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Songs from the Deep

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A girl searches for a killer on an island where deadly sirens lurk just beneath the waves in this gripping, atmospheric debut novel.

The sea holds many secrets.

Moira Alexander has always been fascinated by the deadly sirens who lurk along the shores of her island town. Even though their haunting songs can lure anyone to a swift and watery grave, she gets as close to them as she can, playing her violin on the edge of the enchanted sea. When a young boy is found dead on the beach, the islanders assume that he's one of the sirens’ victims. Moira isn’t so sure.

Certain that someone has framed the boy’s death as a siren attack, Moira convinces her childhood friend, the lighthouse keeper Jude Osric, to help her find the real killer, rekindling their friendship in the process. With townspeople itching to hunt the sirens down, and their own secrets threatening to unravel their fragile new alliance, Moira and Jude must race against time to stop the killer before it’s too late—for humans and sirens alike.

304 pages, Hardcover

First published November 5, 2019

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About the author

Kelly Powell

2 books104 followers
Kelly Powell writes fantasy for young adults and currently lives in Ontario, Canada. She has a bachelor's degree in history and book & media studies from the University of Toronto.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 354 reviews
Profile Image for Chelsea Humphrey.
1,483 reviews79k followers
October 22, 2019

"Twillengyle is a place to be embraced with one arm, with a dagger ready in the other hand. To be charmed by its magic is not the same as becoming its fool, Moira. Remember that."

Songs from the Deep is an elegant historical fantasy with a side of murder mystery, and I am floored that it is also a debut. The writing is lush and tantalizing, and I immediately fell head over heels in love with Moira and Jude. Aside from some graphic descriptions of the murder(s?), this appears to be a wonderfully safe reading choice for the younger side of the YA spectrum, yet is just as enjoyable for the older ages as well. The premise was unique and sustainable from beginning to end, and I did not solve the case before the big reveal. Highly recommended to readers looking for an atmospheric, realistic feeling fantasy, and I look forward to Powell's sophomore novel!

*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy via NetGalley.
Profile Image for Jasmine from How Useful It Is.
1,339 reviews350 followers
November 5, 2019
I dived blindly into this book hoping the story is all about sirens singing and luring unsuspecting victims to their deaths but it’s not all. It’s about a girl sleuthing a murder because she believes the killer is not who the police says it is. This book is slow going all the way through. It sparks some interest in me when Jude reveals Moira a secret he has been keeping. The story focuses also on how their friendship started and then fall apart and how their fathers were fascinated by the sirens. There are some surprises of where the story were heading that I didn’t expect.

This book is told in the first person point of view following Moira, 17 as she played the violin by the cliff’s edge while the sirens lounged around down on the beach. There used to be more than ten sirens when she first played the music but sirens do killed people and the islanders allowed sirens hunting until a ban was placed. A new body found by the beach this morning and it’s not the usual tourist but one of their own islander and Moira is adamant that it’s murder. Being fascinated by the sirens, Moira vow to find the real killer rather than sit still and let others blame the sirens for the killing so that the hunting ban could be lifted. She enlisted her friend Jude, 19, to help.

Songs from the Deep is well written. Moira being a daddy’s girl isn’t on good terms with her mom. I don’t like how she walks about like she’s important and has little regards for adults. A favorite character in this book for me is Jude just because he works at the lighthouse. Interesting how he personally wants the job and wants to keep it continue down the generations of his family. I like how the friendship slowly morphs into love. The love is very faint that this book can be for middle grade readers too. I wonder what year this story takes place because Jude was excited to finally get a telephone.

Pro: island, violin, sirens, friendship, lighthouse

Con: slow paced

I rate it 4 stars!

***Disclaimer: Many thanks to Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing for inviting me to host a blog tour. I appreciate the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.

Jasmine at www.howusefulitis.wordpress.com for more details
Profile Image for Carrie.
3,230 reviews1,550 followers
October 28, 2019
Songs from the Deep by Kelly Powell is a young adult fantasy that has entwined itself with a historical mystery. This book is actually the author’s debut novel and just from the description alone you can imagine the creativity behind it was definitely a thumbs up and hard to imagine it being a first.

Moira Alexander is a young woman who lives in a town upon an island the is often surrounded by deadly sirens. Moira has always found the sirens quite fascinating and would often come as close as she can with precaution to study the deadly creatures even boldly serenading them with her own violin.

One night Moira is out with a companion when they come across the body of a young boy. Before sending for help Moira couldn’t help her curiosity as she takes a closer look at the body and determines this was murder and not a siren attack. However, Moira seems to be the only one not willing to blame the sirens so she enlists her friend, Jude Osric, to help her find the real killer.

Songs from the Deep felt very atmospheric in the world building with this one taking a reader not only back in time but to this small island with mythical creatures. It was actually quite a twist to find that the sirens making this a fantasy somewhat take a backseat to a mystery. Certainly and entertaining and impressive debut overall.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/
Profile Image for Juli.
1,899 reviews490 followers
October 28, 2019
Moira knows the Sirens who inhabit the sea around her island home are dangerous. But she still sneaks near the beach to watch them. She plays her violin from her hiding place, letting her music travel through the salty sea air to the mysterious creatures. She carries iron to protect her from their mesmerizing, magical songs. When a boy's body, bleeding and broken, is discovered on the beach, the villagers are quick to blame the death on a siren attack. But Moira feels something is wrong. Very wrong. Why would sirens leave a dead 12-year old boy on the beach? Wouldn't they have dragged his body to the sea? With the help of a childhood friend, Moira is determined to discover the truth.

This story is so engaging and interesting! Part sea monster tale and part murder mystery, this book kept my attention from start to finish. Moira and Jude work well together. I enjoyed their investigation and the development of their characters throughout the story.

