Tavia is already at odds with the world, forced to keep her siren identity under wraps in a society that wants to keep her kind under lock and key. Never mind she’s also stuck in Portland, Oregon, a city with only a handful of black folk and even fewer of those with magical powers. At least she has her bestie Effie by her side as they tackle high school drama, family secrets, and unrequited crushes.
But everything changes in the aftermath of a siren murder trial that rocks the nation; the girls’ favorite Internet fashion icon reveals she’s also a siren, and the news rips through their community. Tensions escalate when Effie starts being haunted by demons from her past, and Tavia accidentally lets out her magical voice during a police stop. No secret seems safe anymore—soon Portland won’t be either.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bethany C. Morrow is a recovering expat splitting her time between Montreal, Quebec, and upstate New York – yet another foreign place. A California native, Bethany graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a BA in Sociology (but took notable detours in the Film and Theatre departments). Following undergrad, she studied Clinical Psychological Research at the University of Wales, Bangor, in Great Britain before returning to North America to focus on her literary work.
Though sociology and forensic psychology will always be among her passions, writing has been a lifelong endeavor. Whether in novels for the YA or adult market, novellas, short stories, stage plays, television pilots or short film scripts, Bethany’s speculative literary fiction uses a focus on character and language to engage with, comment on and investigate worlds not unlike our own.
So this was one of my most anticipated releases of this year, and I’m glad to say I enjoyed A Song Below Water! It wasn’t perfect, but the concept was so unique, and I adore all the mythical creatures in this book!
Things I liked:
- Like I mentioned, I adored the concept of sirens, mermaids, gargoyles, and pretty much any other mythical being you can think of besides vampires. It was such an interesting idea to use sirens as an added layer of injustice for black girls, and this book really details the black experience in America.
- I adored the two main characters! Tavia is a siren, but forced to hide it, and Effie is trying to figure out what she is throughout the book. Their relationship between the two girls was great to read! Both girls love each other unconditionally, and treat each other as sisters! We love fantastic female friendships 🙂
- Also Wallace as a side character was the absolute best! Whenever he was in a scene, I was swooning! I wish there were more moments with him and Effie throughout the book!
Things I didn’t like:
- The plot was super slow, and kind of all over the place. It took me a while to fully understand what the plot was and what motivated the characters/what was driving the story, and it did’t really invest me until about 60% in to the book
- I also wished things were better explained. There are all sorts of mythical creatures, but the author doesn’t really explain what most of them are and develop the magic system. Sometimes conversations were had, and things would happen while I was super confused and totally unaware of what was happening. Even when I reread parts I couldn’t comprehend, it didn’t help much in terms of figuring out what certain things meant, and what was happening plot wise.
- I also understand that this is a book written by A Black author, for a primarily Black audience, but I wish some things were explained. As an Asian-American, I wouldn’t know what the L.O.C. method from a natural hair care regimen was, so an explanation would have been nice (I did google it though).
Overall, the concept sounded so good, and the last 40% was really gripping, but the beginning was super slow. I do recommend it though because it was unlike anything I’ve ever read in terms of the magic system in our modern world setting!
As apart of the blog tour, I’m happy to present a giveaway to win your own copy of A Song Below Water!
- 5 Winners will receive a Copy of A SONG BELOW WATER by Bethany C. Morrow
- Must be 13+ to Enter
Click the link here or the image below to go enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!
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