Even the most powerful among us have a vulnerability somewhere lurking in between the skeletons laid deep to rest in the back of our moral and emotional closets. We shove those vulnerabilities so far back inside the closet that we allow ourselves to believe that these vulnerabilities do not exist. However, unlike the dead we have left behind, vulnerability is still very much alive, and has an affinity for making its way through the maze of our mistakes to the forefront of our lives at the exact moment we choose to believe we are untouchable. This is one of the very well laid out themes that author Meg Xuemei X, author of Nexus Tear explores, and it does so in a way that not only perpetuates the unique plot line that this series has taken shape in to, but it allows the reader to be introspective into their own live to see if they too have been making this fatal mistake, and is a cautionary tale of what you could become should you deny the parts of yourself by shoving them away for another day.
Xuemei also threads vulnerability with fear, which I think is a very accurate depiction of the human condition, and one that if we are all honest, would like to admit was not true. We are afraid of what we cannot control, and as is always is with places that should someone want to hurt us, will always be an open target no matter how violently we try to shield them . In Nexus Tear, the sequel to The Siren, we discover what Luccia, Ashburn and Vladamire have been up to since the first book. And we all find them in different versions of the same scenario. In one way or another, they each face things that are thrust upon them and in which they had no choice by to deal with. For warriors such as themselves, feelings are hard enough to express and cope with, much less ones you wish you did not possess. Warriors are rational beings, not emotional creatures. Or so they thought.
It is swiftly discovered that Nexus Tear has become an asset of value to many different people; the Sealers who want only to see the demise of The Siren, and it’s worth is also paramount to The Siren herself, as it could be yet another key to finding Etern. But as life always goes, there are many distractions that make their way into the path of attaining Nexus Tear, none of which is outmatched by the intricacies of the feelings she now harbors for both Ash and Vlad. Being a young woman, and a powerful one at that, comes with a very high price, hers being that her Siren’s insignia has somehow configured her DNA to mutate her saliva into a poison, barring her from being with any man, lest it burn him. So the idea that two men, two very different men are seeking to win her affections has her head completely spinning and she is left to not only decided and address her feelings for them, but her feelings about her reign as Siren as well.
Xuemei does an excellent job of breathing life into her characters, every struggle they face inwardly and every temptation and encounter they face outwardly is so humanistic and real that you can’t help but compare these circumstances to your own life, even if they are appearing in a netherworld. You can sincerely feel the pain of the burden of being the Siren when all Luccia wants is love, but you can also feel her pride as she accomplishes greatness for the good of those who follow her simply because of her status. You can also feel the frustration and tenderness that exudes from each of these boys that Luccia could have her pick from respectively, and see what genuine love for someone else really looks like. Even though it is complicated and even though most of their obstacles are insurmountable, what this love triangle does not lack is simply that, love, which is a nice change of pace from all of the lust triangles that try to sell themselves as love triangles. You do not need to be physical with someone to love them, nor is it necessary to love them only for their physicality.
Xuemei also addresses the power of fear. So many books recently only focus on the aspect of hope, and depict fear as a small obstacle that you need to climb over in order to have hope. But what Xuemei portrays is that fear can totally dominate you. Fear is not some quaint feeling that we have no and again that can be overcome simply by deciding to, but it is a force full of life that if you allow it, will take you over before you even knew you were fearful. I think we all need the reminder that fear is not something to be trifled with and that it is just as serious an emotion as love or survival. Further however, fear is something that we are able to overcome. We should not feel that we are only ruled by fear once it has grabbed but should know full well that we are the author of our lives, and that we have the ability to overcome all the fear and doubt that is imposed upon us in this life, and if we so decide, we will come out victorious on the other side. We will be bloody, battered and bruised, but we will be unmistakably victorious.
Nexus Tear as well is a work that should be recognized as a victorious effort. I loved the first book and was so thrilled when I was asked to review Nexus Tear pre-release. The story was never slow, and was full of unpredictable twists and turns. But even more than that, it held up a mirror to our own lives and allowed us to leave changed after the turning of the last page. I give this book 5 out of 5 morals, and am waiting with bated breath for the next installment!