Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain Review

"Haden Lord, the disgraced prince of the Underrealm, has been sent to the mortal world to entice a girl into returning with him to the land of the dead. Posing as a student at Olympus Hills High—a haven for children of the rich and famous—Haden must single out the one girl rumored to be able to restore immortality to his race.

Daphne Raines has dreams much bigger than her tiny southern Utah town, so when her rock star dad suddenly reappears, offering her full tuition to Olympus Hills High’s prestigious music program, she sees an opportunity to catch the break she needs to make it as a singer. But upon moving into her estranged father’s mansion in California, and attending her glamorous new school, Daphne soon realizes she isn’t the only student in Olympus who doesn’t quite belong.

Haden and Daphne—destined for each other—know nothing of the true stakes their fated courtship entails. As war between the gods brews, the teenagers’ lives collide. But Daphne won’t be wooed easily and when it seems their prophesied link could happen, Haden realizes something he never intended—he’s fallen in love. Now to save themselves, Haden and Daphne must rewrite their destinies. But as their destinies change, so do the fates of both their worlds."

Persephone and Hades. Another retelling. Let's see how this one does...

First of all, it's a real turn-off when a strange boy suddenly grabs you and tells you that you must go with him to who-knows-where. And that is perhaps the first sign of "I'm not going to like this book, aren't it?" Still, I read on. Maybe because I have a masochist streak, maybe because I rather read this than physics, maybe because I feel like the book will turn out to be better.

But no. 

World building. Okay, Haden lives in the underworld (Underrealm, it is called) until he goes onto a quest for a Boon. And a Boon is basically a girl. Which makes me very unhappy, because I'm not a fan of taking girls from Earth to further one's career whether or not she has consented. But enough of that weird stuff. I have not a single clue to the Underrealm's appearance other than its lack of sun (which makes everyone vampires, right? LOL, nope) and some terrifying monsters and apparently Elysium. Is it a land like ours? How can someone see without any sunlight? Don't know, but I'll roll with this. 

And seriously. What happened to Hades? And most important of all, Persephone. She's only mentioned here and there. Nothing about her. We all know that it is Persephone everyone has to worry about when they get to the Underworld. Hades, chill dude. Persephone, iron queen. IRON QUEEN. (Obviously, I'm ranting here, but I really want to figure out what's going on with Persephone.) 

The conflict is mostly a dance between Haden and Daphne. Get her to trust me is Haden's objective uno. Take her down to the Underrealm is objective dos. Thank goodness, he deviates from the original plan. Which is the only plus in my book. 

The gods. When it comes to Greek myths, I expect to see Greek gods here and there. Well, they are mentioned, but they are a whole lot quieter than I expect. It makes me wonder what's going on in The Shadow Prince's world. Also, there seems to be an odd mash of Greek mythology and the old "bargaining with demons" charade. 

Daphne. I don't know what's going on there. But she has some singing ability. And she complains a lot. But I'll cut her some slack there. 

Overall, I have not a clue to what's going on in The Shadow Prince. No, the book is not boring, but it's so strange and unexpected. And not in a good way... It leaves me very unsettled. 

Rating: One out of Five

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