For a book centered around dark and mysterious creatures called sirens, there were precious few moments with them. Kelly Powell’s murder mystery novel, Songs from the Deep, really has just about nothing to do with the sirens–other than the fact that they’re a convenient scapegoat for the true murderer–so, if that’s the reason you’re picking this one up you may want to put it back down and just move on. But, if you’re here for the murder mystery, well…you might enjoy it?
Sirens as a plot device.
The truth about the sirens in this novel is that they are really no more than the setting. They serve little other purpose than to set the scene for the events to play out around and serve as motivation for the murderer and the protagonist, Moira, who wishes to clear their name. There’s a lot of history with the sirens and her father that basically accounts to the sirens being dangerous creatures that he wanted to protect…for some reason?
When you look a little deeper at the history between Moira’s father and her childhood friend, lighthouse keeper Jude Osric’s family, there seem to be a bunch of plotholes where the answer basically accounts to, because they loved the sirens. You almost expect something more to come of their shared history and secrets, but nothing ever actually does.
It was this person, at the beach, with a claw.
Okay, so I don’t know how other readers fared on this one, but the murderer was painfully obvious. Even the accomplice was obvious. They were so obvious, in fact, that I was convinced for a good portion of the story that there was no way those people could be the ones. The idea that the author would make the suspects so obvious as they were just seemed ludicrous to me. And then they were revealed and I just couldn’t help rolling my eyes.
I don’t think I ever had a moment where I was surprised by anything nor where I felt as though I was unsure about who was involved. Ultimately, everything with the reveal ended up feeling very anticlimactic as a result. And, again, the sirens were relegated to a plot device to serve as motivation only. The air of mystery and fear you were supposed to feel while reading this book was…nonexistent.
So, if nothing else, I thought perhaps the one thing that could make this novel okay for me would be the love story. There was very clearly an endgame plan for the main character and her childhood friend, despite some odd and pointless will they, won’t they plots that never actually went anywhere, to be together. They were cute, at times, and I’ve always been a sucker for childhood friends falling in love.
But honestly? The level of boring that filled the novel and subsequently these two characters made it almost impossible to root for them. It was certainly incredibly hard to care in the first place. I don’t know what it was about Jude Osric that left me so put off and apathetic to his character, but I just couldn’t find myself in position to really care about him at all.
I liked Moira, at times, but it was only a mild inclination to do so. Even she couldn’t capture my emotions in the end.
I wish I had positive things to say.
I don’t think that this is necessarily a bad book. It was written decently and had an interesting enough plot that I didn’t put it down and never pick it up again. But, aside from that, I really don’t know that I could speak to much that I actually liked or enjoyed about the book. It feels kind of wasteful to me, in a way. I guess a part of me was just expecting for there to be more darkness and more fantasy and I wasn’t expecting to be so bored.
I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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