This year I’ll read somewhere between 130 and 150 books. Most of them will be largely forgotten after a week or so. By the end of 2012 I might remember a handful of shining lights. The Siren will be in that handful. The Siren is the story of a woman, who uses pain and domination sexually, to both give and receive release. It's an exploration of things taboo, but Tiffany Reisz shines a light into that world and does it so eloquently that I think any reasonable person will both enjoy it and be challenged. I'm a martial artist, a 4th-dan black belt in one martial art and experienced in a few others. Throughout the book I was seeing commonalities between what I do and what Ms Reisz talks about. It strikes me that there are a lot of areas where pain is celebrated (on the sporting field for example), but as a society we try to make people who use pain (safely) in their sexuality feel ashamed. Rewind 30 years and homosexuals were made to feel ashamed. Go back even further and it was men and women of color (at least in countries like Australia, Canada, England and the United States).In Tiffany Reisz' world, “vanilla” is used to describe people like me. So it's not surprising that I would find it confronting, challenging, uncomfortable, infuriating. But it's also beautiful, sweet, gentle and tender. It’s a testament to Tiffany Reisz that she can make me feel so much in what is essentially erotic fiction.It's brilliantly written, almost lyrical at times and perceptive. The best word to describe this book is beautiful.