Thursday, September 22, 2011

ARC Review: Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs

Sweet Venom
Author: Tera Lynn Childs
Publication: Katherine Tegen Books (September 6, 2011)

Description: 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 in myth, must reunite and embrace their fates in this unique paranormal world where monsters lurk in plain sight.

My Thoughts: This was an entertaining and very readable start to a new series. Each chapter is told in first person by one of the three girls. It isn't at all confusing, though, because each girl has a distinct voice. Grace is a computer geek who has a loving family but who feels socially awkward. She knows she is adopted. She also has a beloved older brother who was also adopted. Gretchen is the tough-as-nails goth girl who has been fighting the monsters since she was twelve. She ran away from home to escape abusive parents and was found by Ursula who was her mentor in learning about her heritage. Greer is the high-society girl who is a perfectionist who is stressed by trying to meet her mostly absent parents' very high expectations for her.

The girls are triplets, separated at birth to protect them, who are now finding each other at age sixteen because of a prophecy. They are the descendants of Medusa, who got a bad rep from Athena, but who was really a guardian to keep the monsters away from ordinary humans. Each generation three girls are born to continue the fight. This generation the girls are triplets and the Key Generation. They have a special task. 

I liked the interactions between the girls. Gretchen is upset and off-balance because Ursula is missing and the rules she has lived by for years seem to be changing. Grace is the most emotionally secure. She is eager to get to know her sisters and to get to know what their purpose is. Greer is the most reluctant to become involved because her life is the most different. When she first began seeing monsters at age five, her parents sent her to therapists to make her stop seeing them. Now she is seeing them again.

The boys who are part of the story are also interesting characters. Grace's brother Thane has secrets of his own. His friend Milo is Grace's crush and he seems to return the emotion. Nick is Gretchen's nemesis and no matter what she does to discourage him, he keeps coming back for more. Kyle is Greer's boyfriend mainly because he is the most popular boy at his private school like she is the most popular girl at hers. She puts up with him rather than loves him.

The one bad part about this story is that this book was mainly a set-up and introduction for the books that follow. We learn a lot about each of the girls and we see them meet and start to forge a unit. But there are so many unanswered questions. What is their purpose? Who are their enemies? Who are their allies? What roles will the boys have in the future. I can't wait to read more books to find out. 

Favorite Quote:
I blinked my eyes open to see Gretchen standing over me, looking like I'm the burning bag of dog poo left on her porch Halloween night. Why would she look at me like that when she obviously just saved my butt from snake-head lady?
I received an ARC through the Amazon Vine program. You can get your copy here.


  1. I have been vascillating over this one for a while, but I like how you describe the world building and the characterization. I think I would enjoy getting to know about the three girls and their lives. Thanks for the great review

  2. This book looks really interesting.I've read mixed reviews on it, but I love books with Greek mythology, so I think I'll like this one a lot. Great review!


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