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Radiant Darknessby Emily Whitman
Synopses & Reviews
He smiles. Hello.
It's a deep voice. I can feel it reverberate in my chest and echo all the way down to my toes.
I know I should leave, but I don't want to. I want to keep my senses like this forever. I'm all eye, all ear, all skin.
Persephone lives in the most gorgeous place in the world. But her mother's a goddess, as overprotective as she is powerful. Paradise has become a trap. Just when Persephone feels there's no chance of escaping the life that's been planned for her, a mysterious stranger arrives. A stranger who promises something more — something dangerous and exciting — something that spurs Persephone to make a daring choice. A choice that could destroy all she's come to love, even the earth itself.
In a land where a singing river can make you forget your very name, Persephone is forced to discover who — and what — she really is.
"In Whitman's debut, a retelling of the Persephone myth, Persephone feels trapped by her overbearing mother, Demeter ('Mrs. Even-the-grain-greets-me-with-lowered-head'), who wants to keep Persephone a child forever, confined in a 'world devoid of men.' When Hades lands his chariot in her valley, Persephone is immediately attracted to him and after a brief courtship, she chooses to be his bride and queen of the underworld. Persephone is a relatable character — her first appearance as queen has her tripping in front of the entire court. Though Hades calls her powerful and she does have an impressive ability to grow plants, Persephone's relationship with him is very much that of the child bride, with Hades protecting her from knowing of the damage her mother is inflicting on earth and his allowing her to make policy changes in the underworld, rather than her doing so of her own accord. Her attempt to stop her mother's destruction has Persephone relying on those more powerful than her, in this case Zeus. Persephone's narration entertains, but overall the story does not give readers an especially strong heroine or the resonance of the original myth. Ages 14 — up. (May) Flaps, textures and die-cut pages make these books all the more appealing." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Whitman's characterization of Persephone is equal parts Greek goddess and shallow adolescent...and Whitman makes Hades and Persephone (Hadephone? Persades?) a glam celebrity couple that everyone will want to read about." Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Whitman shapes the Greek myth of Persephone into a steamy coming-of-age novel laced with feminist sensibilities." Booklist
"A spunky Persephone retells her story lustfully enough to satisfy fans of Libba Bray and Stephenie Meyer." Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Emily Whitman lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband, two children, and a gray cat. She has worked in library reference, led storytimes, and written for educational publishers. This is her first novel.
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