The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain
Book One of the Into the Dark series
Publication Date: March 11, 2014
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from Edelweiss
Summary (from Goodreads):
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.
What I Liked:
I read The Dark Divine (by this author) a few years ago, and enjoyed it! At the time, I was avoiding all vampire/werewolf books, but that one caught my attention. Sadly, I've yet to read the rest of the series, but I liked The Dark Divine. When I heard about this book almost a year ago, I was really excited! I love all things mythology, and Despain is definitely a talented writer. I'm happy to say that I enjoyed this book as well, but this time, I hope to read the entire series.
Haden is sent to the human world to bring Daphne back. Daphne moves from Ellis Fields to Olympus Hills on account of her father gaining custody rights. Haden screws up pretty badly, and has to move mountains to convince Daphne to come with him. But things aren't that easy, as the pair quickly find out. More is at stake than bringing a Boon back to the Underrealm. And both Haden and Daphne find that neither of them want to go... but at what price?
This book is quite long, but it's a roller-coaster of a novel! I admit, the ENTIRE book was a bit lengthy, and probably could have been condensed a bit (maybe in the four-hundred-page range?). But, I really like how Despain made this book long. Like, every scene had a purpose, most likely to show us more about Dahpne's life, or Haden's character, or the mythology and customs of the Underrealm.
This book is split into two first-person perspectives - Haden's and Daphne's. As usual, I think I preferred Haden's point-of-view, which is almost no surprise, because the book starts with his perspective. It's not that I didn't like Daphne - but I feel like I didn't connect with her AS MUCH as I connected with Haden. Maybe he got more pages/exposure to the audience than she did. Maybe I just didn't sympathize with her as much. Either way, I didn't NOT like her, but I didn't absolutely love her, either.
I really like Haden, though. It was so interesting to read all about his transition to the human world. I mean, the Underrealm is pretty medieval, in a sense. So, Haden had to learn about cell phones and driving and modern English slang. It was hilarious! And so cute. I definitely like Haden's personality - he is quietly a leader, subtly emotionally driven, but definitely empathetic and intelligent.
I liked the plot of the story. It seems pretty simple - bring the girl back to the Underrealm, but then everything just goes nuts. We've got Haden's father on a rampage, a missing key, a crazy manager/salesperson who supports the highest bidder, wicked shadow creatures, mysterious powers... this book is definitely made of a whirlwind of activity and adventure, twists and surprises. Some things were more predictable than others, but for the most part, this book was highly original and very enjoyable.
The romance is very subtle in this book. Yes, you can tell right away that Haden and Daphne should/will fall in love. However, it doesn't just happen. Sparks don't fly immediately (in fact, quite the opposite occurs). Haden definitely cares about Daphne a lot, and Daphne feels something for Haden. But it's not a life-changing, all-encompassing, powerful love (at least, not yet). I can't wait to read more about the development of the romance, in future books of the series.
I love the mythology and world-building of this book. Despain did a very good job of creating a distinct world, and laid the foundations with ease. I mentioned that she included a purpose to every scene - that's fantastic, because every scene gave us not only parts of the plot, but bits and pieces of the world, the characters, and so on.
I recently read another book based on mythology - and it was pretty bad. I was hesitant to read another mythology-based book so soon after reading that not-so-great one, but I think I made a good choice! I really enjoyed this book, and I'll definitely be continuing with this series.
What I Did Not Like:
I don't think there was much that I didn't like. It was long, but I read it pretty quickly. I didn't love some of the characters, but I didn't hate them either. Some parts of the plot were a bit predictable at times, but that didn't bother me much. Overall, I really liked this book. It's a four-star read though - that's the rating it *feels* like, to me.
Would I Recommend It:
Yup! Especially if you love mythology, like me (any kind of mythology). No love triangle, no boredom, no intolerable heroine (or hero). This book was pretty great! I'm glad I had the chance to read it. I'm just going to warn you - don't expect a powerful, dynamic romance (like the synopsis might imply). I don't want anyone to be disappointed. Despain has the entire series to develop the romance to what readers might want to see.
4 stars. I can't wait to read the second book! It will be interesting to see where Despain takes this series.
Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!
Oh nice review! This was one I actually got to read from Edelweiss! Think I got in there when it was an automatic read! Loved her Dark Divine Trilogy as well and was eager for something new from Bree and plus it was a Greek mythology story, and I LOVE Greek mythology ever since we did a unit in seventh grade!ReplyDelete
Great review! I read this one so long ago, I can't recall how I felt about it, but I know that I did really enjoy it! And definitely am eager for more! My review will be up next month some time, so if you can remember and want to read it then, go for it! ;)
WOOT! I believe Egmont auto-approves all reviewers on Edelweiss. I need to finish The Dark Divine trilogy! But the mythology was what really pulled me in. I'm glad that you liked this one, and I will try to remember to stop by! :)Delete
I just stacked this one onto my TBR pile and am excited to read it! I'm glad you enjoyed it...I love mythology and the length is a bit deterring but I haven't read something like this in awhile so I'm excited! (P.S. I lost PANIC by Lauren Oliver while I was reading it. It seriously disappeared into the thin air, so I'm a bit disappointed but I recently finished THE WINNER'S CURSE which I know you loved and I loved it as well. It'll probably be one of my favorites of the year. Happy reading!! :)ReplyDelete
Awesome! I remember when you all got this one. I got an eARC, but I remember thinking, woahhhhhh, 500+ pages O_O The story goes by pretty quickly though.Delete
Panic was a mess for me - so maybe that's fate's way of telling you not to bother ;) And OMG I'm so glad that you loved The Winner's Curse! It is so amazing, no? I'm pleased that you loved it! It was a favorite of 2013 for me ^_^
Really nice review! Absolutely made me want to read this book.ReplyDelete
I hope you do read it!Delete
Great review! I'm so glad that there isn't insta-love... I like a slow building romance!ReplyDelete
I only read THE DARK DIVINE too... I don't know why I never finished the series because I really did enjoy it!
