SIREN QUEEN is a dark work. It starts very familiar, an old tale we’ve heard many tales before—a young actress wants to make it in the world of Hollywood. I almost forgot I was reading a genre work and figured this would simply be a literary feminist work about a Chinese-American woman trying to make a name for herself in a world that’s notoriously not that great towards Chinese people or women.
The fantastical elements enter the story slowly, and remain there until the end, but they never take the forefront or become a major part of the story. It’s simply there. You get no explanation, no context, it doesn’t even really feel like it has any kind of logic (or perhaps some fairytale-logic). I found myself intrigued by some of the magical laws that were clearly a part of this world yet were never illuminated on. It made for a mysterious read.
It’s a delightful reimagining of old time Hollywood. Almost reads like the memoir of a gender-swapped Christopher Lee starting his career at Hammer films, with a bigger focus on anti-racism, anti-misogynism, queer representation and the like.
I wish people wrote more fantasy-infused stories of Hollywood. It’s a rather unique setting, a kind of urban fantasy that worked well for me, even though I’m not big on the genre.
DISCLAIMER: I received an ARC of this book in exchange of an honest review.
You can buy the hardcover here.