Monday, March 16, 2015

Review: The Deep End of the Sea by Heather Lyons

The Deep End of the Sea by Heather Lyons
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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.

You can't be a reader of my blog without knowing how much I love stories centered around Greek mythology.  This one is about Medusa, and I think it was long overdue.  Most stories and movies depict Medusa as being an evil creature, but when you stop and think about it, she became what she was through no fault of her own.  She was cursed into being a what she was by a jealous goddess.  So why should that change have to affect the fundamentals of her personality?  Wouldn't she still be the same person that she was underneath the outward change?

This book explores a new possibility around this myth... the idea that she is still the same, hates what she is, and is heartbroken at what one look from her can do to men.  I loved the idea of this book, and went into knowing I would enjoy it, and I absolutely loved it!

Medusa was a well-drawn character, and I loved being in her head.  It was great to see the internal angst she suffers about who her new persona has done to others, and it was saddening to see someone be so absolutely lonely.  She has only one or two people that she can interact with... one who is a God, Hermes, and one is blind so would not be affected by her curse.

I also loved the characterization of Hermes.  There are very few characters in this story, but they were very well portrayed.  I literally flew through the book.  The pacing was great, the story was sad but hopeful, and the possibility of love was gratifying.  It was almost like a reverse Beauty and the Beast.  I highly recommend this story!


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