Me too! The development of the romance is pretty important to me, but the presence is as well. I am in the same boat as you! I liked the first book, but never read the others. I think it's time we changed that? ;)Delete
I'm glad to hear there's no love triangle (or insta-love), but you said it was two first-person perspectives for the narration? Eh, not my favorite, but may be worth a try, especially if the characters are as wacky and amusing as you say. :)ReplyDelete
Yup, two first-person perspectives, switching off. Usually when the author does that, I LOVE the male, but tend to dislike the female. It's rare that the opposite occurs, but occasionally, I'll like both. The characters in this book are pretty great though! So, in this case, the dual perspectives worked.Delete
Hmm I recently read a couple of reviews on this that were not so glowing, and I still think I am going to pass just because I think this story line has been done and then done again. I am glad though that it was a good read for you! THanks for your insight.ReplyDelete
It's not a Hades/Perspehone retelling, if that is what you are thinking. Gosh I hate those so much (especially Everneath). Thank you for the comment, Heidi!Delete
Yay I'm glad that this one was a hit for you! I really enjoyed her Dark Divine book, too, and was debating whether or not I wanted to read this one, but it looks like I will be soon from the pacing and romance. I really like when a romance is minimal but you can still recognize the chemistry going on, haha, and yay for a pretty decent heroine! I'm not a huge fan of mythology because my luck hasn't been great with them so far, but maybe we'll see if this one breaks my mythology slump :) Great review!ReplyDelete
I think you should give it a go! Mythology is so fabulous, but even if you don't really follow mythology, it's still an awesome read. Thank you!Delete
Awesome review Alyssa another author that I have not read yet and I heard nothing but amazing raving review about her Dark Divine Trilogy it looks and sounds so awesome and so does this one but I haven't been getting into a lot of mythology books its not that I don't like mythology I love mythology books but I haven't got a book that kept me interested or wow me at all but this one looks and sounds that I would highly enjoyed it I must give it a try thanks for sharing Alyssa!ReplyDelete
This is a great example of a mythology-related novel! And it's better than that other mythology-related book that I read recently... this was much better. Hope you read and enjoy this one at some point, Katiria!Delete
Very hesitantly, I picked up The Dark Divine series. I did not think that I would enjoy it very much, but I thought I would at least give it a shot. It ended up being a very enjoyable series, so when I heard of this one, I definitely knew that I would give it a shot, too. It sounds so good. It also sounds to me like I might just really enjoy it, according to your review! Now, I just need to get a copy of it into my hands!ReplyDelete
I'm so glad you liked The Dark Divine series! I was also hesitant to pick up the first book, but I ended up loving it. The more I think about it, the more I want to finish the series...Delete
I hope you read and enjoy this one! Hopefully, your public library has copies in a few weeks? It's definitely worth the read!
I didn't read your review in great detail only because it is sitting in my to be reviewed pile atm. I am so happy to see you enjoyed it! I read the first The Dark Divine and really enjoyed it. I attempted the second book and wasn't as enthused.ReplyDelete
YAY well thank you for the comment, Kristen! I really appreciate it :) I'm glad you like book one, but that scares me that you didn't like book two (or didn't finish it) :\ I hope to still read the series. BUT, this particular series is off to a great start!Delete
I agree 100% with your review, Alyssa!ReplyDelete
I really enjoyed this one and it didn't feel like such a long book as it really is! When there wasn't action there was character development or some sort of information about the mythology of the world which I found super interesting! Cannot wait to see how the series progresses!
I'M SO GLAD THAT YOU DID! And it just flew by, really. I loved the twist on Greek mythology. Hopefully the series keeps getting better and better!Delete
Glad you enjoyed this too! I though the book was a bit long for the amount of content, but I just totally adored Haden, so all is forgiven ;) I think my favourite parts were definitely Haden figuring out the Human World. I actually really enjoyed the romance as well (: I'm excited for book two! Great review Alyssa!ReplyDelete
(PS. Here's my review if you're interested)
Haden is pretty great! And I totally agree! Best reactions :D I'm glad you liked the romance! And hopefully, we'll get book two very soon (to review). Thank you!Delete
And I totally will, right now, Cyn!