Sunday, December 7, 2014

Sound of Sirens By Jen Minkman Book Review

Title- Sound of Sirens (Tales of Skylge #1)
Author- Jen Minkman
Source- ebook 
Pages- 170
Publisher- Dutch Venture Publishing
Publication Date- November 27th, 2014

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.)
Amazon  Barnes&Noble
Sound of Sirens just released last week and is only 99 cents available for Nook and Kindle!


Cover Thoughts-
It's very beautiful and gives off the ethereal feel you would expect from a siren or something of that nature. It makes me want to open the book and read something different for once.

First Thought-
When I read the summary and began the book I was immediately absorbed into the culture of the island of Skylge. This novel is the first of it's kind. I read a lot of paranormal romance but none with sirens or so many mixes of cultures. I was very excited to get started reading.

Sound of Sirens is a very interesting mix of modern lifestyles and traditional lifestyles. Enna, a Skylger, lives with her dad and brother without electricity because the Currents made it forbidden to Skylgers. When Enna's brother returns home he brings her a LP, but Enna only has a phonograph that cannot play it.  Lucky for her Enna meets a very handsome, very Current Royce who will share his electric machine so they can listen to it together. Very quickly this sharing relationship turns into something more. The old battle between Currents and Skylgers makes their relationship forbidden. Sound of Sirens feels very magical and lyrical. It is the kind of novel that inspires you to search for more afterwards. The LP by Jyoti Verhoeff holds significance and I couldn't help but play the music while reading. I felt like I was by myself listening to the eerie songs of the sirens floating on a beautiful cloud of words. I tend to go out of my way to search for novels that are very different from the usual paranormal romance, I admit I might be a bit tired of vampires, werewolves, witches, etc, but I really want to know more about sirens. The ending left me a bit unsatisfied. I felt like Enna could be too forgiving. I wanted her to be more angry than sad, but I understand that Enna suffers from the loss of her mother and the problems of being a Skylger. I hope the second in the series gives me more information about the history between Currents and Skylgers. I felt like Jen Minkman was just barely touching the surface. I love the romance with Enna and Royce and I love the music influence but I need more information of the cultures and their views on the Sirens.

Overall Readability-
If you are like me searching for a paranormal romance a little different from what you are used to then, I strongly recommend Sound of Sirens. If you are the kind of reader that is transported into another life, and likes the traditional battle between two cultures then, this is it.

My Final Thought-
I am patiently waiting for the second installment. I can't wait to dive in again and get entranced by the struggle between the Currents and the Skylgers.

4 out of 5 Haunted Roses

Sound of Sirens is strongly influenced by music of many varieties. I was inspired to create my own playlist to match with this novel. One of the artists I added from the novel is Jyoti Verhoeff. Her music is ethereal and sounds just like the sirens I envision. Below are some music videos. If you enjoy these videos then I know you will enjoy the book.

~Author Information~

Jen Minkman (1978) was born in Holland, in the town of Alphen aan den Rijn. When she was 19, she moved between The Hague, Salzburg (Austria), Brussels (Belgium) and Cambridge (UK) to complete her studies in intercultural communication. She is currently a teacher of English and Dutch at a secondary school in The Hague, Holland. She tries to read at least 100 books a year (and write a few, too!). She is a published author in her own country, and translates her own books from Dutch into English for self-publication.
In her spare time, she plays the piano, the guitar and the violin. For every novel she writes, she creates a soundtrack.

'I have always been drawn to writing. My first book was a sci-fi novel at the age of eight, which I painstakingly typed out on my dad's typewriter and illustrated myself. Nowadays, I stick to poetry, paranormal romance, chicklit and/or fantasy. In my home country, I am the first-ever published writer of paranormal romance, and I will gradually make my books also available in English (seeing I have to re-write and translate the books myself, this will take some time!).'