March 9, 2016

Mini-reviews: Siren's Song + Stone Field


pub 3/1/16 by Thomas Nelson
YA - Fantasy
Received via Netgalley
I really have Wunderkind PR to thank for putting this series on my radar. I had never heard of it before and when they sent me the first two books, I quickly loved Mary Weber’s take on Elemental magic and her heroine, Nym. While I have a soft spot for the first book and the beginning of Nym’s adventure, this was a solid ending to the trilogy. One that made me laugh and even get slightly choked up at parts. Weber just created these characters I felt so strongly for. Aside from Nym, there’s Eogan (be prepared for swoons!), her dear friend Rasha and a couple other people who wormed their way into my heart. Siren’s Song is the moment the entire series has been working towards—facing Draewolf head on, with the help of Nym’s homeland of Faelaen and the combined powers of herself and her friends. The final battle is certainly a powerful scene but my one rservation with the entire series has always been Draewolf. I’ve always had trouble picturing him and how his magic worked. I can see Nym, Eogan and everyone else’s use of magic very clearly, but not his. But aside from that, I really enjoyed this series ender. Nym is her usual awesome self, swearing up a storm (hah!) and thus making me love her even more. I loved the romance, the friendships and how it all ended.

Do I recommend? I do! If your library happens to have these books in stock, I would recommend checking them out.


pub 3/29/16 by Roaring Brook Press
YA - Historical Romance
Received ARC from pub
This was a very strange book. I’m sure I knew at one point that it was inspired by Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights but it wasn’t until I saw it mentioned again at the end that I got a “oh I kind of understand the book better now” moment (except not really). It takes place in a small town, with even smaller minds, and right at the cusp of the Civil War. Catrina is considered a wild, young woman who doesn’t seem to care much for responsibilities. Her father and an overbearing, judgmental older brother (clearly, I didn’t like him) try to stop her from running around the woods but can’t. It’s there she sees a boy her age who is sick with a fever and has no memory of who he is. She and her father take him in and naturally, Catrina and Stonefield (she names him after the place she found him in) fall passionately in love at first sight. Right off the bat, their relationship felt more lustful and obsessive than real. In fact, some aspects of their “love” made me wonder if they both had a couple screws loose. Then the whole trajectory of the story was just so choppy. They meet, they fall in love, there’s a war, her brother is a jerk, a fanatic preacher comes along and wants to save Cat from her sins (I’m sure how you can guess how he wants to save her), the whole town disapproves of Cat’s life and random people show up who do awful things that in no way help or advance the plot. The pace was admittedly fast and that’s part of the reason why I finished. It’s a quick read and the writing isn’t bad. But there’s never a moment when I understood these characters or any of their motivations. There seemed to be a whole history missing that I think would’ve provided so much more context, had it been provided. 

Do I recommend? It’s not something I would personally recommend unless you’re someone who loves Wuthering Heights and can therefore embrace the similarities. I read the book a very long time ago and it was never a favorite of mine so maybe that’s why the tone and story was a bit lost on me. 

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