Siren Song (Blood Singer Series #2)

Siren Song (Blood Singer Series #2)

by Cat Adams

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780765324955
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date: 09/28/2010
Series: Blood Singer Series , #2
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 6.96(w) x 11.30(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Cat Adams is the author of the much-lauded Blood Singer series, including Blood Song, Siren Song, Demon Song, The Isis Collar, The Eldritch Conspiracy, and To Dance with the Devil. Adams is also USA Today bestselling author C. T. Adams, author of The Exile and coauthor of the Thrall series and the Tales of the Sazi books.

As an audiobook narrator, Arika Escalona has performed a wide range of genres, from classics to stranger-than-fiction true stories. She has also narrated a variety of educational videos, apps, and video game characters, and is the ongoing voice for Amazon Kindle's how-to video series.

Read an Excerpt

Siren Song

 

1

“Celia, everything’s going to be fine. You’ll see.” Dr. Scott gazed at me earnestly in the back of the sleek black limo, willing me with every fiber of his being to believe the words.

Unfortunately, no matter how sincere the assurance of the handsome, dark-skinned psychiatrist with slightly silvered hair and a calming demeanor, we both knew he was lying. Nothing was ever going to be fine again. A week ago I was an ordinary human bodyguard, living a normal life in beautiful California. Now I was part vampire, part siren, and struggling to maintain not only my sense of self but also my sense of humor. He wasn’t helping either one with that line.

I raised my brows at him as I gave him the snort his words deserved. My first meeting with him had resulted in my stalking his secretary like a deer—complete with fangs bared and red eyes glowing. I’d even chased the good doctor out of the room in a panic. I hadn’t been safe to talk to until after he locked me inside his office with a full pitcher of barely cooked beef juices, which in my sunset-induced predator mode I’d happily sucked down like a strawberry milk shake.

I was still trying not to think about what I might have done without that pitcher of bloody juice. It had only been a few days ago and dawn was still hours away.

His expression changed as though he knew what I was thinking. I was aware that Dr. Scott was telepathic, but ethics and the law should prevent him from “peeking” outside of official therapy sessions. Still, he couldn’t miss my physical reaction to his statement, and after a staring match where he blinked first, he finally had the decency to look chagrined.

The sound of the driver’s door of the limo slamming shut shifted my attention away from Dr. Scott, giving him the opportunity to fiddle with the buttons on the side panel. Probably looking for another stiff drink to bolster him for the start of this adventure. We were on the way to Birchwoods, an ultra-private psychiatric facility for the very rich and famous, where I was to be evaluated before I had to appear to defend myself against charges of mind manipulation.

While I’m neither rich nor famous, I’m not poor, either, and it was so worth the money to stay in a place that might someday release me. St. Mary’s Detention Center was the only other choice outside of the state facility. But it’s only licensed for short-term care, and with the looming legal problems caused by my newfound physical and psychic abilities I could be looking at a very long-term, even permanent, commitment.

My brow furrowed suddenly, because I felt . . . something. It was similar to the odd, pins-and-needles tingling sensation that I was beginning to associate with magical barriers. I’d never been able to get even a hint of the magical before the vampire bite. Now I’m aware of far too much. It was actually getting painful to walk around Los Angeles, since the city is the hotbed of magic you’d expect. The more power magic wielders use to guard mansions, protect movie stars, and banish evil forces from public buildings, the more intense it feels to me. This one hurt.

I sat bolt upright in my seat, actually flinching when I heard the automatic locks click with what felt like an ominous finality.

“What’s wrong?” As a trained observer of human behavior, Dr. Scott didn’t like the vibe I was giving off. He was suddenly very alert and looked completely businesslike.

“Maybe nothing,” I answered. My voice stayed steady but sounded uneasy. It didn’t feel like nothing. I could sense pressure building, making me want to wiggle my jaw like you do in an airplane to get your ears to pop. There are protective spells that can be used to keep moving objects, including vehicles, from damage. But they’re hideously expensive, difficult to do, and create enough friction when a car is in motion to make any model a gas hog. A limo like this one was built like a tank. It shouldn’t need that kind of a spell. But if it wasn’t a protection spell, then what was it?

Maybe it was the liquor I’d just imbibed at the wake for my recently deceased best friend, Vicki, that had me feeling slow, but I couldn’t think of a single reason for the powerful spell I’d sensed. Yes, I’d gone to college to get a preternatural degree. But at the time, I hadn’t been able to feel magic. It’s one thing to know that forces like gravity exist and relate the properties on a test paper. It’s another entirely to feel the weight of it on your skin and know something’s not right. Which made me suspicious. Well, more suspicious. I’ve been a bodyguard so long that I’m always a little bit paranoid. “Can you sense the driver?”

