My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Publication Date: February 5th 2014
Publisher: Cerulean Books
Genres & Themes: NA, Urban Mythology, Romance, Retellings, Family
What if all the legends you’ve learned were wrong?
Brutally attacked by one god and unfairly cursed by another she faithfully served, Medusa has spent the last two thousand years living out her punishment on an enchanted isle in the Aegean Sea. A far cry from the monster legends depict, she’s spent her time educating herself, gardening, and desperately trying to frighten away adventure seekers who occasionally end up, much to her dismay, as statues when they manage to catch her off guard. As time marches on without her, Medusa wishes for nothing more than to be given a second chance at a life stolen away at far too young an age.
But then comes a day when Hermes, one of the few friends she still has and the only deity she trusts, petitions the rest of the gods and goddesses to reverse the curse. Thus begins a journey toward healing and redemption, of reclaiming a life after tragedy, and of just how powerful friendship and love can be—because sometimes, you have to sink in the deep end of the sea before you can rise back up again.
An original retelling of Medusa’s story.
She is a maiden, serving Athena, when, one day, Poseidon, with whom she had the pleasure to converse and could even call ‘friend’, raped her. Athena was furious, for Medusa lost her virginity in her temple, and sent her to an isle she can’t escape from and cursed her into the monster we know and truly call ‘Medusa.’ The one who can turn any living being to stone, if they ever have the pleasure to hold her gaze…
I often wonder what my own death will be like, if I am ever blessed to embrace it. I’m not picky in my imagining: I’ll take any sort by this point. Logically, I’d prefer a less painful exit, but, knowing my luck, it’ll be as ruthless as once reported and still widely believed.
Our Medusa has a sense of humour. What is different about this mythological being is that she doesn’t want to kill people and feels awful when, by any unfortunate reason, she does. Medusa doesn’t think she has the right to keep on living after killing sixty-three humans and her motivation to waking up every morning lowers as time goes by.
That is, until Hermes, her best friend, becomes resolute to free her from this prison and this body who isn’t hers – the curse. As a protagonist, Medusa was one who incited many contradictions inside me. I considered her as a pure, kind and simply unlucky creature, when she did kill others, even though it may not have always been her intention. Overall, I couldn’t help but empathize with her story and situation though and found her to be a courageous girl.
Hermes, Hermes, Hermes…You are one faithful and loyal lover. His love for Medusa is true and impossible to break.
‘‘There is something you need to understand about the gods,’’ he says softly in my ear. ‘‘When we fall in love, it’s forever love. Even if you decide one day that you do not love me anymore, I will still always feel this way for you.’’
It’s been a long time since I’ve read about such a swoon-worthy love-interest. He stole my heart as he did with Medusa’s and I couldn’t help but wish for him to say more of those beautiful words. The only thing that I found banal about their couple is that they don’t actually do many things together, except for having sex. I mean, they do talk like a normal couple would – obviously – but we don’t see them much together, since the plot isn’t mainly focused on that. I would have liked more scenes with them as a couple.
What made me cringe my teeth is the fact that this story takes place in our century, when this is not usually something I like when reading mythological books – except for Percy Jackon. Plus, even the gods talked in a modern way, saying word like ‘fuck’ and some of our expressions.
And, there’s also this:
Hades doesn’t look up from his iPad, on which he’s been reading the morning’s news and reports from the Underworld.
Really? Is that truly possible? I’m not sure it is. So, this story did feel a little bit unrealistic, to me.
Other than that, I loved seeing the relationship between, not only Medusa and Hermes, but also Medusa and Hades, Persephone and Death – whom I grew fond of. The gods’ personalities weren’t all the ones we may associate with them, especially regarding Athena’s, whom looked like a choleric and ruthless woman, but they were still intriguing characters.
The writing, well, like I said, this is urban mythology, which I did not know, so the writing didn’t please me very much. It gave too many unrealistic features to our well-known gods, sadly.
I do think this is something that is worth reading, if mythology is a genre you love. However, it is important to know that every Greek god acts in a modern way and has adapted to our century, for it has an impact on heir way of speaking. If you think this will not bother you, then I would highly recommend this read! If you think it will, well, there are still some other elements in this that can be enjoyable. Those are the ones I hung on to.
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If Medusa were a boy,
I wouldn’t complain.