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Review: Sweet Shadows by Tera Lynn Childs

Title: Sweet Shadows

Author: Tera Lynn Childs

Genre: YA Paranormal

Series: Medusa Girls (Book 2)

Publication Date: September 4, 2012

Format: Hardcover, 328 Pages

ISBN-10: 0062001833 (Harper Teen)

ISBN-13: 978-0062001832 (Harper Teen)

Reviewed by: Emmy

Synopsis:

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

Quick & Dirty: Things start with a bang in Sweet Shadows and keep rolling, bringing the girls closer to answers and danger.

Opening Sentence: As I stare across Gretchen’s dining table at Grace, who is flipping through a binder about some ridiculously hideous monster straight out of mythology, I still can’t really fathom that there are two girls right here in this loft who look exactly like me.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

When I say the novel starts with a bang, I mean it literally. At the end of Sweet Venom our heroines were throwing themselves off the balcony to avoid an exploding apartment. This installment only becomes more intense. Figuring out the truth behind the prophecy, behind the sides to a coming war over the Abyss, as well as how to live with newfound sisters is a struggle of mythical proportions.  Because war is coming. The daughters of Medusa must die in the eyes of all sides, the only question is when: after they close the crack or before, so it can remain open forever. A small group wants to keep the girls alive so they can act as guardians and regulate the monsters who come into the human world.

Everything in this book is a little more intense: the romances begin to bloom (YAY!), the plot begins to thicken, and danger comes to find them. Fighting in this book goes beyond training and eventually, their problems become impossible to overcome alone. We finally learn more about the abyss and get to explore it first hand. Everything our heroines were told, the decisions they made, are no longer quite as right as they always thought. Fighting monsters isn’t so cut and dry. History isn’t so black and white. So do the girls continue their battle to close the crack between worlds like they’ve been told, or explore the rest of the prophecy despite the coming war.

We get a lot more about Greer in this novel, who came into the story late in Sweet Venom. She’s struggling to balance her social obligations with her destiny, keep her sisters and monster-fighting side job a secret, and deal with her distant parents. The ice queen act we see from Grace and Gretchen’s perspective chapters breaks a bit as Greer realizes even she can’t juggle everything. The girls grow stronger both independently and as a family. As a reader, that was a very satisfying thing to see.

Nick has a much bigger role to play in this novel, and a lot to answer to. Though they were strangers in Sweet Venom the girls have grown to be protective sisters and friends. They’ll fight for each other and for their destiny, and the gods help anyone who gets in their way. When Sthenno is kidnapped before their very eyes, the girls know they have to save her and Ursula if they want any answers about their mother and the mysterious prophecy. As the warring Olympians take the novel to the next level, and our trip into the Abyss makes the novel deeper and more complex, the girl’s humor and unique voices help carry the story.

Again, the novel has no plot independent of the whole series, which means that it’s a very middle-book. Not in a bad way, but there’s no satisfying conclusion—just more questions and a desperate desire for Sweet Legacy. It’s a lot of action, a lot of build up, and leaves you with a lot of questions. I can’t wait to get my hands on book three!

Notable Scene:

When I was a child, I saw a centaur in my bedroom. It was the only time before my sisterly reunion that I saw a mythological monster, and I eventually came to believe that the vision was a nightmare. A hallucination. Mother started taking me to regular hypnotherapy sessions immediately. The therapist was a middle-aged woman with dark hair that was fading into gray. Then, at one session—the very last—there was a different therapist. She was younger, blonder, and far more effective. One session with her and Mother declared me cured.

I recognize the woman stepping on the sidewalk at the end of the block because she was that final therapist.

A million confused questions flood my brain.

“I—”

Before I can say that I’ve met Sthenno before, a black spot appears next to her in the middle of the air. The spot grows quickly, expanding into a giant hole about the size of a double door.

Medusa Girls Series:

1.  Sweet Venom

2. Sweet Shadows

3.  Sweet Legacy

FTC Advisory: Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins provided me with a copy of Sweet Shadows. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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