Roaring by Lindsey Duga

by - July 11, 2020

Roaring by Lindsey Duga (2020)

Thank you to Entangled for providing me with a free e-copy of this ARC. All opinions are my own.

Roaring is a YA fantasy novel set in the 1920s. It features an enemies to lovers romance between a siren and a monster hunter. I rated it 3/5 stars.

What is Roaring about?

Colt Clemmons is an agent in a specialized division within the Bureau of Investigation—one that hunts down not just mobsters, but also monsters.
For reasons that are kept top secret, Colt is the only person who can resist a siren's voice. But he's never had a chance to test this ability. The last siren left in the world mysteriously disappeared years ago.
Then one night, with a single word, she reveals herself. It seems too good to be true.
And it is. Because nothing about this siren—her past, her powers, or her purpose—is what it seems...

Possible AO3 tags

  • She's a sweet songbird
  • He's a tough detective who's found love
  • YA Noir
  • Fuck My Boss. We Have Each Other
  • He's Immune to Her Powers But She Doesn't Use Them Anyway!!

On to my review...

She's a monster. He's a monster hunter. It's the Roaring Twenties. I thought I would love this book so much more than I actually did.

See, this novel is fine. Just... fine. Excellent hook and concept but underwhelming in its execution. If you haven't read as many YA fantasies as I have then you might enjoy it way more.

Eris is secretly a siren who works at a speakeasy. Colt is a junior FBI agent who hunts down mobsters and monsters. But as he's tasked to take her in, they learn that there are more than just two sides, and run away together to solve the mystery of Eris' past.


1. The worldbuilding. This is what initially drew me into the novel. We've got gunfights, gangsters, and a star-crossed romance between a detective and his femme fatale. Duga even uses extensive 20s slang for the full experience. Then add in the fantasy: gangsters hiring and smuggling magical creatures, secret experiments on human beings, the government chasing down the paranormal. This universe is loads of fun.

2. The vibes. See above. But I also liked how timeless the characters feel. Eris just wants to see the world and be free. Colt is torn between his heart and his duty. You could easily age up the characters without realizing it. I liked the mature treatment.


But you know, vibes and worldbuilding don't make a whole novel...

My main issue is that I didn't like the romance. Oh, I'm really sad about this one. Enemies to lovers YA fantasy novel set in the 1920s has my name on it. But the pacing of their relationship was just so awkward. For an enemies to lovers romance that began with betrayal, there's a whole lot of rushing and instalove.

Full disclosure: in order to apprehend Eris, Colt has to seduce her and pretend he's somebody he's not. Eris is instantly attracted and so is he. It's a tough situation that makes space for some very intriguing internal character conflict and external "learning to trust one another again". But the author missed out on this opportunity. Instead we've got half-hearted lines thrown around like oh he's my enemy but he saaved me! or she's a monster but she's DIFFERENT. And then things go easy peasy between them. That's what this novel lacks. Some more relationship build-up and conflict.

Since the relationship wasn't that interesting, I thought the fast-paced plot would draw me in, but that didn't work either. The first two chapters were EXCELLENT. But I quickly lost interest afterwards. In terms of the plot though I think that's just me. Not an objective statement.

TL;DR This novel is not bad. It is pretty fine. A solid 3 stars. But it's also underwhelming and I expected more, especially since the romance is such a big aspect of it.

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