Harper only wanted a safe, normal life. But when her younger sister Gemma runs off with a dangerous clique of beautiful girls, Penn, Thea, and Lexi, everything changes. Vowing to get her sister back no matter what the cost, Harper must face dangers unlike any she's ever experienced. Fortunately, she has Daniel by her side, a gorgeous guy who's devoted to helping her find her sisterand who's immune to the girls' dark powers.
While Harper searches for her sister, Gemma struggles to adjust to her new life. Gemma's powers are growing by the day, and the longer she lives with her new "sisters," the harder it is to resist entering their magical world. It's a realm both dark and beautiful, and where she's plagued by strange hungers and unspeakable needs. Just as she's drifting far away from her old life, Harper and Daniel find her...but no one can deny how much she's changed. All she wants is to return to her family and the mortal world, but how can she do that when she's become something else entirelyand will they still love her once they learn the truth?
Prepare to fall under the spell of Lullaby, the second book in the Watersong series from New York Times bestselling author Amanda Hocking.
About the Author
AMANDA HOCKING is the New York Times bestselling author of the Trylle trilogy and a lifelong Minnesotan. After selling over a million copies of her books, primarily in eBook format, she became the exemplar of self-publishing success in the digital age. Lullaby is the second book in her new Watersong series with St. Martin's Press.
Read an Excerpt
By Amanda Hocking
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2012 Amanda Hocking
All rights reserved.
Harper woke up when the sun was just beginning to set, and squinted at the dim orange light streaming in through her curtains. For one moment — one brief, glorious moment — she'd forgotten about the night before, the night when her little sister had been attacked before turning into some kind of mermaid and disappearing in the ocean.
Then it all came back to her. Her head throbbed at the memory, and she squeezed her eyes shut.
After Gemma had swum away, leaving Harper alone on the dock at Bernie's Island, Daniel had checked on Alex to make sure that he was all right. When they'd arrived at the cabin, Alex had been lying unconscious on the floor. Harper hadn't seen what had happened, but it wasn't hard for her to imagine.
A horrible bird-creature stood over him. Its mouth was filled with razor-sharp teeth, and massive black wings stretched out behind it. Then it had shifted, changing form into a different kind of monster — the beautiful Penn.
It was almost impossible for Harper to wrap her mind around. When Alex had come to, he'd been certain the things he remembered were a bizarre dream brought on by head trauma. But Harper and Daniel had been forced to tell him that it was all true. The monsters were real, and Gemma was gone.
Then, after all of that, Harper knew she had to go home and attempt to explain to her father what had happened, even though she didn't understand it herself. Not that she could tell him the truth — there was no way any sane person would believe it unless he had witnessed it for himself.
So Harper told Brian that Gemma had run off with Penn and her friends. It was something close to the truth, but even that was still hard for him to comprehend. Harper stayed up all morning convincing her father that Gemma wasn't coming home, and that was one of the hardest things she'd ever had to do.
But she knew things were only going to get harder. Harper didn't even know what Penn and the other girls were, let alone how to stop them or how to get Gemma back.
Lying in bed all day wouldn't solve anything, though. Harper rolled over and grabbed her cell phone from the bedside table, meaning to check the time, and noticed she had two missed calls from a number she didn't know. Gemma had left her cell phone behind, so if she called, it would be from an unfamiliar number.
Harper's heart dropped to her stomach. She'd been so dead tired that she'd slept right through her phone ringing. Harper hurried to check her voice mail.
"You have one new message," the automated voice told her, and Harper cursed herself under her breath. If she'd missed a call from her sister, she'd never be able to forgive herself.
"Hey, Harper, this is Daniel," his deep voice came through the phone.
"Daniel," Harper whispered, and put her free hand on her forehead, listening to his message.
"I got your number from the surly girl at the library. I wanted to make sure that you got home all right and see how you're doing after ... well, you know, what happened last night.
"I've been keeping an eye out for Gemma, like you asked me to. I took the boat out earlier, but I didn't see her. I'll keep looking, and I'll let you know if I find anything.
"So anyway, give me a call later." Daniel paused. "I hope you're doing okay."
When his message ended, she left her phone at her ear for a minute, even after the automated voice assured her that she had no other messages.
