Tuesday, March 14, 2017

ARC Review: Fangs & Fennel by Shannon Mayer

Series:     Venom #2
Pub. Date:Jan. 10, 2017
Length:258 pages

The Venom Trilogy is back with our super duper heroine's continued battles against her soon-to-be-ex-husband, a segregated society, and a supernatural goddess. This urban fantasy series is a melting pot of humans, supernatural and mythical creatures. I enjoy the light-hearted take on this segregated society that highlights social issues and inequality between the species.

In Venom & Vanilla, our heroine, Alena Budrene was changed into a supernatural after she contracted the Aegrus virus and was slated to die. Requesting to be made into something special, sorcerer Merlin made her into a greek monster, the Drakaina, a venomous snake that is two stories tall. Alena then begins her battle against her cheating husband who left her to die and steal her inheritance, in addition to battling the Goddess Hera and her champions.

Fangs & Fennel picks up not long after the culmination of the last story when Alena defeated Achilles. She is appearing in divorce proceedings to try to convince the human court that she should not be declared dead after becoming a supernatural, and to prevent her lousy ex from stealing her money and business. But Hera's latest hero chooses this time to show up and make her life even more difficult, and Theseus is not the dumb brute that Achilles was. Theseus is sly and crafty, and Alena has to stress that he is not coming at her in a head-on attack, but instead may whittle away at her base of support before all is said and done.

Alena is still endearingly likable. Her good girl instincts are battling her monster instincts, and the monster is starting to win. She even lets a curse word slip once or twice! I like that Alena is growing into her power and becoming more independent. She doesn't want everyone coming to her rescue all the time, and hates that people don't believe in her. I can definitely identify with that. 

Things are also heating up with the delectable mob boss vampire, Remo, and his honeyed cinnamon aura. I like these two together, but Alena needs her self-confidence boosted a bit more before she can really take on Remo. Right now he is running the show, and it would be too easy for Alena to get stuck in his gravitational pull. 

I had a good time with this one, but the ending felt a bit rushed. I was more interested in the divorce proceedings and revenge on her ex-husband than I was with Theseus and his machinations. I do enjoy this series and I am a little disappointed that it's only going to be a trilogy. I could see myself reading this one for an extended period. The secondary characters are so fun and interesting that I never get bored.

I voluntarily reviewed an advanced copy of this book that I received from the publisher, 47North.

Venom Trilogy