I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley.
I'm still scratching my head over why this was published by Thomas Nelson, a reputable publisher of Christian books, when I couldn't find any sort of Christian theme to this at all.
Getting past that, this was a great fantasy book to read.It starts out with Nym, a slave bought in the Kingdom of Faelen, who is used for her rare Elemental powers by her owner. Trained in how to control them, she is used as a weapon, whether she wants to or not, in a war against another kingdom that is trying to destroy Faelen. Nym uses her training to find her own redemption and in the process, enters into a stormy (pun unintended) relationship with her trainer, Eogan.
Mary Weber has created an amazingly realistic world, characters and situations. My heart wept for Nym as she tried to find redemption for her own very large part in her parents' deaths when she was young. The pain the author showed in her words was simple and heartbreaking. I found myself empathizing with Nym and connecting with her on a very emotional level. For a week, she became my friend.
I'm hoping that as the series progresses we will see more of the budding relationship between Nym and Eogan.
My heart is still bleeding. It is still too soon to write a review, yet I want to capture my initial thoughts and feelings before they fade.
*And having let the story simmer a bit, I still wouldnt change my initial reaction.*
This storyis amazing. Powerful. Heart-wrenching. The characters were leap off the page, dripping with raw emotions and life. I loved the authors voice and how she introduced her world to us. Sometimes I was a bit confused on what something was exactly, but the characters drove the story and the rest settled into place.
It was so good, until we got to the end. Great twist. But I hated the ending. There is no hint of a sequel, but leaving as the author did, there must be one. And if there is one, Im not entirely sure I would want to read it. Although, based on what some parts could be interpreted as and hinted at, there could still be hope. But Id not want to get my hopes up. Ack! But that said, it was well executed.
The story is fast paced, told in first person present tense, and sometimes the scene changes were confusing and jarring. The advanced reader copy I received was a kindle version and it was a mess. No paragraphs and all, so that might have added to some of the confusion at who was speaking and when.
I would definitely recommend it. And would love to discuss this book with other readers. Ha!
*I received an advanced reader copy from the publisher via net galley in conjunction with the book tour.
When I first heard about this book I had no idea what to expect, but I KNEW I had to read it! The cover alone is utterly breathtaking and the story wastes no time pulling the reader in.
Nymia, Nym, is being sold to her 15th slave owner when the story begins. All she knows is a life of abuse and destruction, home is a foreign word to her. She believes she is responsible for the deaths of her parents and she has power she cant control. She refuses to allow anyone to get close to her because she believes she will eventually destroy everything good around her. She is filled with anger and bitterness after having to survive in a world that has always been at war with suffering all around. The reader comes to love Nym immediately and its obvious that despite her deadly abilities, she has a good heart.
Since Nym is an Elemental, she is able to control any and all weather patterns in the story for her use. Her emotions are connected to the elements so its a good idea NOT to upset her. Most people are intelligent about this, but there are wicked characters throughout that test her in this. Some are as powerful as she is, some dont live very long.
Nym is given a deal to train her abilities to stop the enemy at war and save her kingdom. Many times in the book, she considers death instead due to the strain she endures while training. She has hardened her heart and would rather focus on running away in anger than facing what shes truly made of. I definitely understood her on a small level. It takes unbelievable courage, faith, and self-control to tame someones anger/bitterness/regret. However, I also know Nym is extraordinary and more capable of ANYTHING she has experienced in her past. She has purpose beyond others wanting to dominate her power. I also REALLY loved that Nym hates using her powers to attack others, even when they deserve it! She would rather protect the innocent and only kill as a last/necessary resort. She is devastated when innocent people are killed or destroyed. I also really loved reading about the weather around Nymlightning, wind, hail, rain, etc.
Nym reminded me of Halle Berrys Storm in XMen, except shes a child and she doesnt have a team of Elementals to work with. She is so much stronger than she realizes, but that revelation doesnt come until later and it makes a tangible difference in her character.
There is a lot of violence in the story, but nothing graphic (the betrayal and secrets in the story were worse than the violence for me). The story itself is written in powerful ways with beauty, danger, and nature. I really loved the way certain scenes are described from Nyms perspective even though there are some parts I couldnt understand very well, its poetic how the author makes Nyms body one with the elements around her. Around us roars a blizzard of my creation. Lightning bolts splice the ground beside our bodies. Pine needles and branches whip above our heads. I try to stop. To tell my curse to listen to his fingertips and calm down. But I dont know how to stop anymore. I cant. I only know how to weep and crumble and break as the fissure in my chest opens wide to swallow us.
My heart broke at the end even before the cliffhanger happened (oh boy, what an ending!). Im eager to see what happens in the sequel/trilogy, but not just over the abrupt ending. This book illustrates the pain and strength building for Nym to find out her value after being a slave her whole life. Shes had to hide who she is to survive and to escape scrutiny from wicked slave owners who could easily have her put to death once they discover shes an Elemental. Nym has never know physical or spiritual freedom and Im hoping that will be explored more in the next book.
