By Meg Cabot
Published May 2011, Point
Hardback, 304 pages
New from #1 New York Times bestselling author Meg Cabot, a dark, fantastical story about this world . . . and the underworld. Though she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can't help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet she's never alone . . . because someone is always watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.Though I have been familiar with the name of Meg Cabot for awhile, this is the first book by her that I have actually read. I am a sucker for Greek mythology, and a retelling of Hades and Persephone has great potential. With a great cover and an even better premise to the book, I had pretty high hopes for the plot itself.
But now she's moved to a new town. Maybe at her new school, she can start fresh. Maybe she can stop feeling so afraid.
Only she can't. Because even here, he finds her. That's how desperately he wants her back. She knows he's no guardian angel, and his dark world isn't exactly heaven, yet she can't stay away . . . especially since he always appears when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most.
But if she lets herself fall any further, she may just find herself back in the one place she most fears: the Underworld.
The way the book begins throws me -- told through the eyes of Pierce Oliviera, which is not that great of a name for a girl (instead of Persephone?), the author refrains from giving away hardly anything about Pierce's circumstances, what happened to her, what motivates her, etc. While it can be considered good writing to hold back on the major revelations as long as possible to build the suspense and draw in the reader, for me it was rather frustrating to read almost the entire book before Pierce finally realized who and what John Hayden is(also a crummy name for a death deity). Much of the actual events of the book are Pierce's memories, and what happens in real time is the culmination of these memories.
While I disliked the way that Meg Cabot chose to string all of these separate events together, I do like what the actual events create when put together. A girl who has a Near-Death Experience, or NDE, meets for the second time the man who runs her personal Underworld, instantly making her his consort thanks to a rare diamond necklace, though she does not yet know it. Her ability to skirt death makes her a target for the bad guys in the book, the Furies (not the same as the Furies of Greek mythology), who blame John for their lot in life after death. In addition, Pierce also has a host of quirks that alternately set her up for disaster or save her life, such as her addiction to soda and her paranoia that tassels are Evil.
While Pierce has a vast array of personality and behavioral problems that make the act of living difficult for her, I do think that this book fits well in the Young Adult category. Pierce does not have everything figured out, does not always know how to handle herself, and does not even recognize when she is in love. She is protective of her feelings, can be just as detached as the next person from those around her, and has to work at not being too self-absorbed. Sometimes an imperfect heroine makes for a better book. I look forward to the next installment in the trilogy, Underworld.
The Cover: This is such a darkly beautiful cover, and yet so mysterious. The cover is definitely what made me want to read this book.
First Line: "Anything can happen in the blink of an eye."
This is a great first line, though it does not tell me anything about the plot. Still, my curiosity is peaked.
Favorite Quote: "There’s no accountability anymore, Pierce, no one holds anyone accountable for what they do. It’s always someone else’s fault. Usually people just blame the victim."
Read For: Read a Myth Challenge