Sunday, May 4, 2014

Review of ‘The siren’s secret’ by Debbie Herbert

A review copy was provided by the author in return for an honest review. Due to personal commitments, it took me much longer than expected to read this book and to complete my review. I apologize to the author for that.
I must say that ‘The siren’s secret’ intrigued me. I never read a mermaid book before, and I was tempted to think that I will come across a bedtime tale rewritten to accommodate the reading tastes of an adult audience. Instead, I came across a complex plot that blends together romance, crime, social and family issues, all presented with a surprising normality, considering that the main character is not our everyday heroine. She’s a modern day woman with a real job, but a mermaid nonetheless, a marine creature with the head, torso, and arms of a woman and the tail of a fish.
The pros:
Debbie Herbert managed to combine a thriller, a romance and the paranormal element and make them look like our day-to-day life.
The romance is intense at times (graphic scenes alert!), but as opposed to other books that I read, it is not an unrealistic fairy tale. It contains all plausible elements of a love story: initial flame, emotions, conflict, heartache, trials, intimacy and so on.
The author managed to capture really well the family issues that tormented the households of the main characters. Quite complex situations involving painful truths, challenges, feuds between characters, reconciliation etc.
The description of the villain and his actions is just as intricate. We don’t only learn about his crimes, but we see inside his head, how he thinks, what prompted him to turn into the man he is today.
I also loved how the author captured life in the Alabama Bayou. It gave me a sense of authenticity, making me feel that I was actually walking along the town streets. It is great to read a story that gives a sense of time and place, and this novel achieved just that.
The cons:
Although I much appreciated the down-to-earth side of the romance story, I thought that it started too abruptly, only to go back to normality as I kept reading. Having said that, I disagree with other reviews that I read about this book. Some readers were disappointed with the relationship’s failure to really spark, but I truly think that the author managed to capture very well the initial intensity that characterizes the beginnings of a flame, then went on to describe what most people go through in their love life: setbacks and disappointments, mistrust, resilience and, ultimately, endurance.
I thought, however, that the characters failed to properly develop throughout the book, which probably prompted some readers to question the realism and depth of this love story. I felt that Tillman was too much of a contradiction, his reactions quite erratic, confusing and often unjustified, as it was his rudeness and professionalism. He is not a well-defined individual, which is a shame, considering his status as a main character. I cannot say that Shelly was really fleshed out either, but the author’s consistency in describing the differences between her and the two other mermaids (her cousins) created a feel of character authenticity, which ultimately saved the day.
I also have a problem with the clichéd life story of the villain. The typical childhood issues that turned him into a criminal would more rightfully belong to a newspaper clipping that summarizes a series of murders. I felt that the author failed to use her imagination, offering a trite, hackneyed scenario instead.
Tillman’s mother and brother are unnecessarily predominant in the book, and fail to contribute to fleshing him out. While some of the scenes involving them are clearly needed to move the plot forward, I thought that some other were there just to provide filling.
As opposed to the rest of the book, the ending is disappointingly slow, and I could see it coming from a mile.
I have mixed feelings about this book. The writing and the dialogues aren’t as strong as they should be, there are pros and cons as described above, but overall I think that this is a very interesting and pleasant read, as it blends really well many potent elements. Without being an adrenaline pumper, this novel is quite attractive, and I would recommend it to all lovers of unusual paranormal.
Debbie’s novel can be purchased on Amazon in Ebook format. Click HERE to access the purchase link.
Review of A Bridge to Cross
by Edward R Hackemer


Share This!

No comments :

Post a Comment

Powered By Blogger · Designed By Seo Blogger Templates