After delving deep into the psychological terror of runaway self-indulgence in "Slider," and historical religious satire in "Eddie H. Christ," this urban fantasy tackles mythological horror. A throwback to the Sirens of ancient Greece is pitted against a similar throwback to the Harpies, in a setting perverted by dark matter, relativistic gravity, and magical realism. More
Rhea Rainey, a young rock singer, is a genetic throwback to the Sirens of ancient Greek mythology. Locked within her genome is the Sirens' song—powerful, irresistible, and consuming. Rhea begins to discover this inherited memory, allowing her to see her precarious place between two universes—the imperfect one we all occupy and the perfect one that was meant to be. Characters such as the titaness, Phoebe, and the goddess of love, Aphrodite, guide her on her way through our imperfect universe which was a mistake of Creation, and which the right song, locked within her DNA, could dismantle and recreate it as it was meant to be. Mythological characters, beings from and of "dark matter," embolden Rhea to sing this song that will correct the primal mistake of Creation, freeing them from their Limbo and finally righting all existence.
Born of our universe, of our time, she is forced to navigate the conflicts that ensue: corporate greed and skullduggery, political corruption, murder, as well as sex for all of the right and wrong reasons. The antagonist, Peter Harper, Fortune 500 mogul, is himself a genetic throwback to the legendary Harpy, consummate spoiler of all things. To Rhea's peril he and other worldly adversaries like the universe just the way it is. There is a double story of mortal peril at both the corporate and mythological levels, while the complexities of love and devotion from the ancient Greek mythos explode into Rhea's contemporary life. After evading her dangers, ultimately there is the showdown between Siren and Harpy with the fate of two universes at stake.
The modern-day plot is peppered with coexisting Greek mythology which is both beautiful and horrifying. It romps with sexual encounters of which only the goddess of love is capable. The Erinyes (Furies) avenge hubris and sins against the moral fiber of the universe as it was meant to be and police hazards away from Rhea's missteps with a skillful horror only deities could muster. Siren explores how our senses—vision, smell, taste, touch, hearing, and especially music—are main characters themselves in not only our navigating our world but also weaving a meaning to our lives. Rage at the unfairness of life is conveyed by Bacchic madness and the monstrous side of the Furies, the Siren, and the Harpy, whose gene expression lives on in those willing to hear the song within. Like our very being, our songs can be both beauties and monsters.
This book dangles uncomfortably in the fabric of the protagonist's real world—a world which unravels to reveal the only thing that was overlooked during Creation. This unsettling juxtaposition of mundane and fantastic builds tension like a Bolero until the denouement brings the reader home. It touches on many popular topics of today--mythology, music, love between men and women and between women.
Word count: approximately 130,000.
Genre: Urban fantasy/magic realism.
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