The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain
Publication Date: March 11th, 2014
Genre: YA Fantasy
Amazon/Barnes and Noble
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.The Shadow Prince was a very disappointing (and very long) read. I felt Daphne was a bit bland and the tiny plot had some flaws along with many unnecessary parts. On a better note, I did like the aspect of greek myths and the cute little (haha) hellcat. In the paragraphs that follow, you will see that although I was saddened by the book's performance, I will attempt to read the sequel, for reasons I will explain shortly. Also, this will be a very long review, as I have so many thoughts about this book! I doubt I will be able to cram all my conflicted feeling into this review, but I'll try to address the majority of my opinions.
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.
Daphne was the character that really ruined the book for me. She was bland and annoyingly flawless. However, everyone in the story though she was simply perfect and amazing. She looks like a model and can sing better then everybody in the entire world. Remember that blog post I made a couple days ago about why I liked flawed and realistic teenagers? Well, Daphne is one of the reasons I made that post. She is perfect, boring, and all the girls hate her for being so perfect. These unrealistic cardboard girls, known as “The Sopranos” are in the book (in my opinion) simply to make the reader feel sympathetic towards Daphne. Overall, the book is missing good, realistic, and strong female characters. However, I am hoping the next book will feature character development for many girl characters!
Shall we go over the plot next? Basically, Haden has been given a mission to make Daphne fall in love and go to the underworld with him. Well, instead he acted like a stalker for 300 pages. I don’t understand why Daphne didn’t call the police on him, or at least why she keeps trying to defend him in her mind. I mean, he is kind of the bad guy in this story. (Depending on how you look at it.) Attempting to drag Daphne into the underworld in not a heroic action!
The Shadow Prince did have it’s moments though. For example, Haden’s transition from the underworld to our world was quite humorous. Also, I enjoyed all the greek mythology the author infused into the story. I did enjoy the ending, and, surprisingly, I will pick up the next book. This is only because I LOVED Bree Despain’s previous series, the Dark Divine trilogy. (If this had been my first experience with the author, there would be no chance of me reading the sequel.) Also, I feel like this story could easily be improved in future books.
The characters need some work, and the plot wasn’t enough to keep me glued to 512 pages of “blossoming romance”. The Shadow Prince felt too much like an overextended introduction, lacking the complex characters and intriguing plot of a good novel. Thankfully, there were some entraining parts. I hope (and predict) that the second book will be a better success. The Into the Dark series has the potential to become quite a hit, however, for me, this first book was a miss. Unfortunately, The Shadow Prince was not the fun, romantic, adventurous read I was hoping for.
P.S While I determine if Into The Dark is a worthwhile series, you should go read Percy Jackson, The Alchemist, or the Kane Chronicles!!! All those books are wonderful stories that have to do with mythology :D