right along with her by the end because her thoughts were so beautifully conveyed.

Weaknesses:

  • While I appreciated the inclusion of a main character with a disability, it is pretty unclear exactly what happened and how much function Nym has of her damaged hand, despite it being mentioned constantly. At times it felt like her hand was only mentioned when convenient and she was able to do everything she needed to do. I also couldn’t really get an idea of what her hand looked like despite how often it was mentioned, which meant I couldn’t fully visualize Nym herself.
  • The politics of Storm Siren were generally quite interesting, but the number of important secondary characters got to the point where I couldn’t quite keep everyone straight. Normally I wouldn’t particularly mind, but it became pretty important for me to remember the information we had found out about each secondary character once the back-stabbing started!

Summary:

Storm Siren is a wonderful start to a new epic fantasy series that I highly recommend for both YA fans and epic fantasy adult readers who generally don’t read YA fantasy. The world-building was just intriguing enough to keep me hooked without overwhelming me at all. I also found myself actually interested in court politics because of how much they mattered for Nym’s life and the stability of her world. I hope a couple of things get more polished as the series continues, but overall I will definitely be pre-ordering a hardcover of this one and pushing it on all my friends who love fantasy as much as I do ;-).

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
– Anya

 

 Storm Siren by Mary Weber

© 2014, Anya. All rights reserved.

Comments

  1. I really loved Storm Siren! (I gave it an almost perfect score too.) I think her last master hurt her hand, there was something mentioned about it in the very beginning, but it wasn’t totally clear. My only complaint was that it felt too short, and I wanted more, especially after that ending!

    • Yes I definitely think that her hand was mentioned at the VERY beginning (something like “don’t make me break it again”), but given everything else I was trying to figure out, that detail didn’t stick very firmly ;-)

      Omg yes that ending! I need more now!!

  2. I’m so glad you liked this one, too! I’ve been seeing lots of good reviews for it, and it’s getting me really excited to read it! Great review!
    Kel @ Booked til Tuesday recently posted…Discussion: Indie/Self-Published ReadsMy Profile

  3. This is the second glowing review of this book that I’ve found today, and it makes me want to read the book even more! :O The premise is interesting, and I think Nym could become one of my favourite characters. Great review!
    Ana @ Read Me Away recently posted…Review 101: Book of a Thousand Days (Shannon Hale)My Profile

  4. And of course Mary Weber puts GRRM to shame when it comes to killing off characters. :P

    I enjoyed this book a lot, and can’t wait for the series to continue!

  5. Yay!! I am addicted to this cover (is that even possible? well I am!) so I’m really glad to hear that the book was so satisfying too. I love new magic systems, especially when complex and done right. And disability being included is awesome – too bad it wasn’t better handled with her hand, but still, props for the effort. Can’t wait to read it, great review!
    Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun recently posted…Guild Assassin by Berley Kerr | #COYER Book ReviewMy Profile

  6. Okay, seriously, I have NO idea how I missed out on hearing about Storm Siren until just this week! But it sound SO good, and definitely like a book I would really enjoy. It does help that I happen to be a sucker for a good elemental story too. Cannot wait to read this!
    Alexa S. recently posted…Alexa & Judith’s Epic Summer Read-along || Meet the FamilyMy Profile

  7. This was a pretty entertaining read. I had issues with the world building and some of the character development as well, and I agree that the politics weren’t made very clear. The ending, while pretty suspenseful and action-filled, was kinda messy because of that. But that cliffhanger! How heartbreaking and cruel, I loved it.

    • Haha, definitely heartbreaking but also much love! I kind of like feeling like I don’t completely understand the politics etc of the world since if they were simplistic enough for me to get right away, they’d be less realistic ya know?

  8. *dances* This might be a weekend all day read! I want to read this one SO BADLY! I am shocked that there are only two real issues.
    Lyn Kaye recently posted…Imaginative Discussions: Cover Loving – TypographyMy Profile

    • Hehe, I will say that I’ve seen reviews on the completely other side, so I’m not really sure why but it is a fairly divisive book ;-)

  9. This is one of the books I’ve wanted to get this month. Glad you liked it, Anya. I’m off to buy it now!

  10. Oi! I hate when I feel like I can’t keep up with secondary characters. :( I also think the damaged hand being mentioned repeatedly would drive me nuts. But, also love books that make you feel what the character is feeling.That’s a strength I think often gets overlooked/undervalued in some reviews.
    Lisa (@TenaciousReader) recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday – The Lesser DeadMy Profile

    • Hehe, this is why I have to take notes as soon as I finish a book since otherwise I would forget to mention that sort of thing ;-)

  11. This is on my maybe list if my library gets it :)
    Felicia S. (@thegeekyblogger) recently posted…Read It File It Audio Review: Dash of Peril by Lori FosterMy Profile

  12. If I hadn’t been looking on Blogger and seen Amber’s (my co-blogger) draft of her review, I would have never heard of this title before. I’d be interested, but I’m a bit perplexed from the description. Her kind “are only born male and always killed at birth”… Umm, how does that work? Yes, I am over-thinking things…
    Kayla Beck recently posted…Blog Tour (Guest Post): Dark Aemilia by Sally O’ReillyMy Profile

  13. This definitely sounds like a book I need to get my hands on and check out! I love fantasy books, and in particular magic. Overally Nym sounds like a very likeable character. I am glad you enjoyed this one so much!

    • Nym is pretty great, with the right number of flaws too ya know? I think I would like to be friends with her as long as she keeps her temper under control ;-)

  14. Very thorough and fair! I like how you pointed out the flaws as well as the strengths. Plus, every review I’ve read for “Storm Siren” convinces me even more than I ought to read the book. :)

  15. I really want to read this book! I saw it on one of my publisher programs but I grabbed something else instead. Should have been this one! I’m glad you like it.

    Erin @ The Book Nut
    Erin BookNut recently posted…On Quirk Books + Huge Quirk Books GiveawayMy Profile

  16. You are so right about the hand thing. I actually forgot about it because I thought it was weird when they brought it up because it didn’t seem to keep her from doing that much besides looking weird.
    Jen recently posted…Sugar on the Edge by Sawyer Bennett #BookReview #GiveawayMy Profile

    • Right?? I kept waiting for her to drop a sword or something. I couldn’t even tell you exactly what happened to it or anything because of how little description there was :-/

Trackbacks

  1. […] work cut out for her! If you want to avoid spoilers for the previous books, check out my reviews of Storm Siren and Siren’s […]

  2. […] To avoid major spoilers for Storm Siren, stop now if you haven’t read it and check out my review of Storm Siren […]

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