This is a YA book. There are no gory death details or graphic sex. No cursing. The sirens are a bit scary and there are killings...so the story might be a bit much for someone under 13. Parental guidance suggested, as with any monster story.

The front cover art for this book is perfect. It is what first interested me in reading this story.

This is the first book by Kelly Powell that I've read. I will definitely be reading more. I like her writing style. The suspense, action and mystery are well-written, perfectly paced and definitely engrossing.

**I voluntarily read a review copy of this book from Simon & Schuster. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**
Profile Image for nia🏹 •shades0fpaper•.
852 reviews111 followers
September 28, 2019
You can find this review on my blog Shades of Paper.


“A flash of silver under sea, where siren song hath taken me. Absent of color, absent of light, absent of all that I knew in life. Bolt the latch and watch the waves, pray the sirens do not take me tonight.”

Whenever I hear the word siren in a book or a movie or just anything, I’ll definitely pick it up, so needless to say as soon as I knew that this book had sirens in it I added to my TBR. I thought the premise was so intriguing and interesting, and since I’m a huge fan of murder mystery stories (with sirens!) I went with pretty high expectations, thinking I was going to absolutely love Songs From the Deep. Unfortunately, I was so highly disappointed by the execution of the story.

My main issue with this book was that I honestly expected to see more sirens in it. I know it is a pretty stupid reason to dislike a book, but I technically didn’t like it just because of that, but that was an added bonus. I think we barely got any information of the sirens, apart from how they looked and that they took humans from the surface and yada, yada, yada. The most unique element of the story, and the one in my opinion could have made the book stood out was barely addressed throughout the story, and only walked by. I would have loved for the author to explore that magical world and integrate it with the plot, instead of just being a separate element of the story.

Now, my biggest issue with this book was regarding the plot. Even though I for sure am not an expert in mysteries, I’ve read quite a few of them throughout these few years, and I’m quite good at anticipating those big revelations. And I think that this particular book didn’t add a lot to what I have previously read. It was a very generic murder mystery, with a lot of similar elements that other stories have, so I didn’t have that sense of anticipation and wanting to know who the murderer was, or that there was going to be a major plot twist that would blew my mind, and if a mystery doesn’t keep me engaged and thrilled to want to continue reading it, it’s missing something.

“They are distant and impassive, marble statues staring out to sea. Movement is rarely what catches their attention. Sound is how they hunt, what they wait for. Any noise, whether soft or abrasive, is tenfold more interesting to them than a little wave of fingers or shuffle of feet.”

The ending and that big revelation was so predictable in my opinion, and the way it was done was a bit weird and strange, and maybe not the best to create that shocking element to the reader, and how everything was solved was a bit too convenient and juvenile.

When it comes to the characters, my main thought is they were okay but weren’t mind blowing. Since it was a very short book and the majority of the story was purely focused on the plot (till the point I felt I was reading the same exact thing over and over again), it didn’t leave a lot of room for the characters to shine. Our protagonist was brave and had so much potential, but honestly she felt quite flat to me. We didn’t know that much about her apart from her relationship with her father and how she was fascinated by mermaids, but she didn’t have pretty much any evolution throughout the story. Her interactions were a bit odd sometimes, and the romance was just so unnecessary because she barely had any chemistry with her love interest, and with everything that was going on regarding those murders, that romance honestly seemed like it came out of nowhere, since those characters were that simple.

Overall, I was sadly pretty disappointed with Songs From the Deep. I had such high expectations, but the plot and characters didn’t hit that mark for me, and though it had a very interesting concept, it was a bit boring. The pacing was so lineal that it didn’t build that anticipation the reader should have while reading a mystery, and I just wish I had seen more sirens in it.

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for and honest review. This doesn’t change my opinion whatsoever. All thoughts are my own.

“I don’t know whether the sirens watch me as I leave, or if the cliff0s edge holds a pull of its own. Whichever way, my heart feels leaden as I head for home. But I have long realized a piece of it will always belong to the sea.”


Thank you Simon & Schuster and Margaret K. McElderry for the ARC.

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Profile Image for The Nerd Daily.
720 reviews345 followers
October 1, 2019
Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Nathalie DeFelice

I started reading this book because of the sirens and I stayed because of what another reviewer called a Hufflepuff love interest and Slytherin heroine. I loved this story to bits because it treads a very fine line between mysticism and magic. The characters are complex, but it’s the journey that I feel readers will truly love. The murder mystery is intense, and builds into this gorgeous climax. There’s so much going on with this little island that is home to a population of sirens, and it’s a song you’ll be longing to hear once you’ve finished reading this book. I have personally always imagined what siren song would sound like, and wouldn’t mind being tied to the mast of a ship just so I could experience it. If they were real, that is.

Moira has always been fascinated by the deadly sirens that lurk in the shores of her little island town. Although their song can lead anyone to a watery death, she gets as close as she can, playing her violin to them just outside of their reach. When a young boy is found dead on the beach, the islanders assume it’s the work of the sirens, but Moira is certain the boy has been murdered. She convinces her friend and lighthouse keeper Jude Osric to help her find the real killer before the islanders starting trying to hunt the sirens down, while also rekindling their old friendship into something more. They’ll need to race against time if they’re going to stop the killer, before it’s too late for the islanders and the sirens.

This book has such a mystical atmosphere from the beginning. We have this mythical creature who lives by the shores of this town and it makes you wonder if it’s a blessing or a curse to have them so close. Though the story is mostly told from Moira’s perspective, readers will get to glimpse snippets of it through Jude’s perspective as well. It’s really refreshing to see, because we don’t often get fluffy male characters. What’s more, I really appreciate the sense of community that the islanders have built for everyone, despite the fact that Moira is a little different. It makes the things that are playing out so interesting.

