Author: LINDSEY DUGA
Genre: YOUNG ADULT FANTASY
Publication Date: AUGUST 3, 2020
ABOUT THE BOOK
Colt Clemmons is an agent in a specialized division within the Bureau of Investigation—one that hunts down not just mobsters, but also monsters.
For reasons that are kept top secret, Colt is the only person who can resist a siren’s voice. But he’s never had a chance to test this ability. The last siren left in the world mysteriously disappeared years ago.
Then one night, with a single word, she reveals herself. It seems too good to be true.
And it is. Because nothing about this siren—her past, her powers, or her purpose—is what it seems…
What a beautiful enigmatic story this one is. Set in the Jazz age, this story tells a tale of a young woman who happens to be a siren and a young man known as the hunter. This story will give you a very strong dark and mysterious vibe that will have you questioning everyone that ever appeared in the story.
I really enjoyed this one, although there was still a little information that I’ve found missing. I liked how the author explained what happened to the many young children that went missing, how some humans were made into some supernatural creatures (actually hybrid but supernatural works too) using some animal parts that will give them power, and how it all started. It blew my mind to learn so many things about this stuff, and it does remind me of Teen Wolf season 5 that focus on the Dread Doctors who experimented some teens and made them into a supernatural beings with animal parts. That was the first thing that came to my mind.
Regarding the information I’ve found missing, it was about how the villain aka Mr. Brocker managed to get all those animal parts, for example the dragon’s wings and the siren’s pearls. Like…is there a supernatural world that he knew about and he got it from there? There wasn’t an explanation on that part, and also his past weren’t that clear either. Colt mentioned a little bit about Brocker’s past and saying that Brocker suddenly appeared out of nowhere and made a name for himself. I was suspicious of that little info, so my best guess is either Brocker came from a supernatural world and tried to corrupt the souls of innocents in the human world, or he is a rich businessman with evil intention who somehow knew how to get his hands on those parts without any clear explanation.
Regardless of where he actually came from or how he imported those illegal stuffs, Brocker wasn’t a good villain to me. But I have to admit that it was pretty clever of him to track down Eris (the siren) and pretended like he was an innocent man when he met her at the church for the first time in so long. The reason why I said he wasn’t a good villain, well he wasn’t as tough and dangerous as the story made him to be. To me, he was weak and despite his intelligence of making a lot of things and becoming the most successful man in the States, his intelligence suddenly doesn’t work when he came face-to-face with Colt (the hunter). He just stood there frozen even though he can do a lot of things to Colt using his supernatural power to win the fight. Guess his brain also freeze and doesn’t work at the end there!
There was also plenty of good actions in this book, except for the fight between Colt and Brocker. Their fight at the end could’ve been done better. A phoenix against a dragon, and they’re using revolvers??? I’m pretty much sure they can use their supernatural abilities to fight each other. The most action parts I enjoyed a lot was seeing Colt fight the other supernatural or hybrid beings. That was truly an unbelievable thing to witnessed and it was a hell of intense fights. No wonder he was called the hunter.
In this book, you can’t trust anyone because nearly everyone is a supernatural or hybrid beings. You may never know that someone who acted kind to you actually wanted to stab you and deliver you to the devil. The only one I can truly trust are Eris and Colt, but of course they are both trustworthy since this is basically their story. I felt bad for both of them, they’ve spent the whole book by running away from one place to another because someone was after Eris. Wherever they went to, there’s always someone who betrayed them and tried to harm them. I was so stressed out just witnessing these things happened to them, it was frustrating to see that they can’t have a single day where they are safe. This book is very challenging in so many ways because it challenged my patience to the point I nearly reach my limit.
The storyline was fine and easy to follow even with a tiny part missing and gone unexplained. The plot was actually quite good, and I do loved the twists, it really add the surprising element into the story in a brilliant way. The twists was not like what I expected at all. I don’t think I can expect anything since majority of what happened are unpredictable.
