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Reviewed by Emily White for Readers' Favorite
Song of the Oceanides by JG Zymbalist is like no other story because it takes elements from historical fiction, paranormal romance, magical realism, space opera, and steampunk and rolls them all into a highly experimental but interesting and engaging young adult science fiction story. Emmylou is stranded in Maine, having lost or been abandoned by all of the adults in her life. Because she is Martian, she is chased by an extraterrestrial detective agency. She finds solace in a strange comic book and finds company in Rory Slocum, who also adores the book as much as Emmylou. Rory also believes the comic book could be the refuge he and Emmylou seek from the agony they experience from listening to the song of the Oceanides. But can a comic book really save people? Is it strong enough to save an entire planet, as Mars and Venus are on the brink of a destructive war? And what of their missing adult relatives? Can Emmylou be strong enough to save them all?
Song of the Oceanides is a beautiful, mystical, and magical story that transcends all limits that are generally imposed on story writing. It is a work of pure imagination and Zymbalist doesn’t hold anything back, which I found inspiring. The writing is so sad and full of emotion that you will believe that you, too, can hear the song of the Oceanides and that it, too, is driving you stir crazy. You will understand the emotional weight that these characters suffer through and will desperately want them to win, survive, and thrive in this strange and scary new world.