Source: Mark My Words
Edition: ebook, 270 Pages
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
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Love is honey sweet, but it comes with a fatal sting . . .
Melaina Maris needs wings to fly the gap between loving Sam and her family’s ancient curse that forces carnal love and then kills the male lovers. She won’t let the same fate that killed her father befall another. She refuses to allow her goddess-created bloodline to continue. But there’s no easy way out, especially after the curse turns her into the Honey Queen—savior to honey bees—intensifying her charms.
To help her fulfill the curse’s demands in the least harmful way, her grandmother takes her to mate with terminally ill Boyd. But Boyd’s gay. And an expert in mythology. Instead of having sex, Melaina learns how she might summon the goddess who created the first ancestor bee-charmer and cursed her bloodline. Melaina’s magic—tears to save honey bees from endangerment—could be enough to persuade the goddess to end the curse. But an unexpected discovery soon changes that hope, spinning Melaina into a swarm of love, friendship and death.
Honey Queen is a surprisingly unique take on the mythology angle we see in so many YA and MG books now. Instead of following in the footsteps of other authors Christina breaks away and spins her own standout tale.
It’s no secret that I love mythology and I love seeing it incorporated into stories in new ways, and that’s just what has happened here. Honey Queen focuses on Melaina and her rather intense connection with the honey bees that she cares for. She’s linked to them by centuries old magic and a curse that has dominated the lives of those that came before her. As she learns to navigate this power, it begins to grow and shape into something completely different and as a result the curse takes on a new life. I loved that she took a rather overlooked section of mythology, the Honey Bee, and showed just how important their roles is in the world both now and in the past. All of the history and flashbacks that Christina includes only serve to enrich the story and watching Mel try to take the curse headon kept me hooked. I did find the fact that as she become physically ready to bear a child the more the curse drove her to do so a bit weird…I felt bad for her, especially given the fact that bear a man’s child sentences him to death. The gods do take part in the story, but not in a way that they become the dominating factor.
Melaina is a great main character, and mostly self reliant in her decisions. She’s capable of thinking outside of the box and pushing limits, and even when faced with hard choices she tries her hardest to do the right thing as opposed to what she deems selfish. I love that while she hates her curse she never once blames the bees she’s grown up caring for. Her best friend Sam, is one that I wish I had a bit more time to learn about. It’s clear they both care for each other but Melaina tries to keep him at a distance and because of that I felt a bit disconnected with him, however I did enjoy seeing the flashbacks of their childhood and loved his support (even when he doesn’t believe everything she tells him). Boyd is fantastic. He becomes Melaina’s rock when the curse goes into full effect and he tries to help her any way he can, and I really loved his attitude about everything.
Overall this was a really awesome story. I enjoyed the fresh take on mythology in YA, and I really wish more authors would tackle the lesser known stories like this.
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