Monday, December 17, 2012

Book Review: Persephone

Persephone
(Daughters of Zeus #1)
Published By:  Musa Publishing
Publication Date:  July 6th, 2012
Page Count:  237 pages
Buy it at:  Amazon
Source:  Ebook Provided by Author
  Audience:  Young Adult Fantasy/Mythology


Kaitlin Bevis took traditional Greek mythology and put a modern/teen twist on it that I think will appeal to many folks. 

I've always enjoyed retellings of well-loved fairy tales and mythology but I have to admit that my knowledge of Greek mythology wasn't all that extensive going into this.  I knew of the big guys....Zeus, Hades, Poseidon...and I only vaguely knew of Persephone's legend.  Thank goodness for Wikipedia explaining some of the folklore behind some of these mythological characters because I might not have caught a lot of their significances and how it related to this story. 

As you can tell by the title...this is Persephone's story, albeit loosely based on the ancient folklore as it has a very modern twist.  Kora (as Persephone was first introduced to us by her middle name) is a beautiful 16 year old who is about to have her 'normal' life turned upside down by learning she is anything but 'normal'...she's actually a goddess...a real, honest-to-goodness goddess.  Obviously, hearing this is totally unbelievable to her until she couldn't reconcile some of the recent otherworldly incidents as normal any longer.  She soon finds out that Boreas, the god of winter, has his sights set on her and is whisked away to the Underworld...escorted by none other than Hades himself. 

I liked how the story began, with a truncated retelling of Boreas's story and his abduction of Oreithyia.  Little did Persephone realize at the time, how pertinent that story would be to her life.  I did like Persephone as a heroine.  She was admirable and honest (well...all gods were apparently honest by default, as they could not lie).  She was loyal to her best friend who Persephone later found out had another role in her life.  Persephone wanted to do the right thing even if it went against what was expected of her.  However, her major flaw (and we have to remember, she's not long-lived like the other gods) was that she often bit off way more than she could chew...getting herself in way over her head.  She made immature decisions that did have repercussions that often exasperated Hades in particular, who had developed feelings for Persephone.  Typical in many YA books, she often didn't see what was right before her eyes and I wanted to shake her at times...but she did grow up a little towards the end and clued in to things...especially where Hades was concerned.

And who knew that Hades could be so charming?  He was a lot more subdued in this story compared to traditional lore that often puts him in a very feared position.  We did see his dark side, mind you, but where Persephone was concerned especially, he definitely had a softer side.  Rather than having 'subjects' and official advisors, they were counted as his friends.  Hades has been around for a long, long time so the 'age thing' was a major issue between him and Persephone.  I personally DID feel the age difference in many ways.  I didn't think Persephone and Hades' relationship could have progressed much faster than it did...even though I wanted it to.  Persephone had to grow up a bit before I could take them more seriously.  I will point out that Hades did manage to demonstrate his reknowned temper on occasion, but it didn't seem to have the bite of the traditional legends.  So, he wasn't nearly as fearful despite his strength as a major god.  He was almost too kind.  I think I would have liked to see the more traditional Hades and his harsh personality being the major wall between him and Persephone. 

Some of the other characters were well written, and some fell sort of flat or didn't have any real significance after their introduction (i.e. Mr. Homer and Joel).  The connections were not always tied up and I sort of expected they would be.

Overall, this was an okay read for me...it wasn't 'all kinds of awesome'...but it wasn't un-interesting either.  At times, this book seemed a bit charmingly corny but it managed to hold my attention.    The pace was generally good...the story moved along well but did seem 'cluttered' in some areas.  I found the many twists and explanations hard to remember, and keep up with at times, when their significance occurred later in the story.  Some of the powers that were revealed as the story unfolded seemed a bit too convenient or contrived to me.   I DID appreciate the 'nod' to Twilight by Persephone's enthusiasm over the "Dusk" series.

There was a couple of surprises towards the end...namely the fact that this was not intended to be a stand-alone like I originally thought and I was not expecting a bit of a cliffhanger.  I was sort of disappointed in that...as I could see the conclusion coming.  I was disappointed that I unknowingly started a series when I thought this was a stand-alone.  I might continue with the series...time will tell.  Overall this was a pretty good offering on traditional Greek mythology from a new author!

I'd like to thank the author and publisher for the opportunity to read and review Persephone.


Summary:

There are worse things than death, worse people too.

The “talk” was bad enough, but how many teens get told that they’re a goddess? When her mom tells her, Persephone is sure her mother has lost her mind. It isn’t until Boreas, the god of winter, tries to abduct her that she realizes her mother was telling the truth. Hades rescues her, and in order to safely bring Persephone to the Underworld he marks her as his bride. But Boreas will stop at nothing to get Persephone. Despite her growing feelings for Hades, Persephone wants to return to the living realm. Persephone must find a way to defeat Boreas and reclaim her life.

 

2 comments:

  1. I love the story of Persephone, but unfortunately, I'm not too happy with the recent re-tellings so far.

    Still, might check this out if I come across it.

    Nice review!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Dazzling Mage! I hope you check it out...and let us know what you think!

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