Sweet Venom – Tera Lynn Childs

“Hydras have a distinctive odor. It’s somewhere between the acid tang of burning hair and a boat full of rotting fish. You can smell them from miles away. 
Well, you can’t. But I can. 
Some beasties smell mildly unpleasant; others could peel paint. Hydras definitely fall into the latter category.”

Gretchen has been hunting beasts for four years, since her mentor Ursula found her in a disused warehouse after she ran away from her abusive home. Grace has just moved to San Francisco, following a scholarship to study at a high valued school. She’s already terrified enough when her first days at school go badly, but then she meets a girl in a nightclub who could be her double, Gretchen. Gretchen was only in the nightclub to take down a beastie, but she goes home with something else, Grace – a girl who could be her twin. Then there’s Greer, who has life all planned out and is perfectly fine thank you very much, she is busy organising her busy social life when two girls who look just like her turn up on her doorstep and claim that the three of them are descendants of Medusa. 

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I wasn’t sure about Sweet Venom when I read the blurb, I’m not completely clued up on my Greek Mythology and it sounded like you might need to know about it… however I decided to read it on the basis that I do like a bit of kick-ass urban fantasy and it sounded just like that. I am so glad I did, even if it wasn’t great, it’s still a good book. 


The storyline is really good and it didn’t take long to read a all. It throws you right in there with Gretchen killing a beastie and I was impressed with the pace in the first chapter. The book is written in quite a simple way which makes for fast reading and a good pace. However there is a lot of description and in some places I thought there was too much cosmetic stuff, about how the girls looked and their ages and things like that. It didn’t put me off but I think it might put others off. 


The three girls couldn’t be more different and I liked them all for different reasons. Gretchen was kick-ass but could sometimes be too tough, Grace was sweet but needed a little more backbone, so the two of them balanced each other out brilliantly. Greer actually only comes into the story after the halfway point and I was wondering when it would happen but I think it made a lot of sense to the story, the way she was discovered. I liked her but only because I could tell there was more to her deep down. I loved the side characters in Thane, Milo and Ursula but not Nick, there’s something strange about him. I really hope we get to find out more about these in the later books though because this first one focuses a lot on the three girls. 


Thane and Ursula pretty much have their own storyline’s within this book, we know nothing about Thane’s and we know that Ursula is missing but we don’t know where and why. I liked that these were side stories which were left uncovered because it means I will definitely be picking up the next in the series when it’s available. However the girls’ story was left of a huge cliffhanger which I wasn’t impressed with too much, I like a little more closure than that. 


The other thing that was a little off putting in the book was the different voices. I read the first two chapters, first one in Gretchen’s voice and the second in Grace’s without realising that they had changed and got so confused, the chapters are headed with the name of the voice in the chapter but I skimmed over that bit! Once I realised though I took more notice in reading which name was the chapter title and I did pick up on differences in the voices but they are a little subtle. 


I did really enjoy the story and I do want to carry on the series, my worries about not knowing a lot about mythology didn’t really come into fruition as the main points were covered but the book has made my interest in the subject grow a lot and I may well try and pick up a book or two about it because of Sweet Venom!


Sweet Venom was published by Templar on September 1st. My copy was received in exchange for an honest review from the publisher. 


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  • Glad you liked it in the end and didn’t find the different voices too confusing. This is definitely one of the best books I’ve read to do with mythology.

  • I really love Greek mythology so I’m looking forward to this. It’s a shame the two voices and completely different, though.

  • I love books about Greek mythology, so I’m really eager to pick this up. Shame about the confusion of the voices at first, but I’m glad you got used to it eventually! Great review 🙂

  • Oooh, you should definitely read some books about Greek mythology, it’s fascinating! I recommend Percy Jackson 😀

    Thanks for this fab review! It’s a a pity about the bad closure though :/

  • I bought the American hardback last year and since then it’s been on the top of the TBR pile, but I STILL haven’t read it yet! Must read it soon, thanks for the heads up about the different chapter POVs 🙂