Book Review: Nymph by Tonya Alexandra

Nymph (The Love Oracles #1)

Title: Nymph (The Love Oracles #1)
Author: Tonya Alexandra
Genre: Mythology, Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: Walker Books Australia
Publication Date: 1st February 2014
Pages: 432
Rating: 3 stars

Please feel free to check out my interview with Tonya as a part of the Nymph blog tour hosted by Walker Books Australia!

Synopsis (from goodreads):
An idyllic Greek island. Obsessed demigods. A fallen nymph. A mortal boy. Merope, a beautiful but faded star nymph, is banished to Earth for displeasing the gods. She tries to fit in, go to school and live a normal “human” life. And then she meets Lukas … but relationships between men and goddesses are forbidden. Will their love grow? Or will Merope and Lukas feel the wrath of the gods?

My Review:

Merope has lived for thousands of years as a star nymph in the land of gods, Olympus. But life isn’t always easy for the faded star nymph. She’s been exiled to Earth and has had to leave her sisters behind. Living like a mortal is worlds apart from her other life but Merope is starting to see that there might be benefits to a human existence. One of which is the gorgeous and kind Lukas, a farm boy with exquisite imperfections. Romantic relation between a goddess and a mortal are forbidden but the way Merope feels is like nothing she’s felt before in all her immortal existence. Is a chance at forbidden romance worth the punishment the gods met out?

I’ve read quite a few modern takes on classic myths but never before have I read one about star nymphs. I was intrigued by the idea and the romance angle drew me in. Merope is ancient in comparison to mortals but rather naive about so many things. She’s lived in the shadow of her sisters her entire life and would prefer to hide in corners than take centre stage. But she has some spark to her. Rejecting a god who has been after her for centuries and then living with the consequences of her actions. For a nymph who has only ever called Olympus home, being exiled to modern-day Greece is such a shock but Merope does try to make the most of things. She enrols in a local school to learn as much as she can about humans. She makes some friends and she even goes as far as trying to embrace technology.

And then there’s Lukas. He’s hideous perfection in Merope’s eyes. The son of a local farmer with whom Merope falls for at first sight. I’m not usually one for instalove. But their initial chemistry works for me because if I can suspend belief and believe in mythological gods on Earth wearing Nike and driving sports cars, then I can believe in love at first sight within the world this book exists in. I would have liked to see rationale behind their fierce feelings been built on throughout the book (some kind of moments where despite already being in love, have causation behind falling deeper) but they do have some tender scenes and I can barrack for them as a couple.

Along for the ride on Earth – we get to see other Greek heroes experience life the mortal way. Merope’s Uncle Pro (Prometheus) is helping her adapt in the foreign place and I liked his presence in her life. Merope’s mother is an interesting character who I do hope we get to see more of in the series but the character I wanted to read about most was Hercules. Herc isn’t anything like the hero Disney made him out to be. He’s arrogant and conceited and has a proclivity for nymphs but he’s so entertaining. Gorgeous and vain, he is everything Lukas isn’t – and he knows it. A hero in the legends of old, his presence in the mortal world shakes things up a bit. I love reading his interactions with the modern world and how Merope reacts to him. He brings the a fierceness out in her and made her a little more real to read.

Nymph, the first book in the Love Oracles series, is an entertaining read. It’s surprisingly funny in parts and the romance is sweet and pure. There’s friendship and the pressures of family all coexisting in a lovely re-imagining of ancient Greek mythology. An easy read, this book is suited for younger teens and older readers who enjoy stories about true love and soul mates.

Thanks to Walker Books Australia for the review copy. 

Purchase the novel from:

Booktopia | Book Depository | BookWorld

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Blog Tour: Q&A with Tonya Alexandra, Author of The Love Oracles: Nymph

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I am delighted to be sharing with you my post for part of The Love Oracles: Nymph blog tour. I was lucky enough to get to ask the author, Tonya Alexandra, some questions about her debut novel as well as about writing and life in general.

For those of you unfamiliar with this novel, Nymph tells the story of Merope. She’s a star nymph, beautiful beyond mortal comprehension, who finds herself cast out of Olympus and forced to live on Earth for a while. Merope tries to make the most of her situation by learning as much about the humans as she can but complications arise when she finds herself falling in love with Lukas. Relations between goddesses and mortals are forbidden but the way Merope feels towards Lukas is unlike anything she’s experienced in her thousands of years of being immortal.

There’s a great cast of characters with immortals mixing with modern-day Grecians and a beautiful romance between star-crossed lovers, Merope and Lukas.

Q&A with Tonya Alexandra

  • Have you always been interested in Greek Mythology?

