Series: Villain’s Love #1
Author: Mary Bernsen
Genre: Fantasy Romance, Greek Mythology
Page Count: 183
Published: Etopia Press, July 4, 2014
Passion doesn’t always follow the rules of fate…
Raised by the Fates, Ambrosia, the daughter of Medusa, has spent her life preparing for the day when she would fulfill her destiny and avenge her mother’s murder. But when a man comes forward claiming to be the spawn of Medusa, Ambrosia’s plan becomes a lot more complicated.
Working as a prostitute, she finds Perseus, the man who took her mother’s head. Not realizing who she is, he tells Ambrosia that Medusa is still alive and that he’s on a quest to finish what he started twenty-three years ago. Needing to find the mother she’s never met, Ambrosia convinces Perseus to let her help, and together they discover the secrets that will unseal the cave that has kept her mother captive. But Perseus proves to be different than the monster Ambrosia has always envisioned him to be, and she finds herself needing him, craving his touch. But how can the daughter of Medusa love the man who made her an orphan for twenty-three years, and who kept her from the mother she never met?
I am really torn up about what to rate this book. In fact, I’m going to make my decision as I write this review and see what it feels like in the end.
I like reading about Greek mythology. I like how the possibilities are endless when you write a story that’s based on myth, and some authors really do come up with some original ideas. Not only they tweak what happened, but they also play around with the characters and create many more different versions and you get to take your pick. This was such a book. The story revolves around Ambrosia, daughter of the infamous Medusa, and Perseus, the famous hero who defeated and beheaded Medusa. But of course this story is not this generalization. In fact, Ambrosia is a prostitute, finding it the best way to gather information about her mother’s killer in order to return the favor one day.
This was actually a fun book. It started out as very interesting and fast paced. I was instantly sucked into the story, the world building. I admired and respected Ambrosia’s determination of living the life of a prostitute in order to achieve her goal, in fact, this way her character had a head start in complexity and depth compared to Perseus. As for Perseus himself, he was the mysterious, hard stranger in the beginning, kind of reminded me of Aragorn’s first introduction as Strider from Lord of The Rings. He wasn’t as surprising as Ambrosia but he was solid.
A few chapters in though..It all went a little downhill. And this is the point where I have trouble with my rating. I don’t want to be unfair to the nice beginning, but then the middle and end-what can I say?- disappointed me a little. The two leads started showing signs of childish behavior, most of the time they acted like teenagers rather than the mythical beings that they were, and so their plight lost its initial appeal to me. I kept imagining-and desperately looking forward to- them going back to who they started out as, but unfortunately this didn’t happen. As the story unfolded and they went ahead on their path one step and one obstacle at a time, they became more and more like young adults. Actually, has anyone seen the Percy Jackson movies? I haven’t read the books so I can’t compare this to the books, but if this story was to be made into a movie, it’d be something like Percy Jackson. And though I enjoyed those movies, it would be not what I expected and wished for this book.
For starters, I liked the idea of Ambrosia taking on the tough job of being a prostitute for a purpose, and that, in my opinion, should’ve provided her with a certain level of maturity. I expected her to be wary of Perseus, to be as strong as she had to be for doing what she did, and very, very determined. Even if she was those things, as a reader, that message lost its effect by the time it reached me. As for Perseus, I expected a man who loved and lost, who was determined just as much as Ambrosia to finish the task he started, and generally be the-yes, clichéd- tough stranger. Instead, he was a young man who sulked and was resentful most of the time, and childish and funny in the rest. He didn’t impress me, actually they both didn’t impress me considering how they started out as lead characters.
The plot was a bit better than the hero and the heroine, I gotta give it that. It was what you’d expect from a retelling of a mythical story, it revolved around one general idea, the past and fate of Medusa, and kept throwing in obstacles in the way until the end. Action was not scarce which was okay by me. I liked to see some of the most well known characters making appearances in unexpected places in unexpected conditions and that was good too. But then again, the whole story had a childish vibe to it that I couldn’t shake off. And this is probably going to be why I’ll shave off from my rating.
This was an okay story that had a lot of potential that simply just fell short. Potentially deep characters, potentially good plot, everything was there and yet they failed to reach their true desired effect.
I’m adding three spoonfuls of this story into my hodgepodge and see if I can catch up to Hercules, he seems like he’ll be well over his head in the next book.
Villain’s Love series by Mary Bernsen:
- Spawn of Medusa
- Prisoner of Poseidon