RELEASE DAY-REVIEW : Taking Medusa – Dark Gods Rising #1 – S.M. McCoy

Taking Medusa Book Cover Taking Medusa
Series: Dark Gods Rising #1
S.M. McCoy
Folklore, Fairy Tale, Mythology
Broken Books L.L.C.
October 3, 2023

My blood can cure death, but it can also be the deadliest poison on Earth, and the gods will try to kill me just for existing. Hades wants me to join him. Zeus is still bitter about an age-old prophecy that the dark gods, the monsters of Tartarus, will rule Olympus. And Poseidon is the key to everything, maybe even my heart, but his son, Triton, rules Atlantis, and I accidentally killed his daughter, Coraline.

All I know for certain is the gods have mistreated us ‘monsters’ long enough, and I’m yanking through the ribbons of fate to change my history before I’m beheaded all over again.

My name is Alessandra, most call me Aless, and I had no idea my family was more than just superstitious, they were hiding me from the gods, and lying about who I was.

I was Medusa.

And now that the gods have found me… I’m destined to die.

Using current known Greek myths as we know them and retelling them from Medusa’s perspective. After all, history is written by the victors, and the bards got the story all wrong. Poets were influenced by the reigning Olympians, and Medusa still lives in Florida after convincing her over protective mom to let her go to college. Her previous life was erased from memory so the gods wouldn’t find her, but fate has a way of repeating itself, and the sea is calling for her return.

A paranormal myth and legends adventure romance that will have you flipping pages well past your bedtime to know what happens next as the dark gods rise up and prove being a hero is a matter of perspective.

Reviewed by Linda Tonis

Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team

Alessandra (Alessa) has lived a very sheltered life and now at the age to attend college and with a desire to be a doctor her mother is hesitant to let her leave. It is her sister Theo who convinces their mother that everything will be okay and that she will make sure Alessa stays away from the sea, a constant threat that she heard all her life. Beware of sharks, beware of the water and Alessa had no idea why.

She is finished with college and waiting to go to medical school but when she hears a girl screaming for help, she does the one thing her mother always warned her about she swam out into the sea looking to save the drowning girl. Unfortunately, Alessa would learn firsthand what her mother was warning her about because she was tricked by a merwoman who attacks her and demands her legs. Alessa is hurt and she defends herself by biting Coraline, King Titan’s last living daughter. Her blood was always able to save and heal but it worked totally opposite with Coraline her blood poisoned her and she died.

Alessa is brought to Atlantis to face Titan fearing she will be imprisoned or killed but Titan was hesitant to take any action and confined her with his Sentinel, Dion to ensure she did not attempt to escape. From the moment Alessa was brought to Atlantis she had no idea how her life would change and the secrets that her family kept from her. She doesn’t appear to be as much of an unknown as she would have expected just one of many secrets to be revealed.

Alessa’s family wiped out her memories and she would discover what she is and who she is. Everyone refers to her as a sea nymph but if she is how did she come close to drowning when she was fighting Coraline? While she is with Dion, she finds herself being drawn to him, but it is Titan that shows he is attracted to her. She is determined to find a way to escape but every exit proves impossible to get past. A giant octopus is protecting Atlantis, so that exit is out, then the only way to get free without drowning is to leave by chariot but once again it would leave her open to attack.

Atlantis is a paradise but even paradise without freedom is not appealing to Alessa. She has been told that she is the splitting image of Medusa, her doppelganger but what does that mean. Another secret that Alessa will discover needs to be unraveled. Of course, this book is a retelling of Greek myth, Gods, Goddesses, the Fates, Zeus, Hera and Poseidon. Poseidon disappeared and turned his trident over to his son Titan and Titan resents him for leaving, another secret needing an answer.

What would a Greek myth be without Dark Gods, Hades, secrets, surprises, betrayals, lies and this book had it all and then some. I started this book, put it down to have dinner, picked it up again and the next time I put it down I was finished. The end left me with unanswered questions which I look forward to having answered in book two. It is a tribute to this book because those kinds of endings usually result in a less than favorable rating, but this book was too good to let that bother me.



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