Sweet Venom (Medusa Girls #1)
Gretchen is tired of monsters pulling her out into the wee hours, especially on a school night, but what can she do? Sending the minotaur back to his bleak home is just another notch on her combat belt. She never expected to run into this girl who could be her double, though.
Greer has her life pretty well put together, thank you very much. But that all tilts sideways when two girls who look eerily like her appear on her doorstep and claim they're triplets, supernatural descendants of some hideous creature from Greek myth, destined to spend their lives hunting monsters.
These three teenage descendants of Medusa, the once-beautiful gorgon maligned by myth, must reunite and embrace their fates in this unique paranormal world where monsters lurk in plain sight.
I do have one problem with the story. Well, not the story actually, but the synopsis. It kind of bothered me that Greer was included in the synopsis and given just as much space as Grace and Gretchen when she didn’t show up in the book until nearly the end. It would have been way better if her existence was as much a surprise to the reader as it was to Gretchen and Grace.
Sweet Venom had the potential to be really cheesy, but it wasn’t. I loved the mythology of Medusa complete with awesome poison injecting fangs! Childs didn’t skimp on the mythology at all. It’s almost (as far as I can tell) completely fictional, but it’s so believable that I was almost believed that Medusa was a good guy myself.
The characters are all awesome, and that’s saying a lot since each girl has her own set of side characters. I really appreciated that the sisters were all almost complete opposites (can three people all be opposites?) Gretchen was all gruff and kick-butt while Grace was the loving, sweetheart of the story. Then there’s Greer. At the beginning she’s kind of a stuck-up biyatch. And by kind of I mean I hated her. She did end up redeeming herself a little in the end, but only a little. There’s definitely room for growth in the sequel!
The thing I loved the most about Sweet Venom, though was that it gave enough backstory and introduction to the overarching story to get me interested, but it also focused on a story of its own. Instead of simply being a self-contained story with a cliffhanger to leave me wanting book two it was a setup for the series that didn’t act like a setup. Now I’m just talking circles, so I’ll wrap it up!
The Nutshell: If you’ve been into the mythology scene lately then Sweet Venom is definitely for you and if you haven’t checked out any Greek mythology-based books then it’s a great place to start! There’s monster butt-kicking, cute guys, and an awesome story you don’t want to miss!
I LOVED the characters. Well, most of them. For some reason, the surly Gretchen was my favorite. She was fiesty, independent, and always kicking monster butt. While she came across all touch and stone cold, she had a soft spot too. That made her even more likable. Then there was Nick, the boy who shows up at her school and won’t stop hitting on her. She resists (reluctantly) but he is one persistent fella. I really liked Nick. He was a nice touch of comedic relief to Gretchen’s Gorgon-ish side.
The other sisters really didn’t do much for me. You get a sense of their unique personalities, but they aren’t that likeable. Grace is a geek (in a good way). She’s a major techie, which is a nice touch since so many girls aren’t thought of that way (in books and real life). I liked her well enough; but, she wasn’t my favorite. I did like her “real” feel—even for a girl that is a descendant of Medusa. She has self-esteem issues, gets tongue-tied around a super cute boy, and can’t find the confidence to stand up to the school bully. Well, that last part isn’t 100% true. She does find some courage to take a small stand. Baby steps… As for Greer, eh. She comes across as a social climbing, stuck up snot. I would, however, like to have her EBT card and shoe collection. She’s definitely a fashionista.
You don’t meet Greer until much later in the book, which is why I don’t think I cared for her as much. I didn’t have enough time to connect with her character. I suspect she will have a MUCH larger part in Sweet Shadows since she has one of the most important Gorgon gifts of all (or so I think). As for other characters I hope to see more of in Sweet Shadows: Nick and Thane. I KNOW these boys are HUGE in this storyline, I’m just not sure what their roles are yet. I have a sneaky feeling that one is representing evil and the other the goodness factor. I have my suspicions as to which one is on which side too, but I won’t share. I do hope I’m wrong. I loved both of these guys. I also hope there is more romance between Milo and Grace. Their chemistry was so well written and subtle. It was a refreshing side story.
Overall, I really liked this book. It was different from what I expected it to be, but in a good way. I was expecting some sort of Paranormal Romance like The Goddess Test. (I was wrong.) Sweet Venom is definitely more about kick butt girls out to save the world, with a smidgen of school girl crushes thrown in. If you like myth retellings, you should check this one out. Better yet, enter my giveaway!
- fun characters
We all know the story about Medusa, the snake-headed gorgon who Perseus killed. And how her gaze would turn someone into stone.
Or do we?
In SWEET VENOM, Medusa and her gorgon sisters have been maligned in myth. Ever since Medusa's assassination, her descendants have been fighting monsters that escape their prison by way of a crack in the seal between worlds, left there by one of those pesky gods (of course). Once in our world, the monsters disguise themselves as humans. Only descendants of Medusa can see their true forms.
The book begins with Gretchen biting a hydra to send it back to its world. That's totally normal.
Then Grace moves to San Francisco and begins seeing monsters. That's less normal. Grace's life is not supposed to have monsters.
Things quickly get even more complicated: Gretchen's mentor goes missing, one of the boys at school is immune to their hypnotic eyes, and . . . they have a third sister, Greer.
The rules of their monster-fighting world are changing. Something big is going on, and it has to do with the seal between worlds.
This is Tera's third series (following OH. MY. GODS. and FORGIVE MY FINS), once again centering on Greek mythology. Tera always amazes me with her knowledge, flawless prose, and fresh look at a popular subject. This book is no exception. And while you might worry that a story about triplets could have them all behaving the same, this never happens. Not once. Each girl has a distinct voice, her own personality, and unique reactions to the world they live in.
If you like Tera's other books? Read this one.
If you're craving a book about kick-butt monster-fighters? Read this one.