by Mary Weber
Read: June 8 - 10, 2014
Published: August 19, 2014 by Thomas Nelson / HarperCollins
Source: BEA read #3
Category: Fantasy, Elementals, YA
Find: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
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.
From the first page I was hooked on Storm Siren, and I loved it all the way until the end when I reached one of the worst cliffhangers ever. At the center of this book is one broken but powerful girl. But as I became caught up in Nym's personal journey and emotions, I found many more surprises and a lot greater action than I ever anticipated. At times the heart-aching tale of one girl, and at others a heart pounding rush filled with shocking revelations, political schemes and awe inspiring abilities, Storm Siren drew me in entirely.
It all begins at a slave auction where Nymia is being sold for the fifteenth time in 11 years. Nym doesn't last long at any one place, because whenever she gets angry or upset, she destroys something - or someone. Her current slave owner tells her to cover her long white hair because it is a dead giveaway about what she is: an Elemental Storm Siren who can control the weather. Though, usually it just controls her.
Because of all of the destruction Nym has caused, she considers her ability to be a curse. Proving her point, we get to see Nym in action right at the beginning of the book. When she gets angry at a leering slave buyer, a violent lighting storm immediately develops that puts an innocent child in danger. After this, I was both in awe of Nym and also could understand her inner brokenness about a power she never asked to have. It was a thrilling start.
This is really a book about a girl learning to love and accept who she is. Finding redemption and her own inner strength. Nym is feisty and bold at times, but she also possesses a tremendous amount of self-loathing and doubt about her curse. Nym believes she is a terrible person because of what she's done, even though the destruction she's caused has also saved her life many times. Nym memorializes the people she's hurt in the past by carving reminders on her body. It's a painful but visceral way for her to never forget. I love Nym's personal journey through this book, and I felt her emotions right along with her.
When the story begins, Nym feels utterly alone in the world. She's had no guidance or training, and since her parents' death, she has been passed around from one household to another. But throughout the course of the book, Nym meets several characters who become important to her. Two of my favorite of Nym's relationships are with Colin and Eogan. One is firmly in the friend category and the other definitely crosses the line into something else. There is no love triangle at all, so don't worry! But Nym has many fantastic scenes with both of these boys. Colin seems less serious and more young and cocky in the beginning, though also lovable. But I enjoyed the conversations that he and Nym share near the end of this book. Colin is one of the characters and moments that made the biggest impact on me in this story.
Nym's relationship with Eogan starts off with much more volatility. There were times I wanted to scream at him along with her, but I love how he pushes Nym out of her comfort zone. He challenges her to accept who she is and to believe that her ability truly is a gift that she can control and use. Eogan and Nym are a great counter and challenge to each other, and I was always looking forward to how they would would next set each other off. Eogan has that mysterious vibe going, a trait that sometimes seems overused. But I like how it was handled in this book. His character actually makes sense once you understand him better.
The only thing I wished for in this book was more information about the world and political situations, as well as the major players involved. We learn that it consists of 5 nations each featuring people with certain gifts. Not everyone has them, but they seem to originate in the people group. We meet or hear about individuals from each country, but I had a bit of trouble keeping them all straight at times. There were a lot of intriguing secondaries that I wanted to know more about, including their objectives and motives - The King, Princess Rosamund are two examples. Hopefully, we'll get more in book two.
The end killed me. Seriously one of the worst cliffhangers I've encountered. I'm holding out hope that author Mary Weber will continue to surprise us and things aren't exactly what they seem. In any case, she's made me completely desperate for the next installment in the series, and in awe of her ability to draw me into her characters' lives.
Love Triangle Factor: None
Cliffhanger Scale: HIGH
**Don't miss my interview with author Mary Weber, where we talk about Nym's character, the awesome guys in this book, her inspiration for Adora's costume parties and whether future books will have a love triangle.**