Moira is a very cunning and strong character. She doesn’t pull punches, and makes sure that you know exactly what she wants from you. Jude plays the perfect foil to this because where Moira can be overbearing and frustrating, Jude comes in and soothes hurts and feelings. He’s sensitive to things that Moira isn’t, and really helps move the story along well. I love their interactions the most because Moira isn’t afraid to cross boundaries, and Jude’s blushing makes it all worthwhile.

I’d say the story is more plot driven than character driven, and while I still enjoyed it regardless, I feel that this is one that would have benefited more from being more character driven instead. The story had a really formal tone that I enjoyed for the most part, but other readers might not find appealing. The time period does explain a good portion of this, but I feel like a less formal tone would have definitely been more suitable. Like I said, the story is more about the mysterious death(s) that are happening on the island and who’s to blame, than it is about Moira and Jude. They’re all players on a much larger board, and I loved seeing how that played out in the end.

The story starts slowly at first, and builds momentum, and toward the end is fast paced and the anticipation swells into this crescendo, much like a musical piece. There’s something lyrical about the story overall, and the music, both from the sirens and Moira’s violin, ties everything together. The romance plays out very well in my opinion, and again, because of our characters very different personalities, makes for a very palatable pairing. Jude has been one of my favourite male protagonists and I would love to see someone do fanart of him!

I’m going to rate Songs From The Deep an 8 out of 10. It’s a wonderful story full of a quiet life despite the dangers of a watery grave, with some amazing protagonists. It would be great to see Moira and Jude in another story, because I can’t wait to see what this author writes next.
Profile Image for Shauna.
12 reviews26 followers
July 2, 2018
I am honored to say I’ve had the privilege of reading this story!

I always have a hard time writing reviews because I am so afraid of spoiling something.. That said, here are a few thoughts of mine that I hope will convince people to give this the chance it absolutely deserves!

The main character is so real with not only her strength and determination and passion, but her flaws as well. Her relationships with everyone around her are likewise real, and that’s something I enjoy so much about Kelly’s writing. She has the ability to make you feel like these are real people you could know, and it’s because of that, that you cheer for them and desperately need them to succeed.

One of the most important characters of the story is the island itself. With its dangerous sirens and fascinating history, the well crafted world building done for this tale is something most writers could only dream of capturing.

This is a very strong debut novel from a young and fresh talent that everyone should be keeping their eyes on!

Congratulations, Kelly! I’m so glad people will be able to submerse themselves in this mystery and come to love these characters as I have.
Profile Image for A Book Shrew.
639 reviews144 followers
May 19, 2021
This. This. This right here is what you call a hidden gem of a book. There is nothing I love more than picking up a book with zero expectations and coming out the other side with it clutched tight to your chest, utterly in love. Blown out of the water, and no, I will not apologize for any water-related puns that happen spring up in this review.

Full review at A Book Shrew

Why is no one talking about this book? I have heard so little about this debut novel. It's been out for almost two weeks now and I've not seen anything about it anywhere. I admit, I requested it from Simon and Schuster with some hesitance, and that is mainly due to the cover. If I'm being honest, it looks like something I would have cobbled together with stock photo and online picture editor for my terrible Wattpad books back in the day. It one hundred percent does not reflect how beautiful and entertaining this book is! Even though they are verydifferent, I got a strong comparison to Margaret Rogerson's masterpiece An Enchantment of Ravens. High praise, believe me.

First off, it is absolutely a murder mystery with a touch of fantasy. I believe it takes place on a fictional Ireland-esque island. There is a historical vibe I would put at about ... the 1950's? I could be so very wrong, but that's what I happily pictured. It's a picturesque coastal town that has a slight problem with the sirens offshore. Namely the whole issue with them attacking and dragging people without iron on their persons to the depths of the sea. No big deal. This story starts with another death, but there's something fishy—no apologies—about it that can't possibly be the fault of the sirens.

Moira Alexander is the first to realize that this death may in fact be a murder. Whether it's driven by her love of the sirens or the fact she knew the person who died well, she embarks on solving the mystery. I adored Moira. She is such a strong female protagonist from start to finish. There are flaws and vulnerabilities to her that made her highly relatable and made her stand out. It's hard to describe why I like her so much, and I'm realizing that quite a bit as I try to write this review. She just really resonated with me.

But let's not forget that she doesn't go about this adventure alone. Tagging along on the murder investigation is lighthouse keeper Jude Osric. He wormed his way into my heart about as fast as Moira did. Vulnerable and kind to a fault, I squee'd quite often with him, and most definitely when he and Moira were together. Their chemistry together was phenomenal. Not once did it feel forced and the natural progression of their relationship had me smiling like a fool.

Overall I thought this was so well done. The pacing is spot-on, and I was often doing the whole "attempt to do everything one-handed" thing. It goes without saying, clearly, that I was never once bored. Nor did I find it predictable. Yes, my guess of whodunnit was pretty much right, but I loved the journey of getting there. This was terribly entertaining and beautifully written about a vivid and compelling world. I will absolutely read anything else Kelly Powell writes, and the fact she's a fellow Canadian is just a bonus!
Profile Image for Christie«SHBBblogger».
965 reviews1,248 followers
November 5, 2019

Title: Songs From the Deep
Series: Standalone
Author: Kelly Powell
Release date: November 5, 2019
Cliffhanger: No
Genre:YA mystery, historical, fantasy

I tried extremely hard to get into this book thinking it was possibly my mood influencing my inability to enjoy the story, but after finishing I know that wasn't the case. The pace was so excruciatingly slow and I kept having to put the book down and pick it up multiple times over the course of a week. I felt like if I got far enough into the mystery that it would finally hook me and things would kick into motion. For me it was consistently stagnant through the end.