It was thoughtful of Daniel to call and check up on her, but Harper couldn't call him back. The strange dalliance she'd had with him had to be pushed out of her mind. If he found out anything about Gemma, Daniel would let her know, but that was the only time she should be talking to him. Whatever was happening to Gemma came first. Harper had to deal with that before she could think of anything else.
Harper had slept in her clothes from last night, and they stank like the ocean and sweat. She grabbed a change of clothes, then crept across the hall to the bathroom in case her father was home. There was nothing more she could say to him about Gemma's disappearance, but she knew Brian would want to keep rehashing it until it made sense.
She cleaned up quickly, then got dressed. She'd started to sneak back to her room when she glanced over at Gemma's. Something about the sight of the darkened room broke her heart. Pausing at the doorway, Harper couldn't help but wonder if Gemma would ever stay in this room again.
Harper swallowed the lump in her throat and shook her head, trying to shake off the feeling. Of course Gemma would stay here again. Harper wouldn't stop searching until Gemma was home.
When Harper turned back to her own room, she nearly yelped in surprise. Alex was sitting on her bed, staring down at the floor and looking forlorn.
"Alex?" Harper managed once the beating of her heart slowed. "What are you doing here?" She stepped into her room.
"Oh, sorry." He lifted his head and motioned toward the downstairs. "Your dad let me in. I came over to talk."
She glanced back behind her, half expecting Brian to be standing in the hall eavesdropping, and then she shut the bedroom door.
"How did my dad seem?" Harper asked.
"Okay, I guess." Alex shrugged, and she noticed a cut on his forehead, probably from whatever had knocked him out last night. "A little sad and confused. He asked me about Gemma, but I told him I don't know where she is."
She'd meant to call Alex so they could get their stories straight about what had happened to Gemma. The truth was that they didn't know where she was, and that was as good an answer as any.
"So, what the hell happened last night?" Alex asked her directly.
"I have no idea." Harper shook her head and sat down in the chair in front of her desk. "I don't even know what those ... those things were."
"I can barely even remember what they look like anymore." His brow furrowed as he tried to think. "Last night's a weird blur of images that don't even make sense."
"That's probably because you hit your head," Harper said.
Alex seemed to think about it for a minute, then said, "No. I don't think so. I remember everything really clearly until we were in the cove and that song started."
Harper had actually forgotten about the song until Alex mentioned it. She couldn't remember the words, but the melody surfaced, like a half-forgotten dream.
There were a few minutes in the cove that Harper couldn't really remember, either. The events were a haze of confusion, though she recalled a longing and a pull toward the phantom song. Daniel had helped keep her from diving into the ocean the way Alex had, but that was about all she could remember until they were on the boat again.
"Did you swim to the island?" Harper asked, realizing that he must have.
"I think so." He shook his head again. "I can't really remember much. There was the song, then I was swimming, and then I was on the island. Those pretty girls were there, and ... and Gemma. She kissed me ..." He swallowed hard.
"Do you remember the creature?" Harper asked.
"The bird?" Alex asked, and she nodded. "Is that what it was? A really big bird?"
"It was more like a bird-monster," Harper tried to explain. "But then it changed and turned into Penn."
"So those pretty girls are some kind of shape-shifters?" Alex asked. "Because they turned into fish, right? Gemma and the girls turned into fish, then swam off?"
"Mermaids, I think," Harper corrected him.
"This is so insane," Alex said quietly, almost to himself, then he looked up at Harper, his dark brown eyes locking seriously on hers. "Stupid question time, but I have to ask. Gemma hasn't, like ... always been a mermaid, has she? This isn't some family curse thing like on Teen Wolf?"
"No." Harper smiled despite herself and shook her head. "No. There's no history of mermaids or any other mythological beings in our family."
"Okay. Good," Alex said, then changed his mind and wagged his head back and forth. "Well, not really. If you knew what this was, it would be easier to deal with."
"It certainly would," she agreed.
"So you don't have any idea what Gemma or Penn or the girls might be?" Alex asked.
"No," Harper admitted regretfully.
"And you don't know where they went?"
"So. How are we gonna get her back?" Alex asked.
"Well ..." Harper took a deep breath. "We figure out what they are and how to stop them, then we find them and we take Gemma back."CHAPTER 2
Marcy had been talking for a while, but Harper hadn't been listening. She sat at the desk, staring into space and trying to figure out what to do.
When Alex left the night before, they'd both agreed that they had to continue on with life like normal until they found Gemma. That meant going to work, even when Harper would rather be at home scouring the Internet for clues about what Gemma might have become.
