Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Review: The Shadow Prince

Title: Into the Dark #1: The Shadow Prince

Author: Bree Despain

Date of Publication: March 11. 2014

Formats Available: Hardcover, Paperback, E-book

Buy This Book: Amazon

Synopsis: 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.

My Review:

The Shadow Prince didn't start off bad, in fact, in the beginning I was rather enjoying it. However as the novel dragged on and on and and I found myself enjoying it less and less, it's needless to say I was eager to finally get to the end of this giant novel. For such a long novel 500+ pages, this was a hard one for me to get through and, I'm not going to lie, it was a bit of a relief to finally mark this one as read.

Lets start with the main reason I didn't like this novel, Daphne. From the beginning Daphne struck me as a little bit of a cold-hearted person, leaving her mom (who obviously loved her so much) to go live with a dad she's never met. Even though I could understand the frustration Daphne went through with a mom who never let her leave her home town I was shocked that Daphne could just leave her without even a second glance. Then later in the novel when Daphne's dad tried to reconnect with her she shot him down at every opportunity. He made mistakes in the past but I don't understand why Daphne was just flat out mean to him all the time. Not that but she was presented as absolutely perfect in every regard, she had a perfect singing voice with a perfect range, so obviously all the girls hated her for her pefection (honestly who wouldn't). Then she blows off the only friend she makes in order to run off with Hayden, despite the fact that her friend warned her over and over that he was bad news.

Now for the second reason I didn't like this novel, Hayden. In the beginning Hayden wasn't bad, but as the novel wore on I found myself disliking him more and more. He was so completely full of himself that I could barely stand to read his self centered inner monologue. I understood that he felt that he had something to prove but his attitude just drove me up the wall. The only thing I'll say about him is that there were a few humorous moments when he was learning about what it was like to live in the human world, but those didn't make up for the rest of his faults.  Plus the romance between him and Daphne felt so forced and awkward that I had a hard time reading it without cringing the entire time.

Now the plot itself wasn't totally awful, it was just boring instead. The majority of the novel is spent at Daphne's new school reading about her perfection in the music department, which, trust me, got old fast. There's been some girls getting hurt from a mysterious assailant, and Hayden just happens to be there every time, making him the prime suspect. However Daphne just knows that it isn't him, despite everything telling her otherwise. I knew exactly where this story was going the moment it started and it wasn't a particularly exciting ride getting there. Of course Daphne and Hayden fall in love, despite the ridiculously small amount of time they spent together, and go off into the sunset to find a way to keep Hayden from having to take her back to the underworld. And don't even get me started on how Greek Mythology played into all this.

The Shadow Prince just wasn't an enjoyable book, no matter how I look at it. I was disappointed at every turn and every time I thought things were going to get better, they didn't. Maybe I'm just a little too old to really appreciate this one but I'm sorry to say that I just don't recommend this novel, especially to older fans of the YA genre.


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