One major contributor is the lack of character development. This is told in first person POV from Moira's perspective and yet even with the ability to really get inside her head and know her from the inside out, she didn't make sense to me. Her motivations, actions, personality, were so two-dimensional and often I was left scratching my head trying to understand her as a whole. I needed a lot more in order to care for her, to empathize, to feel a variety of emotions. There was a noticeable lack of internal dialogue involving self-reflection to help flesh her out as a believable person. We're told that she's a gifted violinist, she's fiercely protective of the sirens on the island, and she has two secrets. One of them which caused her to push her best friend Jude away, supposedly for his own good. The second secret caused her to stop performing at the town dance hall where she found such joy and seemed to stem from something serious with one of the other performers.

"Now is the time to step back, to keep myself from Jude Osric as I’ve kept myself from the dance hall—lest I bring about more damage, lest guilt shred me to pieces. I’ve already withheld plenty from him.

I spent the entire book thinking there was going to be some type of revelation as to why Moira was so obsessed with protecting the killer sirens that live around Twillengyle. These sirens that felt more like a prop for the overall murder mystery of the story rather than anything substantial. I mean, good grief, we weren't told anything about these creatures at except how ethereal and vicious they are, and at the same time innocent of killing the people found on the beach. There was no backstory to speak of except a small paragraph at 87% in the book explaining the myth of how they came to be.

These creatures are predators that lurk all around them, lure innocent people to their death, or outright attack them. Her best friend's entire family was wiped out, her grandfather, and countless others in town. And she held no ill-will or blame whatsoever towards them, instead revering them simply because they are a link to her father and her childhood. At one point she even admits to herself that this is a childish way of thinking, yet her loyalty remains unwavering through the whole book. She also brings up the fact that they are perfectly safe as long as you take the necessary precautions and carry an iron charm around with you. The problem is, all of their victims inexplicably didn't use one knowing the dangers, including Jude's family.

Jude was a sweet guy, however I couldn't grasp what he saw in Moira to be honest. I felt as if his kindness and constant innocent blushes for her weren't reciprocated back to him so his feelings were a bit odd. She generally gave off a cold and detached feeling towards him, only wanting to be around him to help her investigation of the island murders. She lectured him like a nagging wife when he went to the bar for a few drinks which was so weird. What was that about? As far as I can tell he's a grown man who's within his rights to do that. It's not as if he was a raging alcoholic, and yet she berated him over it.

When it comes down to it, the mystery was extremely predictable and simple, the romance fell flat, and the plot did not have a strong fantasy element as I was hoping for. All of these things added up along with my disconnect with the characters and unfortunately that made for a disappointing story. The author has a distinct writing style with the type of prose I usually go for, so it's possible a future book by her may be a winner. However, Songs from the Deep is not one I would recommend unless you're looking for a plot driven historical mystery novel to pass a few hours with.


Profile Image for JenacideByBibliophile.
209 reviews131 followers
November 6, 2019
Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher, Simon and Schuster, for an honest review.

“A flash of silver under sea, when siren song hath taken me.
Absent of color, absent of light, absent of all that I knew in life.
Bolt the latch and watch the waves, pray sirens do not take me tonight.”


The inhabitants of Twillengyle island know the dangers that lurk below the surface of the waters. They are taught as children to be fearful of the harbor, to wear iron at all times, and to never go into the ocean. But the fascination of sirens brings yearly tourists to the island, which always ends in a death or three. But this year, an islander is found dead on the shore. A young boy with his throat slit clean. The police deem the cause to be an attack from the sirens, but Moira Alexander disagrees. Moira has always been enraptured by the sirens, just like her father, and believes the death of this boy is due to foul play. She enlists the help of the light keeper, Jude Osric to help track down the true killer. But Moira has no leads, and is finding it difficult to trust anyone. But she must act quickly, before the bodies start piling up.

Allow me to introduce to you, my newest eerie fantasy of 2019.

Move over The Wicked Deep!

There’s a new creepy island in town with deadly beings in the water, and a meddlesome female lead to make you swoon!


“Playing for the sirens fills a dark and hollow yearning, a cavernous desire I’ve no other way to appease.”

The setting for this enchanting read is an island called Twillengyle, and my oh my, am I obsessed with it! It is oddly alluring island masked in fog and mystery, beckoning outsiders forward with a chilled bony finger. It whispers secrets on the wind, rains fear on its sandy beaches and coaxes sailors to the docks and out into the blue.

It gives me Sleepy Hollow tingles and caresses of Sparrow curses, but these waters aren’t filled with ghostly spirits enacting revenge. In this tale, songs flutter through the waves from the dark depths of the unknown, luring the souls foolish enough to walk unprotected. The sirens keep an alertness about the island and apprehension in the air, but it is the islanders who keep the darkest secrets.


“Twillengyle is a place to be embraced with one arm, with a dagger ready in the other hand. To be charmed by its magic is not the same as becoming its fool, Moira. Remember that.”

As soon as I began reading Songs from the Deep, I was hooked. I devoured this beauty in five hours, and all I can think is I need more. The writing was beautiful and eerie, and the historical fiction of the tale brought the creep factor up a notch. Each character was introduced in a manor where you can’t tell if they are good or evil, sincere or manipulative, like something straight out of a Stephen King novel. Who to trust, who to fear? Honestly, I’m not even sure I could tell you! The old-fashioned dialogue brings about an air of propriety and polite interactions, but mix that with a couple slit throats and you’ve got blood coating the sandy shores.

“Now I’ll have his blood on the soles of my boots.”

