Undercurrent (Siren #2) Review

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Title: Undercurrent
Author: Tricia Rayburn
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Published: July 12, 2011
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Pages: 352
Source: Publisher

After losing her sister and finding out who- or what- she really is, Vanessa returns home for her senior year. Everyone at Hawthorne Prep has questions about her tragic summer, but knowing who to open up to is impossible. As she walks the halls without Justine for the very first time, Vanessa has more to worry about than just making a new life for herself.

Because the sirens are out for revenge. To protect herself and the ones she loves, Vanessa must call on powers she believes she has but does not know how to use. To learn, she'll have to seek help from the only person who truly knows her. But first, she must admit the truth about her real identity.
The summer's over, and it's back to real life in Boston for Vanessa Sands, but her real life has drastically changed since her sister's death. Joined by her best friend, Paige, Vanessa has returned how to a life of hidden truths, dangerous secrets and a new sense of self that is scarier than she could ever have imagined. She's beginning to question who she really is, who she can really trust and where her place is in the world. But when mysterious deaths begin turning up again, Vanessa and Paige have an idea that it might just be the past summer coming back to haunt them, yet again. Can Vanessa find peace with who she has become, or will it destroy the life she has been clinging so desperately to?

Undercurrent is the second book in the Siren series, after the appropriately-titled first book, Siren. Following in the footsteps of its predecessor, Undercurrent follows the haunting premise and story of Vanessa, your average teenager in every aspect except that she's plagued by Sirens, and yes, we're talking those Sirens from Greek mythology. Tricia Rayburn has spun a sequel filled with angst, terror and self-discovery that's sure to appeal to the fans of book one. With a steady, conversational tone, Tricia writes a steady-paced book without serious plot faults, lags or hiccups, making for an engaging read.

Now, while I enjoyed the writing style of Undercurrent, much like I enjoyed book one, I have to say that I had some issues with book two. Part of what made Siren so great was that it was riddled with mysteries and this dark, underlying issue that kept you guessing until the very last page when it just left you hanging. Undercurrent got off to a bit of a slow start with a very tell-don't-show bit about Vanessa's relationship with Simon. Simon was a great, steady guy, too, but his character building revolved entirely around Vanessa, so I never felt like I got to know him better aside from the few moments when he was with her. Her relationship with him was strained because of her newfound condition, but her endless comments and internal dialogue about having to "wear her hood up to hide her face" or "wearing beige so boys wouldn't swoon" really got to me. I think that the main issue I had with Undercurrent was the continuous hint of tension that never really built until the last 40 pages or so, when the action kicked in. Were there highlights? Of course! I loved the introduction of Parker's character, and I wanted to get to know him more. Willa, too, was a great addition. I guess the problem was that the hints of greatness took too long to swell into a great climax.

Overall, Undercurrent was a good book, and it was definitely a smooth, quick read despite my issues with it. I still really enjoy the author's writing, and I definitely want to read book three based on the ending of the book. I just wanted more from a sequel to a great series start. I give it a 3 out of 5, and I'd recommend it to fans of YA, especially those who enjoy paranormal stories and mythology.

I received this ARC free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.


  1. Too bad to hear this one wasn't as good as Siren (which I've heard incredible things about). No build up of tension until the last 40 pages? That is no bueno. I'm pretty sure I still want to read Siren though because of the positive reviews I've read for it. Great review, Melissa!

  2. I really loved SIren. I'm sorry it has such a slow pace in the beginning but I can live with 3 stars :)) I'm still looking forward reading it

    When you said there is a new character "Parker" ... don't tell me there is a love triangle? :( But yes it would make perfectly sense...

  3. I expect more from my YA pnr so perhaps not. They are the ones I get most disappointed in so they gotta be amazing

  4. I couldn't really get into the first book so if it wasn't as good I think I will skip this. Great honest review Melissa :)

  5. I have Siren on my TBR, but I had no idea about its sequel. I am sorry to hear that the sequel is slow paced. Perhaps I will only read the first book.

  6. The bane of sequels - they are tricky to write well and they are always compared to their older siblings...I enjoy mythology but I am sitting on the fence. Great review, though, very ballanced!

  7. Aw sorry you thought it was too slow! That cover is really haunting though. I might just skip this one.

  8. That's too bad that this wasn't better. I loved Siren. I especially dislike books where there's tons of tension but nothing actually happens until the end.

  9. I really liked Siren. It was a slow burner for me, but there were a lot of aspects of the book that I loved. Too bad this one doesn't really live up to the first book. I'm going to check it out anyway when it releases over here. I love the new covers!

  10. I LOVED Siren, and I totally agree with what you said about how the mystery and dark underlying issue made it truly stand out. The sense of foreboding really drew me into the book and I had a hard time guessing what was going on, even though the answer was there all along in the title!

  11. So jello you read this one! I loved the first book!! Thanks for the review!!

  12. I had been looking forward to this one but it sucks that the sequel wasn't as good as Siren.

  13. Well, I haven't read book one yet. I can't seem to get myself jump on the mermaid/siren bandwagon. Still, the mythology sounds great. Sometimes, slow building stories which focus on character development are needed to fill in the spaces, but having to wait until the end to feel the tension would have frustrated me to no end with this one.

    Thanks for sharing your honest thoughts, Melissa.

  14. Shoot. I had hoped this one was going to wow me with some interesting revelations and maybe some more history about the sirens, but that doesn't sound like the case. I'll still be reading it though, but I'm glad I read your review going in so I'm prepared for the slow build up to the action at the end.

  15. Bummer! I haven't read Siren, so I'll definitely give that a try. If I like it, I'll probably still read Undercurrent. Thanks for the honest review! :)

  16. I haven't heard of this series before, but the premise does sound enticing. Although, I'm disappointed to hear that the character development and back story are a little bit lacking in the second book.

    I might give this series a try when I have some downtime.

    Thanks for the review!

    On The Blog: Early Review of Half-Blood (Covenant #1)

  17. What a great review Melissa! I never did read Siren (just didn't get around to it) but I plan to. Don't you notice that the second book in a series is often weaker than the first?

  18. oh no! I haven't read the first book and the sequal is coming out in July! I so need to hurry up. ;)

  19. Thanks for the review. I liked Siren, had some issues with it, but still liked it. I have been curious to see how the story would continue so I'm sure I will read this but will curb my expectations.
    Truly Bookish

  20. I still need to get my hands on a copy of Siren, before I can read this one. Though, I've heard really good things about both. So, bookmarking this review and coming back to reply coherently, once I've read the books! :)

    Suz @ A Soul Unsung
    Follow Me Friday + Blog Hop!

  21. I haven't read Siren yet but I've seen a lot of great reviews for it. It's too bad the sequel doesn't really become good until the last 40 pages. That seems a little too late for me.

  22. I missed reading Siren, but remembered that the premise did sound intriguing. Too bad the sequel turned out to be a bit of a disappointment. I really dislike picking up a sequel that ends up slow and really hate a tell not show style of writing. Thanks for the review.

  23. I'm not going to read the review b/c I haven't read Siren yet. One left from my summer stack that I didn't get around to. But I'm glad to know you at least think it's a three. I've read great things about Siren.



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