Friday, November 4, 2016

Freebie Friday Review: Venom & Vanilla by Shannon Mayer

Series:     Venom Trilogy #1
Pub. Date:Nov 1, 2016
Publisher:47North
Length:240 pages
Source:Kindle First

The Venom trilogy promises to be a surprisingly fun and light-hearted urban fantasy series from Shannon Mayer. This author is allowing us to view serious social issues such as equality and segregation from the humorous aspect of supernaturals (a/k/a super dupers) and caricatures of the Greek pantheon.

Alena Budrene seemingly had everything she wanted in life... a husband, nice house and successful bakery business. But when she is struck with the fatal Aegrus virus, Alena discovers that things were not quite as they seemed. Discovering that her husband was a "donkey butthole" on her deathbed, this good girl goes against everything she believes in to be saved from the deadly virus, and become a supernatural and the monster of monsters. I have to say that Alena's character was endearingly likable. It was nice to see her genuine good girl persona war with reality, and she transforms from a meek miss who never curses or takes the Lord's name in vain, to a modern bombshell who relaxes her strict ideals without losing them altogether.

After Alena becomes a monster, she has to battle against the Greek hero Achilles who is out to destroy her in the name of his patron goddess, Hera. I enjoyed watching Alena interact in the new supernatural world, gathering friends and foes alike. The Stymphalian birds were interesting - I had never heard of their mythological makeup so I had to do a little wiki research. There is a such a wide variety of super dupers in this series that I believe I will enjoy seeing what kind of monsters Mayer gives us next.

While there was no strict romance in this story, there is the promise of a pairing on the horizon. Remo, the vampire mob boss, promises to be a dark and sultry partner for Alena. I believe he will be an asset as she both fights future Greek heroes, and will also make sure she takes care of herself personally. Mayer did great with his imagery making you think of a luxurious sultry nature with the comforting smells of honey and cinnamon. 

Overall, this was a quick and enjoyable read that I would recommend to fans of urban fantasy, paranormal romance and/or mythological fantasy.

I received this book for free as part of the Kindle First program for Prime members.