review · Sirens · YA

Dark Water (Siren #3) by Tricia Rayburn

12925333Hardcover, 368 pages
Published July 10th 2012 by EgmontUSA
Source: Library

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!

bibliophilic monologue · lists

A Guide to Supernatural Creatures (YA Lit. Style)

This has been a long time coming. I know that. You know. Well okay, fine, maybe youdidn’tknow that but now you do. So, put forward your best foot (aka not the smelly one) and let’s look at some supernatural creatures often found in YA novels.

The Vampire

A human who, after being bitten, dies and then rises again as a member of the undead (not to be confused with Zombie). His inhuman status is reaffirmed by his need to drink blood to survive. Males of the species have been known to be attracted to girls like Bella Swan. Make of that what you will. Has been known to sparkle. Is sensitive about stakes and other pointy objects (not including his fangs). Is almost always sexy and young. A master stalker. Warning: Garlic does not work on him. Has a mostly hate thing going on with werewolves.

For more information, read Twilight.

The Werewolf

Changes into a furry creature during full moon. At least in most mythologies though exceptions have been known to occur. The ones of the lupine persuasion are known to howl at the moon in order to annoy people. Excessively possessive and prefer sleeping in a big puppy pile. Dislike vampires enough to want to eat them. May occasionally speak in your head and tell you that they are your mate. Do not be alarmed. Just call animal control.

For more information, read the Raised by Wolves series by Jennifer Lynn Barnes.

The Zombie

Undead human. Do not confuse with vampires. They eat brains but may drink blood as well. They may also eat other parts of the body. Do not make good boyfriends as they want to eat you. They may also smell like they are decaying. They usually are. If you see one, run. There’s no such thing as a good zombie.

For more information read Dearly Departed by  Lia Habel

The Angel

Winged creatures who may or may not be divine (depends on the mythology). Often have, ironically, God complexes. And stalkerish impulses. Are usually polarized about right and wrong. Do not believe in grey areas. Also includes the Nephilim (half-angel/half-human, the Watchers (aka fallen angels, do not touch). Are usually very beautiful. Glow brilliantly (sunshine unnecessary to induce glowing).

For more information read Unearthly by Cynthia Hand.

The Mermaid/Selkie/Siren

Sea-creatures. The Mermaid is half-human, half fish. May smell fishy. The Selkie is a seal who becomes human for a while. May smell fishy. The Siren is another manifestation of the mermaid. Known to have very beautiful voices which they use to kill men. May smell fishy. Try not to throw a bait to one if you see any of these creatures. They are not known for their sense of humour.

For more information read The Keeper by Franny Billingsley.

The Fairy

Likes woods. Also known as fae/sidhe/etc. Includes elves, goblins, brownies, sprites and other various woodland creatures you will find in The Middle Earth. Haughty beings. Inflated egos. Eat leaves and nuts and sometimes human souls to keep things interesting.

For more information read The Iron Fey Series by Julie Kagawa.

The Unicorn

Not as harmless as portrayed. Can be murderous. Dangerous for vampires (the pointy horn). If you see one, stand really still and pretend you are a tree.

For more information read Rampant by Diana Peterfreund


Evil. May smell like sulphur and brimstone due to the amount of time spent in hell. Also known as devil, hideous and celery. Fraternization is not encouraged because of the previously mentioned Evil. If you become mired in the clutches of one, try praying. If that doesn’t work, join the dark side.

For more information read Falling Under by Gwen Hayes


Sensitive to fire and water. Prone to dancing naked in the moonlight. Love cats and pointy hats that are, unfortunately, not a danger to vampires. No longer ride broomsticks as that mode of travel is no longer insured.

For more information read Hollow Pike by James Dawson