(Cover picture courtesy of Diversion Books.)
Haunted by silence, a mute teenage girl is mysteriously given back her voice … and it is divine.
Rendered mute at birth, Portia Griffin has been silent for 16 years. Music is her constant companion, along with Felix, her deaf best friend who couldn’t care less whether or not she can speak. If only he were as nonchalant about her newfound interest in the musically gifted Max Hunter.
But Portia’s silence is about to be broken with the abrupt discovery of her voice, unparalleled in its purity and the power it affords to control those around her. Able to persuade, seduce and destroy using only her voice, Portia embarks on a search for answers about who she really is, and what she is destined to become.
Inspired by Homer’s Odyssey, SILENT ECHO: A Siren’s Tale is an epic story filled with fantasy, romance and original music.
[Full disclosure: I signed up to review this book as part of a blog tour and was provided a free ebook copy in exchange for an honest review.]
After a lot of thought, I’ve decided that my feelings for Silent Echo are pretty much mixed. On one hand, Portia was a decent enough character even if she did have some ‘moments’ and on the other hand, I wasn’t very impressed with where the plot went.
So let’s talk about Portia first. She’s completely mute and has been since birth and she has a best friend named Felix who is deaf. I found their communication through sign language a refreshing change from the usually horrible dialogue in YA novels. So once Portia regains her voice because the siren part of her is manifesting, it certainly throws things for a loop. And of course her Siren part manifesting brings on the evil manipulation of the other two Sirens, who are long-dead spirits that can still influence her. I know Portia’s downward spiral into evil, manipulative witch isn’t for everyone but considering the circumstances I found it quite believable and in line with what Elisa Freilich was going for with the story.
The plot was all over the place, to be honest. I found some elements to be completely unbelievable like the fact that Sirens have power over the gods, even Zeus! Somehow I don’t think the Sirens of Greek myth had that power. As for why Portia is even a Siren there’s a pretty flimsy explanation given at the end of the book that doesn’t really ring true for me. I mean, if it was true than a lot more people would be manifesting as Sirens. As for Max’s hot and cold attitude toward Portia as he slips in and out of her spell, I found it slightly unbelievable. I mean, is there a particular reason why he was able to resist at some times? Not really.
As for the actual pacing, the plot isn’t badly paced. Sometimes the song scenes drag the plot down but overall it wasn’t like I was falling asleep while reading Silent Echo. If more elements of the plot were explained adequately, this could have been one of the best books I’ve read this year. However, I felt that the execution of my first ever Siren book was lacking.
I give this book 2.5/5 stars.
Raised in rural Monsey, New York, Elisa spent her days reading whatever crossed her path and developing a keen appreciation for the ever-present music in her home – from classical to rock.
After her college years at Boston University, Elisa continued her creative pursuits, working as a junior VP of Marketing at a corporate graphic design agency and, later, as an interior decorator. Eventually, Elisa left the workforce to raise her family, in her now hometown of Englewood, NJ.
When Elisa is not writing, her creative outlets still abound. She is fierce with a set of knitting needles, a hot glue gun and any ingredients that can somehow be fashioned into a sinful and highly caloric babka.