Amanda Hocking is a phenomenon in the writing industry. She self-published her first series and sold over a million copies on Amazon. She then signed with St. Martin's Griffin and wrote the "Watersong" series. "Elegy" is the last book in this series -- and it's just as good as the first three books.
The "Watersong" series is about a group of four (not the usual magic number three) sirens who come to the small island of Capri in Maryland and change the lives of its inhabitants. Gemma, a high school girl who loves swimming, is selected by Penn, the leader of the sirens, to take the place of a recently killed siren. (According to the curse that made them sirens, there must always be four.)
Penn, the self-selected leader, is vicious and cruel. The sirens must kill humans to survive, and Gemma refuses to do that. The first three books are each well-written and fascinating. They all maintain the reader's interest and all move the plot forward at a rapid pace.
This fourth book similarly succeeds. Throughout the series, there are references to the ancient Greek gods. In this book they continue to be discussed, and Hocking really shows her talent at dialogue when the characters are talking about the gods.
One of the sirens tells Gemma, "There aren't many of us left. All the big immortals are long gone -- Zeus, Aries, Medusa, Athena, you name it. They're either dead or in hiding. Hades is around, but he hasn't talked to anyone since...right after we became sirens. He doesn't know anything."
Lydia, a character who deals with the supernatural and is helping Gemma and her sister Harper find a way to get Gemma released from the curse, tells them Medusa fell in love with Perseus. "...he liked the snake hair or something--"
When Harper questions her about that, saying that nobody loved Medusa, Lydia responds that this all happened before printing. That meant that the gods could twist the stories any way they wanted, since they were invariably believed. When Athena sent Perseus to kill Medusa, says the siren, he fell in love with her. So Athena had to finish the job herself. "Think about it. She twisted their love story and made it into the exact opposite, so the rest of history would condemn Medusa. It's pretty sick."
Hocking's imagination and her deft handling of dialogue make this series not only fun reading for the action and the romance, but for the clever historical and mythological references. She keeps the perfect balance of action (good versus evil with lots of fighting and some death), character development, humor, and romance.
Please note: This review is based on the final hardcover book provided by the publisher, St. Martin's Griffin, for review purposes.
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