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Siren Queen (2022)

af Nghi Vo

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MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
5482345,089 (3.82)14
́No maids, no funny talking, no fainting flowers. ́ Luli Wei is beautiful, talented, and desperate to be a star. Coming of age in pre-Code Hollywood, she knows how dangerous the movie business is and how limited the roles are for a Chinese American girl from Hungarian Hill ́but she doesn ́t care. She ́d rather play a monster than a maid. But in Luli ́s world, the worst monsters in Hollywood are not the ones on screen. The studios want to own everything from her face to her name to the women she loves, and they run on a system of bargains made in blood and ancient magic, powered by the endless sacrifice of unlucky starlets like her. For those who do survive to earn their fame, success comes with a steep price. Luli is willing to do whatever it takes ́even if that means becoming the monster herself. Siren Queen offers up an enthralling exploration of an outsider achieving stardom on her own terms, in a fantastical Hollywood where the monsters are real and the magic of the silver screen illuminates every page. At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.… (mere)
  1. 30
    The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick af Mallory O'Meara (jmiserak)
  2. 10
    Borderline af Mishell Baker (jmiserak)
    jmiserak: Supernatural Hollywood.
  3. 00
    Ruby af Nina Allan (jmiserak)
  4. 00
    War for the Oaks af Emma Bull (bjappleg8)
    bjappleg8: Both works portray artists (musicians, actors) as having some claim to magic and the power to transport others into the realm of Faery.
  5. 00
    Even Though I Knew the End af C. L. Polk (Aquila)
  6. 01
    Bride of the Rat God af Barbara Hambly (bjappleg8)
    bjappleg8: both are fantasies set in the early days of Hollywood, with Asian characters.
Indlæser...

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» Se også 14 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 23 (næste | vis alle)
You know that analogy that's sometimes used to explain gravity and space-time and such: dropping a ball onto a rubber sheet to see how it distorts things? I thought of it while reading Siren Queen.

Nghi Vo's novel takes place in a fantastical version of 1930s Hollywood, where the studio system is as abusive and controlling as it actually was historically, but ghosts walk, actors aspire to literally become stars, and studio bosses double as inhuman leaders of the Wild Hunt. It's a world different enough from our own that you'd expect the presence of all that magic to be like the ball on a rubber sheet, changing things, making it different from "our" world in a way that's more than aesthetic, but I didn't find that here. I don't need to know all the ins and outs of how the magic system works in Siren Queen, but I needed to feel like it had heft to it—like it shaped the world around it.

That, coupled with an emotionally flat/detached POV character and no real narrative direction, meant that I struggled to get invested at all in the book. I liked some of the visuals, I respect Vo's commitment to queer narratives, but I felt like she was trying so hard to convey theme (Queer Monstrosity, capitalisation intentional) that she forgot about telling a story. ( )
  siriaeve | May 7, 2024 |
Dark and whimsical and queer and absolutely full of old-Hollywood grit and glam. I loved the blurring between human, monster, and myth. ( )
  deborahee | Feb 23, 2024 |
This was a bit of a struggle until the halfway point, but then it really started to take off for me, and by the end I was in love with it. Part of the trouble was the main character (and all the people she chooses to surround herself with) being very ambitious, closed off, and exclusively self-serving. That lasts until she meets Greta and Harry, who gradually open her up, and that's not coincidentally where the story started to burn. But then, when Jackson shows up again, we find out that burning the photos she stole from him, against the advice of the elderly dancer, was her first canonical altruistic act... so the coldness was also a story she was telling about herself?

I loved that the main character tells the story looking back on herself, and you keep expecting to meet some of the people she was deeply involved with later in her career, but no, that's actually beyond the scope of the book! Hollywood as a deep dark brutal capital-F Fairytale with unclear and yet still very dangerous rules is a very compelling argument.

PS: The sex scenes are extremely hot, which is not something I say about many sex scenes in books. ( )
  caedocyon | Feb 23, 2024 |
In the unseelie court of a Hollywood studio the unnamed American born Chinese girl becomes Lili Wei, and having contracted not to be a maid or a cast off lover is cast as the monstrous siren from a lost Atlantis. At the intersection of race and gender where the stakes are literally souls, she struggles not to be a monster. The read is a slow climb up a bleakly intriguing slope with a surprise slide at the climax. ( )
  quondame | Aug 14, 2023 |
The most interesting bits were the least fleshed out. Picked up toward the end, but there were massive time skips that were jarring. Love the author and will read them again, but this was not it. ( )
  ellek38 | Jan 24, 2023 |
Viser 1-5 af 23 (næste | vis alle)
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́No maids, no funny talking, no fainting flowers. ́ Luli Wei is beautiful, talented, and desperate to be a star. Coming of age in pre-Code Hollywood, she knows how dangerous the movie business is and how limited the roles are for a Chinese American girl from Hungarian Hill ́but she doesn ́t care. She ́d rather play a monster than a maid. But in Luli ́s world, the worst monsters in Hollywood are not the ones on screen. The studios want to own everything from her face to her name to the women she loves, and they run on a system of bargains made in blood and ancient magic, powered by the endless sacrifice of unlucky starlets like her. For those who do survive to earn their fame, success comes with a steep price. Luli is willing to do whatever it takes ́even if that means becoming the monster herself. Siren Queen offers up an enthralling exploration of an outsider achieving stardom on her own terms, in a fantastical Hollywood where the monsters are real and the magic of the silver screen illuminates every page. At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

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