She'd spent a lot of time on sites that claimed to be experts on Bigfoot and el chupacabra, but nobody had heard of a bizarre bird-monster that also turned into a fish-human hybrid and a beautiful teenage girl.
By the time she fell asleep very late last night, Harper had begun to believe that she'd made up the whole thing. It was some weird stress-induced hallucination. That was the only logical explanation for what she'd seen.
"But I was like, you can't make a fur coat out of basset hounds," Marcy was saying when Harper started tuning back in. "It's not like I'm Cruella De Vil, you know?"
"No, it's not," Harper replied absently.
Marcy scoffed and stared at her above her dark-framed glasses. "You haven't listened to a word I've said, have you, Harper?"
"You're not Cruella De Vil." Harper forced a thin smile at her.
Marcy rolled her eyes. "Lucky guess."
"How is that lucky?" Harper asked.
The bell of the library's front door rang as it swung open, and Harper pulled her eyes away from Marcy's annoyed gaze to see Alex come striding over to the desk. He grinned broadly, which was a massive change from the grim expression he'd worn last night.
"You heard from her?" Harper blurted out, interrupting Marcy midsentence after she'd begun talking about basset hounds again.
"No." Alex's smile faltered for a moment as he rested his arms on the desk in front of her. "But I do have good news."
"Yeah?" Harper leaned forward.
"I figured it out." His smile returned as brightly as before. "Sirens."
"Sirens?" Harper frowned in confusion. "Like police sirens?"
"Is this about Gemma?" Marcy asked, managing to sound concerned for once. "Did the police find her?"
"No," Alex said. "Where's your section on mythology?"
"Mythology?" Harper echoed, as he was already taking a step back from the desk.
"Yeah, like Greek mythology," Alex elaborated.
"Back in the corner, past the children's books," Harper said, motioning to the other side of the library.
"Great." He smiled wider, and before she could ask him anything more, he darted back to where she'd pointed.
"Alex," Harper said as she stood up, but he just kept going, disappearing between the shelves of books. "Marcy, can you cover the front desk? I have to go see what he's up to."
"Uh, yeah, sure," Marcy said, sounding just as confused as Harper felt. "If it's about Gemma, take as much time as you need. But I have no idea what mythology has to do with her running away."
"Yeah, me neither," Harper muttered, then followed Alex to the back of the library.
She found him already leafing through a copy of Ovid's Metamorphoses, in the middle of the mythology section. On her way after him, it had occurred to her what he meant by sirens, but the pieces didn't completely fit.
"You think they're sirens?" Harper asked skeptically.
"Yeah." Alex nodded without looking up from the book.
"I don't know, Alex. That doesn't make sense."
"Think about it." He lifted his head to look at her. "The song? That's what sirens are known for. Not to mention the whole mermaid thing."
"Right," Harper agreed. "But what about the bird-monster thing?"
"Still sirens." He flipped a page in the book, scanning it frantically. A moment later, he smiled again and held the book out to her. "See for yourself."
"What?" Harper asked, and Alex tapped a passage.
Aloud, she began to read, "Why should it be that they have feathers now and feet of birds, though still a girl's fair face, the sweet-voiced sirens?"
"See?" Alex said almost gleefully.
"Maybe you don't remember it, but Penn's face was not that fair when she turned into the bird thing," Harper pointed out.
"Obviously this isn't completely accurate," Alex said, refusing to be deterred. "Some books say there are only two sirens, while others say there are as many as four. Some describe them as mermaids, others as birds. None of them get it completely right, but maybe that's because they change form."
Harper narrowed her eyes, thinking. "What do you mean?"
"Maybe Ovid saw them as a bird." Alex pointed to the book in Harper's hands. "But others saw them as mermaids. The girls can change their shape, like you saw. The only constant is their song. And we know they have that."
Biting her lip, Harper stared down at the book in her hands. What Alex said made sense. Or it would have, if any of this made any sense.
"This is mythology, Alex," Harper said, shaking her head, and she handed the book back to him. "None of this is real."
He groaned. "Oh, come on, Harper. You saw the same things I did. This is real, and you know it."
"Fine." Harper crossed her arms over her chest. "Let's say you're right. What we saw ... they were sirens. Is Gemma one of them? How did she become one?"