If you, like me, love a meddlesome girl, then you will surely adore our Moira Alexander. She is strength in a petticoat, authority in stockings, and a fiercely skillful young lady. Moira is a character who knows exactly who she is and what she believes in, and wouldn’t think twice about apologizing for either. She has strong morals and opinions, which she has no shame in voicing, but she does so in a regal and sophisticated way. As a child, Moira followed in her father’s footsteps of having a keen interest and love for the sirens. So much so, that she spends her days sitting on the cliffs playing songs on her violin to the creatures below.


“When she disappears beneath the waves, I feel pinned to the moment. I replay it like a song, over and over, until it’s familiar as a heartbeat.”

But like all the islanders of Twillengyle, Moira has secrets of her own, and this one involves her former best friend and the love-interest of this haunting story: Jude Osric.

“On one dark bough, I curse my efforts to drain our friendship bloodless, when neither of us desired the ax.”

Jude is the epitome of good-natured and sweetness! So many times in YA Fantasy we have a bad boy character with secrets, regrets, a mournful past of death and dark hair with gray eyes. Well…the secrets and mournful past of death is still there, but you see where I’m going with this. Jude is kind and honest. He has an innocence etched into his bones that even the loneliness of his lighthouse can’t extinguish. He is an upstanding gent, an endearing friend and he’s just… pure goodness. This is one male love interest I could jump into the ocean for.

But obviously, the real treat of this story is the plot.

This siren story is one you need to buy now and devour. I know so many of you have been in an endless hangover from The Wicked Deep, and this is the cure! Not only is it a fantastic mystery full of twists and turns that keep you guessing until the end, but it ends on a note that makes you feel eerily complete. If a book was ever written for my soul, it would be this. This world, these characters, and the mysteries of the waters speak to my very being. If I could crawl into these pages, my heart would have finally reached bliss.

“Disquiet makes a home inside my heart.”

Profile Image for Shannara.
448 reviews81 followers
January 12, 2020
I actually finished this about a week ago, but I wanted to let it simmer before writing the review. I haven’t looked at any of the other reviews so I don’t know if I’m in the minority on this, but I’m not a fan of Moira. But! And that’s a big BUT! My dislike of Moira didn’t diminish the book for me. It was still intriguing and intense in some places. This was well written and I’m really anxious to see what this author will come up with next.
Profile Image for Mila.
771 reviews65 followers
July 21, 2020
This is yet another book with a cool premise based on sirens and yet very mediocre execution. I liked the somewhat vague historical setting and the writing was beautiful in places but most of the time the book was just slow and boring. I really wish I enjoyed it more.
Profile Image for Jackie.
631 reviews42 followers
September 6, 2019
For a book featuring deadly sirens and brutal murders my first thought shouldn’t be about how sweet it was but alas here we are.

“Songs from the Deep” find Moira playing her violin over the cliffs watching the sirens at the shoreline when a body is discovered on the beach below. With questions on her tongue she enlists the help of her childhood friend and keeper of the lighthouse Jude to help her uncover the true killer and save the sirens from a a crowd of angry villagers ready hungry for blood.

Okay I completely understand why the people in this book were so taken with Jude he’s so sweet and soft spoken that I didn’t want anything bad to ever happen to him and it only made it better to have him trailing along behind Moira who was more than happy to the fight anyone who dare cross her. Their dynamic was perfect with them both being completely different but finding common ground when it came to shyness about their new dynamic together now that they were no longer children and it didn’t hurt that they had plenty of time to work it out while they hunted for a killer.

I’m a huge fan of the bloodthirsty, rip your heart out sirens and this book didn’t really have that. It was kind of sad to have just about everything with the creatures happen off screen but I guess it was a good way to show that more often than not the monsters are people. A lot of the dialogue surrounding the sirens and whether or not they should be hunted seemed pulled almost from what’s said concerning sharks and those conservation efforts but maybe that’s just me being weird and seeing what I want to see.

This book plays the mystery well and it was fun trying to see who was responsible but at the end of the day my heart sings only for the two at the lighthouse.

**special thanks to the publishers and netgalley for providing an arc in exchange for a fair and honest review!**
Profile Image for June Hur.
Author 6 books1,649 followers
September 5, 2018
I had the privilege of reading the early copy of this book, and wow, just wow. The world building was haunting and so well woven that at times I forgot that the town (in which the novel takes place) isn't an actual place. The mystery will keep you at the edge of your seat, with all its twists and turns. And with each chapter, the stakes just rise and RISE. You get to a point where you're biting your nails off hoping the heroine will resolve the case ASAP. I'm so, so excited to get a physical copy of this book. Cacophony is a masterpiece.
Profile Image for Jypsy .
1,524 reviews57 followers
December 17, 2019
Thank you NetGalley and Simon and Schuster Canada for a complimentary copy. I voluntarily reviewed this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

Songs From The Deep
By: Kelly Powell

*REVIEW* ⭐⭐⭐
Songs From The Deep is a murder mystery with sirens. Kind of. The story felt off in some way to me. The siren aspect was flat, and I don't think I'm a fan of mermaids, etc. anyway. This was an okay read, but I didn't love it. I think I'm the wrong audience because I'm not a huge fan of the content after all. I know other readers will enjoy it more than I did.
Profile Image for Shannon.
19 reviews8 followers
October 17, 2019
Slow-paced but quite enjoyable and solidly written YA mystery novel. With this being a debut novel, Kelly Powell will be an author to keep an eye out for in the future. For my full thoughts and opinions check out my blog post www.bellebookandcode.com/reads/songs-...
Profile Image for Karina.
537 reviews128 followers
October 27, 2019
Rating: 4 stars:★★★★ (maybe 4.5? Still deciding on a rating)
Songs From The Deep is a book I'm more surprised people aren't talk about--this is such a great debut! If you love quiet, character-driven YA Mystery books, this is one I definitely recommend!
Powell's debut is one that really allows you to connect to its main characters (mainly Moira & Jude), but is also incredibly immersive through the descriptive, atmospheric writing that brings to life their hometown, which an island town surrounded by sirens!

