August 29, 2012

VBT Review: Betrayal, by Amber Garr

Welcome to the Syrenka series book tour! Here at Stories of my life, you'll have the chance to read reviews of all three books through its duration, and if you want to check out other great stuff like excerpts or guest posts (and other reviews too!) you just have to check the master schedule, clicking on the Tour Banner above.

There's two surprises: one is a tour-wide giveaway where you can win signed paperbacks of the whole series plus some cool swag... And the other is exclusive to Stories of my Life and consist on a giveaway for your e-book of choice of the series. You'll find instructions on how to enter at the end of the post.

And now that the deets are out of the way, I give you... Syrenka!

Life as a mermaid can be suffocating.

Eviana Dumahl has returned home as a clan leader, an orphan, and a heartbroken teenage girl. Her parents are dead and her boyfriend, Brendan, has decided that he needs some time away. While battling her inner turmoil, Eviana is forced into the war that Lucian Sutherland has incited amongst her own kind. With the help of Kain, her friend and formally betrothed, the two work together to prove that they deserve their birthrights as young merfolk leaders.

When the Council requests a demonstration of Eviana’s mermaid powers, she finds herself with an opportunity to win back Brendan’s heart. But her orders to train with a repulsive merman and the presence of an attractive new suitor challenges Eviana to embrace her leadership and resist temptation. Lucian is after her, and no one seems to understand why. Loyalties are tested as the casualties increase, showing Eviana that sometimes it is impossible to delineate between friends and enemies.

Betrayal is the second book of The Syrenka Series trilogy following Eviana and her friends as they navigate through the challenges of existing in a secret world.

You’ve heard of middle-book syndrome, right? When nothing really happens, but a Trilogy Must Be Written anyway? Well, Betrayal is exactly the opposite!

Remember when I reviewed the first book over here and said that it did a wonderful world-building job, and that it laid the pieces for a great story? In Betrayal, we watch carefully as those pieces... Fall apart. Crumble to pieces. In the best possible way. You thought you’d have time to plan for the oncoming debacle, to prepare? Time to get sucked up in your own personal drama and to solve it with a happily ever after? Did you think that things were harsh enough for Eviana, and that she would catch a break?

She doesn’t. Lucian is evil, but he’s not an idiot. He’s not a cartoon villain, even if his motivations are unclear and I could only guess Eviana’s crucial role a few paragraphs before it was delivered. He knows that if he wants to win, he has to win: he can’t wait for victory to drop in his lap. And he knows exactly how and where to hit to do that. Also, since he must be part psycho, he’s not scared of doing what must be done, by whatever means necessary. And... that’s what Betrayal is all about.

Eviana will flounder to keep her tenuous leadership. Her emotional life is in shambles, after the events of Promises, but she’s no longer a teenage girl waiting to live her dream. She has to step up and prepare to face the disaster. Blow after blow, she’ll learn that the only way to face Lucian is on his own terms... And this part was beautiful. I simply loved the risk the author took: usually, things work for the hero. To have pillar after pillar, support after support point brutally pulled from under her feet was a daring experience, and it worked perfectly. When you throw in the fact that this events happen one right after the other, barely leaving the cast time to recover and, might I add, exactly like a guy with a twisted mind like Lucian would work, is just the icing on the cake.

The cast itself is another aspect I liked. On the one hand, I liked Eviana and her sister Marisol; I saw how they changed and matured due to circumstances, and while growing up that fast for the reasons they did is never pretty, seeing it actually happen was gorgeous. It’s too easy to remain the teenager in these books, no matter the calamities the plot throws at us, but this time? There’s growth. And there’s room for more.

Another point where I have to give Kudos to Amber Garr is the romance. This aspect is... complicated at best. Let’s just say that I have never read a book where I can’t tell who the heroine is going to end up with after reading a couple of chapters, let alone a couple of books. And it’s ever rarer that I don’t know myself who I’d want her to end up with. Well done! Every single love interest is special in their own way, lovable in their own way, and I can fall in love with every single one of them... Yes, even the bad option!

And that’s all I can say without spoiling it for you. Want to know more? Go and read! :)

the Author

Amber Garr spends her days conducting scientific experiments and wondering if her next door neighbor is secretly a vampire. Born in
Pennsylvania, she lives in Florida with her husband and their furry
kids. Her childhood imaginary friend was a witch, Halloween is
sacred, and she is certain that she has a supernatural sense of
smell. She writes both adult and young adult urban fantasies and when
not obsessing over the unknown, she can be found dancing, reading, or enjoying a good movie. 

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  1. Sounds like a series I should try. I'm not usually drawn to mermaid tales (ba dum tiss), but this sounds good! Thanks for the giveaway :)

  2. Thank you so much for your review and I'm happy to see that you liked it! Looking forward to seeing your thoughts on Arise. :)

  3. Hi Ms. Ron, Thanks so much for the post.>:)