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Khanh the Killjoy

Tidal - Amanda Hocking I feel like I just spent the past two hours reading a mermaid-related version of Real Housewives of Orange County. So much bitchiness. So much bickering. So much name-calling. So little combined intelligence in one single book. Apparently, daughters of men and daughters of Greek gods have one thing in common: idiocy.Putting aside the unrealistic premise of mermaids this book, the whole story and the characters' actions are pretty lacking in credibility. I'm not talking about the fact that mermaids do not exist in real life. Come on, it's not like anyone reads YA paranormal and fantasy expecting realism and actually believing that there are actually really well-hidden unicorns in our world. The credibility factor to which I'm referring does not refer to the fact that the book's premise relies on the fact that the reader suspends his or her disbelief and believe in the existence of paranormal creatures, but that the plot twists are entirely too easily solved, the characters' actions are irrational beyond the limits of common sense, and the behavior of the ancient siren sisters are so fraught with back-stabbing and fighting that the reader doubts that they can exist together for a week without shedding blood, much less thousands of years.This is the third book in the Watersong trilogy. So far, Gemma has been turned into a siren, resisted being a siren, and now is trying to break the curse of being a siren, despite the fact that she might kill herself and her siren "sisters" while she's at it. The plot is simple, the characters forgettable, the writing is elementary, the pacing and resolution of the mystery is incredible and unrealistic.The main focus of this trilogy has so far been the plot, and not the characters, and the book does poorly on both fronts. In a good book, the mystery unwinds gradually, the writing should slowly unveil subtle hints that the reader can follow and be involved in the eventual resolution, the clues should not (since we're continuing with a nautical theme here) a) land like a big fat fish in the reader's lap or b) make the reader feel like they're getting slapped in the head with a swordfish. There is zero subtlety here in the revealing and eventual solving of the big mystery, things just fall into place too easily for it to be a compelling mystery.Example: Gemma needs a clue, how do I stop being a siren? Oh, I'll ask my sister's coworker. Sister's coworkers shocking knows someone who is willing to believe in mythological creatures and fairies and sirens, and also shockingly happens to own an esoteric book shop and knows all about breaking the curse!!!!!!!!!"...the point is, I was talking to this old friend of mine. I'd completely lost touch with her, but it turns out she owns a bookstore up in Sundham. She'd definitely have some books that might help you out with the sirens. Plus, she's pretty knowledgeable on all that kind of stuff."Weeeeeeell, isn't that just terribly convenient. I probably know someone who knows someone who knows about the esoteric and ancient myth surrounding sirens, too, if I bothered to ask around, I'm sure.Random flashbacks attempt to give insight into the siren's characters and previous lives fail to add anything to the harebrained plot. The only serve to further instill in the reader the fact that it is utterly incredible that these sisters have existed and lived together for all this time, hating and fighting among each other so much that it took this long for one of them to attempt to kill the other. I am not kidding about the fighting."Lexi!" Penn growled. "You are annoying! I'm gonna pull this car over if you don't shut the hell up!""No! I will not shut up!" Lexi shouted at her. "You are annoying me...you're being a total---"...and"You stupid wench!" Penn shouted, and Lexi cringed. "Thea's right! You are the biggest mistake I have ever made! You are so dumb and useless!"...and on, and on, and on. You think I was kidding about the fighting and the reference to the Real Housewives franchise? There is so much bitchiness and cattiness among the sirens that I imagine living with four siren sisters is like living in a sorority house, with more backstabbing and poorly-concealed vitriol, and a whole lot more hair-pulling, and by hair pulling, I mean hair pulling."She climbed on top of her, grabbing Lexi’s silky hair to keep her from pulling away, and she hit her in the face over and over again. Lexi squealed and clawed at Penn's hand, but she never really fought back."Sigh.As bitchy as they are, the sirens have more personality than the two other main characters, Gemma and Harper. The entire series is supposed to be about them, and we see their point of view more than that of any other characters, but the personality is just not there. It's Gemma does this. Harper does that. They are very, very dull characters. For a siren, Gemma is severely lacking in charm and confidence. She is quiet, reticent, and in complete denial of her new nature. I am so sick of characters who just completely fight what they are. Get used to it, make the best of the situation, if you must kill, then take your siren sisters' advice and feed upon the douchebags of the world. There are plenty of those to go around.Gemma is also a severe hypocrite. She doesn't want to hurt anyone, she is in denial of her true nature, but she uses her siren song anyway, multiple times, with disastrous consequences. Take her actions with Alex after she made him hate her in the previous book:"It doesn't matter what you meant!" he shouted, and she flinched. "Did you ask me if I wanted this? Did you even talk with me about this before you did it?""No, I knew what you would say."He scoffed. "You knew what I would say, and you did it anyway?"Yes, give someone no choice when changing their entire essence of character. Their entire being. Does that sound familiar to what happened to you, Gemma?And Harper, her sister, the 18-year old going on 40. As her own boyfriend says, "You act like her mom." She is a martyr to the nth degree. She has to do everything. She is fucking Atlas with the world on her shoulders. She has a dad, but certainly the man who's been single-handedly responsible for raising the two of them can't possibly handle things without her help. Neither can Gemma. Harper has no personality and seems incapable of anything but worry. She worries about her dad, she worries about her friend's ability to manage the shop, she worries about Daniel, she worries about Gemma. Never mind that Daniel can get by and has done so on his own for years, never mind that Gemma is a freaking sea monster who can kill at the blink of an eye. Nooooooo...Harper needs to be there for her helpless siren of a sister. Right. She is so utterly blind to what Gemma is capable of, too. "She didn’t think Gemma had hurt anybody. Gemma would do whatever she needed to do to survive, but not at the expense of somebody else." Yes, because sirens just sing happy songs and sit on rocks looking pretty, never hurting or eating people or anything. Harper is such a sainted soul that it hurts.This is a terrible book, and the only positive thing I can say about it is that it approaches the end of a poor series, which I kept reading due to my masochistic tendencies.