A Modern-day Persephone
“He was a death deity. I was a senior in high school. This was never going to work.”
Life in a new high school can be hard, especially after you’ve died. Luckily for Pierce, she was resuscitated, but not before she makes it to the Underworld and unwittingly catches the eye of John Hayden, a dark and broodingly handsome guy who just happens to be the death lord in charge of the traveling souls of the deceased.
In a modern-day twist on the Greek myth of Persephone and Hades, Cabot has created a dark and interesting drama between a girl who is not quite the same since she drowned and a death deity who is unwilling to let her go, even in life. As Pierce finds herself in unwittingly dangerous situations, John follows her and protects her (often rather destructively), much to Pierce’s chagrin. Unsettled by his presence every time he’s near, she’s both afraid and captivated, unsure how to escape him for good and somewhat unwilling to do so. Avoiding John becomes especially difficult when Pierce and her divorced mom move to the equivalent of the Florida Keys to make a fresh start, which just happens to be a direct portal to the underworld. Oops.
Cabot does a good job keeping the tension strong throughout Abandon without falling into romantic leanings straight away. Her writing is clever and interesting, and her written voice holds strong throughout. Pierce is a confused but strong young woman, alone because of what she has experienced, both in death and re-birth; John, despite his mythic powers, is just as confused and lost, latching on to the woman he falls for with little restraint, resulting in much of the book’s drama. Personally I was desperate to learn more about John’s past: what happened that brought him to an eternal duty of ferrying departed souls to their final reward? How did he die, and what was his life like? Cabot plays the two main characters off one another well, surrounded as they are by a gaggle of equally interesting and, for the most part, complex side characters of friends, family, and graveyard groundskeepers.
Though not usually my cup of tea (read: paranormal romance), I enjoyed the premise of Greek mythology retold, and I’m looking forward to relationship and character developments in Underworld, the sequel due out in 2012. If you love non-stop action and pivotal fight scenes, this book may not be for you (there’s action, but not the spine-tingling, constant kind). That said, if you love paranormal romances but are a bit bored with vampires and werewolves, this is a fresh take that you’ll love. Expect to be kept guessing throughout.
Copyright April 2011
Available as an eBook
Image from www.bn.com
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