Thursday, 13 February 2014

Release Day Launch Review + Giveaway: The Deep End of the Sea by Heather Lyons


The Deep End of the Sea by Heather Lyons is out today! It's an awesome New Adult mythological romance, based on Medusa. Check out my review and an excerpt below, and enter the giveaway. And remember to grab your copy ASAP!

Title: The Deep End of the Sea
Author: Heather Lyons
Release date: February 13th 2014
Publisher: Cerulean Books
Genre: New Adult Mythology
Format: eARC
Pages: 252
Source: Inkslinger PR

What if all the legends you’ve learned were wrong?

Brutally attacked by one god and unfairly cursed by another she faithfully served, Medusa has spent the last two thousand years living out her punishment on an enchanted isle in the Aegean Sea. A far cry from the monster legends depict, she’s spent her time educating herself, gardening, and desperately trying to frighten away adventure seekers who occasionally end up, much to her dismay, as statues when they manage to catch her off guard. As time marches on without her, Medusa wishes for nothing more than to be given a second chance at a life stolen away at far too young an age.

But then comes a day when Hermes, one of the few friends she still has and the only deity she trusts, petitions the rest of the gods and goddesses to reverse the curse. Thus begins a journey toward healing and redemption, of reclaiming a life after tragedy, and of just how powerful friendship and love can be—because sometimes, you have to sink in the deep end of the sea before you can rise back up again.


The Deep End of the Sea is the first New Adult fantasy I’ve read, and I loved it! It’s a Greek mythology retelling, and I adore anything to do with Greek mythology. So of course I was really intrigued by this, and I ended up finishing it in one go.

What I found really great is that this is a retelling of Medusa’s myth. You don’t read a lot of those – most Greek mythology either focuses on famous gods or demigods as their main character. But a Gorgon? Nope. We’re made to empathize with Medusa throughout this book, and it worked really well because her characterization was done perfectly.

Medusa’s exiled to an island far away from anyone else, and she’s okay with that because it keeps unassuming humans away from her – humans she can kill with one look in the eye. But despite her best attempts, things do go wrong and she’s decorated her island with quite a few statues. Filled with regret, Medusa believes she deserves the life she’s been living for the past two thousand years. But her best friend, the god Hermes, won’t stand for it. When he petitions for her curse to be lifted, Medusa succumbs to the two things she never thought she’d feel – love and hope.

Medusa’s definitely easy to sympathize with, and it’s weird because most people think of her as a monster that goes around turning people to stone. But we get a different side of her story here, and my heart really went out to her. She’s really sweet and innocent, and you can tell she genuinely doesn’t want to hurt anyone. It’s just not in her. She came across as weak at times, I guess because she cried a lot all the time, but I imagine in her situation later on, most people would.

Hermes totally stole the show for me, though. He’s everything you’d want in a best friend, and everything you’d want in a boyfriend. Hermes always believed in Medusa, and he never saw her as a monster. I found it sweet that he cared for her so much even back then. Once the curse is lifted, Hermes does everything he can to make sure Medusa’s okay and to keep her safe. Their strong friendship is admirable, and made it even more awesome when they finally get together.

One thing I found a bit weird, though, was the speech. Most of the time, the characters tend to speak formally and politely. But at other instances, the dialogue would revert to modern-day style, and with quite a few curse words embedded. The inconsistency in their speaking style bothered me a little, but nothing so big that it hindered my enjoyment of the novel.

I loved seeing Olympus and all the different gods in their element, especially Hades and Persephone. Every Greek mythology novel I read has different personalities for the gods, so it’s always cool seeing that. There are some dark issues addressed in this book, though, and I’d say it’s clearly not for younger teens. Medusa has to come to terms with what happened to her, and that isn’t easy.

There are quite a few twists in the novel. One of the big ones is predictable if you’re looking closely enough, but at some parts I enjoyed being surprised at the turn the novel takes. The Deep End of the Sea is a lovely NA read, one that I’m sure Greek mythology lovers cannot pass up!

*Thank you to Kelly Simmon at Inkslinger PR for providing me with an eARC for review*

Rating: 4/5

EXCERPT


“Where are Hades and Persephone?” I ask, glancing around the empty living room. They are nowhere to be seen tonight; neither are any of the Automatons.
              The corner of Hermes’ mouth quirks. “Out. Possibly in the Underworld. One never knows with those two.”
              Relief unfurls in the muscles in my shoulders. Still, I can’t help but ask, “Without saying goodbye?”
              He’s definitely amused. “Shall I fetch them for you?”
              “No!” My answer is too quick, which I fear broadcasts just how ecstatic I am at the thought of being along with Hermes right now. And that realization causes me to blush for the millionth time around him in the last month, so I clarify, “Of course not. I was just curious.”
              “Curiosity killed the cat, you know.” To my delight, his hand finds mine and our fingers intertwine. It is a delicious sensation: his hand, warm and worn in mine in just such a way that feels like it’s an extension of my body.
              It must be criminal to adore touching someone so much.
              “Did it, though?” I ask, and he laughs a burst of exasperated air.
              “Possibly, but then again, who am I to judge, when I am often struck by curiosity that I cannot help but sate?” He gives me that dazzling grin of his and pulls me through the house. “Case in point: you.”
              “Me?” I squeak unattractively. There are lights ahead through the French doors leading to the patio, and I am curious myself enough to wonder what they are, but not nearly as much as I am for what he might mean.
              “Yes, you.” He glances back at me. “I’ve never told you that I was overcome with curiosity when I heard Athena cursed some girl from one of her temples. It wasn’t like it was the first time she’d gone vindictively bonkers, but she was really put out over you. I mean . . . one of her followers? Even that was low for her.” His fingers squeeze mine gently and we stop about twenty feet from the doors. “When I first showed up on your island . . .”
              I am helpless at looking anywhere but in his eyes. Tonight, they’re green. Vivid, beautiful, clear green. “Yes?”
              “I’d been warned that you were a monster and that I best keep my distance. That you would slay me at the slightest provocation, and naturally, I believed it, as I could not blame anyone’s hatred toward my family after what my sister and uncle had done to you. But once Death handed me that first soul and departed, I heard you crying. My curiosity inflamed tenfold. What kind of so-called monster weeps like her heart had shattered and never would form whole again?”
              Like clockwork, my cheeks burn. His fingers brush my reddened skin ever so gently before I turn my face to rest in his hand. The butterflies in my chest swarm frantically. “My sister misjudged you. I knew that the very second I heard your anguish. I’m afraid I was lost to you from that moment on. I had to discover all that made you you, even if I would suffer the same fate as the proverbial cat. And I never cared about the risks, as long as my curiosity about you was sated first.”
              “Truly?” The word barely escapes my lips.
              His eyes are so intense. “Truly.”
About the author:
Heather Lyons has always had a thing for words—She’s been writing stories since she was a kid. In addition to writing, she’s also been an archaeologist and a teacher. Heather is a rabid music fan, as evidenced by her (mostly) music-centric blog, and she’s married to an even larger music snob. They’re happily raising three kids who are mini music fiends who love to read and be read to.

Find Heather on:

Giveaway!


2 comments:

  1. Wow! so glad medusa had a rewrite, was beginning to feel bad as she is often beheaded in a lot of stories. The one that I would love to see a rewrite for probably would be persephone herself

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you want a Persephone retelling, go check out Persephone by Kaitlin Bevis! It's amazing :)

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