Songs from the Deep by Kelly Powell
The sea holds many secrets. Moira Alexander has always been fascinated by the deadly sirens who lurk along the shores of her island town. Even though their haunting songs can lure anyone to a swift and watery grave, she gets as close to them as she can, playing her violin on the edge of the enchanted sea. When a young boy is found dead on the beach, the islanders assume that he’s one of the sirens’ victims. Moira isn’t so sure.
Certain that someone has framed the boy’s death as a siren attack, Moira convinces her childhood friend, the lighthouse keeper Jude Osric, to help her find the real killer, rekindling their friendship in the process. With townspeople itching to hunt the sirens down, and their own secrets threatening to unravel their fragile new alliance, Moira and Jude must race against time to stop the killer before it’s too late—for humans and sirens alike
Book friends, I have been in such a mystery mood lately. I don’t know if it’s just me taking in the spooky season, or if it’s a new trend happening in YA. Books tend to come in waves, and Songs from the Deep, the debut novel by Kelly Powell, was very reminiscent of The Wicked Deep and House of Salt and Sorrows — which if you follow me over on Bookstagram you may know what that means — yep, I really enjoyed this one!
The story is set on a small island town, surrounded by deadly waters, much like The Wicked Deep, but in this one, the shores are dangerous, due to the sirens that lurk there. We follow Moira, a girl who loves to play music to the sirens in the waters below, and her old friend and keeper of the lighthouse, Jude (looking at you HOSAS). Well, when a small boy is found dead on the beach, the town automatically assumes it was the vicious deed of the sirens, but Moira isn’t convinced and enlists the help of Jude to solve what they believe to be murder. During the investigation, secrets long hidden are revealed, and their friendship is rekindled.
What I loved most about this book, and found so different and intriguing from other books I have read, is the fact that in this one, the main characters are trying to protect the villains. In the town, there is a hunting ban set in place by Moira’s father to protect the sirens. It made me think of great white sharks and orcas — they are powerful predators that we humans now protect, due to them becoming an endangered species. In the past, orcas and great whites were hunted to near-extinction, due to the fear that they would harm us. It was hinted at that this may be the reason the sirens are protected, but the book never clearly states that.
There were also other elements withheld that kind of bugged me, and the sirens are more in the background, but overall this was a solid and well-written read. I mean, I read this book in two days! I have zero chill when it comes to mysteries. The not-knowing-but-needing-to-know has me turning page after page. There were moments toward the middle of the book where I thought things were getting a little slow, but that was remedied with a couple of plot twists, and I was immediately sucked back in. In the end, this book didn’t have the “wow” factor that, say HOSAS, had for me, however, it was a fun (and at times, cute) read. So, if you’re looking for a quick mystery and enjoy books set by the sea, then look no further. Songs from the Deep releases November 5th of this year.