How did I get it: The library.
Why did I read it: I’ve enjoyed all the books in the Olympians series. I also have a hard time resisting any and all re-tellings of the myth of Persephone.
How I would rate it: 4 out of 5 stars.
Hades: Lord of the Dead tells the story of the great God of the Underworld and one of the most famous of all Greek myths: Hades’ abduction of Persephone and her mother’s revenge. Be prepared to see a new side of Persephone in this dynamic adaptation of the story of the creation of the seasons.
Review: As always, I remain really impressed by O’Connor’s ability to re-tell myths that I am overly familar with in a way that still makes them fresh, exciting, and moving.
In Hades: Lord of the Dead, the artwork was beautiful, the characters were really engaging, and I liked the new direction the graphic novel went in. What is often overlooked in more traditional re-telling is Persephone as an individual while there is a lot more time devoted to Hades and to Demeter. In Hades, Persephone is definitely struggling to definie herself in relation to others but also in regards to her own self. Demeter acts as a domineering, controlling force of nature (no pun intended) while Hades initially appears to be more of the same but ultimately facilitates Persephone discovering a role she vastly prefers to retain. Ultimately Persephone manages to find a way to make herself happy as well as Hades and her mother while also making the Underworld a better place, which was really, really great.
Despite the fact that I really enjoyed Hades, I have to be honest and admit that this 4th volume lacked the same depth emotional resonance as the other volumes in the Olympians series. I love the 2 dearly, and Hera: The Goddess and Her Glory literally made me weep. That particular book also made me care about a goddess that I had previous loathed with every fiber of my being so needless to say this left me with certain expectations going into volume 4. As I mentioned earlier, the myth of Persephone is also one of my absolute favorites. I feel like the dark aspects of the more traditional re-tellings ultimately lend a richness that O’Connor couldn’t quite capture by removing the vast majority of them. While I think there is a lot of merit in making a rather grim story about the seasons and the Underworld a bit lighter and hopeful? I’m not sure I like that one of the darkest aspect of O’Connor’s Persephone was her kohl eyeliner.
In conclusion, Hades: Lord of the Dead might not be my favorite of O’Connor’s graphic novels, but it is a very good read. Like all of his graphic novels, Hades will work for a wide range of readers, but I suspect it will have a really strong appeal to young teens who are actively looking for Greek Myths that read more like Rick Riordan.
- Hera: The Goddess and Her Glory by George O’Connor – Olympians #3