Title: Persephone (Daughters of Zeus #1)
Genre: YA Fantasy, Mythology, Paranormal Romance
Publisher: ImaJinn Books, Inc.
Date Published: April 23, 2015
Source: Netgalley (ImaJinn Books, Inc.)
Read: January 21-23, 2016
Synopsis: Daughters of Zeus, Book One
One day Persephone is an ordinary high school senior working at her mom’s flower shop in Athens, Georgia. The next she’s fighting off Boreas, the brutal god of Winter, and learning that she’s a bonafide goddess—a rare daughter of the now-dead Zeus. Her goddess mom whisks her off to the Underworld to hide until Spring.
There she finds herself under the protection of handsome Hades, the god of the dead, and she’s automatically married to him. It’s the only way he can keep her safe. Older, wiser, and far more powerful than she, Hades isn’t interested in becoming her lover, at least not anytime soon. But every time he rescues her from another of Zeus’s schemes, they fall in love a little more. Will Hades ever admit his feelings for her?
Can she escape the grasp of her powerful dad’s minions? The Underworld is a very cool place, but is it worth giving up her life in the realm of the living? Her goddess powers are developing some serious, kick-butt potential. She’s going to fight back.
There are many things I liked and there were some I disliked. I'll start with what I disliked.
Hades isn't at all the bad-a** god that I have always imagined him as. Yes, he is kind (that's usually a good thing), and he actually cares about the souls in the Underworld, but he didn't really have much character. He was a little lackluster in my opinion, except on his occasional confrontations with Persephone. I felt like his true potential as a character wasn't reached. I'm not saying he needed to be portrayed as a bad guy, but he could have been shown as the all-powerful god that he is, if that makes sense.
I also disliked how naive Persephone is. You'd think high school would have shown her that everyone is not who they say they are, but she goes ahead and let's herself get into a sticky situation at the end of the book. She didn't make that mistake with Hades, someone who she knows cares about her, but she lets it happen with this other dude who is only a friend? That made me angry more than anything, that she thoughtlessly backed herself into a corner there.
Okay, now for what I did like (there's a lot):
I liked how we see characters from Greek mythology in this book (Cassandra, Helen of Troy?) and some of the other Greek gods are mentioned as well. Cassandra was charismatic, but a little overbearing at times for my taste. The story flowed well and at a steady pace. I especially liked the effort that went into describing the Underworld because I could easily picture it all in my mind.
Despite how I dislike Persephone's naievity, I did like her spirit and refusal to just be a sitting duck. She wants to go fight the enemy and takes measures to try to protect and defend herself from those who wish her harm. That is something I always admire in characters and I was glad to see Persephone trying for herself instead of relying on the protection everyone said would be enough. Another thing that I do appreciate from Persephone is how she expressed and voiced her concerns for the rights of the souls in the Underworld. There was an instance where her reaction, her thoughts to the children in the Underworld got to me and made me bawl. Those were some feels I was not expecting!
In conclusion, there is promise to this series, so I'll be sure to read the second book soon to see what else is in store for Persephone and Hades.