Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Sirens – William Meilke

Poor cover art may turn many away from this book… a poor synopsis on the back will discourage many more. In fact, the synopsis on the back is completely irrelevant to the book – the phone call mentioned does occur… however it has no bearing on the actual story what so ever.

A true synopsis – After their previous case involving an amulet (which I assume is the first in the series) our PI, Derek Adams and his agoraphobic sidekick are hired for what should be a simple case. An old woman wants Derek to head north to a small town and retrieve her son so that he can attend his father’s funeral. What follows delves deeply into the ancient Norse mythology including sirens, Odin, Loki, a shape shifter and some not-so-friendly locals.

Although this is classified as horror, and it does contain a monster… this book is more of an irreverent supernatural crime thriller. If it weren’t for the heavy use of profanity, I would recommend this as a young adult novel. For adults, they may have a tough time buying into everything that occurs. However, even though it lacks gore and is really never frightening, it is a fun book. The characters do all have similar voices and there is very little physical description of the different characters. It would have been easier to keep them mentally separate if the author hadn’t suffered from a penchant for names starting with the letter “D” or if they had each been given a distinctive voice. The character who stands out the most is the elderly chain-smoking widow, and even she is a dichotomy in that her personality shifts as the story needs it to.

The plot itself is quite wild though the author does manage to keep a handle on it, keeping it as restrained as anything containing this much magic in modern day times can be. It is enough to keep your attention from beginning to end, and to be honest I’m still not entirely sure where the ending came from, but I’ll buy it.

If you are looking for a light read that never takes itself too seriously then this can be quite an enjoyable time. The gore is light, and there is sexual contact told in the past tense (and the men have the wounds to prove it). The book does contain heavy profanity from a specific character, adult subjects such as suicide, and gore. If this were a movie and they cut the profanity down this would be a heavy PG-13 rating.

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