Friday, July 12, 2013

Me on Sweet Shadows

Title: Sweet Shadows
Author: Tera Lynn Childs
Release Date: September 4, 2012
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins imprint)

Three teenage descendants of Medusa must figure out where their fate will take them. Warring factions among the gods of Olympus are coming for them, creatures of the abyss are pushing into San Francisco, and odd figures in their lives are hiding dangerous secrets. Gretchen has fought the monsters for years, but teaching the others is hard. Can she rely on Grace and Greer? Greer has pressing social commitments and little time to train her new-found powers, but the mythical second sight won't leave her alone. Grace is worried about her brother, Thane, who has disappeared. She's worried his secrets might have to do with the heritage the triplets share. How can the girls embrace the shadows of their legacy?

Sweet Shadows is a return to a series filled with Greek mythology, ancient monsters, and long-lost sisters. Three young women who barely know each other must come together in order to keep the human world safe from what lurks in a dark abyss, but there are other groups at work. Some who want to help, some who don't care one way or another, and some who will stop at nothing to stop them.

Starting immediately after the first book ends, the action and the overarching plot pick up and are more prevalent here. There's more on why they were kept apart, more on what they can do, and more on what's after them. Besides the near-constant monsters coming after them. There's more danger and more suspense, plus some boy trouble, but the romance takes a back seat to the more important storyline of the sisters training and trying to stay alive.

Being triplets doesn't mean they have the same personality, which is good. Gretchen has a rather military-style way of looking at situations, acting on instinct. Grace is the sweet little den mother wanting everyone to get along who wants to include everyone in a well-thought plan. Greer has social engagements to worry about, but it's hard to focus on the normal human part of her life when the monsters are everywhere and she's having near-constant visions. Grace serves as a sort of buffer with Gretchen and Greer, the former smoothing the abrasive edges of the other two.

It's refreshing to read a YA novel featuring Greek mythology and find it not to be another Persephone retelling. There's so much more than Persephone and Hades, and props to the author for the modern twist on the gorgon/Medusa myth.

Like the first, this book is about the power and connection that siblings have when they're together, the closeness and the support. Grace, Greer, and Gretchen all need to lean on each other, rely on each other, in order to keep surviving while battling monsters and discovering their destiny. They are stronger together, but they still need to learn on their own, learn how to use their unique abilities in order to keep the rest of San Francisco safe.

(I borrowed a copy of this book from the library.)

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