Wake (Hocking)

Book Reviews
Hocking hits all the commercial high notes… She knows how to keep readers turning the pages.
New York Times

The inaugural title in the four-book Watersong series by Hocking (the Trylle series) will please her fans and likely win her new ones. Sixteen-year-old Gemma Fisher is happy—she’s a star on the swim team, her family is loving and supportive, and the crush-worthy boy next door returns her interest. The only downside: three gorgeous but creepy new girls who have her in their sights. One night, Gemma is lured into joining the girls at a campfire by the water; she wakes up the next morning bruised and battered with no clear memories of what happened, but discovers she has supernatural healing abilities and is a far better swimmer than she realized. The girls tell Gemma stories of gods, goddesses, and curses that are actually blessings, but Gemma (rightly) suspects that some important information has been left out. While Hocking’s writing isn’t always polished (the foreshadowing can be painfully heavy), the well-structured story and strong characters carry readers over the rough spots. A cliffhanger ending sets up the next book, Lullaby. Ages 12–up.
Publishers Weekly

Pretty sixteen-year-old Gemma loves the water, especially night-time swims in Anthemusa Bay. Three other young women also frequent the ocean cove...[and] to Gemma's surprise, they court her company, but she and older sister Harper think these beautiful newcomers are strange.... One night while Gemma swims, however, the girls' singing lures and ensnares her. Harper searches for the missing Gemma and discovers her disoriented on the beach. The potion Gemma reluctantly swallowed has transformed her into a siren (part woman, part fish) with eternal life, beauty, and seductive powers but no real love.... Plot tension escalates steadily as the sirens ramp up their repulsiveness and Gemma resists joining them. A surreal battle scene adds excitement. Make room, vampires, because the sirens and this Watersong series have sharp teeth. —Barbara Johnston

Hocking’s novel effectively melds myth and contemporary teen life. High school, family, young love, and mythology all combine to create an easy-to-read paranormal suspense story that will have fans eagerly awaiting new installments.

When the initial fog of [Gemma's] late night at the cove with a trio of sirens...wears off, Gemma discovers that she is stronger, faster and more beautiful than ever.... Now she just has to choose between the life she loves and the lure of her newfound mythical powers.... In the end, it's secondary characters, like the girls' love interests, who will sustain readers determined to make it to the final page. Whether they'll feel motivated to pick up the next three books is anyone's guess.
Kirkus Reviews

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