Bestselling American writer Amanda Hocking of Trylle Trilogy fame is back with a splash: the second book in her Watersong series. Titled Lullaby [Pan Macmillan, Rs 350], it’s a rollicking read.
First, a quick recap. The Watersong series takes the plunge with Wake in the quiet town of Capri, where three strangely beautiful young girls turn up and catch everyone’s eye, including that of sisters Harper and Gemma. The three girls, Thea, Penn and Lexi, turn out to be mythical characters cursed by Demeter, the Greek goddess of harvest, to become sirens (sort of evil mermaids).
The twist in the tale is that the sirens have to stick together and in groups of four or they will die. After the mysterious death of the fourth siren, the three set their sights on Gemma. In Wake, Gemma is tricked into becoming a siren and leaves her hometown and family to protect them from the wrath of the sirens.
Lullaby finds Gemma’s sister Harper desperately in search of her, along with Gemma’s boyfriend Alex and another guy called Daniel. A near-death situation in Book 1 convinces them that they must bring Gemma back from the clutches of the shape-shifting sirens, who feast on boys’ hearts, having seduced them with their melodious voices before turning into bird-like monsters.
Here are three reasons why you should swim with the Watersong tide:
If Wake gives a slow start to the series and almost leaves the reader in doubt about how the story would pan out, Lullaby picks up pace and turns into a nerve-wracking read packed with action, romance and myths.
The Greek mythological touch with Demeter’s curse adds to the book’s wow quotient. In Hocking’s version, when Demeter’s daughter Persephone is kidnapped, the Greek goddess curses Persephone’s handmaidens — Peisinoe, Thelxiepeia, Aglaope and Ligeia — for their carelessness and turns them into sirens or mermaid-like creatures who feast on men’s hearts and are immortal only as long as they live together.
The ‘love me-love me not’ relationship between the strong, attractive, tattooed, living-alone-on-a-boat Daniel and the practical Harper adds the much-needed romance angle to the book. The undying love of Alex for Gemma takes a backseat in Book 2, as the focus shifts to the elder sister’s emotional dilemma between responsibility and love.
Lullaby ends on an upbeat note. Even though Gemma is back in Capri and the sirens are baying for blood, a glimmer of hope appears as everyone realises that the sirens are not invincible.
Now the wait starts for Tidal and then Elegy, the third and fourth books in the series, to take us deeper into the dark and secretive water world.