I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.
Two documentary filmmakers go on an intense journey to discover the truth behind the untimely death of an indie rockstar who may or may not have been struggling with some very real ghosts in authors Barbara Lien-Cooper and Park Cooper’s “Song To The Siren”.
When two young documentary filmmakers start investigating the enigmatic death of the infamous Reed Sinclair, founder of the never-quite-made-it indie rock group The Big Carnival, by interviewing Reed’s former girlfriend, photographer Samantha (“Sam”) MacNamara, she tells them the story of a seeming love triangle between herself, Reed, and a frightening entity named Belle. Belle may have simply been how Reed’s troubled mental state interpreted multiple tragedies and coincidences in his life… or she may have been a supernatural being…
This was such an engaging and mesmerizing read. The story does an incredible job of delving into a multitude of genres that keep the reader guessing, from paranormal and mythology-driven fantasy to dramatic mental health and romantic suspense novels. The themes of mental health, fame and its impact on those who achieve it, and the hidden mysteries of life itself, all played such a pivotal role in the narrative, and how these characters connected to one another.
I loved the pacing and the formatting of this novel. The use of Sam as the narrator of sorts as the filmmakers interview her throughout the book really gave a unique 3rd person perspective to the story, and allowed for some distance between the reader and the characters in question, aka Reed and “Belle”, so that the question of Belle’s existence continuously played a role in the narrative as the story progressed. It was such an engaging story.
Captivating, entertaining, and thoughtful, author Barbara Lien-Cooper and Park Cooper’s “Song To The Siren” is a must-read paranormal and mythological story. The utilization of the indie-rock scene as a setting for emotional character growth and the mystery of “Belle” overall made this one novel reader won’t want to miss. Be on the lookout for this book starting this fall!
About the Author
Barb is originally from Minnesota. She was a radio DJ for a while in college, and then she grew up to become a guitarist/singer-songwriter and got an album put out on the Imp label. However, she also had health issues: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and fibromyalgia and extreme environmental sensitivities and allergies. (She also has Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder due to issues involving her family of origin.)
For a while, brain fog from the CFS and the fibro made it harder for her to read long and involved works of fiction… So (since she’d always loved them in her childhood) she got into reading comics and graphic novels, particularly the comparatively avant-garde work coming out at that time from DC Comics.
Now we pop over to Park, in central Texas. Like Barb, Park also read comics (and a LOT of books) in his youth as well (a lot more sci-fi and fantasy books than Barb, and a lot more Marvel comics than Barb). Then he started college and said “I need an extra hobby or something. Maybe I’ll get back into comics again.” He started doing so, including reading the comparatively avant-garde work coming out at that time from DC Comics…
Then someone in the letter columns of the comic Sandman announced that they were doing a fanzine for readers of that comic. Barb and Park both wrote in.
Barb and Park became aware of one another… Park liked the writing Barb submitted to the fanzine, and he wrote to Barb, and they began writing to each other. Then they started talking on the phone… they fell in love… they started visiting one another…
Reader, they got married (to each other).
Barb wrote for the award-winning website Sequential Tart, made by women about comics and other popular culture things, and Barb wrote a lot of reviews and articles (especially articles)
Park and Barb had a column online for a now-defunct website entitled The Park and Barb show (about the same sorts of things) for 12 years…
A little after they started those things, Barb started writing her comic Gun Street Girl…
A little after that, they started adapting and editing manga for major American publishers importing manga (and sometimes their South Korean and Chinese counterparts) from the far side of the Pacific. Honestly, there were too many to keep track of… lots and lots of titles. Near the end of this, Barb and Park wrote the manga pitch The Hidden for TokyoPop, perfectly timed to appear the week that that company fell apart.
Then Barb and Park wrote the sci-fi vampire graphic novel Half Dead.
Somewhere around this time, Park successfully completed his Ph.D. in literature, and then Barb and Park wrote the vampire prose novel Something More Than Blood.
Eventually Park started writing his cyberpunk comic Swipe for Angry Viking Press.
(You can read more about all of the above projects elsewhere on this website!)
There were also other various short stories (and a novel, in one case) and non-manga-related editing jobs, too many to bother counting here…
These days, Barb and Park live happily together in Austin, Texas.