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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Radiant Darkness by Emily Whitman

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Pages: 352

Copyright: 2009

Rating: 2/5 Crowns

Synopsis: 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.

Review: Radiant Darkness is a retelling of the Greek myth of Persephone being kidnapped by Hades, Lord of the Underworld. I've always been a fan of fairy tales and myths being retold, but this one disappointed me greatly. It had a lot of chances to be explored to its full potential, yet time and time again the story just fizzled out.

The main subplot of Persephone's relationship with her mother, the goddess Demeter underlies the story. Persephone has been living under the dominating Demeter's shadow for a long time, and her actions are more of a reaction as compared to a pro action. This could be a reason why she seems so innocent and downtrodden. However, her Mary Sue-ish tendencies just seem to encompass the story, and her naivete seems more like denial which took up more than half the book.

The supposed hero in this case in Hades. We're led to believe that he's the reason why Persephone chose to leave her home, but he's more of a caricature than a believable character, with little to no personality being shown. What is shown is his lust for Persephone, which is to be taken for lurrveee because that's what we're told.

While it is well written, that is one flaw which irritated me: that we're told what happens rather than shown. I would say that this is an easily forgettable story with a lackluster ending, but I'm still seething over the unrealised potential of the story.

Maharani of Mayhem and Mysteries


Alaine - Queen of Happy Endings said...

Sorry to hear this one was a disappointment! Thanks for your honesty.

Blodeuedd said...

Oh now Mary Sue tendencies, still sounds good

inthehammockblog said...

Uh oh!! I've been wanting to read this one, sorry it was a disappointment for you :(

Teddyree said...

I do like Greek mythology but I think I might pass on this one. Appreciate your honest review.

ck.twilighter (Chasity) said...

Thank you for your honest review.
Dont you just get frustrated when you read a book with so much potential yet it doesnt get there. Ugh!

I must admit I really like the cover.... normally, it would not be something to catch my eye.

Deanna/ibeeeg said...

Now...I really liked this story. I thought it was a good read. One that drew me into the story. I did like the story of Hades and Persephone. Now, I am not well-versed in Greek mythology but I did like this story. Also, the story did have me wanting to read the Greek myth. I did...I went to my Greek mythology book and not only read this one but a few others.
I was not disappointed at all.

Thanks for review. It is always interesting to read someone's view point.