“When you sing, men will cross oceans to hear the sound of your voice. When you laugh, they will lose their hearts to you.”
*I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
*Note: May contain spoilers for the previous books*
When the cover of The Siren and the Deep Blue Sea jumped out at me yelling “read me, read me!” I had no idea it was the fifth and perhaps, last book of The Embraced series. Since the series follows five adopted sisters and each novel follows a sisters’ arc, I decided to read it as if it was a stand alone and pick up bits and pieces along the way. Surprisingly, it was a lot easier than I’d predicted. The story follows the youngest sister Maeve. Part Siren, part Selkie, Maeve has the ability to enchant with the power of her voice and shapeshift into a seal and communicate with her seal friends. Already I was loving reading about a Selkie.
Feeling a little left behind after her beloved sisters all found love and purpose as queens of the four kingdoms of Aethlan. She embarks on a journey to find the one man she’s been harbouring feelings for. Determined to help him on his mission to find the rumoured Embraced army threatening the newfound peace of Aethlan, Maeve sets sail for the Isle of Mist to find the Seer to ask for the location of both the army and Brody.
Cursed as a young boy by a vengeful Sea Witch, Brody’s embraced gift of shapeshifting is now his torment. Only permitted to wear his own form for a maximum of two hours a day, Brody spends most of his time as a dog and so serves as a spy for his friend, King Leo. Brody’s heart has belonged to Maeve for over four years. Not wanting to pursue Maeve for fear he cannot be the man she deserves while stuck as an animal, Brody has kept his distance. Only indulging himself in the form of a seal or an otter when she plays in the sea does Brody permit himself to be close to an oblivious Maeve. Or has she known her playmate was him all along?
The Siren and the Deep Blue Sea was a great coming of age story. Maeve was determined to go for what she wanted in life and not let others determine her capabilities. There were a few moments where she made some stupid mistakes, but I found those flaws to make her a little more real. I felt her frustrations as she was kept in the dark by her queenly sisters on the looming war and I mentally cheered when she steeled her resolve to use her Embraced gifts to help out in her own way.
Brody was a treat to read. It was interesting to see the conversations he could listen in to just by shapeshifting into a pelican or eagle. Brody’s reasoning for keeping Maeve at a distance was believable and understandable which was a relief. A lot of romance troupes have given weird, head-scratching excuses to keep a tension between to characters and I’m glad this book didn’t fall into that pit.
As a Young Adult fiction, the targeted audience is aimed at late teens, early adults and therefore focused more heavily on a light romance amidst a fantasy background. Surprisingly however, the chemistry between Maeve and Brody was more centred towards an Adult fiction. At the risk of sounding like a perv, when you’re reading a romance-fantasy that’s more romance and you’re there for every caress, every kiss and growing tension only to have the bedroom door shut in your face, it’s frustrating. It breaks the emersion of the story. So was happy to learn that for this story, you’re right there for the bickering, the first kiss, the arguments, the banter and the intimacy shared between Maeve and Brody.
In conclusion, I’m thrilled to say I’ll be picking up the first four stories following Maeve’s sisters. There was enough intrigue about past dealings they’ve endured in their own stories that has me wanting to read them even though I know the final outcome. The Siren and the Deep Blue Sea is expected to be published 25th of August, so I recommend starting at the beginning with How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days. Enjoy.