Monday, June 20, 2011

Book Review: Radiant Darkness

Title and Author: Radiant Darkness by Emily Whitman
Release Date: April 28, 2009
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 247 pages
Genre: Mythology
Rating: 4 stars
Source: Library

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 arri/+ves. 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.
What if Persephone was not kidnapped and dragged to the underworld by Hades and forced to become his wife? How much different would the myth be if she went with him willingly? This is the story that Emily Whitman tells in Radiant Darkness.
Persephone is a teenage goddess who lives in a beautiful vale that is completely inaccessible to anyone. Her mother, Demeter, is the only one who comes and goes from the vale. Persephone's friends are female mythological creatures and the message is clear: no boys allowed. Persephone and Demeter do not have a good mother/daughter relationship. Persephone wants freedom and Demeter wants complete control over her daughter’s life. It’s no surprise that when Demeter leaves the vale and the handsome, charismatic stranger flies in on his chariot and begins to court Persephone, she can’t say no to his offer of romance and freedom.
Persephone is a na├»ve and sheltered teenager who does not think about the consequences to her actions or what Hades’ true motives are in inviting her to be queen of the underworld. Hades may be charismatic but he is also a user and a bit of a jerk. I did not like him but that does not take away from the story. He is Hades, after all.
Radiant Darkness is a good, quick read for all those interested in Greek myth and happy retellings. Persephone’s feelings will resonate with a teenage audience and the story will appeal to YA readers in general. How does it compare to more recent titles based on the myth of Persephone like The Goddess Test, Falling Under or Abandon? Radiant Darkness does not have as much action as those books, but naturally it is a closer retelling because it has the actual characters. If you liked any of those books, I think you will like Radiant Darkness as well.
Content: Kissing, Persephone and Hades marry and sex is implied


KM said...

I've never heard of this book, but it sounds good! I love a good myth retelling, and I like that this one is so close to the original. :)

Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

I love the cover on this book. I love the idea of mythology remakes but I've never read one.

Read.Breathe.Relax. said...

NC- Persephone is seriously a popular myth this year! I've heard about so many retellings!

That's interesting that you said Radiant Darkness doesn't have as much action as the other Persephone retelling books. Which one has been your favorite so far??

Great review!! Thanks! :)

Tiffany said...

Ooooh I forgot about this one! I had it on my TBR forever ago. I'm going to add it to my list for the YA Mythology Challenge. New follower :)

Truly Bookish said...

Great question Lisa! I think I like Radiant Darkness best because it's a standalone story and complete! The other books are the first in trilogies. Of course, my answer may change in 2013 when I am done reading all of them....


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