[Review] Sweet Shadows by Tera Lynn Childs

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 328 (Hardcover)

Summary

Gretchen may have known she was a descendant of Medusa long before her sisters–after all, she’s spent her life fighting the monsters that escape the abyss–but that doesn’t mean it will be easy to teach the other girls the ropes. Can she rely on Grace and Greer, or even trust herself to keep them safe? Greer has pressing social commitments on her plate and precious little time to train in her newfound powers. But that wretched second sight won’t leave her alone, and her fabled heritage seems to be creeping into her fashionable life.

Grace has worries closer to home–like why her brother, Thane, has disappeared. He’s hiding something. Could it possibly be related to the secret heritage the triplets share?

With the warring factions among the gods of Olympus coming for them, the creatures of the abyss pushing into their world, and the boys in their lives keeping secrets at every turn, the three girls must figure out where their fate will take them and how to embrace the shadows of their legacy.




Review

Sweet Shadows takes off directly after Sweet Venom. Unlike Sweet Venom, I actually enjoyed reading this from the beginning. Everything is more intense here than the first book. I still like the monster-fighting scenes, btw. As expected, the book is written in Grace, Greer and Gretchen POVs. Their voices are clear and different – I could easily recognize them. And Nick, who I thought was very annoying and too persistent in the first book, grew on me and I started to like him. Though the fact that he plays important role in this series is predictable since the first book. 

There’s more romance in this book. I’m fine with Gretchen and Nick pairing. I’m slightly okay with Grace and Milo pairing. Though I have to admit that I felt Grace is trying to be not herself, pretending to act cool and so on when she’s with Milo since the first book.

And there’s Thane. I fell in love with his character instantly when he first appears in Sweet Venom. I mean, who doesn’t love mysterious boys? I really want to know more about him! He doesn’t get much scenes in this book, but I’m sure he will get a lot more in the third book.


Overall, Sweet Shadows is full of action, mysteries to unravel and if you like Percy Jackson series or Tera Lynn Childs’s Oh.My.Gods series, then maybe this is the right book for you! 

Rating:

4 Chocolate Cakes

Why four cakes?

Well, I love this book very much but why I give this book 4 rating instead of 5? The reason is because I felt that something is missing in this book. But I’m not sure what. I just felt it bugging me after I finished reading this book.

[Review] Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 345 (Hardcover)

Summary

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.



Review

The beginning seems very slow. I couldn’t concentrate with it, well, mainly cause my mom set the TV volume really loud that I got kind of distracted. The pacing doesn’t get any faster until a quarter of the book. Other than that, the story was enjoyable for me and I was literally eating my late-breakfast while reading it. (That’s why I finished my breakfast so slow!)

Sweet Venom is narrated by the Gorgons-descendant-triplets Gretchen, Grace and Greer. I could distinguish their voice easily and the author has written their POVs well. Greer doesn’t appear until half of the book though. At first I didn’t like Grace, but gradually she grew on me because she has the spirit and doesn’t give up easily even though the other sisters decide to be alone instead of hunting monsters together.

I like the concept. (Well, I’m a Greek mythology fan!) I mean, usually Medusa and her sisters are described as evil, snake-haired girls, whose eyes can turn people to stone. Instead, here they’re the guardians, protecting human from monsters and harmless eyes that can hypnotize for a short period of time. Sweet Venom is all about the reunion between long-lost sisters who eventually decide to stick together. By the way, I love the monster-fighting scenes and I think the author portrays them well.

Besides the triplets, I also love the secondary characters like Milo, Grace’s mom and especially Thane! His quite and mysterious attitude makes me wanna know more about him and I hope we get to know what happens to him in the next book.

The next book? Of course I’m going to read it! Overall, Sweet Venom is a great first book of a series. I recommend it for all Greek mythology lover.


Rating:

4 Chocolate Cakes!


[Review] The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver

Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 256 (Hardcover)

Summary

When Liza’s brother, Patrick, changes overnight, Liza knows exactly what has happened: The spindlers have gotten to him and stolen his soul.

She knows, too, that she is the only one who can save him.

To rescue Patrick, Liza must go Below, armed with little more than her wits and a broom. There, she uncovers a vast world populated with talking rats, music-loving moles, greedy troglods, and over-excitable nids . . . as well as terrible dangers. But she will face her greatest challenge at the spindlers’ nests, where she encounters the evil queen and must pass a series of deadly tests–or else her soul, too, will remain Below forever.


From New York Times best-selling author Lauren Oliver comes a bewitching story about the reaches of loyalty, the meaning of love, and the enduring power of hope.

Review
Middle-Grades are not my cup of tea, but because this book has adventure element, I thought I would give it a shot.

The main character – Liza – is annoying and whiny but surprisingly smart. Obviously, she encountered a lot of magical creatures and landscapes as she explored Below. But it felt like the author’s attempts to make Liza courageous and brave just failed. Liza’s character felt not real.

And the plot. I almost didn’t feel anything, even when Liza was facing dangers. It’s absolutely predictable that she would defeat the monsters easily. There were no fright and creepiness created, thus I felt like reading an almost-lifeless paragraphs. I wish there had been more twists in the story. Also, I think there are too many unnecessary exclamation marks.

Despite all the negative things, the book is beautifully written. I found the descriptive writing style enjoyable and that was basically what drove me to read it until the very last page. Lauren Oliver is truly talented and I think I shouldn’t give up on her just because of two books which I found boring (Before I Fall and The Spindlers). I really love her writing!

And the ending, after Liza returned to her home, I finally felt something after 200 pages of emotionless. It nearly made me cry. Here’s the quote:

“These are seeds of hope. They may not look like much, but they grow everywhere, in even the hardest places, where nothing else grows” – page 239

Another good thing about this book is the cover! It’s absolutely gorgeous <3 And every beginning of a chapter there is an illustration about how the characters look like. It’s really helpful and I guess children will love them. (Well, this is a middle-grade book anyway.) Praise the illustrator!

To sum it up, the negative things overweigh the positives so this book is a no-no for me. If you’re a fan of Alice in Wonderland, then maybe this is the right book for you.

Rating:

2 Cakes