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Into the Dark: The Shadow Prince Hardcover – 11 Mar 2014

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 481 pages
  • Publisher: Egmontusa (11 Mar. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606842471
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606842478
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 3.9 x 22 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,299,932 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Egmont USA and Edelweiss.)
Haden is a disgraced prince of the underworld, sent by his father the king to earth to find a boon – a girl called Daphne Raines.
Daphne lives in a small town that her mother never lets her leave, until her rock-star father bursts in, and takes her to live in a swanky community, and enrols her at a school with a music programme – exactly what Daphne has always wanted.

Haden knows that he must take Daphne with him back to the underworld, but he also knows that she’s very unlikely to agree to it of her own free will.
Can Haden complete his task? Can he have his honour restored? And should Daphne have really left the small town where she grew up?

This was an interesting story, but there were a couple of niggles that annoyed me a bit. I did like the book overall though, and it didn’t feel long, even though it was!

Haden was an okay character. I felt sorry for the way his father treated him, but I also thought that his actions were sometimes inadvisable, and his desire to please people was sometimes a little too great. At times he really needed to think about things, and decide what he thought was the right thing to do, rather than what would get him the most honour.

Daphne was an interesting character, but I didn’t quite get why she didn’t think her mother’s desire that she never leave her home town was maybe a bit suspect. I also thought that Daphne’s actions were a little naïve and un-thought-out. When she was told not to go to the glade, she didn’t wonder why people didn’t go there, or ask why she shouldn’t go, she just thought the acoustics would be good, and went there anyway.
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Format: Hardcover
The Shadow Prince was so so good.

Haden is trying to reclaim his place as his fathers favourite in the Underrealm. He is picked as Champion, much to the chagrin of everyone, and sent to the mortal plain to get his boon and bring her back with him. His mission is special though, his Boon is the Cypher and can repair the Underrealm and return what was lost.

Daphne is the daughter of Joe Vance who is a rock star. She longs to leave Ellis and find fame with her singing. Joe turns up and tells her that he was granted custody and she is to move to Olympus Hills and attend the prestigious school there. Whilst there she meets the enigmatic Haden. He isn't used to flirting with mortals and has to try hard with Daphne. Their lives take an unexpected turn when she decides to trust him.

I loved Bree Despains take on the mythology. Hades is dead and Hadens father is King of the Underrealm. Hadens mother was mortal and he seems to take after her than his cold hearted father. I immediately loved Hadens character. He seems to bundle everything with Daphne but is so nice and sincere that she finds herself drawn to him. The author does a great job explaining Hadens powers. He can shoot bolts from his hands and is an extremely quick learner. He learns music just to get close to Daphne. She was another character I had no problem liking. Even though she has an amazing voice she is so down to earth and doesn't fall for Haden too easy.

The Shadow Prince is an awesome book packed with plenty of mystery, mythology and plot twists. The pacing is fast and the story will draw you in and have you rooting for Haden. The secondary characters add more twists and turns and overall make the book even better. Haden and Daphnes story will stay with me and I'm eagerly awaiting book 2 to see what happens.
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Format: Hardcover
Haden is the shunned prince of the Underrealm, but he, instead of his favoured twin brother, is chosen by the oracle to be sent to the Olympus Hills in the mortal realm. His job is to gain the trust of one girl in 6 months and bring her back as the boon to the Underrealm. All Daphne Raines want to be is a singer and move away from her tiny town. Her wishes are granted when her absent rock star dad sends her to Olympus Hills and the schools renowned music programme. Haden has to find a way to woo Daphne, but this is difficult as she distrusts him, he is new to this world and might have to become more human. Fate has Daphne and Haden's destiny's entwined and their decisions could affect both their worlds.

The Shadow Prince is a good paranormal novel with interesting Greek mythology. However, while good, it is predictable as there was no unexpected surprises and a bit forgettable.

I like Daphne as she likes to be in control but, like Lexie says in the book, she is a natural and finds everything easy which makes her really hard to relate to her. Haden grew on me during the book, as at the beginning I did not really like him, but as he struggled with becoming more human he got better.

