“The Siren was coming for him. Every night, he ran, and every night, she engulfed him.“
4.75 Out of 5
Bruno’s imagination is on a completely different level and wave length from the rest of us. The planet and life forms that Bruno has created are vivid, mesmerizing and fantastical, you’ll want to meet every creature and plant that is currently living in his head while simultaneously wanting him to create more.
In the Orbit of Sirens is full of the most enchanting creatures I have come across in Sci-Fi. I consider myself a baby reader when it comes to sci-fi so coming across such colorful and literally out of this world creatures and plants was such a thrill. My favorite creature that is in this story is without a doubt the Auk’nai, they are a race of alien anthropomorphic birds who are large and can both talk and read minds, but its not actually reading minds, to them its listening to the songs around them. Everything seems to sing a song and they can hear it and its such a beautiful concept. Its so fascinating and I’m going to be selfish and say I wanted the story to completely focus on them. They where such a huge drawing point for me, and once you meet them you want to see them more. Bruno spends a lovely amount of time creating his world and bringing it to life, my imagination was going wild, from envisioning the Auk’nai, to the Glimmer Glade, and the Sirens themselves. There is never a moment when the world takes a backseat to the rest of the storytelling but the best part is that you never get tired of learning about it.
The story is split into 4 parts with part 1 showcasing why humans are on Kamaria in the first place. Humans are on the run from the Undriel who are killing them off so now the humans are looking for a new home planet, we get a chance to see this fight through Denton. The story jumps back and fourth between the present and 300 years in the past and Bruno managed to successfully pull this off. It starts out calm but slowly but surely the stakes start to go up and the action picks up almost instantaneously and the next thing you know your on the edge of your seat hoping everyone makes it out but Bruno decides to ramp it up even more and end part one on such a high riveting moment that you need to start part 2.
Now for me, the start of part 2 was kind of a killer, instead of continuing on from where part 1 ended it focused on connecting the two plot lines from part one and then establishing Denton and his coming to be part of the scout team now on Kamaria, this is fine as it is necessary storytelling but I was reeling from the events at the end of part 1 that I needed to know what was going on with that portion of the story. I enjoyed seeing his journey, what made it drag for me, was the relationship building between him and Eliana, which I’ll talk about later. Once you get past this the story picks right back up and the moment never dies after that. The world starts to come to life, there are walking trees, Dray’va, and so much more. We meet more Auk’nai, and get to see their home, their way of life (the whole scene explaining how baby Auk’nai are born and find their parents was so sweet I loved it) and then the action and suspense pick back up, and your reeling again from everything that is going on.
Parts 3 and 4 are just so much action the story starts to evolve and you find out more about Roelin and the Sirens. We get the history of the Sirens and what their part in all this is. Part 4 is a huge climax that lasts for pretty much the entire time and its worth every page. There was never a lull in the action and the descriptions where easy to follow and you could actively see and understand how this fight was going down. Also let me tell you, don’t get attached to anyone, just don’t, and while these deaths did hurt me it wasn’t any of their moments that brought tears to my eyes. There where three moments that brought the tears to my eyes. One with Talulo the Auk’nai and the other a quieter moment that brought back a certain character from the start and reminded you how they where affected from the events that where going on. Deep set relationships are my life blood in storytelling and this moment (which actually ended up being two moments for these two characters) touched and tore at my heart in so much pain but held so much beauty in them. These two moments really showcased how deep their bond and love was without needing all the build up for it. Both of these moments between these two pull you back to reality that for some the events that are going on hit on a deeper level and this is something you kind of forget about because the other half to this couple is not hugely active in the story. It was both heartbreaking yet beautiful how their story came to a close.
There are an array of characters that make the story entertaining on multiple levels and they each have a very distinct voice from the next making them each standout among each other. My favorite though ended up being Roelin, it was one of those instant moments for me too, the minute I met him in the story I knew I was going to love him and immediately started hoping he would have a larger role. Which he did. Roelin’s portion of the story was the most engaging, I was constantly worrying about what was happening with him, what would happen to him, would he survive or not, I was a mess of emotions for this man. His entire ordeal was so agonizing, yet so enthralling. Denton and Eliana are great too but not without their faults but as main characters they stand strong, and I can see a lot of people loving them.
The conclusion is honestly extremely solid and as a book on its own it does amazing, it wraps up everything and even gives you a small little glimpse into the future. If I didn’t already know that it was getting a sequel I would say its an amazing standalone. You get everything you could want in the story.
So to explain that “4.75 rating” well that comes from the portion of the story that revolves around Denton and Eliana’s relationship. While I would not consider this book YA (and I don’t believe it is despite what so many other reviews say) Denton and Eliana’s relationship screams YA standard, they meet and within a few chapters they are head over heels in love with each other and that just doesn’t work for me. I hate instant love, I want drawn out romances (or already set in stone deep relationships), I want to really see characters come together over a course of time. Their interactions had me cringing a lot, I mean after Eliana’s second time being around him she was throwing herself at Denton, hugging him and then next thing I knew she was kissing his cheek, it was so unrealistic to me. And there where so many moments when I was like “dude you’re around others chill with the unnecessary PDA”. While this is something that didn’t work for me, I know instant love is liked by a lot of people, that’s why there is so much of it out there, so someone else will love this approach, I’m just not the right audience for it.
The other bit was that these two characters are suppose to be around 26-30 years of age and their dialogue and interactions screamed 18-19, there is even a few moments when Denton is referred to as “kid” yet according to chapter 3 his age is 30 Earth years standard. This was frustrating as it made it hard to really grasp just how old they where suppose to be. On their own or with other characters (minus Denton and his brothers they all sounded like teenagers every time they interacted yet they where suppose to be adults) they sounded older more the age they are suppose to be but when written together they screamed that 18-19 age range, it was off putting. These are the only things that “bothered me” but I know these are issues that others will either ignore or not find any fault in, so its really probably just a me thing.
One last thing I need to mention, the art in this book is absolutely gorgeous and I could stare at it all day. I bought the hardcover edition and each part is headed with an illustration by Jason Michael Hall. Each chapter also got a small illustration (chapter 50’s header illustration was my favorite). You get a beautiful vivid story with beautiful art, that’s an all around win if you ask me!
In the Orbit of Sirens is a beautifully and vividly crafted tale that will make you wish you where living on Kamaria.