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The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain
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The Shadow Prince

by Bree Despain

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This was an okay book that essentially retells the story of Hades and Persephone except it truly seems to differ in the sense that these two characters are certainly not Hades nor Persephone nor reincarnations of them. It was somewhat predictable, but because it was a different take on this kind of story I definitely think its worth looking into as long as the rest of the novels in this series are as good. ( )
  Fallon-Smyl | Apr 2, 2016 |
The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain tells the story of a disgraced Underworld prince and a small-town girl who dreams of being a rock star, with a twist on the Persephone and Hades myth! While the writing is fast and readable, I found The Shadow Prince so filled with tropes and foolish decisions that I just couldn’t cheer for the characters. I also was disappointed to see another YA romance that starts off unhealthy and a little creepy and doesn’t improve much. If a guy has your name scarred onto his arm, that’s a red flag :-/.
Note: I received The Shadow Prince from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Some things may have changed in the final version.



The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain (Into the Dark #1)
Published by Egmont on March 11th, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Fantasy, YA
Length: 512 pages
How I got my copy: Edelweiss
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog
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.

Strengths:
The Shadow Prince is long for a YA book but it reads really fast. I never noticed the page count and didn’t feel that The Shadow Prince ever lagged. I actually was surprised when I checked Goodreads and realized just how many pages it actually is.
While The Shadow Prince borrows heavily from the Persephone and Hades myth, there is also a dash of less commonly used myths thrown in, including Orpheus and Pandora. I’m not a huge fan of Persephone and Hades, so it was nice to see elements of these other Greek myths to spice things up ;-).
I’m a music geek, so Daphne’s incredible talent for music was fun to read about and a little envy inducing, haha. Daphne also hears a song from every living thing and can tell moods based off of a person’s song, which was just cool!

Weaknesses:
Daphne is supposed to be this strong and spunky girl and then she goes and makes absolutely stupid and random decisions several times. It felt only too obvious that the plot needed her to go along with something and so she came up with some strange justification for doing it even though it was a really bad decision. You see this early on when she drops everything to go live with her father who she’s seen only a few times in her life, and it just gets worse from there.
The Shadow Prince is written in dual PoV between Daphne and Haden, which I’m generally okay with. However, there are many times when the perspective switches and the other character recaps what just happened with the previous character. The Shadow Prince is written in present tense, but these recaps end up being in past tense since the character is going over what just happened I guess? It was strange, repetitive, annoying, and just downright unnecessary. I’m quite capable of remembering what just happened ya know?
Haden is just such a tool. His whole mission is to go out and find this “Boon” to trick into coming back to the Underworld where she will wither and die of vitamin-D deficiency. He knows that she will die if she comes back, he’s seen every other Boon die within a few years, and yet this doesn’t really seem to even occur to him until half-way through the story when it is convenient. I was bothered all along with this whole idea of Boons and even calling the girls that because, well, ugh, and Haden doesn’t get much better once he starts falling for Daphne with all the necessary YA tropes thrown in for good measure.

Summary:
The Shadow Prince might appeal if you are really geeked about Greek myth retellings and music, but be prepared for a lot of typical YA problems. It is a fast and easy read if you’re looking for something fluffy, and it certainly wasn’t difficult for me to get through if you discount the eye-rolling. Why can’t YA main characters make somewhat decent decisions?? ( )
  anyaejo | Aug 12, 2015 |
Thanks to Edelweiss and EgmontUSA for allowing me access to this title.

I had read most of the Dark Divine series previous to this, and I was pretty sure I would enjoy this title as well. And I did. This was a fun story using Greek mythology and an interesting look at family relationships and how getting what we think we want isn't always what we really want or need.

I would recommend this for those who like mythology or a fantasy romance.

( )
  Mirandalg14 | Aug 18, 2014 |
Review first published on fefferbooks.com. A free advanced reader copy of this book was provided by Egmont USA in exchange for an honest review. The review below is in no way influenced by this consideration.

This was my first Bree Despain, but I will definitely be going right out to track down more of her earlier novels. Right from the first chapter, I was completely swept away. Despain's story is completely full of atmosphere and gravitas and people who are fascinating and scary and a little awesome, in the traditional sense of the word.

The true joy of the novel is its protagonist, Daphne, whom we get to hear from in alternating chapters. Haden (her male counterpart) and Daphne are both strong, independent voices, and Despain does a nice job of making them seem different. I found Daphne a heroine to truly love--she's introspective, compassionate, driven, and determined. She's also a musician, which I particularly related to and enjoyed.

Despain gives us a fun mystery/adventure/romance that clips along at a steady pace, with several secondary characters to push the story along (and make things more mysterious!) and a little Greek mythology mixed in between. It's an entertaining ride.

Couple of mild profanities and a little blood & guts (really, one scene) in the last quarter of the book. Otherwise clean. 4 stars.
( )
  fefferbooks | May 12, 2014 |
The Shadow Prince was so so good.
Haden is trying to reclaim his place as his fathers favourite in the Underrealm. He is picked as Champion, much to the chagrin of everyone, and sent to the mortal plain to get his boon and bring her back with him. His mission is special though, his Boon is the Cypher and can repair the Underrealm and return what was lost.
Daphne is the daughter of Joe Vance who is a rock star. She longs to leave Ellis and find fame with her singing. Joe turns up and tells her that he was granted custody and she is to move to Olympus Hills and attend the prestigious school there. Haden isn't used to flirting with mortals and has to try hard with Daphne. Their lives take an unexpected turn when both meet.

I loved Bree Despains take on the mythology. Hades is dead and Hadens father is King. Hadens mother was mortal and he seems to take after her than his cold hearted father. I immediately loved Hadens character. He seems to bundle everything with Daphne but is so nice and sincere that she finds herself drawn to him. The author explains that the Underlords are extremely quick learners, its one of their powers. Haden can shoot bolts from his hands as well. Daphne was another character I had no problem liking. Even though she has an amazing voice she is so down to earth and doesn't fall for Haden too easy.
The Shadow Prince is an awesome mythology book packed with plenty of mystery and plot twists. The pacing is fast and the story will draw you in and have you rooting for Haden. The secondary characters add more twists and turns and overall make the book even better. Haden and Daphnes story will stay with me and I'm eagerly awaiting book 2 to see what happens. ( )
  BookLoversLife | Apr 24, 2014 |
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I loving memory of Audrey Biesinger
A woman for whom there was no quest too daunting,
no task too hard, and no journey too far to undertake
for faith, family, friends --- or even just the sake of a really
good story.

I miss you, Grandma!
Bree
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I did the unforgivable the day my mother died, and for that I've been punished every moment of my life.
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In this modern retelling of the Persephone myth, Haden Lord, the disgraced prince of the Underrealm, is sent to the mortal world to entice a girl into returning with him to the land of the dead.

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