Get ready before reading this book because nothing is what it seems! There are curses, wickedness, betrayal, war, and strange beings who attack without warning because most of the characters in this story care more about power and controlling that power than they are about the consequences of that power. There is also hope, adventure, friendship, and a trainer who is determined to protect Nym instead of allowing others to have their way with her. Faith doesnt really make an appearance in this book (at least not from Nyms perspective, but others have faith in her), its mostly about Nym discovering who she really is and finding the strength to let go. However, despite the intensity of the plot there is also healing, freedom, and growth in this story that is worth reading in Nyms journey! Even though there are lots of unpleasant parts in this story, the writing is incredible and the characters felt real to me. *includes a map and readers group guide*
I want to thank Laura Pol, the author, BookLook Bloggers, and Thomas Nelson for the review copy provided AND the chance to participate in this mega cool blog tour. Im grateful for the opportunity to read this debut novel and I will NOT get tired to looking at this cover, INCREDIBLY done! I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own.
Before even starting the book, I was ecstatic to read this book. The cover is g o r g e o u s. The dedication page made me grin like an idiot and wonder if Mary Weber somehow mind-melded with me (it mentions muses, magic, dragon hunters, and storming "bookish castles"). And of course, Mary Weber's bio on the back cover flap had me laughing . Everything in relation to the author is G O L D. So I was excited. If the author can be that interesting, her book has to be also, yeah?
Storm Siren was much more than that. It was... stunning.
I've been a bit disappointed in recent books coming from Thomas Nelson and other Christian publishing houses. They've just been lacking in areas of story building and multi-dimensional characters. But Storm Siren has boosted my hope in future books.
It's fantasy, which is my favorite. And it was done well. The magic had similar aspects to all magic in books but it just felt so refreshing to read. The world-building was solid. There are still mysteries about the kingdoms and the world, but I think it will fill in as the trilogy comes along. The plot kept me reading. It was stimulating; it had fast action, quick scenes, and riveting turns, but it also lingered when necessary. Nothing felt bogged down or over-done.
I like Nym. Her past is hard (I wish there were more glimpses of it), her powers are hard to get a handle on (freaking storm-summoner! That's awesome!), and she's been thrown into the mix without preparation. I love how she acts and interacts with others. She's relatable because she's not wholly good but she's not necessarily bad. She's a girl in a fix, but she could have been anyone. She has a deep heart and convictions. I like how her powers develop. I adore the other characters (especially Colin and Eogan. :D). None were too cliche or out of place.
But THAT ENDING. Sweet Lord of the Rings. That ending slayed me. I need the next book NOW. I mean, that was a fantastic cliffhanger and I will never, ever forgive her for it. Freaking. My mind is still blowing up because of it.
Storm Siren is definitely a book to keep your eye on. As a debut novel, I was blown away (freaking puns!). And I'm stoked to read the rest of the trilogy. This is how you write YA fantasy (especially in a shorter volume of pages).
Storm Siren is the first book in a trilogy of the same name and in a word - WOW!
Nym, which is short for Nymia, is a slave and has been since her parents violent death. But Nym can't keep an owner and she is about to be sold to her fifteenth master. But there is a secret about Nym, a secret that leaves destruction in her wake. She is an Elemental who can't control her powers. And she shouldn't exist, but she does. And her very existence may change the course of war that the small island kingdom of Faelen has been in for 100 years. A war that is not going in Faelen's favor.
But first Nym must agree to train as a weapon, learning to control the power that seemingly controls her. If she doesn't accept this opportunity she faces death... Nym accepts this challenge, though she doesn't believe control of her powers can be achieved. But she hasn't met Eogan the man tasked with training her in the mastery of her curse.
But even greater danger awaits as her new owner Adora watches her every move and threats lie beneath the surface of every command. And worst of all Nym doesn't know who she can trust.
I was totally swept up in this story. It had a draw and I literally couldn't put it down as I read it in one afternoon. There was a beauty in this story that was always present just as Nym's goodness was hidden beneath the surface and yet there. Her guilt at the deaths she caused was real. As she struggles to find who she really is and was meant to be one struggles with her.
I like that Storm Siren seems complete until the very end and then the trap is sprung and you are left wondering What???? And then your next thought is Poor Nym, what's she going to do?
My only complaint is I want to read book 2 now. But as the old saying goes Books don't grow on trees... (Yes, I know it is actually money but books would be better.)
Storm Siren is releasing on August 19, 2014 so get in line for a book you won't regret!
I was provided a digital copy of this book by the publisher through the BookLook blogger program in exchange for my honest opinion.