by Molly Ringle
#1 Chrysomelia Stories
Release Date: June 28, 2013
Synopsis from GoodreadsThe Greek gods never actually existed. Did they? Sophie Darrow finds she was wrong about that assumption when she's pulled into the spirit realm, complete with an Underworld, on her first day at college. Adrian, the mysterious young man who brought her there, simply wants her to taste a pomegranate.
Soon, though she returns to her regular life, her mind begins exploding with dreams and memories of ancient times; of a love between two Greeks named Persephone and Hades. But lethal danger has always surrounded the immortals, and now that she's tainted with the Underworld's magic, that danger is drawing closer to Sophie.
First of all, I somehow missed that this is the first in a series. Therefore, it ends in a bit of a cliffhanger...not much of one though...I wasn't screaming at my kindle or anything. :) The story just isn't complete yet. Second of all, this book is kinda hard to review without spoilers. So know that in some ways I'm being intentionally vague. :)
Persephone's Orchard, as you might have guessed, is a novel wrapped around the myth of Persephone and Hades. This is not a mere re-telling of the story though. No, Ms. Ringle sets out to re-imagine the myth. And I'm going to admit upfront that I'm quite fond of this re-imagining. What if Persephone and Hades were actually in love.
I couldn't help but love Adrian Watts. He's lived a challenging life and has spent the last two years doing what he can to help others. But he's lonely and he's ready for his love to join him. Sophie took me some time to warm up to. She tends to make rash decisions on some things and she's stubborn when it comes to others. But, she did go to college thinking she's your average college freshman, only to learn she's anything but when she's drawn over to the spirit world and meets Adrian. While Persephone and Hades' story unfolds for Sophie, and she and Adrian begin their own, an evil force makes itself known attempting to keep these lovers apart.
Ms. Ringle did a phenomenal job of writing a story that is very engaging. I was enthralled, wanting to know everything about Persephone and Hades. The writing flowed beautifully between Sophie's POV, Adrian's POV and the dream/memory sequences experienced by them both. I loved the use of reincarnation as a tool to continue bringing these two souls together in life after life. While I did get frustrated with Sophie at times, I felt Ms. Ringle deftly portrayed those qualities we see so strongly in Persephone and Hades still evident in Sophie and Adrian. I am particularly affected by Sophie and Adrian's desire to use the centuries' worth of knowledge they have to have a different outcome for the themselves this time around.
Obviously, I'm captivated by this story. It's a unique take on an old myth and is beautifully told. I adored Ms. Ringle's imaginative use for pomegranate seeds and the obstacle an over-protective mother would pose to a couple in love. I also enjoyed the creative description of the spirit world and the Underworld. I will now have trouble envisioning the afterlife in any other way. And the supporting cast of gods and goddesses was spectacular. Ms. Ringle did a fine job of creating these characters in both the ancient times and the present. I'm holding out hope for Sophie and Adrian and am anxious for the next book!