Songs From The Deep is not just a murder mystery, its about the characters (Moira and Jude especially) and as they attempt to find the murderer you learn so much about their town, its history, and their families past.

Through Powell's writing you get that eerie, dark, gloomy atmosphere, but there's also such an elegance to Moira's voice through a first person POV. Its also about friendship as Violin player Moira reconnects with her childhood friend Jude (he's a lighthouse keeper). As you get further along, you realize this book is really about how these 2 characters lives have been shaped differently by the Sirens and the history to them that has built their quiet ocean-side town to what it is today.

I fell in love with Moira & Jude's characters! Their dynamic is built on friendship and you see that although they grew up being the best of friends, its this murder-mystery that really brings them back together! Throughout the entirety of the book, you see a big emphasis on friendship and although there are some developing romantic moments, it progresses perfectly and you see the slow-build of their relationship!

Also, just as friends, they have such great chemistry and work together as such an incredible team! While there is a hint at romance, I appreciated that a good 98% of this book focuses on them as friends and their growth! The romance is really sweet and it never felt it took away from the story, it was developed so perfectly!

You learn legends, folktales, superstitions, and much more about the sirens and through Powell's writing the setting of Twillengyle becomes incredibly immersive and you can picture the eerie, gloomy, and bustling town. You get a lot of lore and history to the town that really brings it to life!

This book does have a slow pace to it and if you do enjoy quiet, day-to-day mystery stories, this one is great, its also a standalone!

Once I reached the last page, I realized just how much I'd be missing Moira & Jude, I really grew to love them with each and every page and ughh-I just loved them a lot!! (They deserve 5 stars on their own) 😭💖
Its really difficult to put my words into thoughts about this gem of a book, but:
Here's what you can expect
↠ An island town that's surrounded by sirens
↠ Violin player and lighthouse keeper team up to solve a murder mystery
↠ There's a gloominess to the setting, but its incredibly atmospheric
↠ Its a quiet, character-driven mystery, that also parallels a historical fantasy (though its set in its own world)

↠ My only critiques are that the ending and reveal of the culprit is introduced and later concluded very briefly and while it did surprise me, I felt it could had further explanation as to the motives.
↠ Also, I felt there were a couple parts that could have been developed just a bit more such as certain characters, I felt there could have been more plot points added to get more of Jude/Moira together and just getting more perspective of the town from Moira's eyes.
Overall though:
Songs From The Deep is a YA Fantasy debut that delivers a quiet murder-mystery tale through an incredibly detailed and immersive setting! If your looking for a character-driven mystery, atmospheric writing, and a dynamic detective duo, this is a great book to pick up!
Enchanting, immersive, and filled with mystery!!
*Blog Tour will be up on the blog later this week!
Profile Image for Joanna Meyer.
Author 5 books736 followers
February 25, 2020
What a lovely book! Atmospheric, beautiful, eerie. A gorgeous, character-driven fantasy.
Profile Image for Emma L..
740 reviews24 followers
May 11, 2020
*** This review is pretty spoiler-free ***

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟 (3/5 stars).

Songs from the deep was one of my most anticipated books of last year, simply because it has MERMAIDS/SIRENS IN IT. As some of you may know I have a huuuge love for all kinds of books that deal with mermaids and sirens and I'm always actively hunting for more of them. So when I found out that this book was coming out in 2019 I became instantly a happy little mushy booklover. I was also incredibly happy when I saw that Scribd finally added this book to their catalogue. But here are a few of my thoughts and opinions:

This book was written so well for a debut novel. I truly liked the writing style of Kelly Powell. I'm truly impressed at how well written this book was.

Also, the cover is simply absolutely stunning in my option. I'm simply a sucker for that aesthetic. I also think the title is very poetic and beautiful in a haunting way. I definitely think that the title of this book matches with its atmosphere and tone.

In all honesty, I don't have a lot to say about this book. I thought it was pretty good and overall just alright. I don't have that many feelings attached to it, neither strong negative or positive feelings. I thought our main character Moira was lovely and haar friend, and later boyfriend, Jude was really cutes. Haha I'm always a sucker for soft boys and he definitely was one. Also, he was described as having cute brown curly hair and wearing overalls. If that description doesn't make you squeal I don't know what else will. I thought that their friendship turned into romance was pretty cute.

My only two complaints are about the mystery & the quantity of sirens. The mystery was pretty easy to solve and a bit too predictable. I think some people will truly be disappointed by it, but I personally didn't mind it. I basically continued reading this for its amazing haunting atmosphere and how the town dealt with their mermaid/siren problems. I also think that this book should have included waaaaay more sirens. I found the quantity of sirens very lacking and I simply wanted more of them. I also wished we got more mermaid lore or that we learned a bit more about them or why Moira, Jude and their fathers were so obsessed with them? Or why the mermaids attacked Jude? But the siren moments we got were pretty epic and I'm still a bit sad about how there weren't more epic siren moments.

However, it (songs from the deep) was a pretty entertaining novel which was written really well. The characters were lovely but the atmosphere was a hundred percent the best and strongest aspect of this novel. I'm also definitely open to read more of Kelly Powell's work. I do think this is not the best mermaid book out there but it's also not a bad one. And honestly, I will fucking love or at least enjoy any books that includes mermaids or sirens.
Profile Image for Amanda .
432 reviews156 followers
November 19, 2019
You can also read my review here: https://devouringbooks2017.wordpress....