As for the concept of the story, well it wasn’t really a new concept but it was a unique one for sure. I liked how dark and mysterious this world is, it gave me a bit of a horror vibe. Since this book is focusing on Eris a lot who is in fact a siren, it was unique and kind of surprising to see a siren with only a pearl in her mouth that made her voice as her only power but with no tail and no wings too (in the actual myth they had wings before they had tails, but a well-known knowledge is that they have tails and not many knew they had wings before that). I actually liked how the author doesn’t include a siren’s tail too which makes it more unique because many siren’s retelling usually included the tail that it becomes so monotonous. It was actually nice to see this one doesn’t include either the tail or the wings which is really refreshing to see and much more interesting.
Now moving on to the characters…
Eris can’t really talk a lot due to her siren’s voice and what it will do to those who are in close proximity to her. She is so innocent which is why I wanted to protect her so much. As much as she was naive and known as the quietest girl, she was still strong and knew how to fight using the power of her voice alone. I can’t say that she is weak because she is not. I liked how she use her voice for good, for example helping the people who needed help the most and helping women get out of an extremely bad situation. She did many good things and zero bad thing, but she was mistaken by many as evil because of what her voice is capable of doing. Honestly, I feel really bad for her. She doesn’t have a lot of good childhood memories, and she grew up running away from her creator which is the person that experimented her. At least, she grew up to be a lot more tougher and braver. I really feel for her character the most.
Colt is an agent with a mysterious past that not many know of. When I first met him, I was really curious on how he managed to blocked out the siren’s voice because he was immune to it which majority of people and supernatural or hybrid beings aren’t. It can only mean one thing, that he is also being experimented like Eris. As the youngest agent, he’d done a lot of successful missions and never once did he failed until he met Eris. I was wary to trust him at first because of what he was asked to do, but was glad to know that he wasn’t bad or evil at all. It was surprisingly to see he had a change of heart later on regarding helping Eris or handing her to the agency who only do cruel things to her.
There was so much to learn about his character and after learning about his past, it makes me sad to know what happened to him and to those innocent children. The training he had to go through in order for him to build a strong immunity was harsh and it showed the inhumane side of the agency that took him in. No child should go through like what he had to go through. He was a broken character who grew up to become a lot stronger that nobody can expect what he would do next because it was difficult to track his every moves. He was so clever to think many steps ahead of everyone, no wonder he was praised a lot.
As for Eris and Colt’s relationship, well…this isn’t that surprising. I can sense this coming from their first encounter. They went from strangers to enemies to friends to lovers slowly. I just loved the progress of their relationship because it wasn’t an easy one but a much tougher one full of heavy challenges. It makes a lot of sense why the author paired them up. They are both broken people with torturous past and grew up to become two fully-healed people who had to go through a lot of things in order to reach their freedom. These two are the youngest and also the smartest duo in this book. The way they outsmarted a lot of people and supernatural or hybrid beings was really fascinating. I loved them both equally, and I can’t deny that they shared a deep connection and have a better chemistry together. I really loved their sweet and slow-burn romance. The ending was actually beautiful for them, it was a nice way to end their story by showing that they finally got what they wanted.
Overall, this book was amazing and I loved how the author wrap it all up. If you’re looking for a good YA-Paranormal Fantasy story full of vicious hybrid creatures with hidden agendas, hero and heroine who aren’t afraid to fight back and go against the laws to save many lives, and a sweet slow-burn romance that you can swoon over, then this book is for you.
Lindsey Duga developed a deep love for courageous heroes, dastardly villains, and enchanting worlds from the cartoon shows, books, and graphic novels she read as a kid. Drawing inspiration from these fantastical works of fiction, she wrote her first novel in college while she was getting her bachelor’s in Mass Communication from Louisiana State University. By day, Lindsey is an account manager at a digital marketing agency based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. By night, and the wee hours of the morning, she writes both middle grade and young adult. She has a weakness for magic, anything classical, all kinds of mythology, and falls in love with tragic heroes. Other than writing and cuddling with her morkie puppy, Delphi, Lindsey loves catching up on the latest superhero TV show, practicing yoga, and listening (and belting) to her favorite music artists and show tunes. KISS OF THE ROYAL is her YA debut novel.