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The Orpheus Industry
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     Greek Mythology for the 21st century.

Title: The Orpheus Industry
Author: Jennie Kermode

Publisher: Double Dragon Publishing (October 2004)

Genre: Fantasy

ISBN: 1554041759

E-Book: 233 pages


Also available In-Print Edition

ISBN: B000667TN4


Rating: Highly Recommended


November 9, 2004


Oscar is the lead singer of the Scottish Band Snakeskin.  They are a young group however they have a profound effect on the masses that listen to their music, always leaving their audience in frenzy. One night, after a set, Oscar meets a beautiful young lady named Peri. They have a passionate encounter and soon thereafter, Peri presents Oscar with what seems to be an enchanted guitar. This guitar serves as a bridge between the emotions felt within Oscar’s heart and the outside world.


His music captures the attention of the god Apollo himself.  Perhaps Apollo is reminded of his son Orpheus. Orpheus was a talented musician in Greek mythology. His words and music were played from his heart as he mourned the death of his wife Eurydice. His music was said to charm man, beast, gods and other inanimate objects. His music was heartfelt and the listener could not resist being pulled into his melodies. Oscar later finds out that Peri is Persephone, the goddess of the underworld and the goddess of Spring. What is it that makes this guitar so special? Is it the instrument, or the musician?


Apollo and his cousin struggle to gain the love and fidelity of Oscar, who enjoys the company of both gods in the same manner. Apollo offers Oscar the one thing that he perceives that Persephone cannot, a promising music career.  The characters in The Orpheus Industry exist in a world that has rejected monotheistic ideology. Zeus is seen as the major god and his children do what is expected of them as dictated by Greek Mythology. This is a place where one’s destiny is not determined by fate, it is determined by The Fates – who themselves pre-date all of the gods.


Oscar and Snakeskin move from obscurity to the top, becoming world famous performers. While their success takes shape, primarily due to the vested interest that Apollo has taken in his lover and his band, a battle of jealousy rages. Apollo wants Oscar to himself. Persephone wants Oscar to herself after her husband Hades left her for Eurydice, who is Orpheus’s former soul mate. Oscar wants the relationship with Apollo and Persephone, but in a different manner. What he wants most is his freedom to choose.


This book was masterfully written and I was inspired to read and re-read every passage to acquire some inner meaning about the events that transpired. I’ve rarely read books in an e-Book format, but I found that it proved to be very enjoyable. The author, Jennie Kermode, has mastered a writing style and an ideology that I have rarely seen.  I’ve received a lesson about the gods of Greek Mythology and an entertaining story that will be enjoyed by the Young Adult to Adult audience. I was entranced by the words and I felt that I had to move forward through this story.  Perhaps this can be likened to the emotions that are activated as one listens to the music of Orpheus?


The story moves from our world to the underworld where Oscar’s music inspires the beings that exist in that realm.  It seems that irregardless of where the protagonist travels, his music can create a desired response in every listener.  That “desired response” even angers Hades, the god of the underworld and he is forced to make a difficult decision to regain order.  One mere mortal has caused so much change in the world of The Orpheus Industry.  Oscar will pay the price for his unrivalled success, but will that price be paid on Earth or in the realm of the dead?


The end will amaze you!



Reviewed by Tyrone Vincent Banks

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