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Friday, December 23, 2011

Radiant Darkness by Emily Whitman

Published April 28, 2009 by HarperTeen
ISBN 9780061724497
270 pages
Series? No
Rating: PG-13
BUY / Nook

He smiles. "Hello."

It's a deep voice. I can feel it reverberate in my chest and echo all the way down to my toes.

I know I should leave, but I don't want to. I want to keep my senses like this forever. I'm all eye, all ear, all skin.

Persephone lives in the most gorgeous place in the world. But her mother's a goddess, as overprotective as she is powerful. Paradise has become a trap. Just when Persephone feels there's no chance of escaping the life that's been planned for her, a mysterious stranger arrives. A stranger who promises something more—something dangerous and exciting—something that spurs Persephone to make a daring choice. A choice that could destroy all she's come to love, even the earth itself.

In a land where a singing river can make you forget your very name, Persephone is forced to discover who—and what—she really is.

This is not the first time that I have read this book. It is the second. And the first time I read this book I will admit to believing that it had no faults. I read it and only saw it for the surface value while at the same time somehow able to add elements that the book never even touched. So I can honestly say that while I still really like this book I am not looking at it with rose colored glasses anymore.

The book is a retelling of Hades and Persephone and what could have happened it Persephone had chosen to go with Hades to the Underworld, leaving her mother forever.

Persephone does not know what she is goddess of and despite the fact that she is indeed a goddess she does not believe that she possesses any of the power that Hades sees in her.

It is not love at first sight. In fact Persephone actually runs away the first time she sees Hades and does not learn his name until after many meetings together in the vale that is not supposed to hold males at all. It is a beautiful prison made by her mother Demeter because Demeter does not want to admit that Persephone is no longer a child. I don't actually know how old she is either but I think I like it better that way.

Slowly Persephone finds herself in love with Hades but I don't really get that feeling from Hades. From what is revealed at the end of the book I am inclined to think that Hades cares for Persephone but he is not as deeply lost to the love bug as Persephone but he seems to be getting there.

I felt that the story did not show enough interaction between Persephone and Hades and it was really more of a coming of age book than a love story. It shows Persephone as she matures from a naive, innocent girl to a more worldly woman who just wants freedom but is constantly undermined by her mother. It also shows an interesting mother-daughter dynamic with Persephone completely believing that her mother does not love her.

I really like most of the characters that I read about. Even the characters that were given less personality than others. The only person that I can truthfully say that I finished the book still disliking was Melita. In the beginning I think that she is a great friend for Persephone and a good way to find out more about mortal life. Yet this is all thrown out the window when the uses her friendship with Persephone as leverage to get what she wants. Right there she lost all of my respect and I was thrown into a land of disgust and anger at her. I most certainly did not feel this the first time around. I probably will not be reading this book for a third time.

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