Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Secret of the Sirens

Author: Julia Golding
Genre: Young Adult / Supernatural
Pages: 401
Published: 2006
Series: 1st book in the Companions Quartet
Series Order:
  1. Secret of the Sirens (2006)
  2. The Gorgon's Gaze (2006)
  3. Mines of the Minotaur (2007)
  4. The Chimera's Curse (2007)
Own or Borrowed?: Library
First Line: "Go on, I dare you."

Synopsis: Connie is a 10 year old girl who has been sent to live with her eccentric aunt because she's been kicked out of yet another school. Connie has been having trouble in school due to her ability to connect with animals who seem to bother her while in class. She learns that she has unharnessed powers that her aunt's secret Society can help her use in order to protect mythical creatures that secretly exist in the world.

Usually members of the Society are able to connect with a specific type of creature. Connie learns that she is a very rare Universal who can communicate with all mythical creatures. This ability puts her life at risk when Kullervo, a powerful and evil force, wants to use her to help him destroy humanity. With the help of her Aunt's secret Society which protects mythical creatures, Connie tries to defeat Kullervo.

My Thoughts: This book sounded good when I read the back cover. Mythical creatures in the modern world, battles between good and evil ... It sounded like a blend of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson. This book just didn't match up with my expectations. There is so much that this author could have done with the storyline ... but failed to do.

The theme was a good one - protecting the environment - but the book seemed to focus more on that than an actual storyline. I kept waiting for the momentum to pick up, but it never did. It just lagged the whole way through. At one point, midway in the story, there was a very exciting, action-packed scene .... and that was it. That was the excitement in the book. I personally think that the author doesn't engage the readers enough for them to immerse themselves in her world of mythical creatures (like J.K Rowling did with Potter fans). I want to be able to picture exactly what the author's talking about ... and I just couldn't do that with this book.

This book seemed to have too many parallels to my favourite boy wizard. If you're going to mimic Harry Potter you've GOT to go all out and that just didn't happen here. There's a Snape character in Mr Coddrington (is he good or evil? Why does he hate Connie?). Kullervo (the evil force) is very similar to Voldemort in the Potter series -- an evil which has been unnoticed for years resurfaces and tries to gain support from other mythical creatures to become all powerful. Kullervo also has some kind of mental connection with Connie similar to Voldemort and Harry. Just too many similarities. These similarities just make it more obvious the discrepancy between Rowling's writing and Goldings'.

If you're looking for a great book about mythical creatures I'd recommend picking up either Percy Jackson or Harry Potter.

My Rating: 1 star

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