I am interested to find out what happens next to Daphne and Haden in the next book. I would recommend The Shadow Prince to fans of YA paranormal book or books about Greek Mythology.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9041c1d8) out of 5 stars 63 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f2d0de4) out of 5 stars A hit for both lovers of mythology and newbies to the genre 3 April 2014
By Michelle@Book Briefs - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The Shadow Prince is a whopper of a book. It comes in at over 500 pages long , and the only thing I was thinking when I was done with it was, “That wasn’t long enough. I want more!” I love mythology and I really enjoyed all of the attention to mythological details that Bree wove into the story. Mythology really was everywhere, throughout the street names in the town to the class lectures at school. It was an immersion into the stories of Persephone and Hades, which just so happens to be one of my very favorite myths. For example, One of Daphne’s teachers was teaching her class about some versions of the Persephone myth and she was describing a thesis paper she wrote in college and I thought even that sounded fascinating. I would totally read her paper. So I may be a bit of a mythology nerd, but this book is perfect for both mythology enthusiasts like me and newbies alike.

I loved how strong willed Daphne was. She is not going to back down from anything or anyone. But she wasn’t so stubborn as to be pig headed. She could admit when she was wrong. That is a balance that I seldom see in main characters. They are normally all or nothing. And I loved how passionate Daphne was about music. She could see music in everything. It was pretty magical, and Bree made all of it come to life in the story through her descriptive writing. This is a book that would have one of the most killer playlists out there- that’s for sure.

Hayden is chosen as a surprising guardian. Right off the bat he is the underdog and I couldn’t help but root for him. I felt bad about the harsh reactions he drew from everyone in his home court. And throughout the book he kept alluding to this big, bad horrible thing that he did to earn his people’s hatred. It was driving me crazy trying to guess what it was. Watching Hayden fall in love with Daphne was really sweet. You know it is going to happen from the start, but even so it will make you smile. I am pretty in love with them myself.

The Shadow Prince is the first book in the Into the Dark Series, and I already know that I am going to freakin’ LOVE this series. Not only did this book have me on the edge of my seat over the action scenes, but it had me laughing out loud and awh-ing at some of Hayden’s parts. It is told in dual narrative, which served the story well. We got to see a peak into Hayden's head as well as get to see into his world. A great book for fans of mythology and for people who are new to the story of Hades and Persephone. This series is a hit!

*Disclaimer- I got a copy of this book for free in exchange for my honest thoughts. I was not compensated for review.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f2d0e38) out of 5 stars Good for YA, not for adults who read some YA 11 Mar. 2014
By Jessica@RabidReads - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Generally speaking, there are two types of YA books. There are YA books that take place in the modern world in which the MC(s) are 18 or almost 18 and therefore an "adult" and not completely subject to the rules and restrictions of their parents, OR they take place in a post-apocalyptic or fantasy world where age is only obliquely relevant b/c there's no such thing as high school, and everyone from adolescence onward is expected to contribute like an adult. Then there are YA books that are fully immersed in the high school culture, complete with mean girls, stifling parental units, and no-one-understands-me-I'm-so-alone mentalities.

I very much enjoy many of the former . . . less so the latter. HOWEVER, that is not the genre's fault. It is my own personal preference. I regularly gift YA books that I probably wouldn't enjoy much myself to my 14 y.o. sister, and she LOVES them. The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain is one such book.

The basic premise:

Daphne Raines feels smothered by her mother. In Daphne's defense, her mom truly is a hard case--she refuses to ever let Daphne leave the tiny town they live in. As in N-E-V-E-R. The girl has had her learner's permit for over a year, but she can't get her driver's license b/c she can't accrue the required practice driving hours in said tiny town, and her mom won't let her go anywhere else to get them. Why not? you ask. Because BAD things are out there in the world and they will get you (think Mother Gothel from Tangled only with good intentions). So when Daphne's deadbeat (God of Rock) dad suddenly shows up, claiming that a judge has granted him full custody, and that he's whisking her away to California where he's enrolled her in an elite, private school that will nurture her musical talent, Daphne immediately agrees to go.

Haden Lord is the disowned son of Ren Hades, King of the Underworld. Ceaselessly mocked and ridiculed by his peers (including his twin brother, the favored son), Haden has a burning desire to prove his worthiness. So when the Oracle handpicks him to be Champion, the only Champion who can complete some undisclosed task, Haden latches on to the opportunity to redeem himself. But when the time comes for Haden to travel to the Overworld, all he knows about his mission is that if he has any hope of overcoming his disgrace (for actions unknown), he must find and convince Daphne Raines to go through the Persephone Gate and return with him to the Underworld in six months time.

The world-building:

Despain has taken the modern world and overlaid it with Greek mythological nuances. Except that nuance implies subtlety, and subtlety is what this book sorely lacks. The private school that both Daphne and Haden are to attend is Olympus Hills High and it is located in the affluent Olympus Hills gated community. The tiny town that Daphne grew up in is Ellis Fields. The bar where Daphne's dad makes his deal with the proverbial devil is called Crossroads. If Daphne had a horse, it would probably be named Pegasus. We get it.

