By: Tera Lynn Childs
Series: Medusa Girls #1
Other Books in the Series: Sweet Shadows #2 – Release Date: September 4th 2012
Published: September 6th 2011 by Katherine Tegen Books
Edition: hardcover, 345 pages
Categories: Young Adult, Greek Mythology, Retellings, Action, Urban Fantasy, Supernatural
Rating: 4 Stars
*Review May Contain Spoilers*
What the Back of the Book Says
Grace just moved to San Francisco and is excited to start over at a new school. The change is full of fresh possibilities, but it’s also a tiny bit scary. It gets scarier when a minotaur walks in the door. And even more shocking when a girl who looks just like her shows up to fight the monster.
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 remember seeing this book last year when it released, and thinking I need to read this one ASAP! Greek Mythology has always been interesting to me, but I still felt like my knowledge of myths didn’t provide me enough to be able to know what god, goddesses and monster did what and who they were and so on and so forth. Luckily, I got over this hesitation and have read some pretty awesome books based on Greek Mythology… including this one!
I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting when I picked this one up from the library, but from page one I was hooked. The book is told from the point of view of all three characters; Gretchen, Grace, and Greer. The multiple point of view isn’t my favorite, and I don’t always enjoy it, but I think with Sweet Venom it was successful. We start out meeting Gretchen Sharpe, a monster huntress who’s destiny is to hunt monsters and send them back to their own world. What Gretchen doesn’t know, is that she is one of a set of identical triplets who are part of the Key Generation, in which everything between our world and the monsters will change.
Gretchen is on the hunt for a monster and ends up at a nightclub called Synergy. Gretchen is one kick-ass heroine; all business and determination. She has devoted her life to hunting monsters, and skips out on the normal parts of life, like dating Nick, the boy who drives her crazy – but she kind of likes anyway. At the club, after banishing the offending monster back to its own world, Gretchen runs into Grace Whitfield.
Gretchen explains to Grace that she needs to go about her regular life and forget all about her, and everything she’s seen and heard. Of course Grace cannot do that – I mean who could forget that they see monsters and that their very lives are in danger? So bookworm, computer geek, eco-chick Grace refuses to let Gretchen turn her away without training. So between attending Alpha Academy, where Grace was given a scholarship, and crushing on her adopted brother, Thane’s new friend, Milo, Grace trains with Gretchen and learns about all of the monsters that make their way through the “window” one at a time from the monster realm – since that is the agreement Olympus made with the human world. Eventually through research, the girls stumble upon a line in a book that tells them that there is a third sister, and they go searching for her.
I find that the book being told from the narrative of each of the girls alternately works because each girl is so completely different that this allows us to get to know each of the girls personally, as well as how they interact with each other. Gretchen was adopted by a pair of low-lifes and spent a few weeks living on the streets until she was rescued by Ursula, who knew about her destiny and trained her to fulfill it.
Grace was adopted by a set of loving parents and has a great brother, regardless of how secretive and quiet he is. There’s lots of implications that Thane might know more about what is going on with Grace than anyone realizes, and at the end of the book he’s called Grace to let her know that he needs to leave town for awhile but refuses to give any sort of explanation. Grace is a keep-to-herself type with hopes of making friends at her new school. She learns how to stand up for herself and demand she get what she wants when dealing with Gretchen.
Greer Morgenthal is the last sister find out about her destiny, and she doesn’t take the news lightly. She is a snobby, wealthy socialite who doesn’t have time for the two girls with poor fashion sense and a bad attitude who show up on her doorstep.
In the end, all of the girls are brought together to fight for the very reason they were put on this earth. With lots of mythology woven into the story line – both Ancient Greek Gods/Goddesses and monsters – there’s tons of action and romance takes a backseat in this one to allow for premium story development; though I’m sure we will see more in the way of relationships in book two.
The pacing is good in this tale; not leaving much room to get bored or for your mind to wander. The information linking the present to the past (Ancient Greece) is given in an easy to understand, straight forward manner, so if you don’t feel that you have a lot of knowledge on the topic it will not detract from the overall enjoyment of the story.
Lots of questions are left at the end of the book, which is both a plus and a minus. It works well because I’m completely excited for the second book to come out so I can find out what happens! But it stinks because it seems that there was a lot left unresolved that you really just want to freaking know!
I Would Recommend This Book To: Anyone who loves retellings and anything to do with Greek Mythology.
Other Books You Should Read If You Like This: Wildefire by Karsten Knight; Possess by Gretchen McNeil, Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs; The Mephisto Covenant: The Redemption of Ajax by Trinity Faegen; Once Every Never by Lesley Livingston
Other Books by Tera Lynn Childs: Forgive My Fins; Fins Are Forever; Just For Fins; Oh. My. Gods.; Goddess Boot Camp.
Last Words: I really enjoyed this book and Gretchen easily became one of my top favorite characters ever! I would openly recommend this book to anyone, even if it’s their first dive into a Greek myth-based story.