Home FeatureBook Reviews ‘Neon Gods’ Is A Drop-Dead Gorgeous Read

‘Neon Gods’ Is A Drop-Dead Gorgeous Read

by Olivia Yayla

As we come to the end of Valentine’s season, I can not help but admit how badly I have needed a new book to take out on coffee shop dates, to spend time with, but mostly, to love.

With all jokes aside, there is truly nothing like that fictional book boyfriend who ruins any living, breathing man’s chances in real life. And Katee Robert knew exactly how to write him. “Neon Gods” by Robert is a modern take on the old-as-time love story of Hades and Persephone.

There have been numerous takes on this love story, but it is extremely hard to top the original enemies-to-lovers trope. But Roberts not only did it justice, but did us Greek mythology geeks a great service in the process.

If you have read any of my past book reviews, then you know that the trigger warning always comes before the praise. “Neon Gods” include themes of sexual content, murder, overall violence, death and abuse, but do not let that stop you from finding your potential book boyfriend! The story is very well written and did well to distract me from the looming midterm blues. So shake up that espresso martini, light some candles and let us get into this review.

In the original story, Persephone, the daughter of Demeter, caught Hades’ eye while picking flowers. As God of Death, he abducted her to the underworld where they soon fell in love, in a very Stockholm syndrome kind of way.

But hey, to each’s own. Zeus then intervened, only allowing her to return for the summer and spring seasons, as she ate pomegranate seeds that bound her to the underworld. Their love story is both an explanation of how seasons came to be and an ode to impossible, unlikely, yet still undying love.

But in Robert’s rendition, she decided to write Persephone as strong, independent and strong-willed, which was much appreciated. As a micro-celebrity of the city of Olympus, Persephone can not help but feel as if she is made for something more than the shallow glamour, galas and gossip of high-class living.

When her mother blindsides her with an arranged engagement to Zeus, notorious for his numerous failed relationships and abusive nature, she decides to flee the city. She could turn to no one but the myth, the legend, the lord of the underworld.

While bartering revenge against Zeus for Persephone’s safety, the two grow from opposites to twin flames. But to say that the path to igniting the fire was a hard read would be an understatement.

I am not typically fond of modern retellings, after all, fantasy romance novels have always been my favorite cup of tea. And after the “Hooked” by Emily McIntire fiasco, I was extremely hesitant to give “Neon Gods” a read.

But after a full week of flex cash Dunkin dates and stolen glances from inside my book bag during classes, I think it is safe to say that “Neon Gods” has made it to my top ten list of books to drag one out of their reading rut.

Hades is your typical brooding businessman with a soft spot only the right woman can uncover, and Penelope is the perfect mix between goddess and warrior, all while filling in the juicy blanks with modern twists that the original Greek Mythological tale leaves out.

Maybe it is the cold weather, or possibly the lack of romantic candidates on campus, but it was refreshing to read a story about falling in love with a man both for his flaws and how he makes up for them. Not that his financial status did not help. They do not call him the “lord” of the underworld for nothing.

This book, in terms of spice and how comfortable one would be reading this in the student center, would be a solid seven and a half depending both on your confidence level and how often your friends grab your books out of your hands mid-chapter.

“Neon Gods” is the first of five books in the Dark Olympus series, so if this caught your attention, then you have four more up your alley. As always, read at your own peril.

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