Innocence, Awakening, and Queen of the Underworld are a 3 book serial that is, among other things, a modern twist on the Hades and Persephone story. I thought about reading them as Lee and Stasia wrote them, but I decided that it would be much safer on my poor heart if I waited for Queen to come out and read them all at once, so that’s what I did. Since they are a serial, it will affect how I review them here. Mostly, I’ll give some info about the first book, and then highly gloss over the rest of the books. You know how I do.
So, a brief brushup on the Hades/Persephone thing. Demeter, the Greek goddess of the harvest has a daughter known as both Kora and Persephone. Hades, God of the Underworld wants a bride, and he spots Persephone. He manages to take her, gets her to eat 6 pomegranate seeds, and says he’s going to keep her. Demeter goes on strike and there are massive famines, droughts, all that. Zeus steps in and the agreement is struck that Persephone will reign in the Underworld for 6 months, and be above ground for 6 months. Zeus, by the way? Persephone’s daddy and uncle. Which also makes her husband Hades, her uncle. Those Greek gods, all kinds of incestuous.
Here’s how our story goes here. Cora is a sweet 19 year old girl who has run away from her tyrant of a mother, Demi. Her mother kept her completely isolated on a farm in the middle of nowhere. She would lock Cora in the cellar, yell at her, mistreat her, and be an all-around nasty bitch. Cora wants nothing more than to get as far away from her mother as possible, and runs away to New Olympus.
Cora, who pretty much has no clue how the world works, because she’s been isolated on a farm all her life, ends up being a live-in nanny. After one particularly bad day, she heads out to a club with some friends. But, she also ends up drugged and dragged out of the club. She manages to get away from the asshole who has her and runs through a door, where she meets Marcus.
Marcus is known as the Lord of the Underworld. He’s a very powerful man in New Olympus. He is taken with the beautiful young woman who is drugged and soaking wet from the rain and takes her home. He woos her, cherishes her, and whisks her off her feet.
But of course we wouldn’t have 3 books if it was as easy as all that, would it? There is a whole lot that happens in these books. Marcus isn’t what he seems. Cora isn’t what she seems. Secrets swirl around her, and they aren’t ones that she is holding. In fact, she is like Jon Snow, and starts out knowing nothing. That slowly but surely changes, and things that Cora never expected or even imagined could happen actually happen.
I hate Marcus sometimes. I mean, downright can’t freaking stand the man. Of course, as we learn more about him, we find out why he has made the choices that he has, not that I’m excusing him in any way, shape, or form. He’s a grownup, he’s reasonably intelligent, he could’ve chosen other options, but he didn’t. Other times, my heart truly aches for him. He does put himself into some nearly impossible situations, and I don’t know why he chooses to do that. I think he’s operating under faulty logic.
I like Cora, most of the time. I think that she needed to grow up a little faster than she did. She really did hide her head in the sand almost willfully sometimes. But, when she decided to make her stand, she really made her stand. You’ll see what I mean. I think that she will end up as a serious force to be reckoned with, and that she’s going to make people see her. If they try to ignore her, I’m pretty sure that she’s going to hurt them, big time.
We have some great secondary characters. Armand, Anna, Olive, Andrea Doria, and definitely Sharo. All of these people are related to other mythological figures, and they all play fairly heavily into the story. Then we have Waters and Sturm, who are very interesting characters.
Along with the main Hades and Persephone, we get a glimpse at Orpheus and Eurydice, and Ares and Venus. I love how those got wound into everything else and how Lee and Stasia made it all fit together.
For more information about how the various characters relate back to mythological characters, check out the end of book 3. Lee left a nice message for everyone.
There are going to be more books in this world, featuring more myths. I’m really looking forward to reading them.
Ugh. Demi. What a bitch. I mean, burn in hell woman. A lot. In a big firey pit.
Poor Sharo. His story was just so sad.
AJ needed serious, serious, serious punishment.
OK, that’s all from me. Go check out these books. Happy reading!