Mythological Mondays is a feature I created to spotlight books brimming with--you guessed it--mythology! I adore this sub-genre and can't wait to share my love with all of my fellow bookworms! This feature isn't just focused on novel reviews; it may also include interviews, looks at original mythological tales, etc. Please feel free to do this with me! If you guys ever do a mythological feature and want to join this and snag my lovely mermaid, I would LOVE to see the feature. I’ve even included a Linkbox for you. It doesn’t have to be Greek mythology, or even mythology per say. It can be mermaids, unicorns, or heck, even fairy tales (because I’m too lazy to do a separate fairy tale feature…). It doesn’t even have to be every Monday. I’m sure there will be Mondays when I skip, too. ^_^
A lot of this year’s mythological novels have been dark and angsty. Enter SIRENZ, the debut novel from Charlotte Bennardo and Natalie Zaman. It’s a light, funny teen chick-lit novel. Instead of focusing on the romance (More aside, Persephone and Hades!), the novel features two roommates named Meg and Shar who can’t quite manage to get along. Shar is a trend-setting fashionista, while Meg is darker and more goth. Over break, the girls go to a special fashion preview sale and wind up fighting over a pair of red Vivienne Westwood heels. Because of their catfight, an innocent bystander accidentally dies and the girls are suddenly faced with two choices: Go to the slammer or right the wrong by becoming slaves to Hades, God of the Underworld. Hades tells them if they take on the role of a Siren for one brief assignment, bringing him fashion mogul Arkady Romanov so that his tainted soul can finally be claimed, he’ll reverse what happened and make it so that nobody died. If they fail, Hades will claim them and they’ll be forced to clean up after the hellhounds—and you don’t want to be near those creatures when they need to use the bathroom!
Of course, getting in touch with a famous hermit atop the fashion world is harder than it appears. The girls manage to get jobs as interns, but still have trouble getting close to Romanov, especially since Demeter has taken an interest in their assignment and will stop at nothing to make sure they fail. Meg and Shar find new things to fight over, such as having a crush on the same guy. At the same time, their new job bonds them together and they discover a lot about one another. They also support one another as the slowly morph into Sirens, bird-women with seductive voices, whenever using the power Hades bestowed on them. What good is the swank apartment and no-limit credit card that goes with the job if your feet are growing talons, feathers are appearing on your back, and your nose is beginning to look more like a hooked beak?
SIRENZ was a fun read. I loved seeing the way Meg and Shar slowly learned to work together. The way the girls slowly turned into Sirens was unique and I lapped it right up. And Hades! Can we just talk about Hades for a minute? I’ve gotten sick of reading novels where Hades has turned into this wussy emo guy pining over his one true love (and sometimes even being virginal until he finds her). I’m sorry, but the gods were promiscuous. Yeah, even Hades. (Sorry, Persephone!) It was nice to see the authors explore the darker side of Hades and showcase his lustful nature. Even though he’s happily married to Persephone, he still pines for Shar and will stop at nothing to lure her to the Underworld. He’s also not afraid to cheat and lie to get what he wants. He wants Romanov’s soul and he wants Meg and Shar to bring it to him. He doesn’t disclose just how tough the assignment really is or mention that Demeter is in on the game, too. I loved his characterization. I don’t think I’ve met such a delicious version of Hades since the wise-cracking villain in Disney’s HERCULES. And Persephone! She makes an appearance, too, and she’s not all sugar and spice. She’s a goddess on the warpath, and it’s delightful to see this new aspect of her personality.
If you like Greek mythology and want an interesting novel with new ideas that doesn’t take itself overly seriously, you’ll want to read SIRENZ. In fact, the first title did so well that the authors will be writing at least two more novels about Meg and Shar. I’m already looking forward to reading them!
This cover is fun and hints at the novel’s humorous insides. The sexy red heel has a little price tag that says, “Your Immortal Soul.” It sits atop a Greek column inscribed with the saying, “The Devil is in the Retail.” In a way, this cover reminds me of THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, not just because of the red heel and the word “devil,” but because of all the shopping references. SIRENZ will absolutely appeal to all fashionistas in addition to the Greek mythology crowd! I also love the black feathers floating around on the cover. They represent the way Meg and Shar are slowly turning into Hades’ sirens! This cover is FUN and makes you want to pick it up!