Thursday, October 31, 2013

Asphodel (The Undeworld Trilogy, #1) by Lauren Hammond

Review by Tempest.


Persephone has been running for her entire life. Running from the humans to keep her immortality a secret. And running from a man who haunts her dreams. Not a man but a god, who will stop at nothing until he gets what he wants. And what he wants most, is her.

Trapped in the realm of the dead, Persephone plans to return to the land of the living. The underworld is a terrifying place where ghosts roam freely, three headed dogs patrol the gates, and it’s a living grave where the rules of earth and the warmth of the sun no longer apply. But then, something unexpected happens. Persephone finds herself falling for the god who abducted her, the god who has chased her for five thousand years, a god who is none other than death himself, Hades.

Ripped out of the underworld by Zeus, Persephone must find a pomegranate to return to the realm of the dead and to her beloved. Consuming only a seed of the fruit of the dead would bind Persephone to spend her life beneath the earth’s core with Hades. But Zeus has reduced every pomegranate tree in the world to ash. Except one. Persephone must locate that one remaining pomegranate tree, a quest that could ignite a war between the two mightiest of the god’s. A war that could cause Persephone to lose the only family she’s ever known or give up a love that comes only once every five thousand years.

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I was really disappointed in this book. It's been on my TBR pile for a while now, so I was super excited when I finally got my hands on a copy. Little did I know that my excitement would be short lived. And I do mean short. This book is not only riddled with inconsistences, it's also written so poorly that at times I had to guess at what the sentence was actually supposed to be implying. Basically, this book read like the rough draft version of a story, the kind scribbled in bits, pieces, and short hand on cocktail napkins soiled with spilled coffee. Oh. There's another thing. Any semblance of a story was completely drowned out by the over abundance of metaphors and similes. Seriously. A couple here and there is the mark of a good writer. It's impressive, and helps to paint a vivid picture. One every other sentence (sometimes every sentence) does not. All that does is cloud the readers mind with a bunch of useless jargon that completely detaches us. Sometimes there'd be one that seemed clever, until the author continued it on for an entire paragraph killing it. The plot half the time didn't make sense because we weren't given proper knowledge of the world or the characters in them. Gods live forever, are immortal, ok, that goes without saying. However, why the heck would they have multiple seventeen birthdays? They aren't actually seventeen. And was this her birthday every year? I believe it was mentioned that she had one every seventeen years, so does that mean that once it happens the next year the clock gets reset to birthday number one? Huh? And what about aging? Wouldn't she and her mom look an awfully lot a like age wise if they continued to look that young for basically ever? That was never described, or explained. Now that the mom's been mentioned, on to her. You've got to be kidding me. Yes, the Demeter from the original myth has always been considered over protective, and possibly over bearing, and Persephone has been portrayed as the na├»ve waif of a daughter, but this book took it way too far. First of all, how the heck could she control her kid that much for so long without there being at least one rebellious stage before this one? It's supposedly been five thousand years. There's just no way Persephone would have stuck around dealing with her moms rules for that long, at least not the ridiculous ones. She can't have friends, can't date boys, can't go to dances...Basically, they travel the world in order to stay hidden (which also makes no sense and I'll get to in a minute) and she can't do anything. There really wasn't even a point in having Persephone go to school. It was a useless thing in this book. It also doesn't make sense because they don't actually need that as a cover. It's called home schooling. It's not ideal, but it's common enough. She can't actually hang out with anyone she meets at school anyway, after all. There's an easy way to tie in her neighbor even if she's home schooled. Which also, Adonis? Be subtle why don't you. And if you're trying to stay hidden and blend in, you're gonna have to change a lot more than just your last name. Try your first for instance. If they were really hiding, she would be going by something other than Persephone, a name which also detracts from their "goal" which is to remain unnoticed. On their whole hiding thing: Hades can literally find them any time. Any time. Persephone proves this when she's in the Underworld and she says her moms name into a weird computer thing. Instantly she can see her mom and where she is. Even with the cloak up that Zeus had blocking that machine (if that's supposed to be the case, though it was never explained as such) all Hades has to do is search for a girl named Persephone. He's clearly got high tech machinery. I'm sure he can do it. Then there's the instalove that occurs. She hates him, then he tosses her up against a wall and suddenly BOOM. She basically loves him and never wants to leave. Wow. She doesn't even go a whole three days with him after that before she actually says the word. Not that I believe she would even know what that means. She acts like such a child. Unless her brain ceased developing somewhere over the course of the last five thousand years, there is no way Persephone, a goddess, would be talking and acting like a four year old child. She actually gets in his face trying to annoy him by asking "Why" to everything he says. Like a little kid. Really. Honestly, the only good thing about this book was that it was short, so I somehow managed to stomach my way through it. There needs to be some major character development, plot development, and world building done to this before it can be considered even a good story. I'm a huge fan of the myth, and the premise was a good one, but the execution...I wouldn't recommend this.     

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