I had a lot of problems with this book. This is the first book since I've started blogging where I not only didn't enjoy it, but was also kind of angry with as well. The author's writing itself isn't that bad, but it's not very good either. She has the tendency to use YA clichÃ????????????????Ã???????????????Ã??????????????Ã?????????????Ã????????????Ã???????????Ã??????????Ã?????????Ã????????Ã???????Ã??????Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â©s, over-complicates her story to the extreme, and sets up her characters like Edward and Bella from Twilight. Except worse.
Right off the bat, the first chapter was pretty cheesy. Over-dramatic Henry acts like this the entire book. "It's all my fault," "My life sucks," "I didn't protect her" blah blah blah. Plus, just because a character is a god, doesn't mean they can't have personality. Every single character was shallow, under-developed, and lacked depth.
When we are introduced to Kate, I kind of liked her. She was a little whiny, but I thought she was alright. Then everything went off the deep end. First, the most popular girl in school (who is an immediate bitch, what a surprise!) Ava, pranks Kate in the worst possible way and ends up dying. Only it's okay, because Henry can bring Ava back to life, for a price. So yeah, this is the part where Kate should be kind of questioning this guy on how he raised her friend from the dead. Nope, instead she looks up the story of Hades and Persephone like Henry told her to, and doesn't even clue into the fact that he's Hades. Like, legit Hades, not symbolically, allegorically, metaphorically, whatever. That piece of information goes right over her head, even when Ava is walking around, alive, without her brain bashed in like it was before.
Now, all this stuff happens really fast, right at the beginning. When Kate moves in with Henry, all of a sudden everything is at a standstill. Things move at a snail pace. Most of it is Kate figuring out whether or not she likes Henry, and then she ends up loving him (shocker), which I didn't understand because the build up to their romance was non-existent. The author told her audience about Kate's feelings, rather than showing them.
Kate has servants, and when one of them asks her to wear a dress (when she doesn't want to), instead of putting up a fuss, she just gives in. She even has a to wear a corset. Umm, so much for feminism. Let's subjugate our character to physiologically altering lingerie for the purpose of being pretty and skinny.
This isn't the end to the gender stereotypes that permeate this book, either. Henry is so over-protective, and Kate constantly reacting to him. He's active, she's passive. He's in a bad mood, it makes her sad (but she barely knows him). She agrees to all these tests to prove herself capable of being his queen. Ugh. The whole thing is setting this girl up to the be the perfect ideal of a woman by passing these tests, which are the seven deadly sins. Um, I don't remember Henry/Hades having a perfect track records, or for that matter, any of the Greek gods. They mess up each other's lives throughout Greek mythology. But by subjugating Kate to these tests, it's only promoting this concept of an "ideal" woman, that nobody can actually be.
Another thing was her skinny-ness. At one point she says,
"I didn't gain weight, and that only gave me an excuse to eat as much as I wanted." (page 135).
You should always be able to eat as much as you want, and not have to constantly worry about weight loss or gain. If you're a healthy person, with an active lifestyle and good food choices, then that shouldn't matter! Whenever I eat, I want to have a full meal. That's how much I want to eat. I shouldn't need an excuse to do that!
So the whole idea is for Kate to stay alive, and all the girls that have gone before her have died terrible deaths, and no one knows who is behind them, and for some inexplicable reason, Kate is the last girl before Henry "fades." Why he's suddenly fading is beyond me. It doesn't sound like he has it that bad. Lots of friends, some nice family members, but he's severely depressed because Persephone left him thousands of years ago. Okay...
Anyways, so no girl has stayed alive past Christmas. Kate gets past it with barely a hitch. And then she's in the clear. She makes clear, moral decisions that anyone would have probably made in her place, but she's exalted for it in the end because apparently they were so hard to pass. Later on some serious stuff happens, but the whole time I'm screaming mentally at Kate, are you blind?? The whole story just did not make sense in my brain.
In the end...
This book really fell short of my expectations. The plot was so over-complicated with characters making decisions that really made no sense whatsoever. Henry and Kate are Edward and Bella cookie cutters, except Kate is really desperate for Henry's love for some reason, and Henry is a depressed robot. Kate is subjected to age old gender assumptions and just lets it all slide. Apparently feminism doesn't apply to Greek mythological retellings. I know some people really enjoyed these books, but I would personally not recommend them.show more
by Janita Van Dyk