Friday, January 6, 2012

Asphodel by Lauren Hammond

Product Details

Synopsis:
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 gods. 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.


My thoughts:
Most people are at least somewhat familiar with the story of Hades and Persephone, but Hammond puts a new spin on it. Hades can only claim Persephone, who has been promised to him by Zeus, on her 17th birthday. So every 17 years, Hades has his chance. But with Zeus and Demeter protecting Persephone, Hades has his work cut out for him. I loved this retelling because Demeter and Persephone hide among humans and live like common people instead of the godesses they are. Persephone is sort of a prisoner in her own life because while she tries to blend in with humans, she can't form any real connections with them.

Her separation from the world is intensified when she is taken by Hades. But their dynamic isn't what you'd expect. Hammond's description of the underworld draws you in and makes you feel like you're touring the Realm of the Dead. I don't want to give away too much of the story, but the relationship between Hades and Persephone will leave you wanting more. I'm looking forward to the next book in this series.

Just for fun: How would you react if you found out your father promised you to the god of the underworld?

38 comments:

  1. The Persephone-Hades line does make me curious. Wonder how it'll all turn out? :) The three-headed dogs and the search for the last pomegranate are interesting parts, too.

    As for the question, it depends: how is the god of the underworld like? Behaviour when he's with others and when he's alone, character, and ... looks? (Uhm ... I'm just a tad superficial. Really.)

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  2. Claudine, I like that you asked questions about Hades instead of just seeing him as the god of the dead and saying, No way!

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  3. can't wait to read it - it's next on my TBR list!

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  4. Jessie, you're going to love it. Hey, I'll be reviewing DESTINED on the 13th. :)

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  5. Oh, those Greek Gods were devious characters! That's why they make such good fodder for fiction! I'm just about to teach my college students a Greek segment, focusing on Aristophanes comedies. They typically love the film on myth I use. In other words, Lauren picked a great topic. Best of luck with it!

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  6. Catherine, yes mythology is a hot topic right now. I have a special fondness for it. Good luck with your Greek segment. It sounds like it's a big hit.

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  7. The regard I held my father's judgment in would have caused me to try to understand why he would promise his progeny to the dark side. This is my honest answer to your (tongue-in-cheek) question.
    It is a perennial dilemma- how to manage authority, and how to forge one's own authority- no less than a perilous journey, which mythology articulates.
    Good review and great post, Kelly.

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  8. Thanks, Mirka. That's a great point by the way. Persephone doesn't have a great relationship with Zeus, and that definitely changes things.

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  9. Great review. This is another one I'll have to add to my TBR pile. Hm, if my dad promised me to the god of the underworld, I'd probably be pretty ticked off, and terrified! I may try to run away if possible. Fun question :)

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  10. Courtney, I'd be terrified, too. Being queen of the underworld isn't exactly every girl's dream. ;)

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  11. Oooh, I like this spin on the story, will have to check it out. I very much liked the "take" on this by Roberta Gellis, where it is also a love match between Hades and Persephone.

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  12. Beverly, I haven't read the version by Roberta Gellis. I'll have to check it out.

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  13. I like the idea of a new spin, as long as the story doesn't deviate too far from the original. Nice review. Thanks.

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  14. Donna, retelling are so much fun. Putting a new spin on an old story is what writing is all about, right? I mean supposedly there are only X number of story lines. The difference is in how writers change them, add twists, and make them their own. :)

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  15. Awesome review! New follower here. Please check out my blog and follow back if you like it!

    Amber
    http://falln2books.blogspot.com

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  16. Thanks, Amber. I'm heading to your blog now.

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  17. I love mythology and I love YA :-) Will have to check this one out, I had not heard about it before!
    Thanks for the recommendation Kelly.
    Hmm and if my dad had sold me to the God of the underworld: my first thought would be about The Goddess Test, lol

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  18. commutinggirl, I have The Goddess Test waiting for me on my Kindle. I'm looking forward to reading it.

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  19. Sounds interesting... I can't imagine my father promising me to anyone, but if he did, other than being quite annoyed, I'd try checking out if that god is someone I could like.

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  20. angel011, sounds like a good strategy. Check him out to see if you should freak out or not.

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  21. Hi, Kelly. :) Thanks for the comment on my page. I'd found you through blog hop on Thurs, but I guess I forgot to leave my comment, oops.

    As for how I would react if my dad promised me to Hades? Well, I am a hopeless romantic, so I think I would be anxious/excited/terrified out of my mind. How Hades ended up being would depend whether I would continue speaking to my dad or not. :)

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  22. Interesting take on the myth! Can't imagine having to hide from Hades. Has to be scary.

    Great review.

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  23. Hi, Carrie. Thanks for stopping by. Yes, I think my relationship with my father would change depending on how Hades and I got along, too. ;)

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  24. Lee, I would imagine I'd be terrified. At least at first.

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  25. I kind of like bad boys, so I might actually be a little excited about the idea. This sounds like an interesting take on the myth - neat idea.

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  26. Melissa, this really is a great twist on the myth. I hope you read it.

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  27. This sounds like a fantastic book. I love mythology and am very familiar with this story. I love that this book is a twist on it. I have to read it! Also- I would rather be promised to another god- and I would be scared out of my mind! I hope I would be able to find something good about it as time went on!

    ~Jess
    http://thesecretdmsfilesoffairdaymorrow.blogspot.com/

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  28. Jess, I'm crazy about mythology. I can't get enough. I read two retellings in the past few weeks and I have another waiting for me on my Kindle. Enjoy Asphodel. :)

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  29. Very nice review, Kelly. Honestly, these Greek gods are new to me. True, I've never been into mythology. However, the last two books I've read are about the gods and I'm really enjoying these new characters.

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  30. Beverly, you have to get into mythology. It's such great stuff. And it's a hot book topic right now, too. :)

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  31. I have always loved these sorts of stories. I don't know how I'd feel to be honest, but one thing is certain, along with the mayhem, there would be great passion. The Gods, if anything, never did anything small. This sounds like a good book, will have to wait. I just started 'Sunshine'. So far so good.

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  32. Brenda, good call on the passion. I never thought about it that way, but you are definitely right.

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  33. I love mythology. This sounds like a really cool way of reinventing this particular myth and taking it beyond the original story.

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  34. Sometimes I like going into a book really not knowing what to expect. When I first started this book I had no idea where it would take me but wow, it was a total adventure!

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