(Cover picture courtesy of Effortlessly Reading.)
Fall under the spell of Wake—the first book in an achingly beautiful new series by celebrated author Amanda Hocking—and lose yourself to the Watersong.
Gorgeous. Fearless. Dangerous. They’re the kind of girls you envy; the kind of girls you want to hate. Strangers in town for the summer, Penn, Lexi and Thea have caught everyone’s attention—but it’s Gemma who’s attracted theirs. She’s the one they’ve chosen to be part of their group.
Gemma seems to have it all—she’s carefree, pretty, and falling in love with Alex, the boy next door. He’s always been just a friend, but this summer they’ve taken their relationship to the next level, and now there’s no going back. Then one night, Gemma’s ordinary life changes forever. She’s taking a late night swim under the stars when she finds Penn, Lexi and Thea partying on the cove. They invite her to join them, and the next morning she wakes up on the beach feeling groggy and sick, knowing something is different.
Suddenly Gemma is stronger, faster, and more beautiful than ever. But her new powers come with a terrifying price. And as she uncovers the truth, she’s is forced to choose between staying with those she loves—or entering a new world brimming with dark hungers and unimaginable secrets.
After the disaster that was Hollowland I felt a little more hopeful about Wake. Zombies clearly aren’t Amanda Hocking’s strength but mythical creatures like trolls definitely are. That’s why I thought she could handle sirens a little better than Elisa Freilich. Unfortunately that was not the case.
I felt like banging my head against the wall because in the beginning nothing happened. Really, the first 200 pages of this 300 page book were spent setting up Gemma and Harper’s lives in their small town. We don’t actually get any siren action until the very last chapters of the novel and then it ends on a cliffhanger that’s just shameless. I mean, really? Ending the book just when it gets to the point of the whole Watersong series is just crass commercialism.
Despite the slow pacing I did like some of the characters. Harper, the over-protective older sister is my kind of character. (Myself being the aforementioned over-protective older sister.) I love her struggle with her attraction toward Daniel and the mind vs. heart idea behind it all. I can completely identify with that. However, Gemma’s relationship Alex is just so…awkward. It’s awkward even for teenage love, believe me. It’s like they don’t really have anything in common besides the fact that Alex is Harper’s friend and it’s awkward to have your friend dating your little sister.
Once we finally got the explanation for the sirens I was interested. Amanda Hocking did a great job with the backstory, but it was too little too late. The book was well past the hope of salvation, despite the obvious effort that was put into developing a realistic backstory for the sirens. Their cynical attitude toward men was fascinating and sort of understandable given the circumstances; I just wish we had gotten to know them on a deeper level sooner.
Basically: meh. So much potential, but I was so let down.
I give this book 2.5/5 stars.