Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Persephone Packs a Punch

Everyone knows the story of Hades and Persephone. A girl tricked by the God of the Underworld to spend half the year in his domain, and half the year she can escape. But Brodi Ashton takes the story further in Everneath by exploring the daughters of Persephone and the hell they live... literally.

Nikki disappeared six months ago, but for her it was like 100 years. She barely escaped the underworld and Cole, the Everliving who wants to join with her and take over the Underworld. But the escape wasn't the end of it. Returning to her life isn't as easy as one would think. Everyone moved on from her disappearance... everyone except Jack, Nikki's boyfriend before she left who has never stopped searching for her. Incidentally, Jack is the one wisp of a memory she didn't lose in the Underworld and what allowed her connection to earth to help her return.

While Nikki just wants to stay, she knows there is an end to her time on earth. She can either return with Cole and rule, but that requires her to become an Everliving who feeds off souls to remain immortal, or she can give herself to the Tunnels, where her very essence is drained away. After spending more time with Jack, Nikki isn't sure which choice is best, but she does know one thing- the last thing she wants to do is to hurt Jack again.

This was a truly unique spin off the Hades and Persephone myth that didn't deal with them directly, but rather their "offspring" embodied. It was a little difficult to follow in the very beginning, in particular in regards to Jack and Cole. At first, I though Cole might be a guy that, while being a soul sucking rocker, might actually be OK for Nikki since he loved her so much. And at first, Jack was painted as a cheating turd who caused her to seek Cole in the first place. But then more and more of the story was revealed and I wanted to beat Cole with his own guitar and write a cheesy love song for the adorable Jack! It was a great transformation that kept me intrigued throughout the entire book. This might seem like a love triangle, but there isn't much competition both before when you think Cole might be OK and hate Jack and after when you love Jack. I think a love triangle has to have two possible love interests, but there really is only one good guy and one turd each time. 

This is a good story for any kid interested in mythology. despite being based on Greek Gods, there is some Egyptian mythology inserted with the idea of the five pieces of a person. It was a really interesting spin off classic mythology, and I think it would hold the attention of many students. The beginning is a little "wispy" and confusing, but eventually you get enough of the story to understand as the pieces are slowly revealed. I look forward to seeing where the series goes, because the end of this book definitely leaves you wanting more!

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