A lot of the novels I read are pretty dark and serious, so sometimes I’m just in the mood for something light and fun but with an edge to it. When I read about Sirenz Back in Fashion by Charlotte Bennardo and Natalie Zaman, it sounded like exactly the kind of break I was looking for. Who could resist two snarky teenage friends giving Hades a hard time? Yep, this is a YA/teen novel but it could make a fun summer read for adults too.
Book #1 in this series is Sirenz; however, you really don’t need to have read it to enjoy Sirenz Back in Fashion. My only question when I saw the book cover was, “If they’re so into fashion, why do they look like they’re draped in sheets on the front cover?” All will be made clear grasshopper, although possibly not in this review.
Once upon a time, two boarding school roommates and BFFs were tricked by Hades into becoming Sirens but thankfully they managed to circumvent the contract they’d been forced into by him, with the help of a Greek goddess. Now Shar and Meg are back on earth and back in high school.
“The simple act of taking the subway – the place where it all started – conjured memories of the deal we made with the Lord of the Underworld. He’d tricked us into becoming his Sirens. I’d never felt so stupid in my life, but it all happened so quickly.
I shut the thought out of my mind. It was done, over, finis, and Shar and I were back to suffering through boring bagged lunches, pinching pennies until they screamed for mercy, and settling back into the old odd couple life in the live-in dorm.” [Meg]
It’s really nice for a change to only have to worry about what they’re going to wear tomorrow and whether they’ve studied enough for an exam. For tall, willowy Shar, that also means picking which designer ensemble to wear to ensure she looks absolutely amazing. For shorter and more statuesque Meg, that also means pulling another something goth and black out of her monochromatic wardrobe.
And then Shar finds the gorgeous ring from Tiffany’s that Hades gave her in her purse. With some encouragement from Meg, she can’t resist and tries it on immediately. OMG what a bad decision that was and she instantly regrets it because it won’t come off. Before she or Meg can say “Dwoops,” guess who pops up from the Underworld – Hades himself of course. Yup, you guessed it, he knew the ring would be the ultimate temptation and sent it to hook them back into their contract as Sirens. *Cue the evil Hades laugh*
“’I’ll donate it to charity,’ I said. [Shar]
‘Good idea. But before you do, try it on just once – to get it out of your system.’
I gazed at the ring. ‘I don’t know.’…
‘If you don’t, I’ll never hear the end of it. Oh, I should’ve at least tried it!’ She raised her voice to a squeak, no doubt in imitation of me, though poorly done, and tilted her head from side to side. Like I really did that! It was too stereotypical dumb blonde, which I am NOT.”
“’It won’t come off!’
…An arm, warm, muscular and not Meg’s, slid around my shoulder. The breath of temptation slid into my ears. ‘I believe I can assist you with that.’ Hades, Lord of the Underworld, personal nemesis and all around studly hunk…’I’m so glad you’ve decided to renew our agreement! After our last meeting, I thought you were actually tiring of me. I’m so glad I was mistaken.’…First he smiled at Meg, then turned a suggestive leer on me. ‘So many delights I have planned for you two.’ I shuddered and leaned away.”
Hades drags Shar back to the Underworld with him as a hostage/guest. You see, Shar has proven she can resist his oily charm and that makes him determined to win her over. She’s too smart to fall for him though because she knows his wife, Persephone, and there’s no way she’s going to cross that vengeful goddess.
Meg has a limited amount of time to trick her target into wearing the Golden Fleece, which will apparently consign that person to the Underworld. If she doesn’t succeed, she and Shar will become Underworld Sirens for good. The only problem? Her target has no intention of getting anywhere near that smelly old rag. It’s disgusting what a girl has to do to save her best friend these days!
Meg and Shar are real opposites in many ways but they definitely share some inner traits. They may be scared of what could happen but they’re very determined and strong young women, who have no intention of letting Hades get the best of them. Hades is pretty arrogant and clueless. The quirky characters populating the Underworld make for a fun romp, as does Meg’s target above ground.
The authors have borrowed loosely and abundantly from mythology in a fun and mostly accurate way for Sirenz Back in Fashion. The gods and goddesses of the Pantheon figure heavily into this series, literally and figuratively. And along the way, there’s a lot of very funny misadventure. I had fun reading about the misadventures of Shar and Meg. It was just the kind of lighthearted fantasy I was looking for. If you’re looking for a light read this summer that’s like a paranormal funhouse ride, then hop on board.
Can’t wait to read it?
Sirenz in Fashion will be published on June 8, 2012; however, it should be available for pre-order from your favorite bookseller below. Just click the button to go there to get it.
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