September 12, 2012

VBT Review: Arise, 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!

 With power comes the responsibility to accept its consequences.

After the betrayal of those closest to her, Eviana Dumahl struggles to cope with her new reality. Kidnapped, broken, and confused, she is forced to engage in a war that will alter merfolk politics forever. With her estranged father leading the charge, Eviana has no choice but to stand by his side. Her continued existence hinges on the acceptance of the power growing inside her, even when that means embracing the family’s dark lineage.

Kain Matthew will sacrifice the world for Eviana. And he is not alone. As time runs out, her friends fight to save her life and theirs. An unlikely alliance gives them the edge they need to take a stand, although it keeps Eviana’s heart trapped in the past. A new discovery explains some of her previous mistakes, but it may not be enough to stop her father’s plans. Merfolk, selkies, and water sprites work together to save their kind, only in this final battle, not everyone will survive.

In the striking series conclusion, Eviana will learn the true meaning of power, sacrifice, and love.

This is going to be a short one, because one thing the Syrenka series does is weave the plot and build on from previous work, so I can't say much without giving away the previous books... And while I realize that some spoiles for book 1 and 2 might be expected, I'd rather not go there, since this tour is for the whole series and I know there's a lot of you out there who are just getting to enjoy this magical world. 

That said... Wow! 

There were several things about Arise that shocked me. The first, I think, was the emotional aspect. Again, I could not predict how it'd end, or what happened along the way, and THAT's a treat. Then, I had another surprise: my reactions to the cast changed drastically from one book to the next. I went from wooing this one character to consider him an obstacle, to think of someone as obnoxious to find him charming, to barely notice someone to cheer him and his budding relationship on... There are precious few authors out there who can get thta kind of rise out of me! 

Style-wise, Arise was solid and coherent, keeping the tone and pace of the previous two books--that perfect balance between following a story with all necessary details and dragging it, if you know what I mean. However, there was something new: this time, we got a Kain POV, and I enjoyed it inmensely. On the one hand, it was important to see what was going on with the world, but it also helped to show us the inner working of a boy who's been forced to become a man, much too serious for his age, and who knows love with a depth I hadn't really registered before, even though all the signs were there. 

Finally, there's the plot itself. A good mix between political, action and romance, it delivered a satisfying conclusion after the huge build-up, which is something to be praised. I mean, when Betrayal had rised the stakes sky-high, it's really difficult to pull off a conclusion that doesn't feel forced, fake, convenient... And that's exactly what Amber Garr did: she kept me guessing, kept the characters real (yes, I realize the Bad Guy is really extreme, but I buy him: there are men like that in the real world), and kept the action believable. 

In one word: Outstanding. 

After having gone through the series, I can safely  call it a "must read" in its genre, and I honestly can't wait for more from this author.

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. Yeah! Thank you so much for your kind words and for taking the time to review the entire series and be a part of my tour. I really appreciate it!

  2. another new books to add on my list! :) sounds soooo good Ron.


  3. Well, it's good to know that the whole series stays consistently good.

  4. Thanks so much for being a part of this tour.>:D