The Siren: Laments of Angels and Dark Chemistry Book 1) by Meg Xuemei X

The ancient myth of the Siren’s is a myth as old as time. In Homer’s the Odyssey, these creatures were of unparalleled beauty and exquisite in every way. They would stand on the shores of the sea, spinning their enchantments for the ears of the Sailors beyond, luring them in with their perfection and playing on the men’s lust. But the Siren was not simply a beauty to behold that went only skin deep like the sailors would have liked to believe. These creatures contained powers greater than anyone could have ever surmised; they held the power to pursued and enrapture, extracting loyalty from all their voices could reach. The Sirens were a race beyond that of a mere mortal, and knowing they outmatched humanity in the way of mind games, they declared themselves the ultimate race.

The Sirens in the Odyssey are but one shade of a tale that is centrifugal around the understanding on Sirens. In Love’s Prey, the Sirens have indeed become a greater race, but have infused themselves in the middle of the human race. The Lam family, a family of Siren Blood, lived in the greater Chicago area. For years, Jed, The Siren, had been searching for his successor to take his place and carry out the destiny of the race. All the grandsons and sons of Jed were tested and ultimately made candidates to become the heir apparent. That is until a little baby girl, crying and wailing, was brought to the Red Mansion in which the Siren lived. It had been millions of years since a girl was produced from the lineage of the Lam family, and although women were not considered for the position as Siren, Jed found the extraordinary circumstance of the birth of a girl to be no coincidence. He immediately placed a test before her to see if his curiosity had led him correctly, and to the shock of everyone, she passed the test. The test was a matter of choice. This demonstration of her boldness in choice would later in life serve her well, because in the years to come, there were many choices that would lay before her, and their outcome affected more than simply her.

At sixteen years old, Lucia was heralded the new Siren. As thrilled as she was to be the Chosen One to fulfill the duty of her race and bring all the realms of the galaxies together, she discovered that the cost her destiny demanded was insurmountably steep. She was in love, and this was something so new and foreign to her that it fueled her and brought her much happiness and even more drive to be the best Siren she could. What’s more, is that that love was returned to her in equal measure. Vladimir was her one and only.

The Siren was not just a title, but a job description, of which the burden was heavy. Many a task were set before her, all of which went unaccomplished by her predecessors. Amid their research, a sudden change occurred in the atmosphere, signaling the presence of a lost city, or a city that was hidden to the rest of the world and could only be accessed through the paranormal. This is where the real journey began. Lucia knew that this is where she would find the Eye of Time, but when she arrived there she found more than she bargained for. The island which they now knew was called Nirvana was the home of a boy named Ashburn, and it would soon come to be that Ashburn was a necessary piece to the puzzle of the quest, but what piece no one was very sure. Throughout the journey, things become complicated the more Ashburn becomes entangled with the Siren and her crew. But what was even more dangerous was that since his very nature was so conflicted, no one could decipher whether he was made of light or darkness. The decisions that demanded resolution because of his existence became to pile high, and Lucia was the only one who could possibly make these choices, even when they were deemed impossible.

Xuemei has written a very original plot that dances on many story lines of ancient myths, and givens them the most enchanting and invigorating twist. Her themes are timeless but most certainly not stale. She has blown the dust off some story lines that have been overused and abused, and breathed a fresh set of well-placed words onto it. I appreciate that she took a very well-known mythical creature and twisted it so that Lucia could still be a heroine in a paranormal setting, but she let just enough of the original traits of the Siren which are so uniquely theirs that it made Lucia so much more interesting. It is refreshing to read a YA that still has magic in its binding, but are free of Vampires, Zombies, Witches and Werewolves. For this purpose alone, this book would stand out among the rest, but her adept story telling even furthers that agenda. Never once was I confused as to where I was or what was going on. The book had the fluidity to it that all writers hope for. It was a page turner and I actually could not put it down.

More importantly to me however, was a thread that she weaved in her story that you would have to look closely to see but once you do, it’s as bright and brazen as all the rest. Xuemei addresses the importance of choice. In almost every situation the characters are placed in, a choice stands in front of them. At some points, the choice may seem to be no choice at all because the cause for what was occurring could not be traced. But even still, she created a space where a choice could still be made. Do I lie down and roll over and give into the inevitability that I am ill equipped to change? Or do I fight with every part of me not to give into the pull and fight to figure out its purpose. There is nothing more valuable to learn in life than that you ALWAYS have a choice, even when you don’t see one. You make choices every day and are completely unaware that you are making them. Xuemei conveys that we need to start paying more attention to all the decisions we make, because not only are we responsible for their outcome, but that outcome reaches beyond you alone.

I very much enjoyed this book. I am already anxiously awaiting the second book in the series. I give this book 5 out of 5 morals, and if there were more stars to give, I would tack them on as well. This is a must read and an author to watch. I very much look forward to what comes next in the lives of all of the Characters and to watch this book rise in notoriety.  

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