He was supposed to be a myth. But from the moment I crossed the River Styx and fell under his dark spell…he was, quite simply, mine.
This is a review of the contemporary romance novel – Neon Gods by Katee Roberts.
About the book
A scorchingly hot modern retelling of Hades and Persephone that’s as sinful as it is sweet. Society darling Persephone Dimitriou plans to flee the ultra-modern city of Olympus and start over far from the backstabbing politics of the Thirteen Houses.
But all that’s ripped away when her mother ambushes her with an engagement to Zeus, the dangerous power behind their glittering city’s dark facade.
With no options left, Persephone flees to the forbidden undercity and makes a devil’s bargain with a man she once believed a myth…a man who awakens her to a world she never knew existed.
Hades has spent his life in the shadows, and he has no intention of stepping into the light. But when he finds that Persephone can offer a little slice of the revenge he’s spent years craving, it’s all the excuse he needs to help her—for a price.
Yet every breathless night spent tangled together has given Hades a taste for Persephone, and he’ll go to war with Olympus itself to keep her close…
Hot, sizzling read that is just sweet enough to awaken my hunger for reading and sinful enough to make for a stimulating experience.
The author Katee Robert is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance and romantic suspense. Entertainment Weekly calls her writing “unspeakably hot.” Her books have sold over a million copies.
To start with, I’m a total sucker for Greek gods and themes in stories so this one was chosen for its potentially stimulating power which it delivers beautifully.
Highlights of the story:
- A modern retelling of the story of Hades and Persephone
- Greek mythology meets modern day in this book
- God titles are passed down from generation to generation starting with the very first gods of Olympus.
- I love that there wasn’t any forced acting or dramatics on the main characters’ parts.
- The reader can clearly see the characters’ growth and development through the story.
- The vengeance storyline was not forced or dragged unnecessarily.
- The characters (personalities & traits) were distinct and didn’t blur together like you see in some stories.
- The author managed to achieve the balance between sweet and dark with this romance.
He looks down at me, still as a statue draped in black, for what feels like an eternity. Then he seems to make a choice: lifting a hand, palm extended toward me, he beckons me across what remains of the River Styx…“Come,” he says simply.
Somewhere in the depths of my panic, my mind is screaming that this is a terrible mistake. I don’t care. I dredge up the last bit of my strength and sprint for him.
I don’t know who this stranger is, but anyone is preferable to Zeus. No matter the price.
This is where the story really began and I can honestly say, it never lags from that point on.
You can clearly see the meeting of the main characters sets a quick, somewhat desperate tone that carries through the story.
Another thing I really loved was the humor of the characters throughout the story.
With each character having their own unique sense of humor, there was just enough humor and sarcasm to keep things lively even at the early parts when the story hadn’t picked up.
The characters were so relatable and multi-faceted. With characters you’ll love to hate and the usual tropes that made the story fun to read.
I particularly loved the happy-go-lucky Hermès-Dionysus duo. It’ll be interesting to delve deeper into those two (I think the author dropped some hints there).
The interactions were natural and flowed easily throughout the story.
One of the best aspects of the story in my opinion was the pacing. It felt neither rushed or draggy. The protagonists progression and overall character development was very well done.
Quotes from the book:
- “You’re out of your mind.” “Hardly. I’m a woman with a plan. Learn and adapt, Hades.
- Every time her lips curve and she embodies a human-shaped sunbeam, I know things are about to get interesting.
- This woman is no blushing princess in a tower. She’s a goddamn shark, and she’ll attempt to top from the bottom if given half a chance.
- You only get one body, and you’re a shitty custodian of yours.”
- Do you know, I’m just hedonistic enough to be orgasm-motivated. I suppose I can promise to be on my best behavior tomorrow if you make it worth my while tonight.”
- Despite what he seems to think, I am capable of obedience when properly motivated.
- “You’ve ruined me, Persephone. Forgive the fuck out of me if I want to return the favor.
- “It will create enemies.” “It will bring enemies you already have out into the open.” I correct.
Moral of the story:
This story teaches a beautiful lesson that can be summed in one sentence; The courage to be disliked.
There are times when our liberation might come from accepting and doing exactly what is not expected of us.
At those times, we need to have the courage to be disliked to move forward, and only then would we rise above the expectations of others and become who we’re meant to be.
I was honestly curious to see how the modern Greek gods would be depicted and I have to say I was not disappointed.
The one thing I would have loved was a bit more world building, as the setting was somewhat difficult to understand. Hopefully this will be clearer in the author’s future works of the series.
Overall, I consider the book to be a refreshing and satisfying read particularly for those looking for something stronger in the contemporary romance department.