The Deep End of the Sea by Heather Lyons (review+giveaway)

18844839From GoodReads: 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.


I read Deep End of the Sea when I was in the deepest of book funks and when this gem arrived, I knew I would be in good hands.  And I was absolutely right because I was whisked away to a world where anything is possible!  It’s a refreshing read in the sense that it’s unique (love that!) and there are fabulous little twists and turns along the way.  This is a modern day tale about Medusa and how she came to be.

The story is relatively light but the focal point about what happens to Medusa that turns her into a monster is brutal but it’s not so detailed that you’ll cringe, however it’s informative enough.  I use the word monster loosely because while she can turn people to stone and she has snakes in her hair, she has a heart of gold.

“Thus, not only am I a monster, I’m a really lousy one.  A lonely, classic Five States of Grief following, insecure, shut-in of a pathetic beast who talks to the snakes on her head and the statues on her island.”

Over time (like thousands of years over time) she develops a deep and meaningful friendship with Hermes.  Trust me when I say, Hermes is not what I expected and this is the version I loved.  Once the curse is lifted, she has to heal from the trauma of everything that happened to her pre-snakes in the hair and after.  And who is there every step of the way declaring his love for her??  You guessed it…Hermes.  Ladies be prepared to swoon!

“Hermes’ arms go around my thin, misshapen body, pulling me into the warm of his chest.  I resist, my own limbs as stiff as those inhabiting the island with us, but my friend will not let common sense dictate the right choice.”

I think my only two call-outs are: I wanted more time with the other gods, they were brought in later on in the story but their presence only made the story richer.  And lastly, as much as I loved Medusa…initially, I had a hard time connecting to her.  I can’t pin point exactly why but I think it had something to do with her being too perfect (snakes and all) and I tend to love a flawed heroine.

“Death isn’t beautiful.  Too often than not, it’s messy and brutal; even when done in sleep, there’s still that theft of breath, that failure of a heart.  Death is an act of violence.”

I’m over simplifying this review and I’m leaving plenty of details out on purpose.  If you follow my reviews, it comes as no surprise that I don’t recap but instead tell you what worked, what didn’t and what I absolutely adored.  And this story was absolutely heartwarming and fabulous.  If you are in the mood for something different, crave talented writing and need a story that will leave you completely satisfied, look no further because this is it! ;)



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“Where are Hades and Persephone?” I ask, glancing around the empty living room. They are nowhere to be seen tonight; neither are any of the Automatons.

The corner of Hermes’ mouth quirks. “Out. Possibly in the Underworld. One never knows with those two.”

Relief unfurls in the muscles in my shoulders. Still, I can’t help but ask, “Without saying goodbye?”

He’s definitely amused. “Shall I fetch them for you?”

“No!” My answer is too quick, which I fear broadcasts just how ecstatic I am at the thought of being along with Hermes right now. And that realization causes me to blush for the millionth time around him in the last month, so I clarify, “Of course not. I was just curious.”

“Curiosity killed the cat, you know.” To my delight, his hand finds mine and our fingers intertwine. It is a delicious sensation: his hand, warm and worn in mine in just such a way that feels like it’s an extension of my body.

It must be criminal to adore touching someone so much.

“Did it, though?” I ask, and he laughs a burst of exasperated air.

“Possibly, but then again, who am I to judge, when I am often struck by curiosity that I cannot help but sate?” He gives me that dazzling grin of his and pulls me through the house. “Case in point: you.”

“Me?” I squeak unattractively. There are lights ahead through the French doors leading to the patio, and I am curious myself enough to wonder what they are, but not nearly as much as I am for what he might mean.

“Yes, you.” He glances back at me. “I’ve never told you that I was overcome with curiosity when I heard Athena cursed some girl from one of her temples. It wasn’t like it was the first time she’d gone vindictively bonkers, but she was really put out over you. I mean . . . one of her followers? Even that was low for her.” His fingers squeeze mine gently and we stop about twenty feet from the doors. “When I first showed up on your island . . .”

I am helpless at looking anywhere but in his eyes. Tonight, they’re green. Vivid, beautiful, clear green. “Yes?”

“I’d been warned that you were a monster and that I best keep my distance. That you would slay me at the slightest provocation, and naturally, I believed it, as I could not blame anyone’s hatred toward my family after what my sister and uncle had done to you. But once Death handed me that first soul and departed, I heard you crying. My curiosity inflamed tenfold. What kind of so-called monster weeps like her heart had shattered and never would form whole again?”

Like clockwork, my cheeks burn. His fingers brush my reddened skin ever so gently before I turn my face to rest in his hand. The butterflies in my chest swarm frantically. “My sister misjudged you. I knew that the very second I heard your anguish. I’m afraid I was lost to you from that moment on. I had to discover all that made you you, even if I would suffer the same fate as the proverbial cat. And I never cared about the risks, as long as my curiosity about you was sated first.”

“Truly?” The word barely escapes my lips.

His eyes are so intense. “Truly.”

About Heather Lyons:


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.

Author Links:

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