Thursday, 9 August 2012

The Syrenka Series by Amber Garr - Blog Tour! (and 2 Giveaways!)

Promises (The Syrenka Series, #1)Blurb (from Goodreads):
 Sometimes following your heart can end up destroying the ones you love.

When seventeen-year-old Eviana Dumahl is faced with the responsibility of an arranged marriage and clan leadership, she is forced to choose between the life required of a mermaid and one of a teenage girl simply infatuated with the wrong guy. Kain, her devoted fianc√© would make a wonderful husband except that she’s been in love with Brendan, a shape-shifting selkie, ever since they were kids. Choosing to abandon her family, her clan, and her life with Kain will have dire consequences far beyond anything she could have imagined.

A war is brewing amongst the clans and Eviana unwittingly becomes a pawn in the intricate schemes of a twisted mastermind. With Brendan’s life on the line, she has no choice but to involve those who she once considered friends. Amidst encountering senseless tragedies and immense loss, Eviana discovers that she is more valuable as a clan leader than anyone ever suspected. Her survival is not only dependent upon the loyalty of her friends, but also on her acceptance of a life that she had so adamantly tried to escape.

Promises is the first book of The Syrenka Series trilogy following Eviana and her friends through the perils of growing up in a discrete world that inherently threatens human society.

Promises by Amber Garr

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Promises (The Syrenka Series, #1)
(I received a digital copy of this book for free as part of the ‘Syrenka’ blog tour. Thanks to Amber Garr and Bookshelf confessions)
This is book 1 in the ‘Syrenka’ series.
17-year-old Eviana is a mermaid. Not only is she a mermaid, but she is her clan leaders eldest child, which means that she will be the next clan leader. Mermaids are a dying species, which means that they must marry and breed appropriately. Eviana’s parents have arranged a marriage for her, to Kain – the heir of the Matthew’s clan, who as mermen go, is quite a catch.
Eviana and Kain have known about this arrangement since they were very young, but while Kain obviously has feelings for Eviana, Eviana has a boyfriend, a selkie (seal) called Brendon who her parents don’t approve of (as mermaids and selki’s can’t breed together).
With Eviana’s 18th birthday only a few weeks away, her marriage is fast approaching, and she knows that as much as she likes Kain, she belongs with Brendon, and they begin to make plans to run away together.
With tensions running high between Eviana and her parents, a Syrenka Cottilion to attend, and her wedding day looming, Eviana throws her entire life away to run away with Brendon, even when she knows that Kain would be a great husband and that they would be good together.
But when disaster strikes, and Brendon’s life is on the line, Eviana finds that having no family and friends to turn to could mean that she loses the only thing that she ever truly wanted, and she must swallow her embarrassment and ask the people that she left behind for help.

I really enjoyed this book, from the very first page I was swept into Eviana’s world, with both it’s magical beings, and teenage normalcy. I loved how Eviana’s problems were so similar to those of a normal teen – parents wanting her to do what she doesn’t want to do, parents not approving of her boyfriend, and also very different – being forced into an arranged marriage, and having to content with being the next leader of her clan.

I totally understood Eviana’s desire to run off with her boyfriend, and her wish to not have to marry at 18, but at the same time, I never for a moment thought that she would go through with it. I thought she would have a change of heart or change of circumstance and that she would stay and do her duty.
I personally was secretly hoping that she would stay and marry Kain who was a total sweetheart. He was more than happy to do his duty, especially when faced with his father’s impending death, and even offered to let Eviana continue to see Brendon in secret once they were married, which was obviously something that he knew would mean a lot to her.

Eviana was a strong female lead, she did what she wanted, but only after considering the consequences of her actions. She must have been so in love with Brendon to risk everything to be with him. Not only was she leaving her family, but her friends, clan, and way of life too. I don’t think I could ever do something like that, and I both applaud and frown upon her decision to run away. Whilst I understand that she loved Brendon and wanted to be with him, I also felt for Kain who was being jilted at the alter.

