Monday, October 10, 2011

Sweet Venom

Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs
Katherine Tegen Books, 2011
345 pages
YA; Sisters; Greek; Paranormal
4/5 stars

Source: Received a free copy from Amazon Vine in exchange for an honest review.

I was first captured by the cover, which I saw featured on many blogs. It's not my personal favorite but many other bloggers were struck by it and that brought it to my attention. The Greek myth and sister aspect were what really drew me in. Of course I love mythological stories (especially ones that aren't focused entirely on romance) and my love of sister stories is pretty well-documented throughout my reviews, I think.

In this instance, the Greek twist is that we have descendants of Medusa, not an evil Gorgon whose stare turned men into stone but a selfless guardian who protected mortals from monsters and has been the victim of a vicious and thorough smear campaign by Athena. Though Medusa is gone, every generation since has given birth to three girls who inherit powers and abilities to continue to protect mortals. This time, those girls are triplets who were separated at birth to protect them as they grew. As they reunited, they realize the tremendous task before them as the prophesied Key Generation.

The first daughter we meet is Gretchen, who was inducted into this kind of life at the age of 12, and has spent the four years since battling them and pushing everyone out of her life. Then we meet Grace, the cheery and crazy optimistic vegan who has just moved to San Francisco, where the entrance to the monsters' world lies. When the two come face to face, they are struck by their identical appearance but pleased to have blood family. The third sister is not introduced for a long time (I think a little too long). Her name is Greer and she's the perfect society sister who instantly clashes with Gretchen, leaving Grace to be the bridge trying to bring the triplets together.

There were some really great action sequences as the sisters individually and together battle the increasingly dangerous monsters and other threats to their person. The mythology is also tantalizingly being unwound; I, of course, always want to know everything immediately but I think we received some good clues in this book that will be further enhanced in the next one.

I was a bit worried about being able to tell the sisters apart (their names all start "Gr") and they alternate first-person chapters. Although it was a bit hard at the beginning, I was soon able to tell them apart due to their very different outlooks on life (Gretchen-cynical; Grace-optimistic; Greer-snobbish). Other characters also enlivened the narratives including potential love interests for each and Grace's brother Thane with his own secrets.  There are also two mentors for the girls although they are not able to take full advantage of their resources yet. And happily while the book doesn't end fully resolved, there is not a massive cliffhanger; I've had quite enough of those this year, thank you very much.

Overall: A pretty light and comedic story about three wildly different sisters and the destiny they share. Not heavy on romance or melodrama so recommended.


  1. I have read a variety of reviews on this and continue to be intrigued by the fact that the author was able to capture all three girls' voices enough to allow the reader to identify them fairly easily. I love Greek mythology and really need to read this one. Great review!

  2. Great review! I haven't heard of this book before, but I am intrigued by the twist on Greek mythology, and there is something magical about three sisters sharing an adventure.

  3. Thanks for the great review- I love reading anything about Greek Mythology and really can't wait to read this one! I didn't know this one was about 3 sisters- now I am even more intrigued.


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