The car moved smoothly away from the curb, fitting nicely in between the pair of police cruisers I could see through the window . . . barely. Mostly I just saw my reflection on the inside of the glass. The woman I saw was attractive but cold, hard. It was my “business face.” I use it a lot. So often that sometimes even I forget the softer me exists.

“That would be illegal.” Dr. Scott didn’t bother to hide the disapproval in his voice. It was combined with the stern look of an instructor.

I shook my head. “No, Doctor. Reading his mind is illegal. Just sensing to see if he’s ‘there’ isn’t.” It was a fine distinction, but I was learning a lot about those as my attorney and I prepared for my upcoming trial. I had one of the best defense attorneys in the business. If he was successful, I would be a free, if considerably less wealthy, woman. I could live with that. If I stayed out of jail or a psychiatric facility, I could always earn more money.

I pretended not to notice Dr. Scott staring at me, concentrating instead on the scene outside the glass. We’d turned left. It wouldn’t have been a big deal except for one little detail. We were supposed to be heading for Birchwoods, on Ocean View. The nearest exit to Ocean View was three blocks down and on the right.

Dr. Scott’s eyes locked with mine in the glass. If he was checking my thoughts, I couldn’t tell. At the moment I wouldn’t even mind. Best for him to find out for himself that I wasn’t joking. I was beginning to suspect we were in very real trouble. I watched his reflection as he pursed his lips thoughtfully. As he seemed to reach a decision, his face went distant and blank for a few seconds.

“That’s odd. I can’t sense him at all.” He sounded puzzled and not altogether happy.

I turned to face him. “Null?” I made it a question. Psychic nulls were rare but not unheard of. I’d very briefly been assigned to a shrink who was a null. She was completely immune to magic and to psychic manipulation. Which would’ve made her the perfect doctor for someone like me if she hadn’t also been one of the bad guys. As it was, her drugging me and setting me up for murder had started the chain of events leading up to my current legal woes—and did absolutely nothing for my trust issues with psychiatrists.

“No. It feels more as if I’m being blocked.”

I wouldn’t have thought I could tense any further, but I did as adrenaline pumped through my system. We’d just taken another left turn. While I couldn’t be sure, yet, it appeared we were en route to the desert, where there was miles and miles of nothing . . . right up until you got to the state-run facility for “rogue” monsters and psychics.

“Doctor, are you lying to me?” There was a growling, hissing tone to my voice and my skin had started to glow, giving off a pale, gray-green light that filled the darkened passenger compartment like water in a pool. It was decidedly spooky. In just a few days I’ve grown to hate it, but right now it might prove useful in scaring the doctor. If he was scared maybe, just maybe, he’d be honest with me. Of course, getting angry was liable to push the limits of my control over the monster in me. But I needed the truth and I didn’t have a lot of options as to how I was going to get it.

He shrugged but was more interested in concentrating on whatever was pushing him away. “Why would I lie?”

I waved my hand in front of his face to grab his attention and then pointed. “Look out the window.”

He tried, even going so far as to press his nose to the glass. “I can barely see through the tinting. What am I looking for?”

No surprise there. I had the advantage of vampire-style vision. “Try looking out through the sunroof.” I toned back on the spookometer. I wasn’t scaring the doctor so much as pissing him off. I couldn’t be positive, but I was beginning to think he didn’t know any more about what was going on than I did, that maybe his choosing to ride in the limo with me had been an unexpected complication for whoever was running this little show.

He stood up, flattening his hand against the seat to steady himself from the vehicle’s movement and the drinks he’d had earlier, at the wake. He’d been Vicki’s doctor, too. He had to push into the invisible barrier surrounding the car and I felt an odd lurch in my stomach as it stretched to accommodate his movement. He noticed it, too, and pushed against it, smoothing his hands along to test the barrier like a mime on a street corner.

“We’re going the wrong way. We’re headed toward the desert.” He sounded honestly shocked, afraid, and more than a little sick.

“Yes.” My voice could’ve frosted the glass as I watched the lights of the city become swallowed up by the darkness.

I had to give the man credit. He had brains. “You think I set you up?” There was a hint of caution in his voice. Not fear. He was too tough for that. But he was bright enough to not want to be locked alone in the back of a limo with an angry monster. Taking me to the state facility would most assuredly piss me off.

“The thought did occur to me,” I admitted.

I watched as he waved his arm slowly.

“What are you doing?”

“We’ve got a police escort. I’m trying to get their attention. But they don’t seem to see me.”

I doubted that. More likely they thought he was being cute and drunk. Or they were just ignoring him. Whichever.

He lowered himself carefully onto the seat. Leaning back, he closed his eyes. “And I can assure you that if I’d intended to turn you over to the state, I would not be stupid enough to ride in the car with you. And as I told you before, I wouldn’t consign a rabid dog to the state facilities.”

I gave him a humorless smile. “I remember that.”

