A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


The Call of the SirenThe Call of the Siren by Mark Fleming
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Call of the Siren by Mark Fleming

In Greek Mythology a Siren is a beautiful but dangerous creature often portrayed as a femme fatale. In Mark Flemings story Eleanor is a siren and to anyone's knowledge is the last of her kind. Her talents are too good to be passed up and so Eleanor's power of persuasion in put to work.
"Sirens. Mysterious disappearances. Beautiful women taking lonely travellers into dark pools where they vanish without a trace. They beguile and tempt. They reach into your heart and find your secrets."
Eleanor is used to inflitrate and lure secrets out of people. As the blurb states and the book details a bit further, Eleanor is the perfect killer. But the Siren only wants what most beings want. Instead she gets caught between all the bureaucracy and competitive agencies. It looks like Eleanor has tangled with the wrong person though.
The author gets kudos for coming up with something original. The Siren is an ancient myth but she is transplanted in a modern world with modern issues. Someone like Eleanor could be quite a useful tool for a great many diabolical reasons. The character of Eleanor is a fascinating one. Her memories only last for a certain amount of time and she is used in one scenario after another. She is also a sad character that wants love and is only looked at for her irresistable looks and her ability to sway men and for what she can accomplish for both good and bad reasons.
The adventures are tense and suspenseful but not cohesive. It was almost like we were reading a new story about Eleanor every few chapters and they often felt disconnected somehow. The writing is lush and it's obvious the author has talent , but sometimes things were hammered on a few too many times and the prose took a little adjusting to. It was a surprise to discover this book is a part of a trilogy. So, before you start this one be aware you will have to continue on with the next book to get the whole picture.
This is an interesting read that mingles fantasy with adventure and suspense . The book has a dark tone and deep character development and is a stylish concept. For those looking for something unique and challenging for the brain instead of the same old, then I do recommend you give this one a try.
This one gets 4 stars

Mark Fleming grew up in Southport, in the Northwest of England, before moving to London in the mid 1980s to work in the film industry. He worked for Rank Films, working on the release of films including Platoon, Robocop, A Chorus Line, The Name of the Rose, and many others.
In 1988 he changed direction, leaving editing to become a visual effects designer / model maker at Shepperton Film Studios, working on films including Batman, Prince of Thieves and Judge Dredd. He directed and produced briefly before moving away from London in the early 2000s.

Mark published his first book, Firework Art (a beautiful picture book exploring the evocative artwork of British fireworks) in 2005. He published his first novel, Challerton, in 2012, and his second, The Call of the Siren, in October 2013.

FIRE Fascination, Firework and Festival (released June 2013) sees Mark revisit the fireworks theme, with a look at how an ancient autumn fire festival has evolved from its pagan origins to become our modern Hallowe'en and Bonfire Night celebration. Released first as a free pdf e-book, FIRE is a stunning and visual journey through one of Britain's most evocative and lasting traditions.

He has two completed books awaiting publication, The Dew Pond and The Making of...(Street Cleaners) and is currently completing The Ribbon and the Hawk

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