Monday, October 15, 2012
Gretchen, Grace, and Greer could not be more different. Gretchen has known for years that she is a descendant of the gorgon Medusa and that she must fight the monster and return them to their own realm. Grace is a environmental activist and a computer geek who doesn't know if she is strong enough to fight against monsters. Greer is a rich, spoiled girl who takes charge in every situation, but isn't sure if she's willing to give it all up to save humanity. While they are still getting to know each other (and bickering), warring factions on Olympus are trying to either kill the sisters or wait until they break the seal between worlds (as it is said they will in prophecy) and then kill them. Only one faction seems to care about their survival. As more and more creatures make their way into the human realm, these sisters must find out which faction to trust and where their fate will ultimately take them.
Sweet Shadows starts with a bang right where Sweet Venom leaves off. Again, it's narrated by the three sisters who have clear and distinct voices. It's easy to figure out who is narrating any given chapter. In the last book, the sisters were basically strangers. Now, their relationship is growing and they are becoming close both because of their efforts to save the world and just getting to know each other. I really like these characters and their different backgrounds. Even though much of the novel involves the supernatural, they bring real life issues and problems to the story. Greer deals with her distant parents and the constant pressure to be perfect in every aspect of her life. Gretchen still feels the effects of having abusive parents as a child and not having many people close to her all her life. All of them have different reactions to being put up for adoption. These experiences make the girls easy for readers to relate to and make the story grounded in realism.
Everything is a little more intense than in the first book. The action is exciting and more consistent. The problems facing the sisters are practically impossible to overcome. The world beyond ours is explored and reveals some shocking revelations. There are mythological creatures that are on their side and will greatly suffer if the door between worlds is closed. They challenge the girls' views and complicate matters, plus they are pretty awesome. What was previously a fairly clear decision is now murkier than ever. I'm very glad this series didn't fall into the second book pitfall that simply sets up for the final book in the trilogy.
Sweet Shadows is an impressive teen read that melds mythology and modernity beautifully. The fast pace and realistic characters make this a quick, fun read. I can't wait to see what the future holds for these heroines. I would recommend this to fans of mythology and YA fantasy.
My rating: 4.5/5 fishmuffins