Siren by Tricia Rayburn

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Siren by Tricia Rayburn

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Category: Teens
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Robert James
Reviewed by Robert James
Summary: Enjoyable adventure with a well developed central pairing and a great setting. Recommended for fans of the paranormal.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 384 Date: January 2011
Publisher: Faber Children's Books
ISBN: 978-057126006

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17-year old Vanessa has always been looked after by her more adventurous, outgoing older sister Justine. So when her sister is found dead while they're on vacation in Winter Harbor, and Justine's boyfriend Caleb goes missing, she's devastated. Desperately searching for answers to Justine's demise, she returns to Harbor seeking answers, and teams up with Caleb's brother Simon to find them. Then the weather gets strange, and other bodies start turning up… can they solve the mystery?

This is a good read with some really outstanding aspects, notably the slow development of the relationship between Simon and Vanessa, childhood friends who are finally starting to look at each other in a new light, and the setting of Winter Harbor, a small community struggling to cope with modernisation and now hit by a wave of deaths and some bizarre weather. The actual cause of the deaths is fairly obvious (hint, read the title!) but it wasn't as predictable as I thought it would be, with some nice unexpected twists and turns thrown in as Rayburn built up a great mythology for the sirens. The supporting cast here is particularly well developed as well, ranging from the surly local writer Oliver to Vanessa's new friend Paige and her mysterious grandmother Betty, who has some deep secrets of her own…

I have to say in general I found the human aspect of the book to be rather more impressive than the paranormal parts. While I love the obvious care and attention Rayburn put into her planning of the sirens they didn't seem quite as interesting as some of the other supernatural creatures featured in books like these, but that was made up for by the great characterisation.

The ending is an absolutely fantastic one, rounding things off pretty well for the book but leaving some questions still to be answered – and thankfully there are at least two more books coming to answer them in. I'm definitely looking forward to book 2, Undercurrent, and as a series this is looking like it has great prospects.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

Further reading suggestion: For a non-supernatural study of grief after a sister dies, The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson was my favourite young adult book of the last 12 months. For more supernatural adventure, you can't go wrong with Beautiful Creatures and Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.

Buy Siren by Tricia Rayburn at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Siren by Tricia Rayburn at

Buy Siren by Tricia Rayburn at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Siren by Tricia Rayburn at


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