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Dark Reviews | Written | Books | Siren Promised, by Clark & Johnson... « Previous | Next »
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 Topic: Siren Promised, by Clark & Johnson  (Read 1093 times)

Siren Promised, by Clark & Johnson « 05/19/05 at 10:49pm » Quote | Modify
Siren Promised by Alan M. Clark & Jeremy Robert Johnson
Angie Smith is headed home to Monahan… away from her dark past, away from her boyfriend, Cypher, who has drawn her deep into a violent web of parties, pills, and pain. She is ready to start a new life with her long-abandoned daughter, Kaya, but she wants to attend one more party, a rave deep in the forest, where she will abandon herself one last time before committing her life to her daughter.
Siren Promised
A thousand miles away, Curtis Loew is looking for a new family. He’s tried to have a family before, but things always seemed to go wrong. l People can be so cold. The people Curtis loves, sometimes they don’t love him back. Sometimes they stop talking to him. Sometimes they even die, leaving Curtis alone again.
Curtis is new to Monahan, but the neighbors are kind. He’s spending more and more time with the Smiths, Kaya, and her mentally unstable grandmother, Collen. Already, they’re beginning to seem like Family. And Curtis, he’s got so much love to give.
Siren Promised
Angie never thought that going to the party in the forest would unravel the world around her. She knew Cypher was dangerous, but she never knew he could be so cruel. She never knew that the forest could be so dark.
Now Angie has voices in her head that beg her to stop breathing. Now Angie has a vision in her mind…her daughter, Kaya, floating in the air, with hand-shaped bruises spreading across her throat.
Siren Promised
Featuring over thirty interior illustrations and cover artwork by Alan M. Clark, Siren Promised sets a new benchmark in visual and written storytelling.

I have just one word for you – DAMN!
Beautiful in its honesty, the plot is raw and creative. Without sermon or judgment, the story reveals a naked, ugly picture of drug abuse and exile. Although there is a very intricate supernatural element to it, it is purely secondary. What you will remember, what will haunt you, is the desperation of Angie, Curtis, and Kaya, and to what lengths they will go to fill their emptiness. Although I should warn you, the intensity may be too much for those looking for a few hours of simple entertainment.
Watching a character fall from grace and then get back up has always made for compelling drama, and if that is what you’re expecting here – put the book down. Although the players capture the pain and suffering of life and all of its complexities, they receive no simple answer. There are no rainbows here. What they do portray is the gritty truth, without bows or gift-wrapping.  As they fight against their desperation and for their redemption, you can’t help but care, even if you don’t want to.  
The atmosphere is abrasive and dense. The moment you open the book, the air around you begins to immediately attack your senses. When you move through the forest with Angie, you can almost smell the decay and filth. When Curtis investigates the Smith’s house, you sense the weight surrounding it. It’s all around you, and that stench, that smell, never leaves you. It's very power involving you in the story and placing you in their environment. And just when you think you can't handle any more, the pace pushes you through and past it. Although it's not a swift read, the speed is calculated and safe. With every aspect of the book being open to illusion, you will actually come to depend on the pace. It was perfect!  
Unlike most collaborations, Clark and Johnson’s styles blended well together; too well, in fact. To this very moment, I still can’t determine when one took over and the other sat back. Interlacing between reality and the drug-infused, nightmares of Angie, the authors make you live through it, rather than just read about it. The power of Clark and Johnson working together is in their ability to blur the lines in the tale and touch you where it counts. By the time I was done reading I was wondering about the purpose in my own life; they left me with an emptiness I didn’t even know existed.
Now normally I don’t comment on the illustrations in books for the sheer fact that I know next-to-nothing about art, but the illustrations in this book require mention. Conveying what is going through the character’s minds, the images bring to life what can only be imagined. They are beautiful! In fact, there is one picture in there that I am seriously considering framing and hanging on my wall.  
My rating? I have to give it a 4. As much as I loved this book, it's not for the squeamish or overly sensitive. For those with a strong constitution, I suggest you grab this book new, read it immediately, and then leave it somewhere – on a plane, in a bus depot, or give it to a friend you think can learn from it, so that someone else can learn from the experience.

Posted by:  BloodyMary   Reanimated Reader
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