Review: 3 Stars

When I first saw Songs from the Deep I was pretty excited. I feel like there aren't many books out there about mermaids or sirens and I was very excited to see how sirens were depicted in this novel. I really wanted to love this book, but I just didn't. Songs from the Deep wound up being more of a murder mystery and hardly wound up having sirens as a part of the story at all. It just wasn't what I expected it to be and I found myself pretty disappointed.

The romance in this book was something that really bothered me. Throughout most of the book I didn't even realize that Moira had feelings for Jude. The two of them just seemed like they were friends. I felt like the romance had no sparks to it at all and it certainly didn't feel real to me. I think Jude and Moira made good friends, but in YA I feel like unnecessary romances are thrown into stories all the time, I think part of the reason it didn't feel real is because these characters lacked emotional depth. I didn't find myself very invested in their story and the characters never made me feel emotional.

The plot was not really what I ha expected, but it did keep my interest and even though I didn't find the book extremely compelling I did finish the book pretty fast. Th murder mystery didn't keep me on the edge of my seat and the way it turned out didn't really shock me, but it did keep me interested in the story. Songs from the Deep had a gothic feel to it that I really liked, but it just felt like it was lacking many elements. I had expected this book to be about sirens and to really fascinate me, but for the most part the sirens were seen from a distance. There was only one scene where a siren was seen up close. The story was more about how the townspeople felt about the sirens instead.

I had pretty high expectations for this book and it just didn't live up to them. The murder mystery kept em from putting the book down, but it didn't have any great plot twists or keep me on the edge of my seat. I didn't love the characters or the plot and I was pretty disappointed by how little the sirens appeared in the story.
Profile Image for Cassie Daley.
Author 8 books208 followers
August 31, 2021
"There exists inside me a blackheartedness that wants only for siren song and danger and blood."

I absolutely loved the cover of this book, and the premise pulled me in immediately. I love reading about oceanic tragedies or mysteries, especially when they involve creatures, so this debut with sirens as the focal point was definitely right up my alley! Within the first few pages, I was immersed in the story, and I loved the atmosphere of this coastal island town, its inhabitants, its mysteries, and its lighthouse.

Unfortunately, the sirens that pulled me in didn't play as big of a role as the synopsis or cover would have led me to believe. We aren't given any solid backstory on them despite the fact that the sirens have coexisted for ages with the people on the island, and there are very few portions of the stories where the sirens are physically present. It felt like the sirens were used more as a plot device than anything else, a sort of catalyst for why x, y, and z plot points had occurred or were occurring. I wasn't very happy with this, as it felt like the book was built up to involve them more, and then focused on less fantasy-esque things.

I avoid spoilers whenever possible in my reviews, but I did have an issue with a  few certain plot points that it's impossible to mention without explaining - so if you're wary of spoilers for this book, please skip the below bit.

As far as the overall story went, I liked the world building, at least up until the siren portion, which I felt was severely underdeveloped. The lighthouse mythos, the nickname and position passed down through the generations, were really unique points, and I did think Jude had a really cool character. I didn't like Moira very much - she was headstrong to the point of being very dumb, and causing more trouble and emotional upset than she seemed to care about - but Jude, and even Moira's mom, felt like solid characters, and I liked the bits of dialogue throughout. The way things were worded often made me smile, as did some of the snappy retorts between both Jude and Moira.

Despite the issues I had with some of the key plot points, Kelly Powell's writing itself is very strong, and the prose had an almost lyrical quality that I thought was very fitting for the theme and book itself. When she described the brutality of the island's living conditions, or the harsh beauty of the sirens themselves, I found myself painting clear mental images from her words - she has a real knack for expressive description. Although this wasn't quite what I was hoping for in terms of siren involvement and plot points, I can absolutely see it being adored by another reader, and I'll definitely be checking out future releases from Kelly Powell when they happen!
Profile Image for Kay.
301 reviews57 followers
January 4, 2020
(Oh no I forgot to post my review to Goodreads!! Posted this review to my blog a few months ago I'm lateeee but if you're just now seeing this on Goodreads go read now!!)

Many thanks to Simon & Schuster for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review

Happy early Halloween to everyone and I say this because Songs from the Deep is the amazing hauntingly spooky book you must pick up for this spooky time of the year. 

Immediately from the first page, the book had a sort of mysterious, lyrical, almost poetic quality to it, almost sort of dreamy, and absolutely wonderful to read! Objectively speaking, this book is very well written, yet it never feels pretentious or stuffy, just beautiful. Coupled with the haunting tone and atmosphere, the writing of this book felt like a haunting masterpiece, almost like a... dare I say.... siren song? It left me desperately crying out for more of Kelly Powell's writing for sure!

Before gushing about everything I loved, I will say that I was a bit surprised by the world this book was set in and the background role the sirens played. From the synopsis, I assumed it would be a high fantasy all about sirens, but that's not the case. It appears to be set in our world from the past (early 1900s? I'm not good at history I have no idea), in a seaside island town with sailors and detectives and town meetings and dances and a couple of phones in the whole town.

I also thought that the sirens would play a really prominent role, but they didn't. They were more like the motivation and the instigation for all of the human main characters to interact with each other, and there are very few scenes that actually have sirens in them, and we never get to actually interact up close or hear a siren speak or anything.

Neither of those things are strictly bad, I just thought the synopsis was a bit misleading, although that could just be the way I read it, so I was hoping for maybe something more, more sirens!! There were also a few things that I felt could have played out better, been more interesting there was a more fantasy twist, but nothing terrible.

Although the setting wasn't what I expected, I still really enjoyed reading about it. Jude, the secondary main character, is the lighthouse keeper, and there's just something enchanting about reading about a character tending the lighthouse and looking out for the ships and the shore.

