Sunday, January 17, 2016

Review: Siren's Call by Jayne Castle

Title: Siren's Call
Series: Harmony, Rainshadow
Author: Jayne Castle
Read copy: Mass Market Paperback
Published: July 28, 2015
Publisher: Jove
ISBN: 0515155748
ISBN-13: 9780515155747

In the mysterious world of Harmony, there are places filled with unexplored marvels. But Rainshadow Island isn’t about to give up its secrets...

In the alien catacombs of Rainshadow, there are creatures whose compelling songs lure the unwary to their death. That’s why Rafe Coppersmith, hired to clear out the catacombs for exploration, needs a music talent. He knows the perfect one, but she probably doesn’t want anything do with him...

Ella Morgan had once fallen hard and fast for Rafe, but then he disappeared for months…and he’s not about to tell her why. Ella, too, has secrets that only her dust bunny knows. She’s not just a music talent, she’s a Siren: a paranormal singer capable of singing men to sleep—or to their deaths.

But once on Rainshadow, Rafe and Ella will learn that surrendering to passion doesn’t come without risks—and fighting fire with fire only adds to the flame...

My rating:

Three months ago, they met in the Underworld and he promised to call. A promise he didn't keep. Now he's back in her life, seeking her professional help.

This was a rather disappointing read, if I'm totally (and brutally) honest. I expect more and better from one of my favorite authors. This wasn't par with her other work, that's for sure.

First, I had a feeling it was supposed to be a longer book, but it was cut "for time". I sure wish there was a "director's cut" version to compare notes. If it were a movie, it would definitely suffer from choppy editing. I just felt there were parts missing. Essential parts that would (probably) round out the story and fill in the gaps and holes it was riddled with.

The major aspect of the story that suffered because of the "editing snafu" was romance. I'm the first to admit that I'm a fan of romantic suspense because it contains elements beside romance, but a good romance goes a long way toward delivering a solid, gripping story.
This one wasn't good. Far from it, really. It was all show and no tell, there was no "romantic" vibe between the two protagonists, just the usual attraction, and even that one wasn't that special. For example, the blurb mentioned how the heroine fell hard and fast for the hero. Where in the story is that even mentioned? They met, they touched to share the psi load, she heard some Marvin Gaye, he invited her for coffee, never called...And she's fallen for him? I guess falling for someone isn't what it used to be.
Also, the whole romance arc was rushed as if written merely as an afterthought. I know all stories more or less happen in a span of a few days, but the previous ones in both series at least had a seed of plausibility. You know, the bond-sparked-by-sharing-danger thing. I missed that in this story. As I said, it was told, not shown.

The only redeeming quality, barely at that, was the suspense and the few action scenes.

Since I expected more, I can't help but feel disappointed. And a little bit cheated.


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