"I don't know. So much of what I've read contradicts itself." Alex motioned to the shelf of books beside him. "I was researching on the Internet all night, but I was hoping that maybe actual books could offer some clarity."
"Well, how did the sirens become sirens in the first place?" Harper asked.
"From what I can tell, it had something to do with pissing off one of the gods."
Alex turned away from Harper to focus his attention on the books. His fingers trailed along the spines as he scanned for a title.
"What are you looking for?" Harper asked, moving closer to him to help him look.
"I read a passage from a book online. I think it's called ... Argonautica or something."
"Here." Harper reached up past him, taking a worn copy from the top shelf.
She picked up an encyclopedia on Greek mythology, then started grabbing any book that might possibly have information on sirens, including one called Mythology for Dummies.
As she began gathering books, she handed them to Alex. Once he had a small stack, he sat down on the floor right between the two shelves and spread the books out around him.
"There are tables we can sit at," Harper said. "There's even an overstuffed couch."
"Here's good," Alex said, already flipping through one of the books.
Shrugging, Harper sat down across from him and folded her legs underneath her.
"So." She rested her arms on her knees and leaned forward. "Tell me what you already know."
"I don't know how much I 'know' per se, since there seems to be a lot of misinformation," Alex said.
"You think they became sirens because they angered the gods?" Harper asked, and he nodded. "But Gemma didn't anger any gods." Then she changed her mind and shook her head. "At least, I don't think she did."
"I don't think she did, either," Alex agreed. "So maybe she isn't one."
Harper thought back to the end of the other night, when she'd seen Gemma disappear into the ocean in the pale pink light of early morning. Even then, her tail had been unmistakable. Gemma had definitely had a mermaid form.
Excerpted from Lullaby by Amanda Hocking. Copyright © 2012 Amanda Hocking. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
21. New Hope,
Also by Amanda Hocking,
Praise for Amanda Hocking,
About the Author,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I love Amanda Hocking books! This book was 206 pages. This book really went into developin the characters and relationships. However, if you are looking for a lot of action you won't be totally disappointed, but it won't be an all out fight until the third book which will be awesome!
Watersong is a really good series. For the fans of the Trylle triology, I think it was a bit disappointing, but not because the quality of the writing is any less. Throughout the Trylle books you gain a sort of relationship with the characters, and I think it's a little bit harder to do that in this book. I loved how she included Greek mythology, and like Amanda Hocking I have always loved it. I'd definitely recommend the books, especially for people who don't read much.
Lullaby follows Harper's quest to find her sister, Gemma, and save her from Penn, Thea, and Lexi. She is determined to rescue Gemma, and will do so no matter what. Meawhile, Gemma must try to adjust to life as a siren. She loves swimming, but she's not as ecstatic about feeding on mortal blood. This incredibly written sequel to Wake is filled with twists and turns that will keep you hooked. However, I was hoping it would be action packed. Despite this, it is a great read and I truly recommend it to fans of paranormal-teen stories. I'm definitely getting my hands on book 3!
Lullaby is an awesome book! It has Gemma and Harper working together and we finally figure out what in the world is going on with everything so its a for real book in this series. I like it. It also had me turning and turning the pages.. by the time I was almost half way through I went ahead and bought book 3 Tidal so I wouldn't miss anything and I must say I'm really glad I found this series.. it has been very interesting and I love the mythology information as well.
I am in the middle of this read and I am shocked when I started reading this book for I read more than one bad review about the book having a bad start. I have to say the book is just about as good as the first. When I was reading page 104 I started getting tired of the book but at page 111 the book went through many turns and twists and all my doubts about the reviwers stating that this book was bad vanished. This is an excellent read and you can really notice the character's changing. Gemma has gone through the biggest transformation of her life which might be ending shortly as Daniel, Alex, and Harper embark on a dangerous journey doing everything they can for Gemma and her father. This book has just the right amount of romance, mystery, hunger, desperation, violence and love. Gemma's mom also enters the story more often. Being on page 164 I am excited but nervous to see what happens next!! xoxoxo Hugs and Kisses ~voraciousreader123
Great book! I really enjoyed the first two books so far. Ready to start the third book! Great series! Loved it!
