Hades by Alexandra Adornetto (4 stars)

  • Pub. Date: August 2011
  • Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
  • Format: Hardcover , 432pp
  • Sales Rank: 6,572
  • Age Range: Young Adult

Things have calmed down after Jake Thorn was banished by Gabriel.  Bethany is getting back to normal and enjoying her time with Xavier.  Halloween is coming and the two of them are discussing their Halloween costumes.  The biggest problem is that Bethany’s girl friends are complaining that she spends too much time with Xavier.  They want her to spend some girl time with them at the Halloween party doing a séance.  Bethany is unsure, but she doesn’t want to disappoint them.  At the Halloween party, Xavier goes running off with his guy friends and Bethany goes upstairs with the girls to conduct a séance.  She expresses her disapproval but figures that none of them are strong enough to do any actual damage.  The girls sit around in a circle and commence, but things begin to get weird.  They are getting an odd evil sense and the circle is broken.  That evil is released into the room.  The girls all run downstairs.  Bethany heads outside and runs into Xavier’s best friend on a motorcycle.  He says that Xavier has been hurt and that Bethany needs to go to him.  Bethany jumps on the motorcycle and the two of them speed off, but they pass by Xavier who seems fine.  This is when Bethany starts to notice that something is wrong.  The séance unleashed Jake, and he is taking Bethany straight to hell.  The rest of the story is about Bethany figuring out things in hell, getting herself in trouble, occasionally being a strong girl, but mostly being naive and annoying, or about her siblings, Xavier, and Molly looking for a portal to rescue her.
My thoughts:
I enjoyed this one more than the first one.  I think part of it is because Bethany is not as pathetic as she is in the first book.  It’s also because there is a good portion of the book that she is involved and is narrating, but everything is centered on Gabriel, Ivy, Xavier, and Molly.  I found those parts to be the most interesting.  Gabriel has become my favorite character, and I like that he is intelligent and logical, where most of the other characters are completely melodramatic.  I wasn’t thrilled with the descriptions of hell.  I couldn’t tell if it was actually a bad place to be.  It was ambiguous.  I think a lot of my teenagers would not see the different types of “punishments” as actual punishments.  Also, almost everyone seemed to be rather content.  The author would occasionally share that there was a level of fear involved, but it wasn’t shown through anyone’s actions or words.  This could be because everything is seen through Bethany, who is an imperfect narrator, but I just don’t think that the level of sophistication that takes in writing shows up throughout the story.
All in all, I enjoyed the book on the surface.  It was better than Halo.  Even though there is an extreme cliffhanger at the end, I don’t think that I want to continue reading this series.  I probably would not have picked this book up if it hadn’t been for Amazon.

4 out of 5 stars

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