Title: Persephone (Daughters of Zeus #1)
Author: Kaitlin Bevis
Publisher: Musa Publishing
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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. (Source: Goodreads)
Persephone doesn’t know she’s a goddess, she thinks she’s an average American teen. She’s wrong. Her mother Demeter, one of the Olympians, and she has withheld the truth from Persephone to protect her from those who would use her for her power. As one of the daughters of Zeus, Persephone’s power is strong and highly sought after. When she is attacked by Boreas, god of winter, she is saved by Hades who takes her as his bride and brings her to the Underworld with him to protect her. Persephone wants more than protection though, she wants to find her own strength so she can protect her friend, family, and the entire world from Boreas as he sends the world into eternal winter.
I loved this book!! I am a huge fan of Greek/Roman mythology, the Persephone myth in particular, and was immediately drawn to this book. Reading it was such a pleasure because it was fun, with good characterization, a quick paced plot, and some really fun adaptations on the old myths. It’s probably not my absolute favourite version of the Persephone myth but it’s a fabulous adaptation and a fun, fast, cute read.
The plot is pretty standard, it follows the basic premise of the myth, with the twist that Hades is taking Persephone to protect her. I liked this idea, it certainly creates the foundation for a more romantic storyline than an abduction. There’s nothing too shocking about the plot which does make it a little boring, but also makes it really easy to read. I wasn’t too bothered by the plots standardness, I found it worked well with the adaptation and in keeping close to the myth without straying so far that it became hard to reconcile. There’s definitely some really cool places this could expand in the next two books, so I’m looking forward to that. There are a few confusing bits in the timeline, where Bevis seems to have gotten the action a little confused, or gotten ahead of herself, but the are mostly smoothed out. I did have some problems where things weren’t explained too clearly, but that was more a problem with the skill of the writing than with the actual story itself.
The writing is average at best. It’s not amazing and its not bad, just average. I think there were places where Bevis got a little overwhelmed and didn’t explain things too well, often this was more a problem of the writing level, things just didn’t make sense because she didn’t seem able to explain it thoroughly enough. There were a few places where I thought to myself “someone’s been spending too much time reading their thesaurus” because there were places where I looked at the word use and it was just not something anybody ever uses. It was a little annoying to see that happening, but not the worst thing ever. Despite the average writing the plot was good and the characters were great too, which definitely made up for the writing.
I enjoyed the portrayal of Persephone, it’s not exactly the best, but I liked it. Persephone is still a bit of a damsel in distress but there is definitely some attempts to break her from this mold. She’s very active in her attempts to help other people, often going against Hades’ will to save people or help people. This is really fantastic. I think that the level of agency she shows really helps to remove some of the damsel in distress qualities. I liked Hades, he represented the perfect mix of egotistical god and compassionate ruler. I really liked this because it showed some depth of character. Hades is haunted by what he is able to to and unable to do for his subjects in the Underworld. There’s also some great discussion on the weird side of the gods relationships with each other. There are lots of minor characters, some have good development, though largely they’re quite similar which is disappointing.
Relationship building in this was pretty good. The established relationships at the beginning of the book are really strong and work well. I liked the development of Persephone and Hades relationship. I think there were some sweet moments though I think the tension was built well it was a bit of a let down sometimes because Bevis relied on the interruption scenario too often to interrupt this tension. I did find Hades and Persephone’s affection sweet, though slightly lacking.
I really enjoyed this book. Despite the average writing and confusing plot bits, there are a lot of redeeming qualities. It’s fun, easy to read, great characters, great adaptation of a very popular myth, and some sweet/cute moments between characters. I loved reading this and really look forward to reading more. This book is hard to put down and super fast to work through.