Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Syrenka Series Tour: Review & Giveaway

(Syrenka Series #1)
by Amber Garr

Sometimes following your heart can end up destroying the ones you love.

 When seventeen-year-old Eviana Dumahl is faced with the responsibility of an arranged marriage and clan leadership, she is forced to choose between the life required of a mermaid and one of a teenage girl simply infatuated with the wrong guy. Kain, her devoted fiancé, would make a wonderful husband except that she’s been in love with Brendan, a shape-shifting selkie, ever since they were kids. Choosing to abandon her family, her clan, and her life with Kain will have dire consequences far beyond anything she could have imagined.

A war is brewing amongst the clans and Eviana unwittingly becomes a pawn in the intricate schemes of a twisted mastermind. With Brendan’s life on the line, she has no choice but to involve those she once considered friends. Amidst encountering senseless tragedies and immense loss, Eviana discovers that she is more valuable as a clan leader than anyone ever suspected. Her survival is not only dependent upon the loyalty of her friends, but also on her acceptance of a life she so adamantly tried to escape.

(The Syrenka Series #2)
by Amber Garr

Life as a mermaid can be suffocating.

Eviana Dumahl has returned home as a clan leader, an orphan, and a heartbroken teenage girl.  Her parents are dead and her boyfriend, Brendan, has decided that he needs some time away.  While battling her inner turmoil, Eviana is forced into the war that Lucian Sutherland has incited amongst her own kind.  With the help of Kain, her friend and formally betrothed, the two work together to prove that they deserve their birthrights as young merfolk leaders.

When The Council requests a demonstration of Eviana’s mermaid powers, she finds herself with an opportunity to win back Brendan’s heart.  But her orders to train with a repulsive merman and the presence of an attractive new suitor challenges Eviana to embrace her leadership and resist temptation. Lucian is after her, and no one seems to understand why.  Loyalties are tested as the casualties increase, showing Eviana that sometimes it is impossible to delineate between friends and enemies.

(The Syrenka Series #3)
by Amber Garr

With power comes the responsibility to accept its consequences.

After the betrayal of those closest to her, Eviana Dumahl struggles to cope with her new reality. Kidnapped, broken, and confused, she is forced to engage in a war that will alter merfolk politics forever. With her estranged father leading the charge, Eviana has no choice but to stand by his side. Her continued existence hinges on the acceptance of the power growing inside her, even when that means embracing the family’s dark lineage.

Kain Matthew will sacrifice the world for Eviana. And he is not alone. As time runs out, her friends fight to save her life and theirs. An unlikely alliance gives them the edge they need to take a stand, although it keeps Eviana’s heart trapped in the past. A new discovery explains some of her previous mistakes, but it may not be enough to stop her father’s plans. Merfolk, selkies, and water sprites work together to save their kind, only in this final battle, not everyone will survive.

In the striking series conclusion, Eviana will learn the true meaning of power, sacrifice, and love.

**My Review of the Series**:

This is an enchanting series full of breathtaking images, heartfelt emotions and a new world to emerce yourself in. The Syrenka Series brought me back to my childhood when my sister and I used to pretend we were mermaids swimming in our pool. I loved the idea of a fresh take on the mermaid mythos. The mermaids in the Syrenka series were not bound to the ocean, but lived on land and transformed when they swam. The way the author Amber Garr described the experience of being in the water and the exhilaration that the main character Eviana felt when she was in her element was inspiring. 

The series revolves around Eviana (named after the water?) and she is to be in an arranged marriage to unite important families. However, Eviana is in love with someone else - and not a merman. Brendan is a Selkie and changes into a seal and their love is forbidden. Add teenage love, lust, and stubbornness and you can guess what happens next. Eviana runs from her family responsibilities, but by doing so has ignited a series of events that she couldn't even fathom.

What I really liked about the series was the idea that actions have consequences, even if you think you are doing them for the right reasons. Eviana is made to look at her choices and realizes that some things she should have done differently. Eviana eventually grows up and takes responsibility for herself and finds strength and courage to fight a war.

I really love Kain. He loves unconditionally and is always there for Eviana, even when she doesn't deserve it. There is more than just Kain and Brendan though, Graham is introduced in the second book and throws a wrench in the triangle. Romance is a very big element in the series, but more importantly the ideas of friendship and loyalty reign. 

There are so many twists and turns and each book will leave you gasping. I had a hard time dealing with certain events - no I'm not telling you what they are - and I cried, screamed, and wanted to chuck my Nook across the room. People are never who you think they are and betrayals abound. The deaths of characters along the way is heartbreaking, but no death is in vain.

The Syrenka series/trilogy is a fantastic ride. I was hooked after the first few pages of Promised and could not think of anything else until I finished Arise. Each book ends with a cliffhanger so be ready with the next book on hand! 

I loved that water creatures from all different myths and legends were combined to make up the Syrenka world. I especially like the water sprites, namely Abhainn for his wit and terrifying form. The characters Ms. Garr created were well rounded and fully fleshed out and the flow of the story never waivers. The prose is beautiful and written well. 
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
 I will happily read this series over and over; it is a keeper! I recommend this series for anyone who likes romance, mythology, mermaids, and general awesomeness!

About the Author:

Amber Garr spends her days conducting scientific experiments and wondering if her next door neighbor is secretly a vampire.  Born in Pennsylvania, she lives in Florida with her husband and their furry kids.  Her childhood imaginary friend was a witch, Halloween is sacred, and she is certain that she has a supernatural sense of smell.  She writes both adult and young adult urban fantasies and when not obsessing over the unknown, she can be found dancing, reading, or enjoying a good movie.

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