Book Review: Wake

Book Review: WakeWake by Amanda Hocking
Series: Watersong #1
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on August 7th 2012
Pages: 320

Gemma seems to have it all—she’s carefree, pretty, and falling in love with Alex, the boy next door. He’s always been just a friend, but this summer they’ve taken their relationship to the next level, and now there’s no going back. Then one night, Gemma’s ordinary life changes forever. She’s taking a late night swim under the stars when she finds Penn, Lexi and Thea partying on the cove. They invite her to join them, and the next morning she wakes up on the beach feeling groggy and sick, knowing something is different.

Suddenly Gemma is stronger, faster, and more beautiful than ever. But her new powers come with a terrifying price. And as she uncovers the truth, she’s is forced to choose between staying with those she loves—or entering a new world brimming with dark hungers and unimaginable secrets.

The addition of mermaid / siren books to the young adult genre seems to gaining momentum. With each new offering, I find myself falling in love with these creatures all over again. But this love affair has not always been an easy one. Some mermaid / siren books have been done extremely well. While others were lacking that special spark. Upon discovering Amanda Hocking's Wake, I was instantly on guard. It's true that I adore what she did for trolls, but deep down, I questioned if she could do it again for another mythical creature.
Wake is told through two opposing points of view: Gemma and Harper. Gemma loves swimming. It is means everything to her. Harper loves order. She has goals set in stone for her life, and nothing and no one will stop her. These two sisters are as opposite as opposite can be. And loved the differences of personality. Don't really care for laid back Gemma? Maybe you will relate to Harper. Or vica versa. Having these two opposite personalities really added a layer to Wake that I was not expecting.
Going into Wake, I will admit that I thought this was going to be a mermaid read. But it wasn't. Or was not suppose to be. Unlike most mermaid / siren books, Wake uses the term sirens kinda loosely. Oh, the differentiation is made about midway through the book once the siren myth is told. It was almost like Hocking went out her way to make sure that readers understand mermaid and sirens are two separate creatures:

"I'm a mermaid?"
"We're sirens."
"What's the difference?"
"Well, for starters, mermaids don't exist, and we do."
p.160, Wake ARC

For what it is worth, Hocking creates an interesting siren myth based on actual Greek myths with a few little tweaks. But it was odd how Hocking went to all the trouble of making a line in the sand, so to speak, regarding mermaids vs. sirens, and it just flies out the window not even a chapter or two later.

Final Verdict:

I tried to go into Wake with little to no expectations. But after enjoying the Trylle series so much, it was a bit hard. Once I figured out that we were dealing with sirens, not mermaids, that took Wake to another level. Unfortunately, there was nothing groundbreaking about this read. An interesting myth, sure. But never once was I surprised by the turn of events. All in all, it felt a bit flat. Right now, I am not sure where I stand with this series. I am willing to give the next book a try. Hopefully, the next installment will add that something that I am looking for.

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