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Or is it? Gretchen and Will are still haunted by the memories of the night the Sirens were destroyed—Gretchen because she can't remember what happened and Will because he doesn't know how to tell Gretchen what he saw. He doesn't even understand what he saw, but he does know now that Gretchen is more than what she seems, ...
Or is it? Gretchen and Will are still haunted by the memories of the night the Sirens were destroyed—Gretchen because she can't remember what happened and Will because he doesn't know how to tell Gretchen what he saw. He doesn't even understand what he saw, but he does know now that Gretchen is more than what she seems, more than a human girl. And at the same time, he is more in love with her than ever.
Gretchen knows there's something wrong, too. She feels like an alien in her own body, but she doesn't know why. And she feels a presence stalking her at every turn. Have the Sirens returned to Walfang? Or has some other force come to claim her?
From the Hardcover edition.
Ice begets ice and flame begets flame; Those that go down never rise up again. --Sailors’ proverb
An uneasy weight hung on Gretchen’s chest as she looked around the dim room. I was dreaming something--what was it? Gretchen’s mind cast about for a train of thought but clutched at emptiness. She couldn’t remember. She knew only that she was glad to be awake.
It was that moment before sunrise when the sky has begun to turn gray and the world is filled with shadows. The room was still, but the yellow curtains near her bureau fluttered slightly, and fear skittered down her spine with quick spider steps. “Who’s there?” Gretchen asked.
There was a sound like a sigh, and Gretchen’s chest tightened in fear. Something was there. By the window. A dark presence. She could almost make out the shape of a man behind the yellow cloth.
Her voice tightened in her throat; she couldn’t scream. Someone was in her room. Gretchen’s mind reeled, searching for an answer. It was Kirk. Crazy Kirk Worstler--the sophomore who babbled incoherently about seekriegers and angels--had come to kill her. He had stolen into her room once before, to give her a painting. It was a picture of mermaids, a coded message that only he could decipher. . . .
“Kirk?” she whispered. Her voice sounded loud in the still and silent room.
Gretchen sat up. “Kirk?” she said again. She blinked, and the light shifted. The dimness of the gray lifted, like fog burning away in the sun. Suddenly, everything looked different, and she could see clearly.
There was nothing there.
The curtains sagged, and Gretchen understood her mistake. The folds fell at odd angles, suggesting a human form. But the presence she sensed earlier had disappeared completely.
“Dream cobwebs,” Gretchen said aloud. That’s what her father, Johnny Ellis, called it when you woke up and still had traces of your nightmares clinging to your mind. She pushed back her covers and swung her legs over the side of her bed, and something tore at her ankle.
Gretchen screamed, jumping backward as her cat, Bananas, tumbled from beneath the bedskirt. The feline rolled onto her back playfully, then sat up and curled her tail around her feet, as if nothing had happened and she had no idea why Gretchen was acting so dramatic.
“Cat--” Gretchen started.
Bananas just looked at her, then nonchalantly began to groom her paw.
“Licking my flesh from your claws?” Gretchen asked, rubbing the scratch on her foot. It wasn’t bad, really, but it did itch. As if she was offended by the question, the orange and white cat turned and strutted out the half-open door.
As the striped tail disappeared, Gretchen again glanced toward the window. It was just a dream, she told herself.
The light shone through the curtains now, and she could see the shape of the tree beyond the window. There was nothing left of the dark presence . . . nothing but the feeling of dread that still sat in Gretchen’s chest.
Gretchen yanked off her nightgown and pulled on a pair of red running shorts. She tugged on her sports bra and then ducked into an ancient T‑shirt advertising the Old Mill, a cafe in one of the neighboring towns. When she’d lived in Manhattan, Gretchen used to run along the reservoir in Central Park. It was near her Upper East Side apartment, and Gretchen enjoyed running beside the water . . . and the fact that an enormous chain-link fence surrounded the reservoir. She could see it, but she couldn’t fall in. Gretchen didn’t like water.
