{Review} FATHOMS BELOW and FATHOMS ABOVE by Laura Holt

O P E N I N G   H O O K:

  HE WATCHED HER, just like he had every other day of her life, just like he had watched her mother and her grandmother and her great-grandmother and her great-great grandmother, all the way back to the first of her line.

It was impossible to look away, though he had tried before. Sometimes, his responsibilities carried him to other corners of the Earth that did not have her in them, and for a while, it was easier to breathe, to fall back into the comfortable routine of who he had been before she was born. Weeks passed into months, and months turned into years. Yet in the end, he could not stay away froever. She was his heart, his soul, his reason for existing, and like a bird that migrates in the winter then returns to its nest in the spring, he always came back. He always found her again, and he always would, even if this, watching from a distance, was as close to her as he coul ever get without raising the wrath of those more powerful than him.

(Fathoms Below Page 1, US ebook edition)

    "I don't know," he rasped. His face had turned raw, naked, as if she had stripped his skin away with the power of her words, leaving only the muscles and tendons and bones behind, revealing the true person hidden beneath.


Fathoms Below (Star Crossed # 1)Fathoms Above (Star Crossed # 2)

We all know the stories about star crossed lovers, supposedly doomed to failure by forces bigger than themselves. We also know the stories of mortals moved and manipulated by the higher power of Gods and Goddesses. The Star Crossed series by Laura Holt mixes the lush, tragic romance of Romeo and Juliet with the fierce fantasy of greek mythology. Our main character Cather Stevens is young, but she's developed an aged and jaded view on love after watching it go sour and tragic for all the women in her family. It almost feels like her family is cursed.

Oh wait . . . turns out her family actually IS cursed, by the Greek God Zeus himself. Ages ago, her long-long gone ancestor, Thisbe, was the original Juliet, whose determination to be with Pyramus caused the ruler of Olympus to cast a curse. Women in Cather's bloodline carry a piece of Thisbe's soul, and the men they love are doomed to early and tragic death. The tale of the curse is brought to her on the winged feet of the one and only Hermes, a god who once supported the curse but now wants to help Cather end it.

Love rushes in on Cather hard in this series, crashing over her carefully constructed walls and sweeping her up in feelings she worries she's not actually in control of. First there's Hermes himself, the moments where he is vulnerable and raw pulling her in, and then there's Peter Gannis, the descendant of Pyramus whose soft, kind nature calls to Cather and the soul pieces of Thisbe. It's enough trying to sort out the push and pull of her own emotions, trying to figure out what love feels like when it's braced with responsibility to end a curse and save others in her family from future pain. Add in the fact that Zeus isn't keen on having his curse undone and the stakes are even higher as Cather has to evade attacks from beings she thought belonged to fictional myths of older days.

The Star Crossed series is absolutely love-soaked. It's filled with the instant, love at first sight pull of Romeo and Juliet, but then it comes with the same tragic question of "what next, how do we live like this, how do we move on, how much can we sacrifice for this?" Holt adds in complicated layers, hesitation and doubt, and all of the action and fantasy swirls around the core of the story and fills it out till the world feels whole. And I fell so in love with all of the mythology stories that were familiar, and the way Holt gripped them by the edges and shifted them into her storyline in ways that felt natural. The adventures are long, and the series is due to have five books total at the moment, which gives you plenty of time to get wrapped up in the world and feel the pressure of fate against the back of your own neck.

Click here to check out Laura Holt's guest post about the writing process, just in time for the midway point of NanoWrimo!!!


Content Ratings: highlight between ( ) for details

Romance: PG13 (Kissing, light making out, sexual innuendo)
Language: PG ( No cursing.)
Violence: PG13 (.There's some moderate violence during the fight scenes in this novel, and a few deaths that are handled quickly and not overly graphically )
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

The covers make sure you know that you're about to dive into a fantasy. There's magic, a hint of mystery and a sense of urgency in the open pages of the book on the first cover. The cover for FATHOMS ABOVE is my favorite so far for the series; the lit up ferris wheel is absolutely stunning and ethereal.
O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Author: Laura Holt
Release Date: November 30th, 2016
Publisher: The Book Patch
Received: For Review

Cather Stevens doesn’t love. Not now, not ever. She has spent her entire life watching love ruin her mother, her aunts, her cousins, her grandmother, and she made a vow a long time ago that she would never let that happen to her. But when she meets a winged boy named Hermes who tells her that she is the key to ending the star crossed curse that has plagued the women in her family for centuries, she will have to redefine everything she knows about love, life, and herself.

With more than just her own heart on the line, she must find the location of her great-great grandmother’s diary. It was hidden long ago, fathoms below her town, and holds the answers to all of her questions, especially one: are the fairy tales and Greek myths that she grew up hearing actually fiction like she was taught to believe, or are they something more…something real?

O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Author: Laura Holt
Release Date: August 8th, 2017
Publisher: KDP
Received: For Review

Cather Stevens is the many time’s great granddaughter of Thisbe, the original Juliet, whose determination to be with her true love Pyramus caused a star crossed curse to be cast over all the women in her family. This curse, created by Zeus, King of the gods, has lasted for centuries, and has doomed more men than Cather can count, including her own father, to early graves. Only Cather possesses the ability to break it, and with the help of Hermes, the Book Keeper and Messenger of the gods, that is what she intends to do.

The gods don’t make anything easy, though, especially when a mortal dares to challenge the divine. Soon, Cather finds herself pitted in a race against time against Athena, the goddess of Wisdom and Battle Strategy, who will stop at nothing to prevent Cather and Hermes from reaching their destination: Salem, Massachusetts, where Peter Ganis, the last living descendant of Pyramus’s bloodline, lives. Because of his ancestor’s tie to Thisbe, a marriage to Peter will help Cather end her family’s curse once and for all. But can she love a mortal boy, or will the shattered pieces of her soul forever belong to Hermes?