I liked the first book in this series, but I could not get into this one. It was extremely slow and boring, and went absolutely no where. I honestly skimmed most of this and I don't feel like I missed much. It is too bad, because I have enjoyed a few of her series. I think it could have been written as either one longer book or two rather than a trilogy, and would have made more of an inpact. I will still try out books from this author, but this one wasn't for me.
Diving in and I’m on a search for mermaids. If you have not read the first book, I suggest you do. This story begins right where the last book left off. Now, in the first book, the reader gets most of the story from Gemma’s point of view. In this book, the reader gets most of the story from Harper’s point of view, and then switching to Gemma’s. I didn’t mind the point of view switches being that they did flow well. As the reader, you never felt lost in what was happening in the story. I like that you got plenty of details form both sisters without ever feeling lost or confused. Now, the love interest some what get a bit difficult. Both girls have a lost interest in which they love but being under the circumstance that they are under, their relationships began to take some tolls. Their barely making it through and I have this feeling that both of their relationships will be out to a test. I’m anxious to see exactly where these girls will end up and if these guys will make the cut. Lots of stuff is happening and at this point, its up in the air. Both of the girls development within the story is good. I love that both girls grow quickly, learning and taking chances in what they need to do. I am a bit miffed that despite being sisters, they don’t really trust each other well. They both hold back a lot of stuff from each other. I think that if they told each other everything, things would be a whole lot easier. As I see it, they are just making it harder on themselves and everyone else around them. Lullaby is an great sequel. Surfacing for air, I felt this story had lots of amazing plots twist and turns that keeps the reader hooked to the story.Ambitious and superior in action, Lullaby is great.
This book just made me fail a science text because I was reading it instead of studing! I loved it and I ove Amanda Hocking's writing. She makes it seem efforless and I can not figure out how she does it:/
Read this in one day! I can't wait for the third book! This book will keep you way excited
A well written story and I can't wait for the next! But I feel there is much to be desired so I give Lullaby only 4 stars.
The excitement that Wake ended with continues in Lullaby as you learn more about the Sirens. Gemma is trying so hard to hang on to her humanity, but the Siren urges within herself make it impossible. Some surprising things happen. I'm glad the author is letting these things happen. I love that you are provided perspectives from both Gemma and her sister, Harper. I can't say that I have a favorite at this point. I like them both for different reasons. When it comes to the guys, Daniel is my clear favorite. He has been since book one.
I am a 50+ person that enjoys reading and loved Twilight, this series seemed interesting in reviewing so started with Wake the first of the series, it was good and I wanted to read more so purchased Lullaby. this was even better and kept me intrigued. I was actually disappointed when the booked ended because I wanted to read more. Now I am very much looking forward to reading number three "Tidal" when it comes out.
Not a great or seriously thought provoking read. But for bubble gum book it's okay. Certainly lacks the power of other popular teen books. It's a quick light read.
Emma was beautiful before Penn got ahold of her but now Emma was prettier than Penn. In what Emma and Alex had both thought was just a dream turns out that Emma and Alex really had been having sex with each other and not just in a dream. Alex had gotten Emma pregnant accidentally. "Your sexy with no bottoms on Emma now let me see you with no top." Sawyer said. The other sirens, Penn, Lexi and Hannah excluding Thea had discovered that a pregnant siren's milk and dripping wet vagina had power. Penn grabbed Emma's tit and squeezed it lightly causing a thin stream of milk to shoot out . "This baby will be quite helpful to have around especially if it's a boy." She said. A siren's approximate gestitation time is a week. "Siren's rarely give birth or get pregnant but when they do, the baby is born in the ocean with a tail." "This baby will not be useful once born and until it grows old enough you are not allowed to come back . If the baby is a girl you must sing the song of the sirens to her and create a siren heart in her by singing her name. If the baby is a boy then he will be Thea's next meal in four years. The child of a human and siren will be gorgeous but will not posses any magic that can do harm. If giving birth in human form your siren heart will die. Your tail will be lost but not beauty or power." 12 days later Emma's newborn was fast asleep in her bassinet. Emma picked up her unnamed sleeping daughter and sang the song of the mermaids not the sirens to her. It was a cryptic song but meaningful. "Are you, Are you, coming to the tree. They strung up a man they say who murdered three, wear a necklace of hope side by side with me. A bracelet of shells kept evil away. The dead man called for his love to flee. Bella Rose gave them hope and saftey she was a lovely girl who loved us back." Her child's name was Bella Rose. Bella Rose became Bella as she grew up.