Eviana was always determined to get what she wanted, and this came across even more strongly when she was fighting for those that she loved and cared for.
If I had one complaint about the book it was when Eviana and Brendon slept together for the first time, and we were teased a bit and then told that they had ‘a wonderful night together’, I would have loved a little bit more here, nothing sordid or ‘fifty shades’, but just a little more than what we got!
Overall I liked this book though, and am looking forward to reading the second book in the series – Betrayal.
8 out of 10.

Betrayal (The Syrenka Series, #2)Blurb (from Goodreads):
Life as a mermaid can be suffocating.

Eviana Dumahl has returned home as a clan leader, an orphan, and a heartbroken teenage girl. Her parents are dead and her boyfriend, Brendan, has decided that he needs some time away. While battling her inner turmoil, Eviana is forced into the war that Lucian Sutherland has incited amongst her own kind. With the help of Kain, her friend and formally betrothed, the two work together to prove that they deserve their birthrights as young merfolk leaders.

When the Council requests a demonstration of Eviana’s mermaid powers, she finds herself with an opportunity to win back Brendan’s heart. But her orders to train with a repulsive merman and the presence of an attractive new suitor challenges Eviana to embrace her leadership and resist temptation. Lucian is after her, and no one seems to understand why. Loyalties are tested as the casualties increase, showing Eviana that sometimes it is impossible to delineate between friends and enemies.

Betrayal is the second book of The Syrenka Series trilogy following Eviana and her friends as they navigate through the challenges of existing in a secret world.

Betrayal by Amber Garr

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Betrayal (The Syrenka Series, #2)
(I received a digital copy of this book for free as part of the ‘Syrenka’ blog tour. Thanks to Amber Garr and Bookshelf confessions)
This is Book 2 in the ‘Syrenka’ series, and starts a few weeks after the end of book 1 – Promises.

Eviana has taken over as clan leader, following her parent’s death. She’s unsure of her new position, but doing her best; while trying to come to terms with the fact that her boyfriend Brendon is taking time away from her.
Forced to prove her worth to the council by demonstrating her new found powers, Eviana finds herself shipped off back to Jeremiah’s house to learn about using her powers, along with the mysterious Graham, a British boy who was the youngest member of the council before Eviana and Kain joined. Eviana finds herself strangely drawn to Graham, even if he is infuriating at times, but has her doubts as to his loyalties.
When Lucian starts attacking multiple mermaid clans, Eviana knows that she has to do something, but what can one teenage mermaid do against the sort of forces that Lucian has? And how many have to die before Lucian is stopped?

I enjoyed this book. I love Eviana, and I totally love Kain. I really think that Eviana should have married Kain instead of running off with Brendon, although it is debateable as to whether things would have been different if she had.
I found the surprise arrival of Graham to be interesting, but was a little disappointed that Eviana had feelings for him. She already has Brendon and Kain to think about, and in my opinion a third love-interest wasn’t really needed. I also was in two minds as to who Graham was and what his intentions were anyway.
I have to say that I did see the twists in this instalment coming, although that didn’t ruin the story for me. It is pretty obvious that someone is going to betray Eviana from the title! Maybe a different title would have decreased the chances of me guessing the ending!
Overall; this was a good second book, and I am looking forward to finding out what happens in the final instalment ‘Arise’!
7 out of 10.

Arise (The Syrenka Series, #3)

Blurb (from Goodreads):
With power comes the responsibility to accept its consequences.

After the betrayal of those closest to her, Eviana Dumahl struggles to cope with her new reality. Kidnapped, broken, and confused, she is forced to engage in a war that will alter merfolk politics forever. With her estranged father leading the charge, Eviana has no choice but to stand by his side. Her continued existence hinges on the acceptance of the power growing inside her, even when that means embracing the family’s dark lineage.

