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.
The first book in the Syrenka series, Promises, ended with Eviana’s parents being murdered and her having to step up and become the leader of her clan. Betrayal picks up right where it left off. This time, Eviana is being forced to learn how to control and develop her powers. New and old characters alike make appearances and ultimately help shape Eviana into the leader that she is meant to become.
The beginning of Betrayal was off the charts amazing. I’ve previously compared Amber Garr to a growing Richelle Mead, and the beginning of this book really showcased that. Eviana’s pain over her parents murders was obvious and heart-wrenching, and I just wanted to suffocate her with endless hugs.
Graham is a new character introduced in this story, and I’m dead serious when I say that I can never get enough of this man/fish person. He was hot, funny, sarcastic, gorgeous, somewhat stupid at times, and did I mention that he worked out?! I LOVED him. I’ve been having a serious issue falling in love with male characters lately. I had no such problem with Graham. I fell in love with him the moment he was introduced, and I am going to be SERIOUSLY disappointed if he’s not who Eviana ends up with at the end of the series.
There is definite character development in Betrayal. In the first book, Eviana and her friends came across as slightly immature (normal for the age they are,) but they really are forced to grow up in this book. I love books where you see the characters progress in each book. I feel that not only is that wonderful for the series, but it’s wonderful for the author as well. The more you read about characters, the more life experience they gain and the more mature (or sometimes immature) they will become. I loved that I was able to watch these characters develop into mature young men/women/fish people.
The ending of this book was SO. SHOCKING! I mean seriously…I did not see any of that happening! I cannot wait to see what happens next. I’m trying so hard not to give out spoilers, because I don’t want to ruin it for you guys, but oh my gosh. Loved it!
I do have a few complaints about this book. Let’s start with Eviana. I’ve never officially fallen head over heels in love with Eviana to begin with. I actually really liked her during the first half of the book, but I think that had to do a lot with Graham. Eviana showed a whole different side of herself whenever she was with Graham, and honestly, it was for the best. She lost some of her stiffness and became more teenager/girly/cutsy/relaxed. I really enjoyed that. But during the second half of the book, I couldn’t stand Eviana. My problem with Eviana is that she is way too stiff. She sometimes comes across as a really old woman who seriously needs to have a drink every now and then. She’s uptight, stiff, and just blah. I loved the moments when I could see her fun side come out, but that wasn’t very often.
Then there’s Brendan, who is my least favorite character in the series. I have noticed that in every book I read lately there is a good, clean, boy that the girl always falls for. I get why authors do this. I do! But let me tell you straight up…I usually always hate that character. So basically I’m always screwed, because my guy never wins. I haven’t finished the series yet, but I’ve resigned myself to the fact that Eviana is probably going to end up with Brendan. And now, it’s not just that I’m a fan of Graham, but I find Brendan to be whiny, clingy, annoying…and flat out rude! I didn’t feel quite so intense about this until I met Graham. But Graham is AMAZING! No one should have the right to beat him!
My final complaint has something to do with the writing style itself. Now, let me emphasize that I adore Amber Garr, and I think that she is an amazing author. But I noticed in this book that sometimes she just tells the reader what’s happening. I don’t know if I can explain this right. I don’t want to be told about what type of expression a character has on their face or how they feel at that moment or even sometimes what they’re about to do. I DO want to see that in the writing, but I want to see it with colorful words and emotions….I want to be able to visualize it. When I’m just told that the character starts crying or something…I don’t see it the same way. I noticed that this went on the whole book, and it drove me bonkers.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading Betrayal. I’m a big fan of Amber Garr’s working, and you can bet yourself that I will be reading the rest of her books. The Syrenka series is something that I would encourage everyone to read!
Publication Date: February 20th, 2012
Rating: [rating: 3.5]