PJV Quickie: Persephone’s Orchard is a unique retelling of a well known story with great characters and an addicting epic love story that at times is very much forbidden. The flashbacks will have you hooked and dying for more though the world building left something to be desired.
Review: Molly Ringle re-imagines the myth of Hades and Persephone in Persephone’s Orchard. Persephone’s Orchard is a New Adult Paranormal Romance that is based on Greek Mythology. I am a fan of Greek Mythology inspired books and my favorite individual myth is that of Hades and Persephone. I went into this book with pretty high expectations. When you read a retelling or re-imagining it needs to be different enough to be unique but not too far off that it no longer has anything to do with what was originally told. This book definitely is in the middle ground with that, it tells a unique side to Greek Myth that hasn’t been told but at times strayed too far from it. It follows Sophie and Adrian as they deal with the fact that in a past life they were Persephone and Hades, but their story is much different from the one we commonly know. Persephone’s Orchard is a great Paranormal Romance that doesn’t have the two things that have become the most hated of the genre which are love triangles and insta-love. It was a really great read that was highly enjoyable yet it did have a few things holding it back from a 5 star review.
The story begins very mysteriously I love a confusing yet intriguing prologues. It left me asking myself plenty of questions starting with how and why. It was crazy someone gets shot in the beginning and survives. I was dying to know who he was and who this girl Sophie was. And that technically wasn’t even the first chapter. From chapter one, craziness ensues and Sophie acts like a normal person would. She is freaked out, confused and scared; after being kidnapped and taken to a different realm. I was glad that she questioned everything, I for one am done with characters who just believe everything they are told. Sophie is an interesting character because she couldn’t hide how intrigued she was by Adrian. Sophie is definitely my favorite character from the story. She is very intelligent. She also isn’t this spineless girl enraptured by this mysterious guy.
It wasn’t the wittiest or snarkiest book ever written but there were just enough lines to provide comic relief. The story is told in third person from both Sophie and Adrian which was well done. It was also a change up from your average paranormal romance which tends to favor a female narrator. Molly Ringle was able to develop the god’s powers into their personalities extremely well. The person whose past life was Demeter owns a fruit stand and their daughter Sophie, Persephone, has a nutritional blog. It just worked perfectly. Molly Ringle has perfected the art of the chapter cliff hanger I always wanted to read more.
The world building just didn’t cut it for me. The explanations lacked depth and felt like an afterthought. For example when Sophie asked, why there are animals in the spirit world, the answer Adrian gives her is “Oh, Evolution.” Or why she could use a cell phone there, the answer certain frequencies can get through, it is just an oddity. The answers were very 2- dimensional; Molly Ringle seemed too focused on the world being unique and strange than providing an eloquent reason as to how these qualities existed. I get that it could just be that the character doesn’t fully know but it comes off as under developed.
There were many scenes that I found to be unnecessary that were just weird and didn’t make sense in the grand scheme of the story. An example of this would be Persephone getting “tutored” in the art of seduction by Adonis and Aphrodite. It was just an awkward thing to read and it made no sense to the story. There was also a plot twist that was extremely obvious that bugged me to no end. I was ready to scream at Sophie for being so gullible. I was extremely bothered by the lack of explanation until the end of the book of how the immortals can die. There was obviously a missing link as to how they died in the first place to be reincarnated but it got skipped over. Why are they “immortals” then? They are just hard to kill. Not what I want in a character that is a “god”.
Adrian in a lot of ways reminded me of Jay Gatsby especially with how he left comments on her blog. What can I say; I love fictional boys with stalker like tendencies. I want an Adrian for myself! Can someone make this happen please? He is as close to perfect as a guy can get. But Hades on the other hand had his faults. There was clear distinction between the people they are in the present and who they were in the past which was great to see.There is more conflict to this story than you might expect because it is more than a love story between Persephone and Hades. There is this group called Thanatos whose sole purpose is to get rid of immortals. They have placed targets of both Sophie and Adrian’s backs. The end of the novel deals almost exclusively with this. I have only ever seen Thanatos mentioned in the Covenant Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout. So I know that it is a part of Greek Mythology and is some crazy cult but I do wish to learn more about it. It added a level of suspense I was surprised to see in a romance.
Persephone’s Orchard was an exciting fast paced story that I enjoyed. I have read many books that deal with Greek Mythology and this one had zero qualities like the other ones. At times it didn’t stick at all to the myths which bugged me. The world building definitely needed some more substance. But for me this book gets 4 stars because I loved the characters. Sophie, Adrian, Niko, Rhea are all smart and funny. This book is different from a lot of books I have read recently and I am interested in seeing where this series goes. I recommend this to those who want to see Greek Mythology used in a new way. Fans of Fallen by Lauren Kate and The Goddess Test will especially enjoy this book.
This is the first review on Parajunkee’s View by Dana, please give her a warm welcome…