I also really enjoyed reading about the almost mystical, dreamy island and its two towns. The book takes place after all the tourists have left, and I enjoyed reading about all the small town people who all knew each other in a quiet off season town.

I don't read many mysteries, so this was unique and stood out to me, and I really enjoyed being able to search for clues with Moira and try to determine who exactly was the killer. I know many of my blog readers also tend more towards fantasy than mystery, so I definitely recommend this book because it's an excellent murder mystery disguised as a siren fantasy, and is a great way for to enjoy mystery while still reading the fantasy we're so comfortable with and love.

I was certainly on my toes through the whole book, trying to figure out who it was! There was a bit of urgency, the fear that another murder would take place or something bad would befall our main characters since they're out looking for a murderer! The mystery came together really well to the end, with a few twists and turns to keep me on my toes and not make it too predictable, while still leaving enough clues and foreshadowing to help me figure it out and leave me satisfied by the end.

Finally, I really enjoyed the main characters, Moira and Jude. Moira wasn't the most fluffy lovable protagonist, and she had a bit of a harder, older edge to her that made her interesting, yet at the same time she was so fierce and passionate and determined to protect the things she cared about, and I loved seeing that shine through.

Moira is also a musician, a violinist, and I don't think I've read a book about a violinist before so I really enjoyed this aspect! I love books with musicians, loved seeing how much she loved music and loosing herself in it, especially as this fit with the theme of the siren song and the power of song! I loved scenes describing her playing on the cliffs for the sirens and in the town hall for dancers.

This book had just a hint of romance to keep me happy! It felt like there was less romance than there is in most YA books, and it definitely didn't detract from the main murder mystery plot, which I appreciated, yet the amount there was just made me so happy!

Overall, although this book wasn't quite what I was expecting, I still really enjoyed it and definitely recommend. It's especially perfect for this time of year!
Profile Image for Yara.
1,059 reviews5 followers
July 16, 2019
Includes spoilers.

It had a good concept but it was terribly slow, and the romance was predictable but the MC came across as too cold, which made the romance unbelievable. I wanted the sirens to be more a part of the story but they’re just seen from a distance.
Profile Image for Kiele.
364 reviews17 followers
July 20, 2020
Songs from the Deep was amazing! I mean, who doesn't love a murder mystery with sirens? All of the characters were so fun, especially the sirens. There was a great sense of mystery throughout this. I had my theories, but there were still so many options. This book is a nice, quick read for fantasy lovers like myself.
Profile Image for Noonecansinkmyship.
157 reviews24 followers
August 4, 2021

I really enjoyed the world building and beautiful descriptions in this book. Everything was painted so vividly in my mind that I could see it all playing out in front of me. The clothes and how they contributed to the story was so nicely done too. They lent the sense of people’s personalities, how bad the situation was, and how much someone was suffering. I liked the descriptions of well crafted clothes that still left room for my imagination.

I also liked how Moria was flawed, but still doing her best. I enjoyed having a heroine that wasn’t perfect and always kind. Sometimes we want a heroine that has the guts to protect her own, even if it means waving a weapon (both verbal and physical). :)

I didn’t give this book a solid 4 because the ending was a bit vague. I would’ve like more details and a more concrete ending. The book also isn’t completely historically accurate for the time era it’s trying to reflect since Moria’s mother mentions how scandalous it’d be for her to stay at Jude’s place for multiple nights and so often, but then Moria dismisses it. Nothing comes from this and it definitely doesn’t reflect the era the world the author crafts using dialect, dress, culture, and the technology available at the time. It was basically very early 1900 England with sirens. I just found it weird that nothing came of the mother’s warnings when the warning was perfectly logical and would’ve became a definite and swift reality if things were historically accurate.

I guess the author just waved that out of her fantasy world. I wish she’d made more differences then if she wasn’t going to especially accurate since it was a start to reach the end of the book and realize this loose end.
Profile Image for Donna.
1,193 reviews
December 29, 2019
SONGS FROM THE DEEP is similar to THE WICKED DEEP for me, coincidentally enough. Both about nasties living in the sea that take it upon themselves to kill people from the land. But it’s not because of that. The tone of the books are actually pretty similar, and the voices sort of sound like each other. And that they both left a similar impression: it was good enough to keep reading but I’m not blown away by it.

The book, to me, read sort of anachronistic, which I think might have been the point, although read close enough and it’s definitely not set in our time. When the lighthouse having a phone was something to be shocked about, Moira wore dresses regardless of weather, no one seemed to turn on a light with a simple switch, and there wasn’t a cell phone in sight. Or cars, for that matter. A lot of walking and a lot of travel by boat. But the timing of the setting isn’t expressly stated (unless I totally missed it). This could very well be just a very remote area, or a very poor area (considering there are places today, in the US, that don’t have electricity or running water). I did like that vagueness about the setting. It would draw attention to itself in that way, yet at the same time remain innocuous and didn’t intrude in the story.

The story and the characters were ultimately just okay for me. I neither liked them nor disliked them. It was entertaining enough for me to keep reading. The mystery aspect of it was compelling. I wasn’t particularly drawn to any of the characters. I couldn’t really relate to them in any meaningful way but I didn’t feel completely distanced from them either.

I liked the siren aspect and how these creatures were simply a part of the island. A rather dangerous part of it if you didn’t arm yourself sufficiently. I don’t know if we’re ever supposed to see the sirens as monsters or not. Definitely as indigenous beings that had just as much right to be there, if not more, as the people living on land. Definitely a comment on colonialism, now that I typed that all out.

It’s a decent book. One worth reading at least once, I think. But personally that’s where I’ll be leaving it.

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