Review: Silent Echo: A Siren’s Tale by Elisa Freilich

September 27, 2013 Book 7

Title: Silent Echo: A Siren’s Tale
Author: Elisa Freilich
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy, Mythology, Romance
Publisher: Diversion Books
Publication Date: September 10th 2013
Source: ARC provided by Publisher via Netgalley

Goodreads Summary:

Silent Echo: A Siren's Tale

Haunted by silence, a mute teenage girl is mysteriously given back her voice … and it is divine.

Rendered mute at birth, Portia Griffin has been silent for 16 years. Music is her constant companion, along with Felix, her deaf best friend who couldn’t care less whether or not she can speak. If only he were as nonchalant about her newfound interest in the musically gifted Max Hunter.

But Portia’s silence is about to be broken with the abrupt discovery of her voice, unparalleled in its purity and the power it affords to control those around her. Able to persuade, seduce and destroy using only her voice, Portia embarks on a search for answers about who she really is, and what she is destined to become.

Inspired by Homer’s Odyssey, SILENT ECHO: A Siren’s Tale is an epic story filled with fantasy, romance and original music.

My Thoughts:

It’s been a few weeks since I read this book, and I still don’t know how to make the review. I don’t like making “bad reviews”, meaning lower than three stars. And I will try to keep this as professional as it can be and not insult or offend anyone. Here it goes…

Portia Griffin has been mute all her life, the only sound that ever escaped her lips being that of a newborn baby for the smallest of seconds. They say it’s all in her head. At 16 years she’s still unable to make a sound. Her salvations are her music and best friend, Felix, whom she might start to feel something more than just friends. Her life is perfect in all aspects except for her muteness. But it all changed when Max Hunter came to their school, charming her away with his music talents and mesmerizing voice. Other than her new-found boy interest, Portia is thrown suddenly into a mythological world she thought only existed in the pages of The Odyssey. And with that, her voice comes back, rich and beautifully powerful, enabling her to persuade, seduce, and destroy all around her. She has to discover how to control this given gift as a Siren and use it for goodness, or be herself seduced by the evil Sirens described by Homer in what was supposed to only be myths.

I love Greece and all related to it, specially Mythology. Though, I’ve never read The Odyssey, or The Iliad, or any other old greek book. Odd right? But I’ve read a few things here and there to know some of the basic stuff. And when I saw that it was somehow based on The Odyssey, I thought I’d give it a try, especially since I love Greek stuff. I was drawn to this book with it’s shinny and captivating description. Unfortunately, this was one of those books with a promising storyline that fell down the hill.

Like I always say, this is my opinion, and it may differ from others who’ve read this book and probably loved it. But I didn’t.

The story had this dragged-on sense throughout most of it. It felt like I was holding a thousand pounds in my back while reading this.

I didn’t like Portia. I saw nothing in her that I would like. Her character felt to me very inconsistent, constantly changing. I didn’t know who she has in the end. Actually, more like 70%. I wasn’t able to bring myself more torture to finish reading the book. I didn’t feel like she had any personality at all. She was boring, dull, irritating, and bitchy at times. It was annoying. The thing is, how am I supposed to like a character like that?

But I tried to be empathic and see through all that. maybe she wasn’t my kind of character. Maybe I’d like the rest of the book. Er…

There were some things that I found kind of disturbing:

-No Portia, you aren’t the only 16-year-old that know’s who Ella Fitzgerald is.

-No Portia, one does not simply “freestyle like Sarah Brightman.”

-You rapped to the Greek Gods about Krispy Cream?

Also, the constant brand advertising was really annoying to me.  Every few paragraphs I’d see it again and other than bothersome, it was distracting. Plus, we have constant references to celebrities in the story, which aren’t all that necessary, in my opinion.