It seeped into my subconscious through my grandparents. When I was small they told me Greek myths while pointing out the stars. I completely forgot about this until I read Jeanette Winterson’s book Weight, which is about the titan Atlas. It was like something awoke in me and I felt compelled to research Atlas, which is where I encountered the Pleiades and Merope.

  • Nymph is about Merope, faded Star Nymph who has been banished to Earth. There are not a lot of novels about Nymphs. I loved getting to read about something a little bit different. What made you decide to write about nymphs – Merope in particular?

The myth about Merope is that her star is the faded one in the Pleiades constellation because she is ashamed of marrying a mortal. When I read this it just seemed obvious that it was her tale I needed to tell. Nobody should be ashamed of who they fall in love with – even if it does enrage the gods (or your mum!)

  • Are there any similarities between you and Merope?

Merope is the youngest sister as am I. It is a strange position, you idolise and adore your elder siblings and yet you get pushed around by them. It’s a rocky combination.

I am also a bit shy and unsure of myself. And I went to high school in the country so I’ve had some major crushes on farm boys!

  • One of my favourite things about your novel was getting to see ancient beings experiencing Modern Day Grecian technology and vernacular. Was it hard getting into your characters heads and imagining how they would cope in the mortal world today?

Not at all because I am a bit of a Luddite myself. I am a pen and paper lass. I’ve had friends pushing me to use facebook and twitter – and I admit, I’m coming around. Especially this new Instagram account I’ve started from Merope’s POV. I’m taking images of any mortal madness I come across – which is everywhere! I’d love for readers to join in and post things they think are mad. Instagram/MeropeOnEarth or #nymph #loveoracles

  • Many authors are categorized as being either plotters (having plotted their novels out in advance) or pantsers (writing by the seat of their pants). Would you consider yourself to be a plotter, a pantser or a little of both?

I have a general idea of what should happen in a chapter, then I just let the characters talk it out. For example, I had the idea that Herc and Con should go shopping, but that was it. I put them on the pier and they wandered off and into town and things just happened; the credit card incident, the coming across the Nike shoes, it just wrote itself.

(The scene Tonya is talking about is one of my favourite in the book! Herc is a brilliant character and I couldn’t believe half the stuff he came out with!)

  •  You have been a writer for a while however Nymph is your first novel. Did you always want to write fiction?

Yes, because I love imagination – the world would not progress without it. The thing that amazes me about fiction is that anything is possible. Anything. Reality doesn’t do much for me – but just the thought ‘imagine if …’ gives me chills.

  • What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I love to sit with my three boys and draw. We can do it for hours, it’s very special. I also love taking my puppy Lola to the beach and watching her joyous face as she rushes about in the waves.

  • What are you currently reading?

I’ve just finished Patrick Ness, More Than This. Which had me going ‘where the hell is he!?’ on every page. Next up, Ambelin Kwaymullina’s, Interrogation of Ashala Wolf, which I am very excited to start.

  • The second book in the Love Oracles series, Heavenly Longing, is coming soon. In a few words, would you be able to tell us a little of what to expect?

Loads more love – but the book is set on Mount Olympus so I got to imagine what Olympian society was like. (Expect more misbehaving gods.) Merope is causing trouble, questioning her role as a docile nymph. Lukas becomes a hero in his own right as he attempts to rescue her.  

  •  Do you have anything specific you would like to say to your readers?

I just want them to enjoy the read. It would be great if they got inspired to learn more about Greek Mythology, but it really doesn’t matter. Reading is fun, it doesn’t need to be more than that. And I would love to hear from them! www.facebook.com/loveoracles twitter.com/Tonya_Alexandra

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions. I loved reading Nymph and can’t wait to see what’s next for Merope and Lukas!

Thanks Kate. I enjoyed answering your questions. 

 

Doesn’t Tonya sound lovely? I appreciate her taking time out from her busy life to answer my questions. And The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf is a fantastic book. We’re pretty lucky to have so many great Aussie authors writing fascinating and unique stories.

If you’re interested in Nymph, be sure to check out some of the others stops on the tour.

Monday 17th March
Jeann @ Happy Indulgence Books

Tuesday 18th March
Brittany @ Nice Girls Read Books

Wednesday 19th March
Alishia @ Treasured Tales for Young Adults

Thursday 20th March
Joy @ Thoughts by J

Friday 21st March
Kate @ whYAnot Reviews (That’s me!)

Saturday 22nd March
Rochelle @ rlsharpe

Sunday 23rd March
Kelly @ Diva Book Nerd

Monday 24th March
Mandy @ The Bookish Manicurist

Title: Nymph (The Love Oracles #1) Link to GoodreadsNymph (The Love Oracles #1)
Author: Tonya Alexandra
Publisher: Walker Books
Genre: Mythology, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 432

Be sure to come back tomorrow to read my review for Nymph 🙂