Sunday, November 23, 2014

ARC Review- Sound of Sirens (Tales of Skylge #1) by Jen Minkman

Title:  Sound of Sirens (Tales of Skylge #1)
Author:  Jen Minkman
Publication Date: November 28th 2014 by Dutch Venture Publishing
Plot:   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.)

 My Review 

☆ I received an ARC via the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ☆

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Sound of Sirens held a delicate balance between mythology, theology, social castes, prohibited romance, and folklore.

On the island of Skylge, it is both beautiful as it is dangerous. In the waters surrounding this tropical paradise, lurks the Nixen-- merpeople who cast their siren song to lead people to their depths in the heart of the ocean.

The Currents, or Elite, protect the people by shining the light in the Brandaris Tower to keep the Nixen’s call at bay, and therefore expect total rule, subservience, and privilege over the Skylger class—the original settlers of Skylge now turned subordinates to the Currents' law and regulation.

Enna, a girl who is a part of the Skylger caste, has always felt different from others around her. Enticed with the call of the Siren and their beckoning tune, she has a love of music and develops a bond with Current heart throb, Royce Bolton, over their love for similar musical tastes.

Royce and Enna’s budding love is not an easy one, as it is considered shunned or forbidden, as Skylgers and Currents aren’t allowed to mix, and so sets the tone of their journey as opposition and foreboding as conflicting views, backgrounds, and familial upbringings come into play.

Not to mention, when Enna discovers that the island’s history is not what the Currents make it to be, she realizes that not everything is what they seem. Why are the Nixen incriminated as evil doers when proven otherwise in a hidden away sacred text? Are they friends or are they foe? Why are the Currents manipulating and thwarting Skylger beliefs and heritage to their own gain?—e.g. dominion over the Skylgers and authority over the use of electricity.

Will Enna, along with her father, brother, best friend, and secret new beau rise up to fight the injustice inflicted by the Currents? Will they change what is accepted and change the course of history? And will Enna and Royce go against social norms and fight for their love?

Read and you will find out!

#A whimsical and astounding first installment of the Tales of Skylge series! It was initially confusing for me to get a hold of what Currents, Skylgers, Anglian, and even Nixen were. But, after awhile, I got the hang of it.

For book 2, I’m hoping to see some kind of appearance of the Nixen and get clarification on what happens to the souls of those lost to the sea.... AS WELL AS, for the Currents to come clean about the Sirens and for Enna and Royce to also fess up about their relationship!! Ooohh!! I’m so excited!!


My Rating:
-Overall : 8.75-9
-Plot : 8.75
-Writing : 8.759
-Characters : 8.75-9
-Cover : 8.75
 About the Author 


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!).' 

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