Rating:

lullaby-book-two-in-the-watersong-seriesReviewed by Elizabeth Talbott

Gemma has abandoned her family to run off with sirens Penn, Lexie, and Thea in order to stay alive and to keep her family safe. She wants nothing to do with them, but doesn’t want to put her family in danger. Avowed to punish herself, Gemma refuses to give in to her siren desires and becomes weak and starved. Her deep and strong urges become harder to ignore as she becomes weaker and weaker. Over time, she changes from the girl she was at home – hard at work and innocent.

Harper is frantic to find her sister while also taking care of their father. She picks up the pieces Gemma left behind; now she is the one left to deal with their father, Alex, and the death of a close family friend. If Harper finds her, will Gemma still be the same girl that left? Or has she changed drastically because of the evil nature of the mythological creature she is now?

Wake, the first book in the series, was OK, but it definitely had its flaws. Lullaby is a slight improvement. Gemma is slightly less annoying. The first book had her acting like a child, making me relate to her more mature sister Harper. This installment has her coming to grips with her new state as a siren and trying to abstain from the pleasurable aspects and the more monstrous aspects of siren nature. She pushes the limits of what her body can take to keep her sense of morality, even if her nature pushes her towards evil.

The other sirens are more fleshed out than they were in the last book. Penn views humans as toys to be used and discarded or as food. She is incredibly manipulative, jealous, and vindictive. Lexie proves to be the nicest, extending advice and help to Gemma. I find her the most interesting because despite her evil nature, she manages to still be good, giving some shades of grey to the previously black and white world. Harper is an awesome character, even if she isn’t mystical or mythical. She stays home to pick up the pieces Gemma left behind and works relentlessly to find Gemma. The only annoying thing is that she keeps trying to push Daniel away because of what she perceives to be right. I’m fairly certain they will end up together, so this predictable back and forth is unnecessary.

I really enjoyed the horror aspects of Lullaby. For a romantic and mythical story, there is a surprising amount of blood and gore. I originally thought that this would put off the target audience, but the reception for the first book was pretty positive. The stilted conversations that annoyed me in the first novel are much improved here. They flow more naturally and make the book more engaging. There was one point in the book where the the characters act without thinking about the ramifications and then just sit around doing nothing. Very frustrating, but it was the only glaring flaw in an otherwise enjoyable narrative.

Lullaby is decidedly an improvement over Wake. I enjoyed the story and the deeper, more complex characters. I am interested to see what happens in the next book, Tidal.

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Also by Amanda Hocking: Wake and Switched 

Elizabeth is a student at Cal State Long Beach. She laughs a lot, loves cats, and lives for music and books. You can read her blog here: http://titania86-fishmuffins.blogspot.com.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by St. Martin’s Griffin. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.