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Review: The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain

Wednesday, April 9, 2014
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.
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Wow, this book gave a totally different atmosphere from the author's previous series The Dark Divine. It just goes to show what a great storyteller Bree Despain is! The first time I read the synopsis I knew I just had to read it. I wasn't disappointed!

I liked the development of the relationship between Haden and Daphne. It was funny how when Daphne first meets Haden that instead of being attracted to Haden's mysterious look and his stalkerish tendencies, Daphne finds him creepy. There's no lengthy description or jazz about his godly appearance (Thank Hades!). There was not much romance in this lengthy book but I can see the sequels cooking a generous serving up. Looking forward to that! Another thing I liked about this book was the speech used by the Underlords: What in the Hades?, Herculeanly screwed up, I'm going to be in deep kopros, Well I'll be harpied.. It was fitting and funny!

I had a minor problem with the character Daphne. Daphne is able to hear tones and sounds that people and the world around her give off but she doesn't seem to find this weird? Wouldn't she have felt like an outcast/freak? But instead she embraces it and doesn't hesitate to tell people about it. Despite being 'special', Daphne was quite a dull character.

The storyline was very intricate and the mythology and mythological twists were great. I found it incredulous how every character was linked to each other in some way though.

The book ended in a somewhat unexciting way. It was predictable in the last 30 pages that nothing much would happen and the author was setting up the scene for the next installment. Nevertheless there were many questions unanswered and I'm interested to uncover the answers in the sequel.