Kain Matthew will sacrifice the world for Eviana. And he is not alone. As time runs out, her friends fight to save her life and theirs. An unlikely alliance gives them the edge they need to take a stand, although it keeps Eviana’s heart trapped in the past. A new discovery explains some of her previous mistakes, but it may not be enough to stop her father’s plans. Merfolk, selkies, and water sprites work together to save their kind, only in this final battle, not everyone will survive.

In the striking series conclusion, Eviana will learn the true meaning of power, sacrifice, and love.

Arise by Amber Garr

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Arise (The Syrenka Series, #3)(I received a digital copy of this book for free as part of the ‘Syrenka’ blog tour. Thanks to Amber Garr and Bookshelf confessions)
This is book 3 in the Syrenka series, and kicks off where ‘Betrayal’ left off.

Eviana has been kidnapped by Lucian – the man who has been ruining things for the Syrenka, selkies, and water sprites alike, and the man who now claims to be Eviana’s biological father.
Drugged and confused, Eviana is stuck, locked in her Lucian’s boathouse, and unable to even plan an escape.
How can Eviana escape, and save the rest of her clan? Does anyone stand a chance against Lucian and his special powers? Who will win Eviana’s heart?

I really enjoyed this book. This series just keeps getting better, and this was probably the best of the three and a great end to the series!
Poor Eviana has had a lot to cope with in this series, and has had to do a lot of growing up along the way. Things seem bad at the beginning of this instalment, and defeating Lucian is not going to be an easy feat.
Once again Kain is a total sweetheart in his book, and it’s so lovely to see that his feelings for Eviana are still holding strong even after all they’ve been through. I am totally on team Kain over here, I wanted Eviana to marry Kain right at the beginning, and I couldn’t wait to read this instalment to find out who she would end up with, especially with her original boyfriend Brendon back in the picture, and the sexy English Graham vying for her attention too!

There is plenty of action in this book, with the final showdown to look forward to, and twists and turns along the way. There’s also plenty of intrigue as to who Eviana can trust, and nothing is truly settled until right at the very end.

Overall; great end to the series, and great trilogy! If you’re interested in mermaid stories, check this one out!
8 out of 10.

About the Author - Amber Garr

 Amber Garr

Amber Garr spends her days conducting scientific experiments and wondering if her next door neighbor is secretly a vampire. Born in Pennsylvania, she lives in Florida with her husband and their furry kids. Her childhood imaginary friend was a witch, Halloween is sacred, and she is certain that she has a supernatural sense of smell. She writes both adult and young adult urban fantasies and when not obsessing over the unknown, she can be found dancing, reading, or enjoying a good movie.

Giveaway Time! 
Enter for your chance to win an ebook of ONE of the books from this series! (Your choice of which book!)
(Keep scrolling down for the second giveaway)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

There is also a tour-wide Giveaway for signed paperbacks of all 3 books, and some cool swag!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Amber! Hi! Thanks for the giveaway!

  2. Thanks so much for the giveaway, AMber! The books look awesome!

  3. Great giveaway. I love the covers and am fascinated by this genre!

  4. Thanks for the great giveaway!

  5. Awesome Giveaway. Thanks. I am loving the Promises cover.

  6. Hi Amber. Thanks so much for the giveaway. I am really wanting to win so I can get lost in your world:)

  7. Hi Sarah,
    thanks for the post.>:)

  8. Hi everyone! Thank you so much for your comments and good luck with the giveaway! :)

    Thank you Sarah for taking the time to read and review and I am so glad that you enjoyed the series. Thanks for being a part of my tour. :)

  9. Thank you so much for this amazing giveaway. You're the best!

  10. Hi Amber! Thanks for the giveaway! Looks like an interesting series!

  11. Hi Amber,

    Thanks for the giveaway and make it internationally

    -Lilian S

  12. Thank you very much, Amber, for the giveaway! <3

  13. Thanks for a totally amazing giveaway!
    elizabeth @ bookattict . com