Review: Lullaby by Amanda Hocking

Lullaby by Amanda HockingLullaby byAmanda Hocking
St. Martin’s Griffin

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

After Gemma disappeared with Penn and the other Sirens, her sister Harper won’t rest until she tracks them down. She’ll rescue Gemma no matter what it takes. Even if it means spending time with Daniel, whose tanned muscles and bright smile are sure to distract her.

Hidden away in a white beach house, Gemma tries to understand her new Siren needs and abilities. She promises not to run away in a bargain to protect her family and Alex, her boyfriend. At first she’s determined to be miserable, but when that backfires she decides to make the best of it. She tries to enjoy the sea and get to know her fellow Sirens better. Thea has the potential to be an ally, but she won’t easily give up any secrets about Sirens or her own tragic past.

Harper, Alex and Daniel close in on Gemma’s whereabouts. The plan: rescue her from the Sirens and find a way to break the Siren curse so Gemma can be free.

Mermaid stories aren’t hard to find, but this is the first series about sirens I’d ever read. After reading the first book in the series, I wanted to find out what happened to Gemma, a star swimmer-turned-siren and her organized, overprotective sister Harper. Harper’s interactions with the other characters may have been my favorite parts, especially her friendship with her coworker Marcy, whose dry monotone made her offbeat ideas pretty funny at times.

The writing isn’t spectacular. Sometimes passive writing left me disconnected from the story. There were some odd decisions with regard to point-of-view. All characters are referred to by their first names, which seemed strange especially for Harper and Gemma’s parents. The situation with the girls’ parents definitely added to the story and explained some of the girls’ important thoughts and motivations. I just didn’t find it all that believable that they’d refer to their parents as “Brian” and “Nathalie” in the narrative.

I think I liked the first book better than this second one. It seems to fall into the pit that second books often do, where the story winds up feeling like a filler needed to set up for the big finale. Not enough really happened to make it feel like its own novel. Readers interested in mermaid stories might like Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly or Of Poseidon by Anna Banks.

Language Content
Extreme profanity and some crude language used infrequently throughout the story.

Sexual Content
Gemma spends time kissing a couple of boys. Penn uses her Siren abilities to control a young man named Sawyer, whom she appears to be sleeping with. She invites Gemma to join them for sex, but Gemma refuses, grossed out. Both Gemma and Harper reflect on how hot boys are several times throughout the story.

Spiritual Content
The Siren curse began when four girls failed to protect the goddess Demeter’s daughter. Demeter found them swimming and flirting with men, so she transformed them into Sirens, whose songs can convince humans to do their bidding and transform into mermaids and bird-like creatures.

Harper’s friend Marcy decides to hold a séance in an area where a boy was found dead hoping that the boy’s spirit will tell Harper where Gemma and the Sirens have gone. No spirits reveal themselves, so they give up.

Violence (and a bit of a spoiler)
To survive, Sirens must eat the hearts of young men. Gemma refuses to do this at first, but the Siren curse means she becomes more and more susceptible to the desire to feed. She ends up killing a man who is possibly about to rape her.

In one scene, a Siren shoves her hand through a man’s chest and grabs his heart. It’s icky, but brief, and she does not eat the heart.

Drug Content


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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

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