The book does not fall into a genre that I would normally read and so I was not surprised to find that I did not enjoy The Siren's Tale. The story moves continuously, and at times confusingly, from past to present with a multitude of characters. I found the first chapter rather long and tedious, even though I realised that it was meant to be an introduction to provide some history of the sirens. Such a long and detailed exposition is not the best way of pulling in this reader’s attention and I would have preferred much of this to emerge as the tale progressed. However, I was relieved to find the book is well written by an obviously talented author – such a treat in the growing world of poorly crafted indie books.
This is a story that takes sirens of Greek mythology and places them into the modern world - and it is well done. Most of the story takes place in the early twentieth century and involves Cassandra, one of the last remaining sirens in the world. She has to battle with the inner conflict between her two life forces, that of siren against human nature. Whereas a siren is described as an “unrepentant pagan spirit”, unwilling to conform, with a ravenous sexual appetite and magical power, the loving and rewarding relationships that Cassandra experiences throughout her life constantly force her to realise a change of heart.
Let me state at this point that I am not a prude, and as a child of the 1960s who read the unexpurgated versions of D H Lawrence, and who recently enjoyed novels of Anthony Burgess I am difficult to shock. But I find the frequent use of crude expletives in the narrative of a book very disappointing – and they are liberally scattered about in this novel. The use of crude profanity in the dialogue is to be expected sometimes and I find that generally acceptable as it conveys reality. In the narrative I feel it detracts from the overall quality of the book.
The Siren’s Tale can be recommended to those readers who enjoy paranormal erotic romance. It has humour, believable settings and powerful characters, with a hint of magic. It reminds me very much, in parts, of the novels of Dennis Wheatley (eg. To The Devil a Daughter, The Satanist) who I read and enjoyed as a young adult. Even though it is not my kind of read nowadays I considered giving this book 5 stars because it so well done in so many areas, but, because of the lack of subtlety in the narrative describing so many sensual scenes, it finished up with 4 stars from me.
Rating: 4 stars (WOW BLOG)