Title: The Sea Queen (2015)
Author: Jovee Winters
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Erotica
Extent: 182 pages
Review: There are some books that manage to be so, so damn good that they smash your expectations and throw them out of the window entirely. This book, unfortunately for me, is worlds too far from being one of them, I just have to share my reading experience to the world.
The story is simple: Calypso, the Greek goddess of the sea, thinks Hades, god of the underground, is super hot. When Hades gets into major trouble with the Big Guys (Zeus and the like), she swoops in and saves him–with a condition: he must live with her as a prisoner in her lair. Sex ensues.
When I read the blurb and look at the book cover, it really sounds right up my alley. Greek mythology? Check. Women who take action? Check. Interesting-ish plot? Suuuure. The Sea Queen, however, took all of those things and somehow turned them into negative things.
Calypso does not at all behave or talk like a goddess of the sea who has been reigning for centuries. Instead, she sounds like a fourteen-year-old girl trying way, way too hard to be cool. She calls Hades ‘hawt’ multiple times throughout the story—and yes, in that exact spelling—and uses the phrase ‘Bubble Butt’ as an insult. In the beginning she tried to justify it as keeping up with the times, but it just sounded really, really awkward and misplaced for me. I just found her too silly and childish, it was hard to take her seriously.
The way the blanket draped over his hipbones hid nothing from my view, but it did make him look much more naughty and had me sweating above the brow.
Damn, he was hawt.
Hades… is less irritating, but honestly not that much less. He was utterly corny and apparently really ‘hawt’, but those are the only two things I really discovered about him, and only one of them is a personality thing. His relationship with Calypso felt like it was purely based on lust, which I wouldn’t have minded at all if Winters didn’t try to at the same time pass it on as love. It was just unconvincing, unrealistic, and to be honest quite frustrating.
Additionally, this book is told from both Calypso’s and his perspectives, but I found that these alternating points of view didn’t actually progress the plot along or even reveal new bits about their characterisation. Instead, what I got from Hades’s perspective was sentences like this one:
“The hollow of your throat tastes like the sweetest of honey,” I murmured, laving my tongue along the delicate flesh, delighted to witness a rush of goose bumps raise up on her skin.
Now, I picked up The Sea Queen thinking it was a fantasy novel set in a Greek mythology-inspired setting with bits of romance and sex, so that mistake is wholly mine. If I hadn’t made that assumption and knew what it was before I started reading, I might have been more prepared for what comes after that.
As with books that I strongly dislike, I’ll always try to see the good points in them, so here are some:
- The Sea Queen has tons of sex scenes, and by that I mean tons, so if that’s what you’re looking for, maybe you’ll enjoy it.
- The characters are full of lust and really, really wacky, and if you have a strong ability to suspend disbelief and get past that, you might even have a good time.
- The humour is grade-school and really childish, which I know some people will definitely be able to take better than me.
It’s basically a Greek mythology version of Fifty Shades of Grey… except it didn’t even take itself seriously. It’s just not at all for me.