Gretchen had never run much at the summer house. There were no sidewalks along the street by her house, so it wasn’t really convenient. But now that she and her father were going to be living here full-time, she would have to find a way. Running was what kept her head clear in the cold months. And even though it was only the end of September, the mornings were already turning chilly.
“What are you doing here?” Gretchen asked as she tramped into the kitchen. Her father was sitting at the Formica table, sipping from a cup of coffee and halfheartedly skimming the New York Times.
“I live here, remember?” Johnny said. He smiled at her, but it was a smile like a heavy weight--as if it was an effort to make it happen.
“Don’t pretend like you’re some kind of early riser.” Gretchen reached for a banana. “It’s six-thirty.”
Gretchen frowned. “That’s not good.”
Johnny shrugged. “It happens.” He took another long pull of coffee. “I’ll feel better once everything arrives.”
He meant the things from their Manhattan apartment. Once Johnny had given up the lease, it had taken only two hours for the building manager to find a new tenant. They had been replaced in true New York City style--immediately and without mercy. “When do the movers get here?” Gretchen asked.
Gretchen nodded. She would feel better once her things had arrived, too. Even though she would miss living in Manhattan, she was ready to close that chapter of her life, to write The End above it instead of having the pages go on and on with no clear purpose. Besides, she thought, we need the money.
When her mother had moved out, she had kept custody of most of the funds. Yvonne was an heiress and knew about investments; Johnny had never been in charge of the finances before. So, for a few years, things went on exactly as they had before: Manhattan private school, expensive rent for the apartment, trips abroad. Then, quite suddenly, Johnny realized that they were out of money. A few bad investments and several years of living beyond their means had left them in terrible debt. As a result, they were abandoning the apartment and living in what Gretchen liked to think of as “the ancestral home”--the old farmhouse her grandfather had bought more than half a century ago, which Johnny had inherited, and which he owned free and clear.
Posted December 16, 2012
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I wasn't sure I was going to read this. I've been trying to make it a goal to not seek out every sequel to books I've read. Especially those that I felt were just average. But, this one I just had a hard time saying no too.
I think the biggest thing the drew me back to the story was that I don't think Getchen fully knew who she was. And if she doesn't know who she is, how can she possibly understand what she is capable of. She had too many holes in what happened towards the end of book one. Will may have witnessed it all, but he seems to hesitant to believe what he really saw. And how can he tell Gretchen what he think really happened?
I understand when characters go through some changed when major events happen. But, for some reason Will and Gretchen feel off in this book. Gretchen seems to blame Will for every little thing that happens. Will tiptoes around her afraid of what she might do or say. Plus, he hides things from her. It's never better to let someone learn the truth in some other fashion.
I did like the story behind who Gretchen really is. There's a lot of mythology woven into it. Sadly, the last battle seems week and the story took to long to get there.
Posted September 18, 2012
From the amazing mind who brought readers Siren’s Storm, this sequel will keep you reading until the very last page has been turned. Not to mention…there is a serious twist in this one that you will NOT see coming.
Transferring from a wealthy life in Manhattan to living in an old farmhouse that her dad inherited free and clear, Gretchen is focusing on a new beginning. A lot has happened in a very short time. Her mother left the family, because she wants nothing more than money, and Gretchen has had to come back from a very terrifying event where she and Will (her best friend) defeated a frightening group called the Siren’s, even though Gretchen can’t really remember anything that happened. Right now she’s looking forward to her senior year; she’s a little nervous about attending a public school even though Will goes there and will be right by her side.
One morning she goes for a run. Skipping stones on the Sound, Gretchen suddenly watches as a water spout forms, rises up from the surface and turns into a woman whose eyes are burning with rage. Talk about frightening, although Gretchen really wants to just pawn it off as simply a picture from her overactive imagination.
Will is the one keeping secrets. You see, Will knows what Gretchen did - he witnessed her fury - and he also has to deal with the fact that a mermaid named Asia, who works for the evil Sirens, actually helped them survive the attack and has now reappeared to warn them that something new is about to happen.
