Friday, August 15, 2014

Review for The Spawn of Medusa

The Spawn of Medusa written by Mary Bernsen is available on Amazon for $5.99.

I received this book from a R2R on Goodreads. R2R stands for Read to Review, meaning the author gave me a free copy of the book for my honest review. Since I only chose R2R books which appeal to me and/or deal with romantic and erotic mythology, I figure I'd might as well write my reviews down here as well as on Goodreads. It is the least I can do to help out some other authors.

So, here is what I posted to Goodreads:

Initially, I thought this was going to be a far more dark book than it turned out to be... which, for me at least, was a great thing! Authors writing about mythology usually choose to go either the romantic-action route or the twisted-horror route. Since the book title included "Spawn" I was pretty sure this was going to fall into the twisted-horror genre. It didn't. It is a beautiful story of finding love and rebuilding a family. What a wonderful surprise!

This is a unique take on the story of Medusa. Believe me when I say you won't see the ending coming! 

Now, for some more in-depth discussions. I love mythology and really enjoy it when an author knows her stories, beyond just the everyday, and has obviously done more than the average research. Ms. Bernsen has. She pulled information from a variety of sources and I was impressed with her knowledge of Perseus' story and Medusa's effects/creations following her demise. Very cool.

However, with that said, the only reason I did not give this novel five stars were a few small details that continually irked me. For all of the author's research, she missed some other pertinent facts beyond Medusa and Perseus:
1) Greeks did not wear trousers.
2) The Romans were not around yet, nor was Rome even founded, at this time in history.
3) Hercules was the great grandson of Perseus's and though they were technically brothers, that dynamic grossed me out.
4) Surprisingly large number of editing and formatting errors which were obnoxious.

I would highly recommend this book to any lover of Greek mythology. It was a well-written, quick moving story full of action, adventure, girl-power, and love. Beyond all, the search for love shall never give up and never fail.

I would like to expand a bit more here, if that's all right with my readers...

The story of Medusa has never really been my favorite, as far as most mythologies and authors take it, putting the focus on Medusa and Perseus. Her "children", if mentioned at all, are usually only discussed in passing. But, that is where I was always most interested. I mean, seriously, how does a woman, once beautiful, now a serpent-corpse monster, bear two children so different, after her beheading? Chrysaor, the literal golden boy, and Pegasus, a flying horse? Ok, the horse I can kind of see. Poseidon, after all, was god of the sea and his animal was often identified as a horse.

Side note: Poseidon: shaker of the earth... Trojan horse... What if the Trojan horse which crumbled the walls of Troy was really no more than an earthquake?

Back to the review: So, imagine my surprise when an author takes on this inconsistency with the Medusa myth and makes Chrysaor a liar and the real child, a daughter. Now, that is awesome! This is exactly what Ms. Bernsen does. And, in doing so, she sets in motion quite an exciting tale of what it means to love, protect, and forgive family. She also introduces a side of Perseus, and Hercules, that I found refreshing and unique.

I did have some problems with some of her choices and some of the research she did, four laid out above. The one I would like to expand on is the choice of her characters and her questionable understanding of linear time.

Perseus was the grandfather of Hercules and although they are technically brothers, they aren't really. Secondly, if Perseus were a young man, about 18 or so years old, at the time he was sent off on his quest to bring back the head of Medusa. Then, when he found her daughter as an infant, it would imply he's quite a bit older than her when they meet and fall in love. So, either Perseus still looks young for his age or she's very attracted to older men... And, lastly, Athena... uh, that part was weird. When does she pick up Leprechauns to serve her every whim?

Anyways, despite my issues, I would strongly recommend this book for lovers of mythology. It is a sweet romance with a focus on family. Enjoyable read!