I am super thrilled to bring you my review of The Deep End of the Sea by Heather Lyons as part of the tour organized by Inkslinger PR. If you have been following my blog for a while, you know that I am a big fan of the Fate Series by Heather Lyons, so I was very excited to read something else by her. Also, I love mythology so when I heard that The Deep End of the Sea featured Medusa and a whole host of Greek gods and goddesses, I knew I wanted to read it. So without further ado, check out the synopsis then scroll down for my review. Thanks for stopping by, and remember to enter the giveaway at the end of the post.
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.
Within the first chapter of The Deep End of the Sea, I knew that I was going to go on quite the ride. I was hooked by the end of that chapter, and the book only got better. As I sped through the pages, I found myself anxious to get to the next page and quite a few times my over-eager thumb would advance to the next page. I just HAD to know what would come next.
Forget everything you thought you knew about Greek Mythology as Lyons throws these notions off of Mount Olympus and brilliantly weaves new histories for Greece’s gods and goddesses.
Let’s start with Medusa, as she is the main character. Roughly 2,023 years old, Medusa is not the monster you thought her to be, is not the monster she thinks herself to be, but is one of the most beautiful souls that has appeared in a book I’ve read in ages. She is strong-willed and ever-learning, and feels deeply for those she has turned to stone. Most heartbreaking is that she is tortured by what has happened to her to make her the snake-haired half-serpent. Bless Lyons for creating ways for her to hold on to her humanity in Mikkos and Hermes. I won’t go into Mikkos here, I think you just need to read the book for yourself to see what he’s all about.
We see Hermes through Medusa’s eyes (as we do everyone and everything else), and it is not hard to tell that Hermes is wonderful inside and out. He’s swoon-worthy for sure, but he is so much more. He truly belongs on a book-boyfriend pedestal. Their 2,000 year old back story is ripe with timidness on Medusa’s part as Hermes tries to gain her trust and warmth and understanding on Hermes’s part as he refuses to give up on Medusa. It is a story of true friendship. Insta-love it is not (and can I just say how refreshing that is?), although you’ll be rooting for this pair as soon as Hermes sets foot on Medusa’s island prison/haven.
The rest of the gods and goddesses are dynamic in their own ways, even if they do not seem it at first. They are not all benevolent, although you wouldn’t expect them to be, but there are some surprises in this regard (in both directions!). I won’t spoil any for you, but there are some you will love, others you’ll despise, and others that will completely surprise you (for good and bad reasons). Lyons does a wonderful job with them all.
The settings are diverse and richly described from Medusa’s island to Olympus to settings Medusa can only remember or imagine. Her island was my favorite with the care that she affords it and the island residents (read: statues and flowers). I also enjoyed a surprise location that I cannot mention because to do so would be one of those spoilers that would make you go, “what?”, so you’ll just need to find it out for yourself. You’ll know when you get there, and it would not be the same story without Medusa having to be there.
The Deep End of the Sea will have you running the gamut of emotions, all of which are so real and tangible, that I did more than just empathize with her situations. I at times felt anger and disgust, my skin crawled, my pulse raced, and I squealed with delight. My jaw dropped too, just wait until you get to that ending! The twists are amazing and make for a perfect ending.
Lyons was not afraid throw punches and tackle difficult subjects and I think she addresses them realistically and in such a way that the message is one of empowerment and love. It is beautiful.
If I were a goddess I would be ordering people to read this book, but since I am not, I am highly recommending that you do grab a copy and get reading. I truly enjoyed this book and have high hopes that you will too.
About the Author
Heather Lyons has always had a thing for words—She’s been writing stories since she was a kid. In addition to writing, she’s also been an archaeologist and a teacher. Heather is a rabid music fan, as evidenced by her (mostly) music-centric blog, and she’s married to an even larger music snob. They’re happily raising three kids who are mini music fiends who love to read and be read to.