Title: Songs From the Deep
Author: Kelly Powell
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery/Thrillers, Historical Fiction, Romance
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Publication date: November 5th, 2019
The sea holds many secrets.
Moira Alexander has always been fascinated by the deadly sirens who lurk along the shores of her island town. Even though their haunting songs can lure anyone to a swift and watery grave, she gets as close to them as she can, playing her violin on the edge of the enchanted sea. When a young boy is found dead on the beach, the islanders assume that he’s one of the sirens’ victims. Moira isn’t so sure.
Certain that someone has framed the boy’s death as a siren attack, Moira convinces her childhood friend, the lighthouse keeper Jude Osric, to help her find the real killer, rekindling their friendship in the process. With townspeople itching to hunt the sirens down, and their own secrets threatening to unravel their fragile new alliance, Moira and Jude must race against time to stop the killer before it’s too late—for humans and sirens alike.
“A flash of silver under sea, where siren song hath taken me. Absent of color, absent of light, absent of all that I knew in life. Bolt the latch and watch the waves, pray the sirens do not take me tonight.”
Whenever I hear the word siren in a book or a movie or just anything, I’ll definitely pick it up, so needless to say as soon as I knew that this book had sirens in it I added to my TBR. I thought the premise was so intriguing and interesting, and since I’m a huge fan of murder mystery stories (with sirens!) I went with pretty high expectations, thinking I was going to absolutely love Songs From the Deep. Unfortunately, I was so highly disappointed by the execution of the story.
My main issue with this book was that I honestly expected to see more sirens in it. I know it is a pretty stupid reason to dislike a book, but I technically didn’t like it just because of that, but that was an added bonus. I think we barely got any information of the sirens, apart from how they looked and that they took humans from the surface and yada, yada, yada. The most unique element of the story, and the one in my opinion could have made the book stood out was barely addressed throughout the story, and only walked by. I would have loved for the author to explore that magical world and integrate it with the plot, instead of just being a separate element of the story.
Now, my biggest issue with this book was regarding the plot. Even though I for sure am not an expert in mysteries, I’ve read quite a few of them throughout these few years, and I’m quite good at anticipating those big revelations. And I think that this particular book didn’t add a lot to what I have previously read. It was a very generic murder mystery, with a lot of similar elements that other stories have, so I didn’t have that sense of anticipation and wanting to know who the murderer was, or that there was going to be a major plot twist that would blew my mind, and if a mystery doesn’t keep me engaged and thrilled to want to continue reading it, it’s missing something.
“They are distant and impassive, marble statues staring out to sea. Movement is rarely what catches their attention. Sound is how they hunt, what they wait for. Any noise, whether soft or abrasive, is tenfold more interesting to them than a little wave of fingers or shuffle of feet.”
The ending and that big revelation was so predictable in my opinion, and the way it was done was a bit weird and strange, and maybe not the best to create that shocking element to the reader, and how everything was solved was a bit too convenient and juvenile.
When it comes to the characters, my main thought is they were okay but weren’t mind blowing. Since it was a very short book and the majority of the story was purely focused on the plot (till the point I felt I was reading the same exact thing over and over again), it didn’t leave a lot of room for the characters to shine. Our protagonist was brave and had so much potential, but honestly she felt quite flat to me. We didn’t know that much about her apart from her relationship with her father and how she was fascinated by mermaids, but she didn’t have pretty much any evolution throughout the story. Her interactions were a bit odd sometimes, and the romance was just so unnecessary because she barely had any chemistry with her love interest, and with everything that was going on regarding those murders, that romance honestly seemed like it came out of nowhere, since those characters were that simple.
Overall, I was sadly pretty disappointed with Songs From the Deep. I had such high expectations, but the plot and characters didn’t hit that mark for me, and though it had a very interesting concept, it was a bit boring. The pacing was so lineal that it didn’t build that anticipation the reader should have while reading a mystery, and I just wish I had seen more sirens in it.
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for and honest review. This doesn’t change my opinion whatsoever. All thoughts are my own.
“I don’t know whether the sirens watch me as I leave, or if the cliff0s edge holds a pull of its own. Whichever way, my heart feels leaden as I head for home. But I have long realized a piece of it will always belong to the sea.”
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