Book Review: “The Siren” by Katherine St. John

Cover of "The Siren" by Katherine St. John
Cover of “The Siren” by Katherine St. John

I’m back with another book review, and this time I’m reviewing “The Siren” by Katherine St. John! This is a book I’ve been wanting to read since the middle of this year, and I’m glad that I finally had the opportunity to read and review it!

Here’s a summary so we know what it’s about:

“In the midst of a sizzling hot summer, some of Hollywood’s most notorious faces are assembled on the idyllic Caribbean island of St. Genesius to film The Siren, starring dangerously handsome megastar Cole Power playing opposite his ex-wife, Stella Rivers. The surefire blockbuster promises to entice audiences with its sultry storyline and intimately connected cast.

Three very different women arrive on set, each with her own motive. Stella, an infamously unstable actress, is struggling to reclaim the career she lost in the wake of multiple, very public breakdowns. Taylor, a fledgling producer, is anxious to work on a film she hopes will turn her career around after her last job ended in scandal. And Felicity, Stella’s mysterious new assistant, harbors designs of her own that threaten to upend everyone’s plans.

With a hurricane brewing offshore, each woman finds herself trapped on the island, united against a common enemy. But as deceptions come to light, misplaced trust may prove more perilous than the storm itself.”

Content Warning:

This book contains mentions of drug abuse, toxic relationships (both platonic and romantic), adultery, sexual content including sexual assault and rape while the victim was under the influence of drugs and incapable of consent, and murder. If you are uncomfortable with reading this content, I would suggest that you read carefully or avoid reading this book altogether.

Character Development: 4 out of 5 stars

I didn’t care for any of the characters in the beginning except for Felicity, but I later enjoyed reading Stella and Taylor’s points of view as well. It’s hard to sympathize with them in the beginning because I didn’t know much about them as a reader, but as the book revealed more and more secrets and other events happened, I understood them more and sympathized with why they did what they did in both the past and the present.

Most of the characters are not particularly likeable, despite their sympathetic qualities. The only few characters I sincerely liked as a reader were Cole’s son Jackson (who appeared more in the second half of the book rather than the first half, despite being the director of the film), and Felicity. I enjoy reading how Felicity, Taylor and Stella all bonded with each other through all the main events of the book, and how Jackson actually worked with them to help stop Cole’s nefarious plans in the second half of the book. I also enjoyed how Jackson was willing to amend for his mistakes and sincerely understood and tried his best to deal with the consequences that came with them (as well as the consequences of Cole’s own harmful actions in both past and present).

Plot Development: 4 out of 5 stars

The plot had several points of view; three of them were from the eyes of Stella, Taylor, and Felicity. The other points of view were from social media, paparazzi gossip/tabloids, and blogs. I think the book did a great job of demonstrating that what the public saw wasn’t always what was going on for real in the three protagonists’ personal lives. I think it helped reinforce the recurring theme of hiding secrets that can do more harm than good throughout the book.

The plot’s pacing was fairly slow in the beginning, but it sped up in the second half of the book, which made sense considering what main events happened during then. I just wish the pacing was a little tighter in the beginning so the reader could get to the main action of the book sooner. Some readers will enjoy the plot going back and forth in time to explain the past and present events, and some won’t, but it’s well-explained about which event happens when.

Overall, I’m rating this book 4 out of 5 stars!

This was a solid book overall in terms of its plot and characters. However, please do heed the content warnings, especially the warnings for sexual assault and/or rape in the book if you do wish to read it.

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