The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain
Published: March 11th, 2014 (Egmont)
Source: ARC via Edelweiss
Series: Into the Dark, #1
Buy the book: Bookdepository
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.
Where do I start with this one? As soon as I heard about it and the possibility of it being a Persephone retelling (or at least somewhat based on Greek mythology), I knew I had to read it. Admittedly, I waited an awful long time to finally actually read it. And when I did, I'm sad to say I was disappointed.
Daphne moves in with her estranged father and she starts attending Olympus Hills High. While there, she meets Haden, who is of course gorgeous but also kind of creepy because he immediately tries to lure her back to the Underworld because that was the task he was assigned before he got to the mortal world. When this fails, he tries to build up a relationship with her and the story evolves.
With The Shadow Prince being a Persephone retelling, it's bound to be filled with clichés, and it is. I found it hard to set these aside and really get into the story. There wasn't anything that managed to hook me and lure me in, so the story never really came to life for me. Both Haden and Daphne were sort of bland, although Daphne did have her moments. There was just nothing outstanding about The Shadow Prince. The chemistry between Haden and Daphne is just okay and honestly I couldn't care less if they got together or not.
However, I still managed to finish this 500+ page book which is mostly due to Despain's story telling. Everyone who knows me know how easily I give up on books if they don't manage to engage me so there's definitely that. Though I wasn't hooked, I still wanted to know how it was going to end and what was happening. And when made it to the end, I felt like I finally arrived at the interesting stuff -- only for the book to end.
So basically, The Shadow Prince felt like a massive buildup to the story, which I assume will fully take off in The Eternity Key. I'm not sure if I want to read that because I kind of felt disappointed I had just made my way through a 500 page introduction, but I must admit it has me curious. I mean, just the mention of a quest is usually enough to draw me in, so I might just go ahead and pick it up. Sometime.