ARC Review: The Siren’s Secret (The Shapeshifter’s Secret #2)

The Siren’s Secret by Heather Ostler
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Estimated Release Date 6/11/2013
Source – Arc from publisher through NetGalley

Julia’s life has gone from complicated to nearly impossible! When Julia loses her shapeshifting powers and her appearance changes in alarming ways, she flees to Sirenity, where she learns an incredible secret about her mother. In this thrilling sequel, Julia must take greater risks and make bigger sacrifices as she discovers who she really is and what she can really become.

I can say with 100% certainty, the cover made me choose this book. It is stunningly gorgeous, really fits the story, and I utterly adore it.

Aside from the cover, my thoughts on this book are really mixed. Bear with me as I try and sort out my mess of feelings on this story.

Let’s start at the beginning. This is a sequel, but have no fear if you haven’t read the first one. The author gives you a long, dry, drawn out narrative of the character reminding you (or informing you) about everything that happened in the last book. This went on for over 10 pages, straight. (no, not weaved in, or seamless) I hadn’t read the first book, but if I had I might have stopped right there out of boredom.

I get it, I do. It is great when a reader can come into a series that is already in progress. I honestly admire that. But the infodropping needs to be more like infosprinkles and less like infolandmines.

I stuck with it, and eventually we got to the actual story of the current book, and it improved. Sort of. The plot did, anyway. The writing and the tone was still sadly a bit dry. I constantly found myself rolling my eyes. The dialogue was the worst. Very, very unrealistic. It was like “Oh Caleb, I’m so mad at you so could you go stand over there where I don’t have to look at you while I sit here and pout? Thanks, I really appreciate that you are willing to give me space even while you sulk.” – No, that isn’t an actual line from the story, it is me exaggerating a bit. But it was how I felt like they were talking. The dialogue was very introspective and indulgent and not at all realistic.

Why am I going on and on about this? Because underneath the storytelling style that bugged the heck out of me, was a good story. I actually really did like the plot, and I continued to read when while resisting the urge to give up, because I honestly wanted to know what happened. I’m rating this book low because it honestly was not for me. But if this writing style doesn’t bother you and you are a plot driven reader, you could very well really like this book.

I’m a character driven reader, and I really didn’t bond with any of the characters. I didn’t even particularly like any of them. I thought Julia was a selfish spoiled brat. I thought her father was a moron, and I thought both of the boys deserved better.

The best advice I can give is wait until this is available as an ebook, download the sample, and try it for yourself. If you aren’t bothered by the style, consider buying it because underneath an unrefined storytelling style, is a gem of a story with important themes like “nothing is set in stone, make your own future, and karma is a bitch.”

One other thing – If you are reading this for the romance bit – I wouldn’t. It really isn’t a romance, even though there is a ‘love triangle.’

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