We all know the story about Medusa, the snake-headed gorgon who Perseus killed. And how her gaze would turn someo...moreI was lucky enough to receive an ARC.
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.(less)
I shamelessly traded a pair of fingerless mitts for this ARC, and I'm really, really glad I did.
Here's a secret: I think about time travel a lot. Prob...moreI shamelessly traded a pair of fingerless mitts for this ARC, and I'm really, really glad I did.
Here's a secret: I think about time travel a lot. Probably more than the average girl. (Probably not as much as Myra or her characters.) When it comes to time travel in books and movies, I can drive myself insane finding paradoxes and getting annoyed by characters who don't consider the consequences of their actions or use their ability to its potential.
Not so with HOURGLASS.
HOURGLASS fully lived up to what I hoped it would be. Strong, sweet, intriguing, and completely unique.
There were a lot of things I loved about this book, starting with Emerson and her voice, on to the depiction of the Southern town, and to the romance. Emerson was a tough character with a rough past, but she never let it slow her down. She was strong, loyal, and the kind of person you'd want on your side if time were slipping.
I loved the Southern atmosphere. The way Myra captured it reminded me a lot of where I grew up: definitely Southern, but not stereotypically Southern. It felt like a real place, somewhere I'd like to visit.
And the romance-- If you like kissing books, this is for you. (And I'm not going to say anything else about that because I don't want to spoil you.)
What really impressed me is how well information is seeded, how cleverly hints are given, so reveals at the end are surprising, but not too surprising. You know there's something coming out of Myra's literary hat, but it's probably not a rabbit.
HOURGLASS is a strong debut novel written in a clean, enjoyable style. The pace never flags, the plot is solid, and the premise is unique. If you've been looking for a time travel story that's not your typical time travel, this is it.
Also, check out that beautiful cover. Now tilt your head to the left. (I know, right?)(less)
I won PLAIN KATE by Erin Bow [http://erinbow.com/] from a Goodreads First Reads giveaway. It arrived when I was too busy to read it, but I finally did...moreI won PLAIN KATE by Erin Bow [http://erinbow.com/] from a Goodreads First Reads giveaway. It arrived when I was too busy to read it, but I finally did get a chance, and ooo I'm so glad I didn't wait any longer.
There are many things I loved about this book, but if I tried to tell you everything, I'd spoil you rotten, because this book will take you so many unexpected places.
Spoiler-free review. Anything that looks like a spoiler is on the flap copy.
Plain Kate is a carver -- such a good carver they say it's witchy. Dangerous in a town where they burn witches. But her father was a carver and she learned from him. Then the witch fever came and killed him, leaving Plain Kate without anyone to care for her. When a stranger offers her a trade -- her heart's desire for her shadow -- and makes refusing impossible, she gives in. That is the beginning of her adventure with her cat Taggle.
I won't lie: this book gets tense and scary. Erin Bow doesn't hold back when it comes to hurting Plain Kate, or any of the other characters. In a country where people are terrified of witches, or anyone who has anything to do with them, Plain Kate is in constant danger. She's without a shadow, her cat talks, and trouble follows her everywhere. Anyone could betray her. There were many times I had to sit back and remind myself this is a fiction, because it felt so real and dangerous.
I wish I could tell you all the wonderful things about this book. The detailed worldbuilding, the lyrical prose, the hilarious and real moments with Taggle. (I adored Taggle so much.) Really, though, I think you should just go read it. There was honestly nothing I didn't like about this book.
Do have a box of tissues for the end. I know one person who reports crying in the carpool line at her children's school. I cried. (Just in my house, though.) I think the author cried too.