REVIEW: SIREN by Tricia Rayburn

SIREN by Tricia Rayburn

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: EgmontUSA (July 13, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606840746
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606840740
  • Rating: YY 1/2

  • Seventeen-year-old Vanessa Sands is afraid of everything--the dark, heights, the ocean--but her fearless older sister, Justine, has always been there to coach her through every challenge. That is until Justine goes cliff diving one night near the family's vacation house in Winter Harbor, Maine, and her lifeless body washes up on shore the next day.

    Vanessa's parents want to work through the tragedy by returning to their everyday lives back in Boston, but Vanessa can't help feeling that her sister's death was more than an accident. After discovering that Justine never applied to colleges, and that she was secretly in a relationship with longtime family friend Caleb Carmichael, Vanessa returns to Winter Harbor to seek some answers.

    But when Vanessa learns that Caleb has been missing since Justine's death, she and Caleb's older brother, Simon, join forces to try to find him, and in the process, their
    childhood friendship blossoms into something more. Soon it's not just Vanessa who is afraid. All of Winter Harbor is abuzz with anxiety when another body washes ashore, and panic sets in when the small town becomes home to a string of fatal, water-related accidents . . . in which all the victims are found grinning from ear to ear.

    As Vanessa and Simon probe further into the connections between Justine's death and the sudden rash of creepy drownings, Vanessa uncovers a secret that threatens her new romance, and that will change her life forever.


    I am always on the prowl for a fascinating paranormal read and with the current market being saturated with Vampires, Werewolves and Fairies it was refreshing to find a story focused on the mythical creatures of Sirens. Unfortunately I was left with a lackluster tale that failed to keep me enthralled.

    SIREN centers on Vanessa, a girl that is highly phobic who is trying to cope with the recent death of her older sister. Although this story focuses on Vanessa's mission to discover the reason for her sisters' demise I never can relate or understand her because her grief does not seem authentic and her fears are unfounded. My lack of concern for her character spread out onto this story's pages and I could not even find enjoyment in the romantic aspect of this story that normally would have my rapt attention.

    Another issue I encountered with SIREN is the lack of Siren lore and story building. They are posed as shallow and conniving creatures but without the seductive dark edge that normally is synonymous with their kind. I wish that their motiviation had been a bit more complex and meaningful for this story would have had a stronger base.

    What I did enjoy about this story is the tension that seemed to slowly build and escalate. The slow pace was key to providing the dramatic edge that ultimately kept me anchored to the story. I only wish that it was enough to keep my interested in subsequent SIREN books that I cannot confess to keep reading.

    3 comments on "REVIEW: SIREN by Tricia Rayburn"

    Jazz Sexton wrote: December 7, 2010 at 7:35 PM

    I'm so glad I read this review before I picked up the book. I don't understand why an author would write about mythological creatures without plunging into the lore.

    Marie wrote: December 8, 2010 at 3:08 PM

    I don't know much about Siren's but I really enjoyed this one!

    Kelly aka yllektra(I Work For Books) wrote: December 9, 2010 at 1:52 AM

    The story seems quite fascinating- I like mysteries- but it's a shame it failed to deliver.
    Thanks for the review!

    Kelly @ I Work for Books

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