Review: Hades by Alexandra Adornetto

Hades
Alexandra Adornetto

Feiwel & Friends (2011)
424 pages
YA / Romance / Angels (not the cool kind)

Purchase it from Amazon here

I’ve had a stressful day.  First I woke up at 4am and couldn’t go back to sleep (and I’m not a morning person).  Then car salesmen kept calling me all day.  Then I come home to find a pile of work to do when all I want is a nap.  And chocolate.  Those things would make me feel better.  Considering this is a sequel to a book I had issues with before, I think this review will be a bit shorter than usual.

Anyway, this is the reason I read Halo a few weeks ago.  I’d requested a copy of Hades thinking, “Hey, an angel trapped in hell!  That sounds like it has potential.”  But no, I was so very wrong about that, but felt guilty not reviewing it since I’d asked for a copy.  So here is my review in one word:  boring.

I read about half of this book in the middle of a music festival.  I chose to take this particular book with me because A) I didn’t care if it got dirty/rained on, B) if it was anything like the first, it wouldn’t require undivided attention to comprehend and C) if I got especially frustrated, I could take a break and just people watch instead.  The problem with taking this book to a musical festival is that I would have to read it in public, but I got past that.

Anyway spoilers for the first book Halo and minor details from Hades


Hades picks up a few months after Halo ends with Bethany and Xavier all flowers and rainbows again.  Then comes Jake, masked as someone else, who tricks Bethany onto a motorcycle during one of her many fits of stupidity, and takes her to hell to reign as his queen.  Now if you read my review of Halo, you know that I liked Jake in the first book.  He was stereotypical, but at least he was fun in a sea of blah.  In this book, however, he becomes almost as useless and stupid as Bethany.  I mean, he kidnaps an angel, takes her to hell, and then expects her to fall madly in love with him and stay with him forever and ever.  You’re kidding me, right?

The author uses a nice little storytelling device where Bethany can transport her consciousness to the outside world and see what her siblings Gabriel and Ivy are doing to rescue her.  About a third of the book is told this way, meaning at least a third of the book consists of our narrator doing absolutely nothing and being useless.  When she does do something, she ends up doing something stupid that convinces her not to do anything else for another hundred pages.

Though the part that gnaws on my brain the most is the description of hell.  Apparently in Jake’s realm, it consists of night clubs where people are forced to dance forever in their afterlife.  There are limos and motorcycles that zoom around in underground tunnels.  Bethany is sent to live in the penthouse of a luxury hotel.  Yes, some poor suckers are getting tortured through ritual mutilation, but we only dwell on that for a page or two.  Then it’s back to the hotel with the gourmet food and executive conference rooms.  And the devil wears cowboy boots.  Um… what?

This book has all the problems of the first with the addition of being far more boring due to lack of character development since we’re familiar with the players already.  The new secondary characters are the most interesting ones in the book and they hardly make a dent in page count.  The religious dogma is even heavier handed and more repetitious that it starts sounding like an adult in a Charlie Brown cartoon.  This volume also starts beating you with the “no sex before marriage” moral and once Adornetto starts, she rarely stops.

Also, do not read this book if you don’t want to hear about how magical Xavier’s turquoise eyes are.  Or how shiny his hair is.  You hear about it every other page.

I’m sick of angels now, which makes me sad.  I like angels.  I like when they smite people and act as the warriors they’re supposed to be.  I do not like Alexandra Adornetto’s type of angels.  Twelve-year-old girls might like them, but not me.

Now for some chocolate and a nap.

 

D

Annoying, weak characters who do stupid things; too much repetition of religious babbling; storytelling drags that the action scenes seem even shorter than they actually are

 

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in return for an honest review