The Siren Song by Anne Ursu
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
If anyone could take on the Greek gods by herself, it's Charlotte Mielsweatski. She proved that she was more than capable in The Shadow Thieves, and now she's taking on the all-powerful Lord of the Seas, Poseidon. But, you see, he picked the fight. Poseidon is a very vain god, full to the brim with his own self-importance, and he is annoyed that Charlotte and her cousin, Zee (short for Zachary), kicked the pants off his evil descendant Philonecron. So, he decides he's going to make Charlotte pay. Little did he know that this redhead packs a punch.
This was a very enjoyable book. I loved the humor. It had me laughing out loud many times. I think Ms. Ursu does something magical with the Greek myths. If I had kids, and I was trying to get them interested in Greek mythology, this is definitely a book I'd let them read.
It's also a good book to show the beauty of family (and in all its diversity). I loved the message that family doesn't all have to be the same color or same ethnicity or culture. You see, Charlotte's cousin Zee is biracial: his mother is black British and his father is white American. That makes no never mind to Charlotte; he's her beloved cousin and that's all that matters. I liked the way Ms. Ursu subtlely and eloquently addressed what Zee faced as a biracial person. People would ask how he and Charlotte were related. I am sure that is what biracial people face, but it's no big deal. You deal with it, and embrace that families don't necessarily come monochromatic anymore. And kudos to the publisher, for actually showing a boy on the cover who looks biracial (I wish the romance publishers would get a clue and realize that people will buy books if they show a brown-skinned person on the cover!).
There is also a powerful message about being strong and standing up for what is important. Charlotte is still grounded from having been out all night when her and Zee had to save the Underworld from Philonecron's takeover plan. It's rough having to deal with parents that don't get that you have very righteous motives for breaking their rules. Charlotte has a strong personality, and I think she's going to grow up to be a phenomenal woman. Of course, she is afraid of having to take on Poseidon, but she knows it has to be done when she learns Poseidon is going to sic his monster, Ketos, on the cruise ship where her parents and hundreds of others are being entranced by his siren lounge singer. She gets hurt very badly by Poseidon in their smackdown, but she doesn't surrender until her family and Zee are safe. What a girl.
Although this is a book for younger teens and older children, I think any reader who is young at heart and appreciates a good, fun, meaningful story will appreciate The Siren's Song. I know I did. Like I said, I consider this a must-read if you like Greek mythology. I am excited to see Charlotte and Zee take on Zeus, the king of the Greek gods. I know she's up for the challenge.
Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5.0 stars.
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