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REVIEW: Siren Queen

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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.

G. Lowie
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Goran Lowie is an avid reader of all kinds of speculative fiction and poetry. For years, he's been rotting away in some rural hellhole in Belgium, but luckily he has literature to keep him going!

His real obsession with the genre sparked with the incomporable works of Ursula K. Le Guin, and his heart stayed there forever. Other favourite authors include Patricia A. McKillip, Mary Soon Lee, John Wiswell, Robert Silverberg and Italo Calvino.

When Goran isn't reading books, he's either editing this very magazine or creating lesson plans for his day-job as a high school teacher! You can find him on Twitter: @GoranLowie

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