“Oh good.” His voice practically dripped sarcasm. “So now what?”

“Let me try your cell phone.”

He blinked at me but reached inside his suit jacket to retrieve it. He was slower on the uptake than normal. The result of the liquor, no doubt, but not particularly helpful. My own inebriation was long gone. There are a few benefits to my partially undead body.

“If I’m just being paranoid, it should work just fine,” I explained as he passed the top-of-the-line tech toy to me.

“And if it doesn’t?”

I punched the number for Alex’s cell phone. Vicki’s former lover had been at the wake, so she should still be close by. She was also a cop. She could find out if this was legit. If it wasn’t, she could get us help. Assuming I could get a call through.

He watched expectantly as I waited for the telltale ringing and instead heard only crackling static. Damn. I hit the “end” button and flipped the phone closed. The adrenaline that began to flow through my muscles was both invigorating and annoying. It wasn’t just danger that was making my body tense. The abrupt rush of fear from Dr. Scott had me alert and watching his every movement. Yes, I’d had my requisite nutrition shakes and no, I wasn’t hungry. But hunting is about more than just feeding and I was getting twitchy.

When I didn’t answer, he repeated his question: “And if it doesn’t?”

It wasn’t an if anymore—just a statement of fact. “We’re screwed.”

 

 

SIREN SONG

Copyright © 2010 by C. T. Adams and Cathy Clamp

All rights reserved.

