Monday, June 29, 2015

4.3 Star Review: The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain

The Shadow Prince 
(Into the Dark, book #1)
By: Bree Despain

Published: March 11, 2014 by Egmont USA
Genres: YA, Action, Greek Mythology, Modern Day, Music, Romance, Mystery, Social Issues

Haden Lord, the disgraced prince of the Underrealm, has been sent to the mortal world to entice a girl into returning with him to the land of the dead. Posing as a student at Olympus Hills High—a haven for children of the rich and famous—Haden must single out the one girl rumored to be able to restore immortality to his race.

Daphne Raines has dreams much bigger than her tiny southern Utah town, so when her rock star dad suddenly reappears, offering her full tuition to Olympus Hills High’s prestigious music program, she sees an opportunity to catch the break she needs to make it as a singer. But upon moving into her estranged father’s mansion in California, and attending her glamorous new school, Daphne soon realizes she isn’t the only student in Olympus who doesn’t quite belong.

Haden and Daphne—destined for each other—know nothing of the true stakes their fated courtship entails. As war between the gods brews, the teenagers’ lives collide. But Daphne won’t be wooed easily and when it seems their prophesied link could happen, Haden realizes something he never intended—he’s fallen in love. Now to save themselves, Haden and Daphne must rewrite their destinies. But as their destinies change, so do the fates of both their worlds.

Though the first few chapters were slow, the book did pick up pace and by the end I was hanging from tender hooks watching events unfold. Bree's abilty to inject a character into a foreign world and retell items and language from their knowledge base is fantastic. I would sit there and ponder what they were talking about and then cry out, "oh its (fill in the blank)!" 

Though this is a Greek Mythology based book, it focuses entirely on Hades, a slight addition of Zeus and a footnote on Apollo. The rest of the gang (Athena, Aphrodite, etc) aren't mentioned.... yet. Based on what happened at the end of the book, we may yet see the entire family enter the scene. 

Haden is a character that I want to pick up and take home with me. OK... that sounded bad. Let me rephrase... I just want to take him under my wing. The poor guy just can't catch a break. Talk about a horrendous childhood. I hope we get flashbacks of his Mom in the next book, because she was such a wonderful influence. 

Daphne needed  a little more clarifying for me. She seemed somewhat nondescript until the last few chapters. I actually found Dax, Lexie and Garrett to be of significant interest and I hope to see more of them in the next installment. It just goes to show you once again that every person has a past and hidden hurts, and the people who act out the most are usually the ones in the most pain.

Bree had a significant amount of plot threads interweaving throughout the book and left a nice ending to  get me grabbing my wallet to go get The Eternity Key, book two, which is out now. 

Looking forward to the UPS man knocking on my door in 1-3 days! ;)