Title: Venom and Vanilla
Author: Shannon Mayer
Series: The Venom Trilogy #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: 47 North
Pub Date: November 1, 2016
My Copy: Courtesy of NetGalley and 47North
Successful Seattle baker Alena Budrene doesn’t want to die. But when she’s infected with a lethal virus spread by supernatural beings, her only chance for recovery is to make a deal with the devil—or in this case, a warlock.
Though he saves her life, it looks nothing like the life she once knew—and neither does she. Alena is a new breed of “Supe” no one has ever seen before. Even the supernatural police don’t know what she is. Now exiled to the northern side of the Wall, which marks the divide between humans and Supes, Alena is thrust into a dark and magical new world.
But just as she begins to adjust to all things supernatural, she realizes that her transformation is the least of her worries—and it was no accident. She was chosen…to be killed by a Greek hero trying to make a name for himself once more.
Alena was brought up to be subservient, preferring creating to fighting, and vanilla and honey to blood. But that was then. Now, to survive, she must stand up for herself—and this time she’s got fangs. But will she be ready to use them?
A wickedly good fun novel that really shows that sometimes life can have other plans for you. Alena Budrene is not a person who expects that while she is dying, that her life is going to get a lot more complicated.
I like that Alena is someone who at the start of this book is accepting of her situation, but yet her friends and relatives, think that there might be a way out of her illness. Yet Alena’s douchebag husband has already moved on with another woman and asks Alena to transfer her bakery to him. Her relatives are upset, but her grandmother knows a warlock who might be able to cure her illness. Alena knows there is a cost to dealing with a warlock and the cure might be more painful than she thinks. We find out that there is a cost but Merlin is quite a character himself. He doesn’t sell it to her quite as well. Yet, eventually she agrees to become a paranormal.
When Alena becomes a paranormal or a Supe as they are called in this wall, she learns that her brother, Tad was the one who paid for her to become a paranormal creature. We learn that Alena is now considered dead and no longer can have legal rights. Yet we learn that Merlin made her into something very interesting, a Drakina, a Greek mythological creature. We also learn that there is a conflict between Zeus and Hera.
Then we also learn that Achilles wants to kill Alena. She doesn’t know why this is happening. We learn that there was a curse place on Alena’s family from a long time ago, because of Zeus having an indiscretion with one of Alena’s ancestors. This leads to Alena and Achilles having some fights with one another. Achilles believes himself to be the hero and that it’s his mission to get rid of certain supes, who he believes are evil.
This book was really good. I also enjoyed a lot of the other characters we got introduced. Alena has to make some deals and decisions that she would haven’t made pre supes life. Remo, Tad, Dahlia. This world is filled with vampires, snakes, Gods, Warlocks, and other creatures. The characters are interesting. I think this makes me much more interested in what will happen next in the series.
Achilles gets beaten, but not in the way you expect. Alena finds out that she is much more powerful than she thought possible. I also love how we learn how many people have secrets. Yet, we haven’t even scratched the surface of this world.
I really enjoyed Alena and the cast of characters in this world. Can’t wait to read the next few books in this series.