My rating: green1-5

(DNF at 33%)

I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Hello, again! Another day, another review! This one is on The Silent Songbird by Melanie Dickerson. Now,  I don’t believe I’ve ever written a DNF review, but there’s a first time for everything. The story is based on The Little Mermaid and follows Evangeline, a ward of King Richard, as she tries to escape her a political marriage by running away and pretending to be a mute servant. Along the way, she meets Westley, whose kindheartedness and good looks she falls for. But things get complicated as the truth about Evangeline’s true standing becomes known. When NetGalley granted my wish for this request, I was really excited. Especially since I enjoyed the author’s previous book, The Merchant’s Daughter. I’m sorry to say that I had to DNF this book at 33%. The reason behind this was that I didn’t want to read a book that I had a lot of problems with. For instance, I felt as if the book had more potential to be uncovered by the author. The amount of dialogue in this book compared to description is a lot more, and I didn’t think it was that developed. The story premise was intriguing to me, so maybe if the book is worked on a bit more, then it would have reached its potential.

Then, there was the insta-romance. When it comes to love and romantic relationships, I really hate instal-romance. I feel as if it’s a quick way to get characters to connect with each other for the purpose of the story. It didn’t seem like Evangeline and Westley were really attracted to each other, but more of their ideas of the other. I’d rather have a build up when it comes to emotional attachment, instead of characters liking the first pretty face they saw and just trusting them because of that. In fact, what really bothered me was the fact that in this novel, pretty equaled good guys and ugly equaled bad. If this was simply meant to be a fairytale set in the 1300s, I get it, but come on; this is a fairytale adaptation. It should be at least more complex than that.

Other than that, it just didn’t feel real enough to me. The story depends on people being kind hearted to Evangeline in a time where things were really tense since the peasants’ Uprising happened recently. And I’m not just talking about respecting others. I’m talking about how no one minds that she can’t really work even though she’s pretending to be a servant. Wouldn’t anyone be suspicious of her real talents? Overall, I think that I was expecting more from the premise, but the book didn’t meet my standards.

That’s all I have to say about The Slient Songbird by Melanie Dickerson. I didn’t really enjoy it, but maybe it gets better in the second half of the book. Who knows? If you have any comments or questions, please leave them in the section below. Thanks for reading!

–  Sumaya