Greek mythology has hit the mainstream. Between series by Rick Riordan (awesome!), Meg Cabot (awesome!), Josephine Angelini (meh), and Brodi Ashton (meh) a lot of authors are throwing their versions of the myths out there. Bree Despain is throwing her tale into the ring. We know the tale of Persephone and Hades, but what happened afterwards? That is the question that Despain tries to answer.
Lord Haden is member of the Underrealm, the second son of the king, he has been disgraced for years. In a strange turn of events, the Oracle has chosen him for this year’s journey to the world above to take a Boon. But this Boon isn’t like other Boons, this girl is the Cypher, the key to finding the Key of Hades, which can turn the war that the Underrealm is having with the Sky Lords.
Daphne is a small town girl living in an even smaller world. She hasn’t left her small town since she was younger and promised her mother that she never would. But she dreams of leaving the small town and going to live in a place like LA. She has the singing voice to do it, all she needs is a chance to prove herself. That chance appears in the form of her father – the rock star Joe Vince – who comes to take her away to Olympus Heights so she can start her schooling at a prestigious music program. She doesn’t really want to go, she has some daddy issues, but she knows that she can’t pass up an opportunity like this. But things get weird on her first day there when she runs into a strange boy in a grove and later finds one of her classmates nearly drowned in the same grove.
So when I first read the summary of this book I was really excited. Like a lot of people I’m really into the Greek mythology and when I saw Bree Despain was writing it I was even more excited. I remember what she did with werewolves in The Dark Devine and I was really curious to see what she would do with the Persephone/Hades myth. It turns out, not a whole lot.
Don’t get me wrong The Shadow Prince had it’s comical moments, like when Haden tries to get adjusted to life in the mortal realm, but the comical moments weren’t enough to save this book. Haden is a very dry character. He’s trying too much to be a person he isn’t in order to make Daphne fall in love with him to take her back to the Underrealm. You would think a guy like that would have some more suaveness. Not. Daphne is also kind of dry. She has supreme daddy issues because he broke a promise to her when she was younger. Cry me a river, girl. And her emotions! Jeez. I’m angry with you Haden! You’re sick! Oh, you want to go to Vegas to see what my other options are? Let’s go! There was a reason I only read this book five chapters at a time.
Final Rating: 1 out of 5 stars. This book is part of a trilogy, but considering I could barely finish the first one, I’m not going to even try to read the rest of them.
Bookshelf worthy? Pass. You want to read a good Persephone/Hades retelling? Read the Abandon series by Meg Cabot. It’s way better and the three books are about the same length as this one.