The Siren by Kiera Cass (Book Review)

thesirenA girl with a secret. The boy of her dreams. An ocean between them.
Throughout the ages, the Ocean has occasionally rescued young women from drowning. To repay their debt, these young women must serve for 100 years as Sirens, remaining young and beautiful and using their deadly voices to lure strangers into watery graves. To keep their true nature secret, Sirens must never speak to humans, and must be careful never to stay in the same place for too long. But once her century of service is over, each Siren gets a chance to start over – a chance to live the mortal life that was almost stolen from her.
Kahlen is resigned to finishing her sentence in solitude…until she meets Akinli. Handsome, caring, and kind, Akinli is everything Kahlen ever dreamed of. And though she can’t talk to him, they soon forge a connection neither of them can deny… and Kahlen doesn’t want to.

Publisher: Harper Collins
Page Count:

I don’t know why, but I had all the wrong ideas about this novel. First, I thought it would take place in any other time than the present tense and second I thought it was part of a series – oh, how wrong I’ve been! The Siren is a lovely modern day, mythological standalone romance and so far my favourite Kiera Cass book.

The life of a Siren is isolated with nothing but her Sisters to talk to – and I mean that. Sirens really cannot talk to anyone else or they would kill them. The Ocean is their mother, employer, friend and provider all at the same time. I loved how big of a part She was of the story and how beautiful, yet also cruel and almost godly She seemed, without me ever being able to fully understand everything that encompassed Her. She is definitely not human and it shows sometimes. The Sirens live to serve Her, but 100 years are a lot and everyone takes to the burdens differently. Yet, them having to share this duty, lead to them creating this very deep bond with each other. There are not many books with female friendships that are prominent and work, but here the individuals all had their part to play in forming their lovely little sisterhood. And they were truly all their own person, with different interests and characteristics, yet all strong in their own way.

I liked Khalen. Her style, her old-fashioned way of thinking – it just worked for me. I truly felt like she was the one who took her “job” serious, but who simultaneously was weighed down by it the most. She felt responsible for everyone and I could see how that dragged the others down but also made her necessary for the group. However, I am a little torn about the love. It wasn’t exactly insta-love, but she did fall for Akinli incredibly fast! I tried to justify it with her not being able to connect with other humans in forever, but it still was a rather otherworldly bond they had. Then again, that is exactly what made it so great, because sometimes it’s just nice to see people clicking with each other like that. My heart tore for Khalen, especially because I could see her pain so clearly in front of me.

One thing I kept wondering about was the language the Sirens spoke in. Was it English? Because how could that be possible with all of them coming from different parts of the world. There were little holes in that and also in the mythology itself, but I was willing to overlook it. The only thing that really bothered me was something I can’t say or you’ll be spoiled, but it had to do with a new Siren.

I feel like there is still a lot to say about this book, but I want you to experience it yourself. In the end, I really enjoyed the melancholy, the sadness as well as the cheesiness of it all. It is weird to think that it was Kiera Cass‘ first story and no one wanted to publish it back in the day and only the persistence of the fans made it possible. This is clearly a love story, but somehow it was also about guilt, duty, friendship, family and motherhood, sometimes even more so than romance. I am both sad and glad about the fact that this is only a standalone, because the ending was perfect. If it ever got turned into a movie, I think it would be very The Age of Adaline-ish and I’d love that, too.

Fazit: 4.2/5 stars! Despite minor flaws, this was a perfectly melancholic tale about love and the Ocean.


What’s your take on the story? Would you pick it up? If you’ve read it already, do you like it better than the Selection series as well? 

46 thoughts on “The Siren by Kiera Cass (Book Review)

  1. I think I will give it a try. I really couldn’t get into (I threw the book three chapters in while sitting in a beanbag at the library) her Selection Series (so I will admit that I am not…thrilled?) but I enjoyed your review.
    Did you find any similarities to The Selection?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, I certainly won’t force you to read it hahaha Cass writes very fluffy, nothing too much in the realm of worldbuilding, which you have to be able to forget. In that way they are similar, BUT there is no unnecessary love triangle. The main character is way less irritating and indecisive than America was. Also, love isn’t the focus all the time. It’s definitely the guiding element, but it’s also about family and friendship.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I read The Siren earlier last month (mostly for a mermaid / siren novel “market research” project – I’m not interested in The Selection), and thought it was OK. The love story did nothing for me; it felt too much like insta-love, and Akinli (though he’s a sweetheart) is pretty much painted as the perfect guy. But I really enjoyed the siren mythology and the friendships between Kahlen and her Siren sisters. That’s what made it worthwhile in the end for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I didn’t mind the love story, because I found Akinli adorable. Khalen herself said that he wasn’t perfect, but he was kind and patient and observant. I like those qualities, but I definitely get what you mean. Then again, I really don’t think that was the focus of the story too much, so as you mentioned the friendship or sisterhood of the Sirens was what really caught my attention. Even though I am not sure about Padma’s vendetta.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m really looking forward to reading this – it’s pretty high up on my shopping list, but I’ve got a few good books I am going to read before buying some more off that list, so it will take a while. I really like her writing style, which often during the selection series does make up for other flaws – she makes a lot of places and characters feel very real and approachable to me, which helps, and I am curious to see how she does a complete (and different) stand alone story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I definitely felt like the characters were real in this one as well. The places weren’t that important some of the time, but the ones that were mentioned felt great as well. I especially adored the descriptions of the Ocean though.


  4. Thank you for this great review, I’m so glad to hear you liked this book so much! I was wondering whether to add it to my TBR or not for a while, but now I know I NEED to read it soon. I really enjoyed The Selection series, and I’m so curious to see how this story turns out.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m totally intrigued by this book now. I was wary of it because I wasn’t sure if it would be a standalone and I wasn’t really interested in getting wrapped up in another series, and I had heard a lot of mixed things about The Selection series. And the dress. Ugh, there is a fluffy dress on the cover. Buuuut, all the elements you were talking about sound really interesting so I can totally see myself picking this one up! Thanks for the heads up 😄

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This sounds positively sweet! I actually found myself really enjoying The Selection; I thought it was silly and fluffy fun. I don’t think we’ve had a book on sirens, so I’m really interested to read books that feature them. I like that it’s a romance but that it also explores other themes too.

    Thanks for the review, Kat! I think I’ll pick this up one day, when I feel like a fun, fluffy read. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’d love for you to pick it up! Kiera Cass is a little bit my guilty pleasure sometimes. It’s fun to read her books, but they are often flawed in many aspects. So far I liked the Siren the best! But I am just a sucker for nostalgia and melancholy.


  7. I was hesitant about this, while I did enjoy The Selection, I didn’t want to put myself through another book with an America like character (especially since everyone says her daughter is worse, so it made me wonder if the protagonist of The Siren would be annoying as well haha), but this sounds like a fun read! I’m glad that the Sirens are all really close; it really bothered me in The Selection that most of the girls weren’t friends until the end. I hated the toxic relationships between most of them, but this sounds a lot better 😀 Great review, I’m definitely putting it on my tbr now!

    Liked by 1 person

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