Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Book (September 6, 2011)
Series: Sweet Venom #1
Source: ARC provided by publisher
Cover: I love what this cover implies! The dark colors for the overall mood, the tips of the braid curling to look like snakes. It's just gorgeous and makes me interested right away.
First Sentence: "Hydras have a distinctive odor."
Mini-Review: An awesome start to a must-read series with three heroines to fall in love with!
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.
Brimming with action, personality and a fun twist on Greek mythology, Sweet Venom is an absolute must read this year. With three distinct voices, plenty of places to cheer, an amazing setting and plenty of butt kicking, it really will knock you off your butt with its charm.
What I admire most about this novel (and I love it so much that it's really hard to choose just one thing) is that there are three different protagonist that tell the story and they each sound different. It would have been really easy to make the triplets similar to each other. Maybe even a little be suspected. But Gretchen, Grace and Greer are all completely different people raised in different backgrounds and their voices set them apart. The moment I hopped into Grace's perspective, I could sense the type of girl she was-- a little nerdy, timid and meek but hopeful with a good head on her shoulders. Her voice just sounded that way. And Gretchen, the butt kicking, tough as nails, combat boot wearing loner? Well, let's just say I knew she wore combat boots before it was over revealed. Even Greer sounded snobby in her dialog and actions. I loved how different these girls were because the author recognized they had different upbringings and didn't shy away from that because it would be easy. They felt like three whole, real people who just happened to be sisters and monster hunters. I was immersed and invested in each girl and enjoyed all of their narratives.
The world that the girl's lived in also felt real to me. I liked that it blended the gorgeous setting of San Fransisco with the world of mythological monsters. For those of us who don't live there, we got to enjoy it's wonder through the eyes of Grace who'd just moved there and experience the normalcy of the beautiful bay, the trolley cars and the Chinatown district. Then through Gretchen (and Grace and later Greer) we got to see the gritty underground of the city and the mythological monsters that roam around the city. Also, I liked the "rules" of Gretchen's world and how they all start to bend. I wasn't so sure on the black and white monsters are all bad sort of thing she was going with so I'm glad it's starting to be questioned.
The plot seemed to lag just a teeny tiny bit near the middle but I was so in love with these girl's by that point that I was willing to go with it. The ending slams hard, leaving the reader with a giant cliffhanger. Many more questions were presented than answered and I'll be pining for the next installment to find out where it's going.
Another thing that really blew me away was how Ms. Childs managed to spin up a whole new take on Greek mythology. I know we've seen it a lot lately but what I found so interesting was that she's already done it once with her Oh. My. Gods. series and yet, we have this fresh gritty new take here. I'm pretty unfamiliar with the Medusa myth besides the fact that she turned people to stone by looking at them and had snakes for hair. But Ms. Childs was able to take the mythology and run with it, crafting these sisters with unique abilities and one heck of a mess to figure out.
Sweet Venom held me from beginning to end and had me clamoring for more even though I knew I was turning the last page. This fresh spin on mythology with a gritty world and three wonderfully diverse and equally interesting three sisters is definitely one to look for. Sweet Venom is a knock out and how sweet it is!