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Downcast (Olympus Falling Book 1) Kindle Edition
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I admit that my preferred genre of books may sometimes be considered shallow, as I am over 50 but still love paranormal romantic suspense novels such as these. Before I wrote my review, I read some others who somewhat criticized how the book paralleled "Twilight" in some ways. Personally, I can't criticize a book for that because I loved the Twilight saga. Yes, some of the things I loved about Twilight I also found in this book, but I believe the target audience that likes those sort of books will enjoy the similarities. Plus, I found the story to be different enough, and well-developed enough to be thoroughly enjoyable. I thought Ms. Reynolds did a great job of recreating this Greek myth in an enjoyable, timely way. I have read many lame knock-off Twilight and vampire books that I didn't find worth reading. I didn't find that here. Just a feel-good paranormal romance with likable characters.
I liked the character development in the story, and how the characters thoroughly enjoy their mortal bodies. I could totally relate to the struggles between Stephanie and her mother, and I liked how the author tied that in to the story. I found both Haley and Zack to be charming, adorable, heroic and swoonworthy. I also loved the other characters, including Stephanie of course, as well as Helen and Morris.
I loved how the story also showed victory over struggles for many of the characters.
In some instances, I think the book could have used a bit more editing, where some adjectives were overused for Haley, etc., but it didn't detract from the story for me.
Overall, I must say, "Well done, Cait Reynolds. I look forward to reading your future books."
Pretty fast we meet Zach and Haley, two new boys who’ve recently moved to the area. Stephanie is smart, but she’s insecure and convinced any motive behind a popular person’s attention to her means they’re messing with her, just waiting to humiliate her the moment she gives into the belief anyone outside of her small circle of friends would be interested in her. And yet, from the moment deep, mysterious, dark, and good-looking Haley lays his eyes on her, he seems transfixed, an interest she doesn’t encourage, but one that draws her in the longer it endures.
Pretty fast the reader realizes a myth is being played out in modern day high school—Persephone and Hades. What I loved about Reynold’s writing wasn’t just how deeply embroiled I became from almost the first page, but I loved her characterization. Stephanie truly was one of the most interesting characters because she wasn’t immediately the most beautiful or interesting girl at school. She initially is submissive, insecure, and only when Haley comes around does she seem to assert any sort of agency. And yet, as the story unravels, she evolves dramatically.
Outside of everything else involved in this unique take on an old Greek myth, the romance was STEAMY. I would love to date Haley … if he wasn’t a high school boy (in the book) and I wasn’t already married (in real life) and deeply devoted to my long-time book boyfriend (Tarod from Louise Cooper’s Time Master Trilogy). Reynolds is a master of the romantic build up, something that seems lacking or almost non-existent in so many books today.
I turned and turned those pages, and so should you if you’re a fan of Greek mythology twists, YA romance, and interesting heroines to boot. You can find Downcast on Amazon for $3.99 in Kindle and $16.95 in paperback. While Reynolds is busy at work on the sequel in the Olympus Falling series, she has since released Angel Hands, a standalone. Stay tuned for an interview with the lovely Cait Reynolds later this week.
Downcast is a modern day retelling of the Hades and Persephone story. Stephanie Starr, the main character, is an extremely sheltered girl with an overbearing mother. Now, I'm sure we can all relate to overly strict parents on some level. But Stephanie's mother takes things to a whole other level. She chooses her daughter's clothes, food, job, doesn't let her leave the house except for school and said job, and allows her to be friends only with two people. Reading about their relationship was fascinating because as much as Stephanie resented being treated like a child, she still respected her mother and did everything she could not to ruin their relationship. Their dynamic evolved from creepy to downright horrifying towards the end of the book, and I commend the author on how she brought her own spin on the Demeter/Persephone story.
Haley (Hades) and his brother Zack (Zeus) arrive at Stephanie's school. We don't learn the truth about them till more than halfway through the book. While Haley's darkness and possessive attitude make it clear he is Hades, I was surprised to learn about Zack's identity. Zack was portrayed as the fun, social, easy going brother. I guess I always pictured Zeus as more conserved. I was also a little confused that he was so into Helen, Stephanie's friend. Only because in greek myth, Helen is the name of Zeus' daughter. I know that names don't mean anything in this book but I would've chosen a different name to avoid confusion.
Anyway, the 2nd half of the book made up for the poor writing at the beginning. Some might see Haley's attitude bordering on Edward Cullen territory, but just keep in mind that he is supposed to be a greek god and it will be easier to swallow.
[taken from my review at goodreads]
Most recent customer reviews
When you read first sentence like this you know to expect something interesting and different.Read more
The story was fresh and put an exciting twist on an ancient myth.Read more