Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain [ARC REVIEW]

TITLE: The Shadow Prince
(Into the Dark #1)

AUTHOR: Bree Despain
PUB DATE: Mar 11 2014
Haden Lord, the disgraced prince of the Underrealm, has been sent to the mortal world to entice a girl into returning with him to the land of the dead. Posing as a student at Olympus Hills High—a haven for children of the rich and famous—Haden must single out the one girl rumored to be able to restore immortality to his race.

Daphne Raines has dreams much bigger than her tiny southern Utah town, so when her rock star dad suddenly reappears, offering her full tuition to Olympus Hills High’s prestigious music program, she sees an opportunity to catch the break she needs to make it as a singer. But upon moving into her estranged father’s mansion in California, and attending her glamorous new school, Daphne soon realizes she isn’t the only student in Olympus who doesn’t quite belong.

Haden and Daphne—destined for each other—know nothing of the true stakes their fated courtship entails. As war between the gods brews, the teenagers’ lives collide. But Daphne won’t be wooed easily and when it seems their prophesied link could happen, Haden realizes something he never intended—he’s fallen in love. Now to save themselves, Haden and Daphne must rewrite their destinies. But as their destinies change, so do the fates of both their worlds.

- Source: Goodreads


“I don’t know what the future holds. I don’t know how or if we’ll get through this. But for the first time in my life, my destiny is in my own hands.”

When I read the synopsis, I was drawn to the reimagining of the mythological story of Hades and Persephone, and yet I was sceptical about reading The Shadow Prince. I’ve read Bree Despain’s The Dark Divine, I knew it was a part of a series and reading that first book, I knew I wouldn’t be reading the next ones. I just didn’t like it. It wasn’t my kind of story – but The Shadow Prince is! Mythology and retellings? That’s hard to say no to. Well, color me surprised. This turned out pretty good!

I can’t say that Daphne upheld stunning characteristics other than her advanced musical talent. She didn’t strike me to be an epic protagonist, but well enough to keep me interested. Haden, on the other hand, was awesome! Never mind that he turned out a bit stoic and emo (sometimes), I realized his ignorance over women and all things human once I got to the part where he revealed that there were no females being born in the Underrealm. Well, no wonder you were clueless boy. What I was awed most about Haden was his abilities. Wouldn’t it be cool to learn anything and everything just by watching how they are done once and get to do it like you’ve been working on the skill for years?

In spite of the instant romance between our protagonists, Haden and Daphne, there was a sense of development in their relationship. There were transitions of time that showed that these two had spent time that got them to know each other better before they delved into their feelings.

Into the Dark is series that promises a fascinating twist on mythology, and a witty catch on perceiving the connection between mythical gods and religion. I love the approach that Ms. Despain had created with the idea of “selling your soul to the devil.” That was clever – very clever, indeed. I began to see this author’s writing in a different aspect. And I’m pleased to say I enjoyed it.

*Thank you, Egmont, Netgalley, and Edelweiss for the copy of The Shadow Prince.

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