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Title: Sound of Sirens (Tales of Skylge #1)
Author: Jen Minkman
Publication Date: November 28, 2014
Synopsis: An ancient land protected by a Tower of Light,
its people ever tempted by Siren song,
and a girl who falls for the wrong boy.
On the island of Skylge, electricity is only for the Currents – the rich ruling class who once came from across the sea and brought the holy fire of St. Brandan to Skylge. Ever since, the light in the Brandaris Tower has protected the islanders. Heeding the Siren's call will drown your body and steal your soul, but the sacred light in the Tower will chase the merfolk away.
When Skylger girl Enna welcomes her brother back from a long sea voyage, he gives her a special present from the mainland – an electronic record only playable on a Current device. The problem is that Royce Bolton, Current heartthrob and the town’s most gifted pianist, wants it too. After she stubbornly refuses to sell the LP featuring his favorite artist, he suggests sharing the record by secretly meeting up in his private summer house. Taken aback yet thrilled, Enna agrees – and discovers that there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to Current society and the history of Skylge. Why do the Sirens tempt the islanders to give themselves up to the sea? And where does the Currents’ monopoly on electricity really come from?
While struggling with these questions, Enna begins to fall for Royce, risking everything to be with a guy who is clearly wrong for her. She will learn that the sound of Sirens isn’t the most treacherous thing out there to haunt her dreams.
(The setting of Tales of Skylge is loosely based on the Dutch island of Terschelling, or Schylge in the island’s dialect. Although the names and places in this book will sound very familiar to people living on the island, the characters and events are, of course, entirely fictitious in nature.)
Review: I've been a huge fan of Jen's writing since I first read The Island. I love that trilogy, and then I read The Space In Between and fell in love with Jen's gorgeous writing all over again. And then she sent me Sound of Sirens, and I'm pretty sure there's nothing Jen can't write about. This book is just full of fabulous world building, character development, mystery, romance, and so many other incredible things.
First of all, there's Enna. She's a Skylger girl just trying to get by with her aging father and her sailor brother who is absent for long periods of time when he's away at sea. Most of this book focuses on Enna and Royce, and how they meet in secret to share the LP and how their relationship develops from there. But in the course of watching their relationship grow and change, we also learn quite a bit about Enna, Royce, the Sirens, and the island. The way that all of the world-building is built into and around the characters is flawless, and I loved learning about the sirens and the island and all of that at the same time that I was getting to know Enna and Royce.
Royce bothered me a little bit because of the way he treats Enna in public, but I also understood why he does what he does. He's part of a very influential Current family, and the relationship between the two groups of people is incredibly tense. But still. He could give a girl a little heads-up or something without having to break her heart all over the place. Silly teenagers.
There's still so much I want to know about this world and about the Sirens, and I'm so glad that Light of Lorelei is out in the world already! I'm so excited to read the sequel and the rest of this fantastic new series, and I would totally recommend it for anyone looking for a romance with a bit of fantasy/sci-fi/dystopia thrown in. It's an excellent read, and was definitely one that I didn't want to put down. In fact, I'm pretty sure I read it all in one sitting. So yeah. Definitely a 4/5!