Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Review - Elegy - Amanda Hocking

Elegy (Watersong, #4)Title: Elegy
Series: Watersong #4
Author: Amanda Hocking
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Fantasy
Publication: August 1 2013, St. Martins Griffin
Pages: 542, Paperback
Source: Thank you to Pan Macmillan South Africa for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review!
Rating: 4/5 CUPCAKES!
Now that Gemma holds the key to breaking the siren curse, the stakes have never been higher. At last, a future with those she loves—and a romance with Alex—is close enough to touch...but not if Penn has anything to say about it. Penn is more determined than ever to have Daniel for her own and to destroy Gemma and Harper along the way, and Penn always gets what she wants. Now a final explosive battle is about to begin, and the winner will take everything Gemma holds dear.

*CONTAINS SPOILERS IF YOU HAVEN'T YET READ THE PREVIOUS BOOKS IN THE SERIES* 

Wow. This book was fantastic and definitely my favourite one in the series! The stakes were high, there was A sense of danger lurking throughout the whole novel and I could feel that an explosive finale battle was coming. The romance was beautiful, the characters complex and it was honestly written so perfectly. I really hope that this series will be turned into a movie because I think if it's casted correctly and with the dramatic music, it would make such a powerful story about the meaning of love, death, life and how far someone would go to protect those who they love. Once you look past the mythological aspects of this book, you will see how beautiful and meaningful the whole series is.

Elegy is the final book in the Watersong series, and in my opinion, the most action-packed one yet. In Elegy, Gemma has the scroll and is fervently trying to break the curse which has been haunting her since the beginning of the summer. She is still a siren and the other sirens are still destroying her life by hurting innocent people and threatening to kill Gemma and her family. As Gemma tries to find a hiding immortal goddess and Daniel has to struggle with his agreement with Penn and Harper reluctantly leaves for college, it seems as if everything is unravelling. However, as new things come to light, Gemma believes she might be able to break the curse. However, the clock is ticking and if she doesn't find a way out, everyone she loves will be obliterated.

I honestly loved everything about this book, it was fast-paced, the plot was great, the characters were amazing and everything just fell together perfectly. I didn't actually realise how emotionally invested I became with the Watersong series. It was really such a pleasure watching the characters grow before my eyes and it was sad too, as they had to experience so much terror and had to sacrifice so much, their hopelessness resonated through the series and I just felt so sorry for them. I really will miss Gemma, Harper, Daniel, Marcy, Alex and Thea, as I honestly feel like I've become friends with them.

This is what I love about reading a series, you can become so invested in the story and you can really see how the characters' shape their lives and how they grow. Gemma has become so much more mature and wise, in the first book she could be quite childish and selfish but in the last three books she really has grown up and become a better person that thinks about everyone before she proceeds with anything.

Harper is such a wonderful sister. The dedication she put into helping her sister warmed my heart. S he was constantly going out of her way to help Gemma break the scroll and putting her life at risk, just so that she could have her little sister safe and sound. I found their sibling relationship so beautiful and I strongly admired their bravery, courage and selflessness when it came to protecting the other. I can imagine if my brother was in a situation like this or my best friend and how I too would do anything within my power to help them. I think this feeling of needing to help, but knowing you can't always, will resonate strongly in anybody with a sibling/best friend.

Daniel...I just love Daniel and he is definitely one of my book boyfriends. The situation he is in is tragic, he has to do something terrible that will keep Harper safe but which will also cause him to lose her if she finds out. You can really sense his desperation to be out of this situation and his fear of accidentally doing anything wrong that will get Harper hurt. I just wanted to hug him and help him through the situation as it's a dismal event through which he has to go through. He is so kind and brave and I respect him for all that he has gone through in order to keep Harper and Gemma safe, it was truly beautiful to read about. However, I did want to shake some sense into him and I was yelling at him to just tell Harper because she would understand. But of course he didn't listen. *sigh*

I still couldn't quite connect to Alex, I haven't really been able to relate to him at all and at times I found his personality quite bland. There weren't any distinguished characteristics about him that individually made him stand out and I could never really connect with him. I also found it weird that in the first book we were told how him and Harper were best friends yet they never acted like it and they rarely ever interacted and barely ever saw each other. Hocking just put that in there, but she never showed anything to back up their friendship. I found there wasn't consistency with their relationship and I wish their friendship was written more in detail as perhaps I could've warmed up more to Alex then.

One of my favourite characters will always be Marcy! She is so hilarious and witty and I adore her sarcastic, quirky personality. She always makes scenes funnier and her being in the story makes it a hundred times better, even though it was fantastic to begin with.

