Silent Echo: A Siren's Tale

Silent Echo: A Siren's Tale - Elisa Freilich

This book was given to me from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I need to disclose that this was NOT A FINISHED COPY! Some of this book could have changed by the publishing date.That being said, I will go on with my review. First off, I did not finish this book. Normally I don't review books I haven't finished, but as it was an ARC I need to explain my reasons for not liking or finishing it.Second, a lot of people WILL love this book, I'm sure of that, but I didn't and couldn't finish it and here are my reasons why.


1. The Characters


Simply put - I despised the characters. If they were real people, they'd be the kind that I would keep away from. The main problem with the characters was Portia, who incidentally is the main character. I find that if I can't connect with the main character and the plot is sketchy then the book falls out of favor with me. If I don't connect with a character, when they act bitchy, even as a part of the plot, I can't stand them.


And Portia was just 'ugh'.


And even though I have trouble providing quotes, I found some, because to be quite honest, once Max (her love interest) came into the picture, she started treating the only person who had had her back like dirt. What's worse was she knew he was developing feelings for her, but she tended to forget him whenever Max was on the scene. I mean, what is that teaching the reader? That it's okay to mess with your best friend, male or female, if you get a hot boyfriend or girlfriend. No, it's not. It's in no way cool.


So anyway these are some of the quotes I came up with. The first one is before Max and the last two are after Max.


'What?" she mouthed silently.'Nothing, I'm just happy that Zachary Wilson pummeled you that day,"'Me too, Felix." Though her words were silent, she hoped that they resonated in the deaf ears of her best friend.


Haha in case you were thinking Felix was a douche about being happy about Zachary beating Portia up, the back story shows that it was the beginning of their friendship and it happened when they were very young.So, anyway now Post-Max - keep in mind that Felix and Portia had never argued before, not to a mean degree anyway.


"You don't own me Felix." She mouthed the words harshly, momentarily satisfied by the look of hurt on his face. 14%


She said that because Max walked off in a huff after he caught Felix rubbing her aching back. He was teasing her and that was her response. She was glad she hurt him. Why would anyone be glad they hurt their best friend? Seriously? Turning bitchy because your boyfriend walked off in a huff? Yeah, that makes me like you, Portia.And this following one was the last straw for me.


'So why was it that at the sight of Felix's new love interest, the rage that had been sweeping over her in vibrant spurts returned so fiercely that all she could do was turn around. If not the words that were creeping up in her throat would surely have broken the surface."Hey Parker - stay the hell away from him..." 29%


Now maybe you're wondering why that would upset me? Obviously, she likes him a lot more then she lets on. No, unfortunately, she's totally hooked on Max. What this is, is a case of 'I don't want you, but I don't want anyone else to have you either', with maybe a little bit of 'you're my best friend and you have to be there for me, even though I know you like me and I rub it in your face that I'm with Max.' And he writes the most amazing songs in the whole wide world because (of course) he's a musician. Not to mention my boyfriend eggs on my best friend so much that they end up in a fist fight. Ugh! No, just no!


She just came across as totally self-absorbed and awful!I could go on about Max, but this review is getting long enough and I still have other points to go over. Let's just say that I wasn't happy with any of them.


2. Writing Style


So the book actually started off all right, even though Portia was already starting to rub me the wrong way. It's written in third voice and the story was basically told around Portia, with her thoughts and feelings. And then, bam, suddenly it changes so you've suddenly got Max's Felix's and Leto's perspective. There were probably even more characters' perspectives, but I stopped reading around the 42% mark. so I don't know.


Now don't get me wrong - I love third voice and getting into the heads of other characters, but this was just so poorly executed that all I could think was, 'What the hell is going on?" Suddenly, instead of having to focus on one or two characters, I had to get inside the head of several. When it's executed well, it can be a wonderful experience. This, sadly, was just painful.


Another thing is that I couldn't experience anything the characters were going through. There just wasn't any depth. I felt like I was being told that this was happening, not experiencing what was happening. When Portia almost killed an abusive man, I felt nothing. When Max sang a love song (at least I think it was a love song) to Portia at the nightclub, I felt nothing. And as much as I wanted to, I just couldn't find the connection I needed.


3. The Lyrics


Okay so this is actually the hardest part for me. As a writer, I know that your heart and soul can go into developing and writing lyrics. They end up being very personal and special. But, as a reader, I hated them. There were too many of them and I ended up just skimming over them. If they were there to act as part of the plot, it didn't work for me. Maybe they were explained further into the book, but I didn't care enough about the story to find out. They didn't feel AT all necessary, even though Portia was a siren.


4. Plot


The story line was actually kind of interesting, but the execution of it just ruined it for me. Using a little 'poetic license' and changing mythology to suit your story doesn't bother me. But, I just couldn't connect to it and I absolutely ADORE mythology. There just wasn't enough to hold my interest and add that to the characters that I thought were just hideous just made my whole reading experience awful. The truth is that if I had forced myself to keep reading it - because it was an ARC (and I treasure them), I would have ended up an angry, bitter and tortured mess.


As much as I wanted to love this book, and I've read another book published by Diversion Books that I absolutely adored, I just couldn't.I can't recommend this to anyone the way I'm feeling about this book - the reader will need to decide for themselves.


Anyway, I'm sure you can guess what my rating is:-  One out of five stars.