“Get in Loser, we’re reading another Hades and Persephone Retelling”: Neon Gods Review

I have made it widely known that I love a good H&P retelling. It’s got it all: villain love interest, forbidden romance, love interest whose soft for only the heroine, and there is no one more broody and bad than the literally Lord of Night, God of the Dead,…Hades. So when it was announced that an infamous writer of *ahem*…adult fiction, was taking a stab at a H&P retelling, I was immediately on board.

This review is mostly spoiler free!

This review is going to be a hodge-podge of all of my thoughts about the series/plot/characters, as opposed to a more structured review, like I normally do. This is what I’m feelin’ so this is what I’m doin!

  1. Hades’s characterization: Hades lacks his typical charm in this book. This Hades doesn’t have much of a sense of humor. It definitely serves grumpy/sunshine troupe but I missed our typical dramatic/charismatic Hades, with grand gestures and funny remarks and quips. It’s like all of the charm was given Persephone in this retelling (kind of the opposite of most people’s, including my, issue with the A Touch of Ruin series?)

2. World building/Magic system: This retelling is kind of half-low/half-high fantasy. No one actually has magical powers, which takes away a huge part of what’s so interesting about greek myths and the fantasy genre. However, at the same time, there appears to be SOME magical elements? Like (mild plot spoilers) there is a ward on bridges to make it painful to cross to the Lower City (aka Hades’ territory)? Also, We have no idea what WORLD this Olympus is in, they talk about “the real world outside”…but is this Olympus on a cloud in the sky? In somewhere magical? On our Earth? It reads like it is on our planet, but there’s not even a mention of places/landmarks/historical events outside of Olympus. The lack of detail here is really felt. 

3. Mob boss-ification of Greek Myths: With that being said, I realized I’m not really a fan of this rich mob boss-esque version of Hades. Without his powers, he never feels like a real threat to Zeus. I generally like Hades as a character in retellings because he typically has a vibe to him that he could conquer worlds if he wanted it, but he simply doesn’t desire it. He just wants to rule in his kingdom with his queen. With that being said, this Hades is just incredible emotionally tortured and all of his POV chapters are centered on his torment and fear, and like I said, we don’t see how incredible charming he apparently is (to persephone at least?!)

4. Insta love: This is basically insta love. I’m okay with it from Hades POV but I wanted a little more fight or reluctance from Persephone. That’s what makes it so sweet!

5. WITH ALL THAT BEING SAID: …..The smut was incredible. Sublime. So yes, I just complained about this book for multiple paragraphs. But yes, I am rating it 4/5 Stars. In the end, it gave what it needed to have given.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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