Hardcover, 368 pages
Published July 10th 2012 by EgmontUSA
When seventeen-year-old Vanessa reunites with her biological mother, she faces the dilemma of a siren’s existence, that in order to survive she must endanger the lives of those she loves most.
Dark Water is the last installment in the Siren trilogy and unfortunately, in my opinion, the weakest one of them all. I enjoyed the first two books immensely. In a genre that was suddenly flooded with mermaids (pardon the pun), I thought Rayburn’s portrayal of sirens was original and refreshing. Her writing was strong as was her portrayal of bloodthirsty sirens. Dark Water flounders a bit because I felt it didn’t have a clear plot and direction. There were too many questions that remained unanswered at the end of the novel. Vanessa learns some important things about her heritage as this species of super sirens who may have greater powers than other sirens but also have greater needs for energy and sustenance. She needs to kill people in order to continue living.
And while the initial killings are aided by the presence of evil beings and other circumstances, the need for further killing remains. The readers are not told what will happen or how she’ll react when the need to kill arises again. We are just told that she’ll wait and see what happens and while such an ambiguous ending may work for some, it didn’t work for me. It didn’t engage in the moral aspects of such actions or slip into an existential discourse about living at the expense of someone else’s life. The romance remains complicated…she periodically needs to kiss other boys because she cannot get the energy she needs from Simon. And he seems accepting of this…which is a bit difficult for me to accept. It felt like Rayburn wrote herself into a corner, honestly it does.
So yeah, I wasn’t too impressed by the denouement of the trilogy. The villain of the final piece was obvious from her first appearance and even though she triggers Vanessa’s senses, nothing is done about her. There is no moment of confrontation until the ending, no moment of “let’s find out what her deal is” or anything like that. There is no justice for the murdered girls, no reasons given as to why they were the ones chosen and not any other girl. I was just terribly disappointed by the ending of what had been a very enjoyable trilogy till now. However, I am looking forward to reading whatever Rayburn writes next!