Friday, 28 September 2012

Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs

Series: Medusa Girls, Book One
Publisher: Templar
Format: ARC
Published: 1st September 2012

Number of Pages: 368
Book: For Review*
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Mythical, Paranormal, Romance, Magic, Mystery, Humour, Action-Adventure, YA
Recommended Age: 12+
Contains: Violence, Swearing, Beasties' Deaths
No Alcohol, Drug References
Author's Site: Tera Lynn Childs

Watch out, all you mythological beasties roaming the streets of San Francisco.  There’s a new kick-ass team of demon-fighters in town…
Meet Grace, who just moved to San Francisco.  It’s a tiny bit scary, starting over, but it gets scarier when a minotaur walks in the door.  And even more shocking when a girl who looks exactly like her turns up to fight the monster.  Then, there’s Gretchen, who is fed up of monsters pulling her out into the small hours, especially on a school night.  Getting rid of a minotaur is just another notch on Gretchen’s combat belt, but she never expected to run into this girl who could be her double in the process.  Finally, there’s Greer, whose life is pretty sorted, thank you very much.  But everything tilts sideways when two girls who look eerily like her appear on her doorstep and claim they’re all sisters.
Grace, Gretchen and Greer – three teenage descendants of Medusa who must embrace their fates in a world where monsters lurk in plain sight.

"You belong to an elite lineage of guardians," she explained.  "Destined to hunt down the monsters that escape into our realm and send them back into theirs..."
Everyone knows about Medusa, right?  The evil snake-haired woman who turned people to stone with a single glance, one of the Gorgon sisters.  We all know she was a monster, don't we?
Well, think again.  Medusa and her sisters weren't monsters - they were protectors, the only ones standing between the human world and the real monsters, the ones trapped in a hell-like underworld. 
But with Medusa dead, it's up to her ancestors to protect humanity.  Speaking of...
Grace Whitfield is just starting at a new school in San Francisco and she’s doing ok-ish - there's even a cute guy in the picture - until a man with the head of a bull walks in.  Even more shocking is running into her doppelgänger, who is battling monsters
Gretchen Sharpe is focused - she's been kicking beasties' butts for four years, since she ran away from home at the age of twelve, and was taken in by Ursula, who taught her all about her destiny.  Her duty.  What Ursula thoughtfully left out was that her destiny is a shared one: shared by three sisters
Which brings us to Greer Morgenthal, the high society girl, who is growing up with the picture-perfect life and is most certainly not impressed to find her so-called-long-lost-sisters knocking on her door and telling her that monsters exist and that she exists to find them. 
Yes, Grace, Gretchen and Greer are Medusa's descendants and they must protect humanity from the monsterpocalypse...
I love Tera's Fins series, so when I was offered the chance to review Sweet Venom, I pounced!  I started reading the moment it landed on my doorstep, discarding my usual read-the-month-before-publication rule.  Considering this book had two of my favourite aspects - demon-butt-kicking and Greek mythology - I had huge and excited expectations going into it, and added to them was the fact I love Tera's other books: I never thought Sweet Venom could live unto my giant-sized expectations.  I was very, very wrong.  Sweet Venom just rocked my world and left me hungry for more, more, more! 
I loved how Tera wrote all of her characters.  They were all so real and vivid.  And there were just so many to love!  Gretchen was so kickbutt awesome - a total badass demon fighter!  She was tough and snarky and brave and awesome!  Reasons to love Gretchen: she uses words like "monsterpocalypse" and curses like "what the Hades" and "son of a centaur".   So yes, she definitely must go into my Kickbutt Lead Girls Wall of Fame!  Grace was shy and nerdy - I just loved all her geekiness, snark and how she made me laugh!  She was so chirpy and rambly, so hyper and bubbly it was impossible not to love her.  Plus, she totally killed me!  Now Greer we didn't meet ‘til the end.  She was totally fierce and a bit snobby and cynical - she was just very Gossip Girl.  I didn't know her as well as the other girls, so I can't wait to learn more about her.  But the whole sister bond was amazing and developed so brilliantly and believably.  I cannot wait to see where they all go!
Oh, and there were also yummy guys.  And they were all so mysterious and secretive - I am desperate to know all of their secrets!  Anyway, Nick was cute and persistent and funny - but who is he?  Thane was a great brother - but what was his secret?  And Milo was adorable and hot - but does he have a secret like all the other hot guys in this story?  Either way, I love the budding romance between him and Grace!
The writing was just amazing.  It's no secret that I love split POVs and Tera is just one of the best and most natural users of the style I've come across.  Each girl sounded so different and unique and I loved that it was between sisters rather than love interests.  And I loved the plot just as much: it was action packed, addictive, fast paced and just so much fun!   Plus, I loved that even though there were cute guys to crush on, the huge emphasis wasn't on romance, but instead on the sisterly bonds.  And, of course, the mythology - which I loved!  I've always loved Greek myths and absolutely adore the twist Tera put on the Medusa story.  Even with all the Greekish books I've read, I've never come across one with this twist, or anything near it.  
As I said earlier, I love Tera's Fins series to pieces, but man do I love the Medusa Girls!   It's funny, action packed, fast paced, utterly addictive and just, quite frankly, kickbutt awesome.  And it's totally changed my view of Greek mythology - if my brother ever calls me Medusa (again) I'm just gonna smile and say "Thank you", 'cause in my head I'll be thinking of this book!
So yeah, this book kicked butt.  It's safe to say I'm absolutely and totally desperate for the next in the series.  I'm gonna be first in line to get my greedy little hands on it!  Oh, why must everyone make me love a book so much, and then make me wait for I don't even know how long for a sequel?!!?

Star Rating:
4½ Out of 5

Read this book if you liked:
Fins by Tera Lynn Childs
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan
Charmed (The TV Series & The Books) 

Challenges It's Taking Part In:
Happy Reading
* This book was received from Templar in exchange for an honest review

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