Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most–a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen and or remain a human forever.
The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby–it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good–But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?
This book was Ridiculous, with a capital R. Ridiculous. The world building, the characters, the dialogue…everything was super silly. I still had a pretty good time reading it though, although I think I would have fared better if I’d been in the right frame of mind heading into it.
I think one of the biggest downfalls of this book is its world building–it’s all over the place. I was getting whiplash trying to figure out what I’m supposed to be imagining here. Greek myths combined with Pirates of the Caribbean. Feels like the golden age of piracy to some extent but there’s buttons on clothing so probably later and also…sonar? Not to mention every kingdom being the ‘land of’ whatever, each port they visit having some specialty about their culture or land. It’s sloppy feeling. It’s like the author took a bunch of stuff and threw it together. And you know, that’s fine. I’m not super into world building and if you let yourself go just enough you can overlook this but even I had trouble suspending my disbelief at times–things just kept taking me right out of the story. For example there are a land of ice people. But they all have Japanese names for some reason? But it’s not Japan or even faux Japan so why the Japanese names? Could have literally made up any type of names. Also, why does Elian keep calling himself a pirate when he never actually does any actual acts of piracy??? Look, just because you ‘dress like a pirate’ (whatever that means – pretty sure actual pirates just called their outfits ‘clothes’ and not pirate outfits) doesn’t mean you’re a pirate. LOL. This book.
The second biggest downfall of this book is the characters and dialogue. They’re just plain silly. When I was reading this book I was explaining the plot to my my husband and he came back with this summary:
I’m a bloodthirsty siren and I want to kill all the pretty princes. And I’m a prince, also a siren hunter. Let’s date.
And while that’s slightly oversimplifying things, it made me laugh because it’s still pretty spot on. Look, I love enemies to lovers. I’m a huge sucker for that trope. And it’s hardly ever done accurately where the characters are actual enemies and not just people who slightly annoy one another. Because it’s not easy to pull off and make it believable. So this book’s M.O. seems to be ‘fuck believability, let’s have fun’. And because of that, it somehow works. It’s a good enemies to lovers if you just don’t think too hard about how cheesy things are. Because there is So. Much. Cheese. The ending! Super cheesy! One of the most cheesy lines is right at the climax. (Won’t post it obviously because of spoilers.) Elian is full of swagger (is it actually earned though? Who knows? Who cares?) Lira feels slightly more fleshed out. She’s a bloodthirsty killer of princes but she somehow winds up becoming the most sympathetic character in the story. I do think she was written with a little more nuance that everyone else at least. As for the side characters–well, they’re there and they’re amusing.
ANYWAY. I think there’s a lot of potential for a reader to have a great time with this book. You have to turn your brain off to make it work, but sometimes that’s just the type of mindless entertainment a body craves. Kind of like the Fast & Furious movies. 🙂 Because, despite all the weird inconsistencies in the world building, the story itself is still pretty fun. Unfortunately for me, I guess I was expecting something a little more serious. Or perhaps it’s my fault because right before I read this one I read a book that was so incredibly thoughtful in its world building that it made things here stand out for me. Either way, this didn’t work out to be as fun for me as I’d hoped. But maybe it will for you! 3/5 stars.