A Tor Book

Published by Tom Doherty Associates, LLC

175 Fifth Avenue

New York, NY 10010

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Siren Song 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 77 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Professional bodyguard Celia Graves remains emotionally stunned by the assault that has left her belonging to no species as she is an Abomination half-breed as well as also learning due to the vampire attack that she has siren blood in the mix too (see Blood Song). Adding to her feelings of detachment is she has no earthly idea as to what powers she has and now has a new family she never knew existed. -------------- Of course that is the easy part of her transformation; as resolute adaptable Celia has a new set of deadly adversaries; some of whom she has not met. In court, Celia demands to remain free insisting her human blood will prevent her from becoming a shark like feeding machine that force the lock up of vampires and that she did not murder her BFF Vicki. However, she is being yanked by her siren kin whose queen demands she visit to kneel her allegiance to her and she faces an avenging demon, but must make time to protect the king of Rusland from an assassination plot. Finally her former lover Bruno DeLuca the magician de-mands time with her.------------------ Although it seems as if there are too many subplots as the heroine would testify so, Cat Adams' talent to keep each coherent and flowing is masterful as readers will be able to keep track of Celia's busy schedule. Action-packed with demands coming from apparently everywhere and then some, Siren Song is a great urban fantasy as last week Celia was just a purebred human bodyguard living in California though in Eastern Europe on an assignment; and now has vampire and siren blood mixed with her red and white corpuscles; her DNA is amazing. This is a wild stupendous second story in the Celia's Song saga.----------- Harriet Klausner
Unwasted_Words More than 1 year ago
Something's just not right in Celia Graves life. Assassination plots, harassing cops, a drunk mother, and it's only Monday. With one crisis after another Celia hardly has time to notice a pattern let alone breathe. In this second installment the action begins from the first page when Celia is abducted. Narrowly escaping the ordeal just leads to more reasons why the humans want Graves dead, and it's not helping her legal issues. In the meantime Celia is learning to balance her inner vampire without losing her humanity. Her latent siren abilities, are causing more problems than they're worth, after all having fangs is bad enough without the glowing. Everything's coming to a head and the dynamic duo Cat Adams proves the devils in the details. Pay attention because the most minuet bits of information come into play in Siren Song. The fact that most women can't stand Celia, her mother's self destructive ways, her sister and Vicky's unfortunate demises, even Graves' string of near death experiences are all connected. And in this wonderfully woven story all those answers will be revealed. But the end of this journey isn't free, Celia will pay a hefty price. She will be betrayed, and those betrayals will test and collapse her inner circle. Siren Song has a really relaxed pace after that initial first scene. But stick with it there is more action to come and quite a few heartbreaks and double crosses. Nothings what it seems especially in the land of sirens. At first the siren issue was a bit of over kill for me, but it really is an integral part of the story and Celia's character. Also this series is more story and action driven, less romantic, but with the introduction of Creede as a love interest there is a strong possibility of a future love triangle. Even though a lot of questions were answered in this book there are new concerns raised by the end, leaving a lot to look forward to in the future.
kitkat3ny More than 1 year ago
I strongly suggest you read the previous book in the series (Blood Song) prior to reading this installment. I was really looking forward to reading this book since the end of Blood Song. The possibility of having a different preternatural creature to focus on, as oppose to the same old vampires, witches and demons was a nice prospect. However, I must admit this installment was a bit of a disappointment. The inconsistencies were too great to ignore; plus, the whole postmenopausal women, old men and lesbians are the only ones that can resist my siren charms felt immature to me. Another strike against this book was the author built and revved up a situation, only to have the resolution occur after the fact. The author used this horrible technique in the previous book with the death of Celia's sire and she also repeated this heinous technique for a certain part in this installment. Through many of the subplots, I kept wondering why is Celia even here? Celia's character just felt thrown into situations, which felt convenient for the author but held no real purpose for Celia's character. Aside, from my many complaints above, this installment had a high entertainment factor. This crucial component was the sole redeeming quality, which kept me reading this book until the end. There was plenty of action to go around and there was thankfully zero romance. I was conflicted on what score I should rate this installment. This series has a lot of potential. However, there were some parts of the author's writing style that were pretty irritating but at the same time, I read this entire book without skipping head and was completely entertained. I recommend this book judging solely from an entertainment standpoint alone, to fellow dark urban fantasy readers and look forward to the next book Demon Song due out 3/1/2011.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Celia Graves survived becoming an Abomination. She continues to work as a bodyguard in the same town where she was attacked. The vampire attack awakened a part of Celia that she knew nothing about - she's part Siren. Summoned to the Sirens' island for reasons unknown, Celia must fight off many enemies if she wants to find out about her heritage. I thoroughly enjoyed book one in this series, BLOOD SONG, and book two is no different. Just when you think you have Cat Adams' world figured out, they throw more surprises at you. It seems Sirens have more than the average power. They're not only able to seduce men and alienate women, but they also have several surprises up their sleeves. The author has created a paranormal fantasy world that leaves the reader wanting more. Interesting characters, wonderful world-building, and a mythology that gets more interesting with every character they throw into the mix. Many authors try to pull the reader in from the beginning of the story - Cat Adams succeeds. Fast-paced, twists and turns, excitement galore, SIREN SONG does not disappoint. With this second book, I am even more sure that this will be one of the best series that I will read this year. You never know what is going to happen, but you definitely know that whatever it is it will be exciting and hard to put down.
MargK on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really, really wanted to love this book, since I was thoroughly entertained by Blood Song, the first installment in the series. Most of my issues with this book revolve around the plot. The pacing was just not very well balanced. Majority of the story moved along rather slowly. At somewhat random parts, brief moments of action were introduced, but were soon followed by rather mundane scenes that were far more detailed than they needed to be. Then abruptly towards the end, the action was kicked ...more I really, really wanted to love this book, since I was thoroughly entertained by Blood Song, the first installment in the series. Most of my issues with this book revolve around the plot. The pacing was just not very well balanced. Majority of the story moved along rather slowly. At somewhat random parts, brief moments of action were introduced, but were soon followed by rather mundane scenes that were far more detailed than they needed to be. Then abruptly towards the end, the action was kicked into high gear and careened into a rather quick conclusion. Significant developments/events felt rushed and not as explored as they should have been.I was also disgruntled and disappointed by the plot twists. As a reader, I generally like to be surprised. I like a good mystery and unexpected revelations. I even like the occasional red herrings thrown into the mix. However, these tactics need to be effectively incorporated into the story, make sense, and be justified. A couple of big twists in Siren Song made absolutely no sense to me. They seemed like forced plot devices with no natural progression or cohesion with preceding events. Both twists involved people Celia holds dear, who completely acted out of character. In Blood Song, Cat Adams built these characters up to have important roles in Celia's life and hinted at even greater involvement in the future. Sadly, that was basically thrown out the window. In this book, these characters very briefly pop in, trample on everything they were setup to represent, and pop back out just as abruptly. I was left feeling perplexed and frustrated.Honestly, the main thing that kept me reading was Celia's character. I still very much liked her in this book. She is well written and easy to connect with. As in the first book, I found myself drawn into her multifaceted struggle. Celia is faced with a lot of challenges, threats, and heartaches, and she just keeps on fighting and pushing ahead. She is strong but vulnerable, and she is very smart and resourceful. I like the fact that her being a bodyguard is actually believable. Too often, urban fantasy heroines are setup to be private investigators, police officers, bodyguards, etc. and they act in ways that make you very skeptical of their qualifications and capabilities. So, I was very happy that this was not the case with Celia's character.
STACYatUFI on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Im So sad for Celia, She has gone threw way to much and looks like will continue to suffer in books to come. Great read though
MrsMich02 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Love-love-loving this Blood Singer series. Psyched for Book 3, Demon Song. Can't wait to see what other abilities Celia will develop. Will she get back together with Bruno? Will her mother try to straighten out her life and repair their damaged relationship? Stay tuned :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can hardly wait to read the next book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book showed up more changes in Celia's life. It also gave some backstory and answered some questions from the last book. It was a great read and wry fascinating. Parts of it were also sad though. To me this book made Celia more personable. I look forward to reading more.
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