Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Storm Siren: Review


Slave girl + political star might seem an unlikely combination, but it's a combination Nym is stuck with. She's the slave girl, of course, and the political star is her owner Adora, who wants to hide Nym in the shadows of her brilliant entourage.

Adora also wants to turn Nym into her pet WMD, which might work if Nym cooperates--and if Nym doesn't turn deadly too soon.

18806259Welcome back to the second day of the CSFF tour for Mary Weber's Storm Siren. As always, you can find a lot of other people talking about this book at the tour's headquarters over here. Or, you can stick around and read my review right here!

First off, I was very excited to discover that this new fantasy author might soon become a favorite. (I'm waiting for the rest of the series, just to make sure.) Storm Siren has a lot of the elements that I like in fantasy--a mostly medieval setting, though with a fun steam-punk twist; vivid magical powers that bring both thrills and devastation; and an important legend woven into the story. Especially the legend...

Some fantasy gets away without have too much history in its world, while other fantasy gets bogged down. I won't go into much detail, but a huge part of why I loved this story was a certain legend introduced early in the novel. The legend, originally retold in a song, actually becomes important to the main story, instead of yet-another throw-away Tolkien/fantasy must-have-a-poem-in-the-story 'trappings.' So for me, the story gets a lot bonus points for both world-building and plot-development.

And for characters, there is Nym herself. Temperamental might describe her just as much as Elemental.

On that note, Storm Siren probably isn't the best choice for readers who like instant action or squeaky-clean stories. The story starts out slow--Nym spends the first half of the book getting oriented. It's partly the plot, which requires lots of political posturing and scheming to get the story going. It's also partly the writing, since Nym inserts a drama-queen attitude into the narration. She's got a lot of drama to be emotional about, given the way she's treated. At times, it's good drama. In her more emotional scenes, though, the attitude feels overwrought and repetitive.

After getting into the story, I mostly forgot the slow start, and Weber used Nym's past to develop some big issues like self-harm. (These particular parts do mean the book is better suited for an older-teen, mature audience.) Nym's past isn't pretty, but it felt real. On the other hand, her narrative interjections weren't always pretty either and in place, they got in the way of the story's flow. I still connected to her and the characters, but the emotional "telling" weakened the story's visceral punch.

Oh, and there is a sort-of romance running through all the political drama. Some readers believe there is also a love triangle, but I never really saw that in the story, at least reading it from Nym's perspective.

All that aside, I enjoyed the story, not to mention the cliff-hanger at the very end. Here again I differ from certain other readers, since some at least seem to assume bad things about the next book, based on this book's ending. I refuse to believe that particular train of thought, though, until I see more proof. I do believe there are plenty of bad things in store for Nym, but I'm hopeful that they will be the wonderful sorts of bad things that lead to another satisfying novel.

[My thanks to Thomas Nelson, Storm Siren's publisher, for providing me with a review copy in conjunction with this blog tour.]

Monday, April 13, 2015

Storm Siren: Blog Tour

Imagine...

Imagine a female Zeus--that is, imagine someone who is both illegal and downright impossible.

Curious how that works? Welcome back for the April Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy Tour. This month, we've been reading a book by a new author, the first in a series.

Storm Siren, by Mary Weber, introduces Nym, an unusual slave girl. Nym has had an unheard-of fourteen owners in the course of her young life. Given how she's destroyed all her previous owners, no one should want her now, but apparently someone does. Nym, after all, could make a powerful weapon in the nation's defense against one of it's oldest enemies. Of course, the idea could be a wee bit dangerous, considering that Nym has no idea how to control her own abilities, especially when people start getting on her nerves.

18806259I rather liked this story, and I'll give you a longer review tomorrow, but for now, feel free to check out some posts by the other tour participants.

Enjoy the tour!

Julie Bihn
Lauren Bombardier
Beckie Burnham
Vicky DealSharingAunt
George Duncan
April Erwin
Carol Gehringer
Victor Gentile
Ryan Heart
Timothy Hicks
Janeen Ippolito
Carol Keen
Emileigh Latham
Simone Lilly-Egerter
Jennette Mbewe
Shannon McDermott
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Joan Nienhuis
Nissa
Jalynn Patterson
Audrey Sauble
Chawna Schroeder
Jojo Sutis
Steve Trower
Phyllis Wheeler
Michelle R. Wood

*Storm Siren - on Amazon
Author Website - http://www.maryweber.com/

[My thanks to the publisher for sending me a review copy of Storm Siren in conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour.]