Kirk is an odd character. He is a boy who is now living a truly tortured life, as his head is constantly filled with the Siren’s songs. He, like Will, has been witness to the evil magic that comes from Calypso and her band of Sirens. However, he also knows that a group called the Fury is about to be unleashed.
As the story moves along readers find themselves pulled into a new mystery. Possession, as well as death by Fury comes into play, and as Will and Gretchen cross the friendship line into romance, the real event that Gretchen has been blocking out starts to come to the surface. In fact, she begins to truly understand what she is and how dangerous her own power can become.
As good as the first, the author brings back the determined Gretchen and adds the spark of romance for the reader to be excited over. Asia, who’s always a mystery when it comes to the side she’s ultimately fighting for returns with the same dark cloud over her head, so that readers will once again gasp when the ending appears and the bad guy is revealed. Well done!
Quill Says: Whether Siren or Fury, this author offers a very exciting story.
Posted August 18, 2012
Posted August 15, 2012
Gretchen and Will are sort of at odds in this book. Gretchen has no idea
what transpired the fateful night where they "battled" the
sirens and Will doesn't know what to tell her that won't scare her too
much. Will knows Gretchen is not merely human, but he still doesn't know
what she is. They still are not free of the sirens, there are plenty of
siren scenes for the reader to look forward to. Is Asia really gone? Who
actually killed the sirens? Gretchen's character is mostly the same,
she has matured a little bit. Half the time, she's annoying as she
continually feels off and lets the reader know about it constantly.
Will's character hasn't changed much either. He is still protective of
Gretchen and clearly loves her. Their relationship develops more in this
book, the reader will enjoying seeing their relationship grow. There are
a few new secondary characters in this book, but the main characters are
definitely the focus. When a few older character reappear, Gretchen and
Will have to decide who to trust and who to keep a wary eye on. This
book is recommended to young adult/teen readers.
Posted August 1, 2012
After reading Siren's Storm, I wasn't sure what to expect from Fury's Fire. Siren's Storm wasn't a strong book to me and I was afraid this novel may suffer from the same problems. It didn't. Whereas Siren's Song was choppy and didn't feel cohesive, Fury's Fire is a strong, well paced novel with a plot that follows a straight line. After a bit of a slow start, I couldn't put it down.
The story begins not too long after the end of Siren's Storm with Gretchen not really remembering what happened that night on the bay with the seekriegers. In fact, a lot of things are hazy in her memory, but her sleep walking has stopped, things have settled down and she's starting her senior year at the high school in Walfang. She has the sense that a presence is around her, but she dismisses it as just a dream or left over eeriness from the summer. Asia has disappeared. But Will is there with her as well as Angus. Even Kirk is well enough to attend school, though he keeps to himself and is still strange.
Soon though, weird things start to happen to her, accidents and then things that can't really be called accidents. She has a deep sense of dread. She makes friends the first day with a girl called Mafer, Angus tells her she's a witch, and Mafer admits that she can sense things and knows things about people. The romance between Will and Gretchen finally develops rather quickly once he realizes how he feels about her after all these years.
The biggest change is in Gretchen. She has this new found strength in her that demands answers, the power of fire that she is frightened of, and a dawning memory of what happened over the summer and even what happened the night Tim disappeared and Will was found on the beach with the sailboat on fire. I loved that Gretchen wasn't an oblivious flirt in this novel but a fully developed character who ran her own life and took control. Will is possessive and protective of her, but also seems to fall under the spell of a certain someone again that we know and don't necessarily love.
I read the ARC and there is a scene in the hospital in which Angus is there learning way too much as a budding newspaper reporter and then not questioning anything or getting involved in any other way throughout the rest of the story. I don't know if that was changed in the book or not, but if not, I don't buy that. Angus is way to nosy not to get involved completely.
As I said, this novel was much better than the first one and definitely worthy of reading even if you didn't care for the first one. It has a good story line and ties up many loose ends. I don't think there will be a third book. This one seems pretty final.
Thank you to Knopf Books for Young Readers and Net Galley for the e-ARC. All opinions in this review are my own. I was not compensated for my review in any way.