Laura Shepperson’s debut novel Phaedra (released as The Heroines in UK/AUS) is another new release in Greek myth retellings. The story follows Phaedra, who married Theseus after he slayed the Minotaur. This work re-examines the story from Phaedras point of view, and turns the story on its head. Ultimately, Phaedra, who is misunderstood, demands justice for the suffering and helplessness that is felt by not only herself, but for abused women everywhere.
It’s a very complex story (and controversial, as far as myths go). I won’t spoil the ending here for anyone who doesn’t know how the myth goes, but if you are interested search for Euripides’ Hippolytus myth summary.
A stark contrast between gender roles is explored within this work, showing how different expectations and beliefs were between men and women during this time in history.
IMHO the world-building left a lot to be desired, and I found the multiple POVs to be confusing at times. The challenging subject matter makes it an emotionally difficult read, in itself. Not hard, but uncomfortable to read, at times. And who am I to judge? They say good literature evokes feelings and makes you think critically…which this story definitely does. I do think this story brings a fresh twist to an old myth, and I am still excited to add this new story of Phaedra to my mythology collection 💙
Life was good in the Neosphere District. I’d made a name for myself as a renowned supernatural bounty hunter, holding the record for most harpies slayed. But the best part about living in the future? Avoiding the other Olympian gods. Banishing a guy from Olympus because he was “imperfect” tends to make one hold a grudge. Go figure. And no other god possessed the means to time travel. But I did. Thanks to the portal hopping device I forged.
Yup. Life. Was. Grand.
Until a bounty popped up on a certain love goddess. Aphrodite and I had been friends since we were wee gods. I’d be lying to myself if I never thought our “innocent” flirting banter were real on occasion—kidding myself if I said I never wanted things to go beyond platonic. Hence, why I recently kept my distance. For my own sanity. So, of course, I made the grave mistake of taking the godsdamned bounty.
*The goddess of love…*
Since reconciling with my son Eros, after centuries of bad mojo, I’d decided it was time to clean up my act. Ride the straight and narrow. My companion service, Sans Solo, became just the ticket I needed. And it allowed me to use my powers in disguise in modern California under the name Vena Milo.
With the aid of my best friends, and fellow goddesses, the Graces, we ran a legitimate business. All was right in the world.
Until the volcano god showed up. Hephaistos. Heph—a lifelong friend who never failed to confuse me mind, body, and soul. Especially when he showed up with a magical pair of handcuffs. His audacity pissed me off, but the mere sight of him, the smell of him, made my stomach flutter. That…I couldn’t deny. And when Heph’s plan goes to Tartarus things got even dicier and we became…the hunted.
Thank you so much to @turnthepagetours for teaming up with me for this great tour!