Sunday, 1 February 2015


The setting of Tales of Skylge is loosely based on the Dutch island of Terschelling, or Schylge in the island’s dialect. Although the names and places in this book will sound very familiar to people living on the island, the characters and events are, of course, entirely fictitious in nature.

Title: Sound Of Sirens
Series: Tales Of Skylge
Author: Jen Minkman
Release Date: 28th November 2014

BLURB from Goodreads
An ancient land protected by a Tower of Light,
its people ever tempted by Siren song,
and a girl who falls for the wrong boy.

On the island of Skylge, electricity is only for the Currents – the rich ruling class who once came from across the sea and brought the holy fire of St. Brandan to Skylge. Ever since, the light in the Brandaris Tower has protected the islanders. Heeding the Siren's call will drown your body and steal your soul, but the sacred light in the Tower will chase the merfolk away.

When Skylger girl Enna welcomes her brother back from a long sea voyage, he gives her a special present from the mainland – an electronic record only playable on a Current device. The problem is that Royce Bolton, Current heartthrob and the town’s most gifted pianist, wants it too. After she stubbornly refuses to sell the LP featuring his favorite artist, he suggests sharing the record by secretly meeting up in his private summer house. Taken aback yet thrilled, Enna agrees – and discovers that there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to Current society and the history of Skylge. Why do the Sirens tempt the islanders to give themselves up to the sea? And where does the Currents’ monopoly on electricity really come from? 

While struggling with these questions, Enna begins to fall for Royce, risking everything to be with a guy who is clearly wrong for her. She will learn that the sound of Sirens isn’t the most treacherous thing out there to haunt her dreams.

Amazon UK




As I read and really enjoyed the other dystopian series by Jen Minkman I admit to having fairly high expectations from this beginning of a new dystopian series. ?I've had this one on my Want To Read List since I found out Jen was writing it! I wonder if the island of Skylge will have anything in common with the Island in Jen's other series? Will any of the characters in this new book remind me of the Island characters?

I received this book frees, directly from the author in exchange for my honest review. The cover shows a female character submerged in water, is the character an islander of Skylge or a Nixen/Siren? The blue colour of the water representing the ocean is eye catching, which I think would make this book stand out on a book shelf. I also like the placement on the title, author and series title too. The cover could be depicting a couple of scenes in the book, the one where Enna is in the water (I can't say any more as it would reveal spoilers, then again the female could also depict Enna's mother or even Royce's mother as they gave themselves over to the Nixen in the sea. Would the cover attract my eye enough on a book store shelf to pick it up? Yes as I said before the blue is eye catching and the cover arouses your curiosity wanting to know what the female is doing submerging herself under the sea.
The main character's in the book are Enna, her father and her older brother who is a fisherman called Sytse. We also learn about Enna's best friend Dani, all of which are poorer descendants of those native to the island called Skylgers. On the more prosperous, electric and gadget using Currents live. The current we learn the most about is a young male around Sytse age that is called Royce. Royce is the good looking male at school that all the girls fawn over. Enna and Royce are an unlikely pairing but circumstances throw them together with interesting coincidence. The history of the island is important to all the inhabitants on the island and they are taught about it in school almost religiously so. A man named St Brandon is said to have come to the island and builst the sacred fire that wards off the Nixen when they come to shore to claim more souls. Both Enna and Royce's mother were sufferers of "the sadness" and ended up either going with or been taken by the Nixen. Nixen is the name given to those creatures that live in the sea. It is said that the Skylgers were once Nixen many years ago but when washed up on the island they began living on the island rather than in the sea.
Naturally there is some friction between the two groups of island dwellers. the Currents are the richer, more prosperous, of the two groups. the Currents have all the access to the electricity grid. Where as the Skylgers have their own old language, traditions and customs with no access to the electricity grid other than being told that it is the electricity and the generosity of the Currents which protect them from the Nixen. Naturally there are many Skylgers who resent the Currents and all they stand for, being the "ruling class". Ove time though Skylger stories have been forgotten and their language not taught as much, however there seems to be a small number of Skylgers who have had access to knowledge about the true history of the island. It seems that the Nixen and Skylgers used to be friends and live in peace. The controversial history books that some on Skylge have found also shows that the precious St Brandons fire that the Currents take credit for was built prior to St Brandons visit to the island.
So i guess I should explain how Enna, a native Skylger ends up friends or perhaps more with Royce the privileged Current. Syste (Enna's brother) brings records back when he visits the mainland during his fishing trips, though we learn these fishing trips are perhaps not as innocent as they at first appear. The problem with the latest record that Syste brings back for Enna is that it need an electric record player which is something that only the Currents have access to. Royce learns about the orecious record Enna has and attempts to buy it from her. When she insistently refuses, he comes up with the idea of them "sharing" the record. He asks Enna to meet him at a house in Strotum that belongs to him. Naturally it is frowned upon for Sklygers and Currents to mix with each other from both sets of islanders, so when Syste finds out and argues with Enna, etc but I can't really say much more I feel I have given away more than enough already. Unlikely friendships and relationships are formed, tested to the limit, broken then possibly repaired. There are lots of different types of relationships described such as Syste and how he looks at Enna as a child. there is also the kinship felt between Enna and Royce as they both lost their mothers to the ocean. They also both love music too but for all the things they have in common can they overcome the whole culture/racial divide. Could their friendship ever be publicly accepted? There is definitely an element of Romeo & Juliet crossed with West Side Story
So did I enjoy this book? Yes, I did enjoy reading the book. The only thing I initially wasn't keen on was the other race being called currents, as in sea/ocean Currents and electric Currents, but once you are drawn into the book it really doesn't make a difference, what the two races of people are called. Would I recommend the book? Definitely if you enjoyed the Island (I never thought I'd say this but. . .) then this is a must read for you.
Would I want to read more in this series? I would as I think this book was setting the scene and tone for what is about to come . . I also hope to "meet some Nixen" perhaps? I  love the historical elements within Jen's books. I ended reading this book thinking, there is sooo much more to come, and lots of options for things that may happen. Would I want to read more titles by Jen Minkman? Of course! I have read a lot of books/novella's by Jen and intend to read many more! As long as she continues to write them.

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