The sirens are just...pure evil. Penn is monstrous and throughout the novel I was sincerely wishing that they would find a way to get rid of her. She is an empty shell, devoid of feeling anything but hate. Sometimes she revealed a tender side that showed how lonely she was and I would get a twinge of sympathy for her, but it never lasted long as she would do something horrific once again which would remind me how awful she is.

Liv, the new siren, was an absolutely, through-and-through psychopath with absolutely no goodness in any particle of her body. She was even worse than Penn, and that's saying something. If I honestly ever had to meet Penn or Liv, I would be like the woman below because they are freaking terrifying. They are cruel and evil and twisted and violent and GAH. Hocking really doesn't portray them as Ariel from The Little Mermaid.


My favourite siren was definitely Thea, she was the only one who had any humanity left in her. I appreciated how she tried to not hurt anybody and how she tried to stick to herself and the many ways in which she tried to help Gemma. There was definitely a vulnerability about Thea and when she gave us a glimpse into her past, of losing her sisters and someone she loved, we could understand why. I definitely may have shed a few tears towards the end when *spoiler* Thea died *spoiler*, it was really sad and I wasn't actually expecting it to happen.

The romance was sweet. I still much prefer Daniel and Harper as a couple as compared to Gemma and Alex. Daniel and Harper just had so much chemistry and I really believe they brought out the best in each other and were amazing together. Gemma and Alex on the other hand were extremely boring, their relationship only seemed to become more authentic halfway through the book. They have no chemistry really and they just seem quite bland together. Gemma on her own is fine, but when she is in scenes with Alex it's like she becomes a cardboard character. Daniel and Harper are definitely one of my OTPs, they are so beautiful together and their love for each other definitely resonates throughout the story. You could clearly see how much Daniel would sacrifice for Harper and vice versa and it really warms a person's heart.

The plot was quite good, yet predictable. Nothing major happened that shocked me except for the death of  *spoiler*Thea*spoiler*. The thing with Bernie and his wife was predictable and I guessed that by the end of Tidal already, and the reversal of the curse I also guessed pretty shortly before the other characters did. I really don't like guessing things and then being proved right way ahead of the characters, as it does ruin the element of surprise and that did disappoint me a bit. I like books to shock me and have me muttering about how I didn't see that coming, but unfortunately, none of the books in this series have really done anything that shocked me, aside from the aforementioned spoiler.

Another thing about the book that I didn't like, two things actually, is the amount of gore and the awkward sex scenes. Elegy was really gory, there were beheadings, and cutting through bone and running over people and it kind of ruined the book for me in a way, as I didn't need such graphic descriptions. I really hate anything remotely horror and Elegy was extremely gory which made me enjoy it , albeit slightly, less. The sex scenes were also very awkward and I cringed several times whilst reading them. There were also several make-out scenes which got quite repetitive after as well, and it seemed like I were reading the exact same things. Because some of the couples were also lacking chemistry, it did make some of the kissing scenes extremely boring to read as it felt as if I were reading about two cardboard cutouts in love, occasionally. 

The writing, throughout the whole series, can also feel quite staccato-like sometimes and I think that's partially the reason why many can't get into this series. The dialogue can sometimes be quite formal and there's often a lot of telling instead of showing. I've been hooked on this series since book one and although the formality and the odd flow of the book did disgruntle me sometimes, it didn't greatly affect my enjoyment of the book as I got immersed in the books very easily, but for some, the way it's written might throw them. It is also told from third-person, which could be one of the reasons why the writing didn't flow as smooth throughout the whole book. I found the dialogue and flow of the book was much better in Elegy compared to the other books, though!

Overall, I mostly loved Elegy. There were so many fast-paced, action-packed scenes that had my eyes close to popping out, my heart hammering and my hands sweaty as I scrambled to turn the pages. The romance between Harper and Daniel was beautiful and towards the end I started seeing some chemistry between Gemma and Alex as well, when there hadn't really been any before. 

I loved seeing the sirens from a more mythological/historical point of view instead of the modern ones they had become, and it was extremely interesting learning more about their history. I loved the ending, it was perfect, things did wrap up a bit too neatly but I am glad for that, as the characters had been through so much turmoil that they deserve a happy ending.I teared up several times throughout Elegy, however, when I saw how the characters were suffering and how all they wanted was for their loved ones to be safe, which is something that all of us can steadfastly relate to. 

The themes underlying the sirens and Greek mythology, of sacrificing your all to protect your family and friends and surprising yourself with your hidden bravery that comes to surface in dire times, was really a beautiful message; how love is such a wonderful emotion and how you can overcome anything when there is love and hope in your heart. I truly loved this quartet and it was quite emotional saying goodbye to the characters. I had such a fantastic time delving into this world and despite its flaws, I will definitely miss it!

I give it: 4/5 CUPCAKES!

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