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.
Retellings of the Hades and Persephone myth are quite prevalent in today’s YA market. You have Everneath, Abandon, and The Goddess Test, just to name a few. Because of this, it’s quite difficult to come up with new and fresh ways to tell the story of these two immortal beings. But that’s exactly what Kaitlin Bevis has done in Persephone. While the general gist of the story stays the same, I found myself enchanted by the changes she made in the circumstances surrounding Persephone’s abduction to the Underworld and – in particular – the way she wrote and developed the character of Hades.
Set in the modern world where most of the gods and goddesses have died off generations before our main character is born, Persephone follows our main character of the same name, who believes she’s simply your typical human girl. She’s completely unaware that she’s a goddess, that her mother is Demeter, and that she’s about to become the focus of the desires of Boreas, god of Winter. Persephone is a very head-strong and stubborn girl, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching her come to terms with the knowledge that she’s a goddess, and everything she thought she’d known to that point was a lie. There were other creative flourishes inserted into the story as well – gods can’t lie, Hades’ personal advisor is the Cassandra, and Hades actually chose his lot as ruler of the Underworld, just to name a few – that kept me eagerly turning the pages of this book. You also have the ever-present threat of Boreas, which kept the plot moving forward at a very quick pace.
Persephone’s personal journey was also very interesting to watch. I love how she slowly became more accustomed to life with Hades, and I really loved watching their relationship grow. Hades isn’t what I was expecting – so often he’s depicted as dark, moody and brooding – and admittedly that threw me off just a bit, because, well, he IS the god of the Underworld. But this Hades grew on me, and he has enough of a vindictive and dark streak in him that the Hades from the original myth hadn’t disappeared completely. I look forward to seeing more of the two of them together, and can only hope that the twist at the end of this book doesn’t cause too much strife.
If you’re looking for a fresh and unique take on a very popular myth and story plot, then I’d definitely recommend Persephone. There are enough of the original tales present in this book to keep the diehard fans of Greek myths satisfied, while also keeping you from thinking you’ve read this story several times before. The way the book ends will have you clamoring for the second installment – a cliffhanger that’s not, for lack of a better term – and I certainly can’t wait to see what comes next!
A copy of this book was provided by the author via YA Bound Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.