The plot was… boring, for a lack of a better word. I was given no motivation whatsoever in the story to continue. I reached so far because I needed something to make the review about, and I didn’t end it because it was too torturous. Page after page I didn’t feel anything. Nothing made me feel anything regarding to Portia’s situation of imminent danger or doom, no rising action that would lead me somewhere. If there was a point when it almost did, it didn’t. It cataplumbed splatted in the floor like a cold pancake left to die, even though pancakes don’t even have lives… Anyways. There were also lots of informational dumps, stuff I didn’t need to know for the story to go on, and if it was vital, then it didn’t feel like that.

“But Jennifer, maybe the other characters compensate for all that, right?” I’m sorry, no. Not for me. One-dimensional cardboard characters that didn’t build-up to something likeable. Except Felix, at first he was okay and seemed like a normal, real-life guy. But Portia ruined it and in the end, because of her behavior, he turned to someone I didn’t like at all.

This is probably not the best review ever. I don’t know what else to say that won’t simply start to sound like a bitchy ranting. I don’t want to offend anyone, really. But this book, I wouldn’t read it again.

Oh wait, I found a tiny bright-spot people might like! If you like a twist to original myths, maybe you’ll like to read it. I don’t know much of the Sirens myths, but enough as to know the ones in this book are entirely different.

If you want insta-love, read this book. If you like Greek mythology a bit, read it. If you love it, keep an open mind and try not to cry.

I can’t really say if anyone should or shouldn’t read this book. Maybe you’ll like it more than I.

PS. I am quoting “Katniss Everdeen–watch out for Portia Griffin!” I am trying really hard to refrain from ranting on this. I’ll be leaving you with this. I love Katniss, and she’s badass and a GREATLY developed character. Also, yes Katniss, watch out. Have your arrows in the ready for some white bird flying overhead… Might be too bad if it suddenly fell from the sky…

Rating: 1 star

did not like it

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I'm Jennifer. Addicted reader, and lover of books. I'm a full-time college student majoring in English Liturature and Linguistics & Communication, with aspirations of being a professional editor. Among other things. In the meantime, I obsess over books, history, art, and politics. I believe in freedom of speech and reading whatever you want. Open to discussions about anything and everything 🙂
  • Sorry but I really have to ask you this. You didn’t read The Odyssey and The Iliad? You don’t read them in high school for Lit class? Where I live it’s on the list of mandatory books we have to read.

    Ugh, I don’t like books based on mythology too.
    And Jennifer, don’t feel bad because you didn’t like book you got from author or publisher – they know that all they will get from us is honesty.

    • There are a lot of schools where they are mandatory, but I guess Puerto Rico just doesn’t care. How nice… Anyways, I wanna read them some time but I haven’t been able to buy it.

      And I’ve been told that. Publishers and authors must be used to reviews worst than this. But since I’m also posting this on Goodreads, I’m a bit hesitant on what I write because of their new review policy (Bullcrap). In addition, some authors don’t know how to accept reviews that aren’t 5 stars.

      Thanks for reading this! 😀

  • Go Jennifer for your honesty! I can see the restraint in your review so you did really well in trying not to rant lol. But alas, when it’s a book you didn’t really enjoy, that is what we do. Thanks for sharing!

  • Joy

    It definitely had me at The Odyssey but sadly, there were just too many things that seem too unlikable for me. I’m passing on this book.

    Thanks for your honest review.

  • Melanie (YA Midnight Reads)

    I haven’t heard of this one before but I have no intentions of reading it now. Sorry you had to go through all this! Let’s hope your next read is better 😀

    Lovely review! <33

  • Yikes. This sounds pretty bad, but I can definitely agree with your points-the same things would bother me as well. Too bad because I love books about Sirens. Great review, I usually just end up going off on tangent rants when I have to write a negative review, ha!

    • It was kinda mad… for lack of a better word. I definitely wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. Or maybe it was just me that didn’t like it, though some Goodreads reviewers might agree, and much more, with what I wrote. Thanks for reading this! 🙂