Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Secret of the Sirens

Secret of the Sirens
by Julia Golding
The Companions Quartet, book one

When Connie is sent to live with her aunt, she knows it's going to be one more place where she doesn't fit in. Soon she realises how wrong she is. The seaside town is full of adults and children who have strange links to creatures. It's the heart of the secret Society for the Protection of Mythical Creatures, a group of people sworn to ensure that mythical beasts are kept safe. Normally the creatures and their chosen humans work in harmony. But something abnormal is happening here. The Sirens, who for generations have kept their deadly song to themselves, are once again luring humans to their deaths. It doesn't take long for Connie to realise that the victims are oil workers. The Sirens are fed-up with their seas being polluted, but should the Society protect the Sirens or the oil industry? Connie doesn't think she has a role to play, until it becomes clear that she's a Universal - the first person in over a century who can communicate with every type of beast on earth and in the air. Her power is immense. It corrupted the previous Universal...and now he's back. And he'll use any means he can - from violence to the terrifying Storm Giants - to turn Connie to the dark side.
(description taken from

I had seen the description of this series a while ago and thought it sounded interesting, but put off reading the first book because I already read soooo many series and didn't necessarily want to pick up another one. I am glad I did, though. This is an interesting new world that Golding (the Cat Royal series) has created.

In this world the mythical creatures abound. One of my favorites was the Storm Giants (storm beings that can throw lightning, etc.), though I also loved the pegasi, dragons, dwarves, and oh gosh...there were so many cool creatures! It was really fun how the different people were able to commune with a single type of creature, but Connie, who always felt the outsider is suddenly the biggest insider of all...a Universal. One who can communicate with all of the creatures!

Though this series is based on a strong environmental message, encouraging teen readers to think about the impact of humans on the earth (here causing the mythical creatures to lose their natural habitats), the message does not overpower Connie's story. It is a delicate balance maintained well throughout the story that I hope continues in the next three books.

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