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Thursday, May 5, 2022

Review: Siren Queen by Nghi Vo

Siren Queen
by Nghi Vo
Narrated by Natalie Naudus

Thanks so much to Macmillan Audio and NetGalley for this gifted copy.

Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Publish Date: May 10, 2022
8 hrs 43 min
Genres: Sci Fi & Fantasy

It was magic. In every world, it was a kind of magic.

“No maids, no funny talking, no fainting flowers.” Luli Wei is beautiful, talented, and desperate to be a star. Coming of age in pre-Code Hollywood, she knows how dangerous the movie business is and how limited the roles are for a Chinese American girl from Hungarian Hill—but she doesn’t care. She’d rather play a monster than a maid.

But in Luli’s world, the worst monsters in Hollywood are not the ones on screen. The studios want to own everything from her face to her name to the women she loves, and they run on a system of bargains made in blood and ancient magic, powered by the endless sacrifice of unlucky starlets like her. For those who do survive to earn their fame, success comes with a steep price. Luli is willing to do whatever it takes—even if that means becoming the monster herself.

'Siren Queen' offers up an enthralling exploration of an outsider achieving stardom on her own terms, in a fantastical Hollywood where the monsters are real and the magic of the silver screen illuminates.

My Review:

Oh what a wonderful sci-fi, fantasy tale Vo weaves!  This is the story of Luli.  Chinese American.  Dreams of stardom but at what cost?  A tale as old as '30s Hollywood - where racism, misogyny, queerphobia, work place inequality - MONSTERS!

I thoroughly enjoyed the fantasy and sci-fi portions creating this story that touches on some very important topics while also giving us this character driven novel of a woman going against the grain and not backing down.  Coming into her own in a variety of ways all the while dealing with the atrocities that come with the entertainment field.

While this is very character driven, I didn't feel that oomph from Luli that I would expect.  I enjoyed her attitude.  I loved that she went to play monsters over the glorified typical beauties most women are put into.  Preening her scales deliciously.  And the narrator was fantastic, which I think helped with the story.  I felt like that last portion kinda had me scratching my head a little but I was along for the ride. And the sex scenes - me-owwwwwwwwww.  

Somebody  make me a Siren Queen. 😉


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