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Description⎮Reviewed Feb. 2016
Narrator: Arielle DeLisle
3.5 ★ Audiobook⎮ Something about the way Kiera Cass writes reminds me of sugary frosting. The writing style of this novel was very similar to that of The Selection series, it was light, fluffy, and filled with pretty flourishes of imagery. The difference, I was disappointed to realize, was that there was little more to The Siren than fluffy prettiness.
At least with The Selection there was something substantive underneath the frosting. Listening to The Siren was like eating a bowl of frosting. It tastes great going down, but doesn’t fill you up like a real meal would. Furthermore, you’ll probably feel sick from ingesting so much sugary sweetness. Food analogy aside, I’m sure you get my point.
The Siren lasted exactly 7 hours, which is very, very short for any audiobook, especially a standalone novel. Most YA audiobooks last between 8-12 hours, with some going as long as 14-16. Standalone novels can last upwards of 20 hours. I was surprised to make it to the halfway point of this audiobook (3.5 hours) and discover that the plot hadn’t really picked up any sort of momentum yet. That’s when I realized I was in trouble. Up until that point, I was enjoying the frivolity of the story, thinking that the serious plot stuff would come later on. But… it never really did.
Simply put, The Siren lacks any kind of depth. It was a quick, superficial story that didn’t take me long to get through and didn’t require much thought at all on the part of the listener. Even towards the end, it maintained its fairytale vibe and the plot became increasingly predictable. I will say that the basic premise for the story was a very original idea and the only other thing I can compare it to is Disney’s The Little Mermaid (and the myths from which that originates).
There is also a serious case of “insta-love”, which makes perfect sense to me given the obvious lack of depth in the entire story. I thought the individual characters were developed well enough, but never lived up to their full potential. I found myself disliking each of them at some point in the story, usually for being foolish and vapid.
Overall, this story’s development was just too insipid and shallow to be stimulating enough for me. It is fairly unremarkable and I doubt I will ever think about it again after this review, except to maybe lament what could have been. If only there had been a little cake underneath all of that frosting, I’m sure I would have come away much more satisfied.
Narration review: Arielle DeLisle provided delightful narration that fit the feel of the story perfectly. I was pleased with her tonal range and character distinction abilities. Her voice was very pleasant to hear and I felt she was an excellent choice for narrator of this story. Plus, I got a little chuckle out the fact that a woman named Arielle was narrating a story about a character who was basically a mermaid (or close enough). ♣︎