Thursday, March 6, 2014

Review: The Shadow Prince (Into the Dark #1) by Bree DeSpain

The Shadow Prince (Into the Dark #1)
Bree DeSpain

Think Persephone-Hades myth with a modern twist.

Haden is the disgraced prince of the Underealm with little chance of redemption. However, when an Oracle chooses him to go out and bring back the next Boon, he sees his opportunity. This Boon isn't just any Boon though. She is the Cypher and the key to finding Hades' key to the Underworld. Without her all hope for the Underrealm and humanity could be lost.

Daphne Raines gifted musician and small town girl. She has a led a very sheltered life, a life that makes pursuing her dreams of becoming a famed musician damn near impossible. When her estranged rock star father appears out of the blue and offers her an opportunity to escape her small town and small life. She trades in her sheltered life for what she thinks is the opportunity of a lifetime - joining the esteemed musical program of Olympus Hills High School.

What she doesn't know is that she is the Boon that Haden seeks, and her new home in Olympus Hills has put her in prime territory for him to find her.

The book starts out rather slow, and while I get the need for back story so we can understand the characters and their motivations, this book almost takes it to far. It was really difficult to hang in there at some points. It does pick up, but it's about halfway through the book.... and this isn't a short book...

I will say that once the story picks up, DeSpain does a really good job and it gets really interesting. She throws a lot of twist and turns in there - a dash of mystery. It's really pretty good.

I enjoyed watching the characters and their development. DeSpain is really good at painting characters that are individual and realistic. I had no problems identifying with Haden and Daphne, or any of the supporting characters. Their motivations made sense. Even when they were doing something incredibly stupid, I could grasp why they would do it.

Overall, I liked the book, but I really wish that the pacing was a little better in the beginning. It's one of those books where I really feel like a lot could have been cut out or worked in differently to make a shorter more cohesive story. However, I felt like the author hit her stride towards the end of the book, and I'm certainly interested to see where book two takes us. I'll definitely give the second book a shot before I make a final call on this series.

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