Cover Daughter of the Siren Queen: A girl dives deep into the ocean and swims away from the light

About the Book

Title: Daughter of the Siren Queen (Daughter of the Pirate King #2)
Published: 2018
Series: Daughter of the Pirate King
Swoonworthy Scale: 7

Cover Story: In Media Res
BFF Charm: Torn
Talky Talk: Award For Much Improvement
Bonus Factors: Pirate Friends, Siren Abilities
Relationship Status: Ahoy, Matey!

Cover Story: In Media Res

I was underwhelmed with the first book’s cover (I felt like there were some missed opportunities with the design) but I actually really like this one that plops you right in the middle of a scene that actually comes from the story. The vector-art is used to much better effect and the overall aesthetic more dynamic. The moody, murky ocean colors work for me, especially how the light is filtering down through the water.

The Deal:

At the conclusion of the first novel, Alosa was reunited with her ship, the Ava-lee, and its crew. She’d spared the lives of the cute but complicated Riden and his despicable brother, Draxen, and provided her Pirate King father with the last piece of a map that leads to the uncountable treasure of the sirens. And the fun doesn’t stop there: at the start of this tale, Alosa has successfully captured the enemy pirate leader, Vordan, who tortured her by making her use her siren powers on her occasional snuggle-buddy, Riden. Needless to say, things are on quite an upswing for the Pirate Princess.

But then she learns some discomfiting news, and it changes everything she thought she knew about her dear marauding and murdering ol’ man. Alosa knows the only way to survive against her father is to beat him at his own game; to find the treasure first so it gives her enough pirate-clout to depose him. So the Ava-lee—along with her newest reluctant recruit, Riden, and Alosa’s rag-tag band of female pirates—must make haste to the uncharted island of the sirens, where no man has been and lived to tell the tale. But Alosa is no man

BFF Charm: Torn

BFF charm with Natalie Imbruglia's face.

All my reasons for previously withholding a BFF charm from Alosa are still there—she’s still quite cocky and it’s been confirmed that she actually is quite the man-killer, literally—but she’s making strides, in no small part because she’s finally waking up to how horrible her father treats her. Oh, make no mistake, she will not hesitate to kill someone she thinks deserves it, but now that we as readers are more aware of what her half-siren nature entails, I feel like some of that flippant attitude towards killing is just a natural part of the siren’s psyche. Should that make it better? Eh, probably not, but I couldn’t help but warm up to Alosa, especially now that we can see how she lets (some of) her guard down amongst friends, allowing herself to show (some of) her vulnerabilities.  

Swoonworthy Scale: 7

Swoon, ho! Levenseller kicked up the swoon a few notches, and I was so there for it. Riden spent his last few months recovering from a bullet wound to the leg, and in all that time Alosa’s been avoiding him because of those pesky and confusing feelings. Now Riden’s agreed to crew for her to protect his brother (who is languishing in the Pirate King’s dungeon), and he’s out and about the ship, getting to know the crew and looking way too roguishly charming with a week’s worth of stubble on his chin. Both characters are dealing with their daddy-issues and the PTSD that comes with said issues, which makes the push-and-pull between them feel more realistic and makes any strides towards better communication that much more satisfying.

 Talky Talk: Award For Much Improvement

If you read my review for the previous book, you’ll know I thought it was okay; not stellar, but fine. I wasn’t even sure I’d read the sequel, though I felt more inclined when I learned it was a duology (yay for quicker conclusions). And I’m glad I stuck it out! Levenseller’s pacing and writing definitely improved and made this a more complicated and exciting adventure, allowing Alosa room for character growth, which ultimately helped me connect better to her story. I had to force myself to put it down at 2 a.m. to avoid being a zombie at work the next day and was eager to return to learn of the conclusion.

I don’t think I’d necessarily suggest you go out and read the first part just to get to this one if you haven’t already started the duology, but, if you are like me, who was mildly curious about how Alosa’s story would end, I’d say you’re not risking anything by picking this one up.

Bonus Factor: Pirate Friends

Captain Hook on his ship from Once Upon a Time

Pirate friends are a little different than regular friends, because these ones will not hesitate to gut an enemy for you. Despite their bloodthirsty nature, I enjoyed getting to know Alosa’s crew, like her loyal first mate, Niridia, and ship’s healer who also sees everything, Mandsy.  

Bonus Factor: Siren Abilities

Painting of Odysseus tied to the mast as sirens come after him

Alosa forgets herself when she is in salt water, because her siren side takes hold, and, well, sirens won’t be knocking The Little Mermaid’s Flounder out of his top spot as Best Sea-Buddy any time soon. Still, what Alosa can do is pretty cool, and it’s nerve-wracking watching her attempt to control it.

Relationship Status: Ahoy, Matey! Before, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to join you on your ship, Book, and I still don’t know if I have any marketable pirate skills for you to employ, but now that I’ve gotten to know you better, I don’t think I’d mind it if you recruited me for a bigger role within your crew. Just please keep me off the rigging—I don’t like heights.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received my free review copy from Feiwel and Friends. This review was originally posted on Kirkus Reviews in exchange for monetary compensation, which did not affect or influence my opinions. Daughter of the Siren Queen is available now.

Stephanie (she/her) is an avid reader who moonlights at a college and calls Orlando home. Stephanie loves watching television, reading DIY blogs, planning awesome parties, Halloween decorating, and playing live-action escape games.