My thoughts:

The Shadow Prince is a book that will hold immense appeal for it's target demographic. It's straight-forward. Daphne is a strong-ish heroine who refuses to stand idly by when someone tries to dictate her life choices. Haden is a wonderfully broken specimen of a teenage boy. Simon is creepily evil. And who doesn't love a tiny fuzzball of a black kitten that morphs into a three-headed, car-sized monstercat when it's angry? BUT this is no boundary-crossing YA novel. If you're like me (WAY out of high school), I would suggest that you stick to buying this book for your younger family members/children-of-friends. They will love it, and you will be saved the aggravation.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f2d1270) out of 5 stars A Spectacular YA Fantasy/Mythology Novel! 31 Mar. 2014
By Stephanie Ward - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
'The Shadow Prince' is the first book in a spectacular new young adult fantasy series that follows our two main characters - Haden Lord and Daphne Raines. Of course, nothing and no one are what they seem in the book - Haden is an Underlord Prince sent to find Daphne and bring her back to the Underworld with him. Daphne is an incredibly talented musician and singer - due to her destiny as the Cypher, which she has no idea about. Daphne gets swept away by her incredibly neglectful rock star father to a new town that has an incredibly prestigious music program - everything that Daphne always dreamt of. Now that Haden has walked through the Gate into the Overrealm, his destiny - along with Daphne's - is about to be set into motion and neither of them can do anything to stop it. They both learn a ton along the way, including one of the most important lessons of all - their fate is in their own hands.

I absolutely loved this book! There was so much going on the entire time that it felt like a fast-paced action novel, only there was a ton of other elements mixed in to create a riveting story that I literally couldn't put down. As the genre description mentions, there's a lot of mythology going on throughout the book. I loved each bit of it and it only made me want to learn more. The author weaves in so many different myths that it felt like the gods were truly alive. It honestly sparked a huge interest in mythology for me - I definitely think I'll be reading into more of it after this. The characters were well written, each with their own strengths and flaws. Daphne is a wonderful leading lady for the story - she's smart, driven, talented, kind, and a very devoted and loving daughter and friend. She makes a great opposite to Haden's character, which is part of the reason I think they work so well together. Haden is your typical tough on the outside, but squishy on the inside guy. He's incredibly hot (of course) and he has the typical issues that most "bad boys" do - he's a bit of a jerk who thinks he's better than everyone. (Okay, so he actually was considered above most of the people in the Underworld, but still - no need to be a jerk about it.) Haden is half human, which everyone in the Underworld, including himself, has always seen as a weakness. As it turns out, it's this very side of him that might just save Daphne and the rest of the world. I liked digging into Haden's character - it was like ripping away layers until you finally saw the truth of who he really was - and then you just loved him all the more for it.

The plot was full of action, adventure, and romance (of course). I loved watching Haden and Daphne interact and to see their relationship grow and change throughout the story. As I mentioned, the book was stuffed full of mythology - from the characters to settings and myths - and I loved every bit of it. I found the way the author mixed all the various myths together to create this intricate story was amazing. It kept me eagerly reading so I could learn more and see what was going to happen next. There's some elements of suspense and mystery thrown in for good measure, which only adds to the appeal - in my opinion. Overall, I honestly can't say enough good things about this book to convey how much I loved it. It far outpassed most other books in the same genre and left me dying for more. (How much longer until the next book releases?!) I very highly recommend this to fans of YA fantasy fiction along with those who enjoy mythology along with a wide range of other genres, including those looking for an original and refreshing take on mythology.

Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f2d163c) out of 5 stars Review for The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain 11 Mar. 2014
By Alyssa - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain
Book One of the Into the Dark series
Publisher: Egmont
Publication Date: March 11, 2014
Rating: 4 stars
Source: Ecopy from Edelweiss

Summary (from Goodreads):

Haden Lord, the disgraced prince of the Underrealm, has been sent to the mortal world to entice a girl into returning with him to the land of the dead. Posing as a student at Olympus Hills High--a haven for children of the rich and famous--Haden must single out the one girl rumored to be able to restore immortality to his race.

Daphne Raines has dreams much bigger than her tiny southern Utah town, so when her rock star dad suddenly reappears, offering her full tuition to Olympus Hills High's prestigious music program, she sees an opportunity to catch the break she needs to make it as a singer. But upon moving into her estranged father's mansion in California, and attending her glamorous new school, Daphne soon realizes she isn't the only student in Olympus who doesn't quite belong.

Haden and Daphne--destined for each other--know nothing of the true stakes their fated courtship entails. As war between the gods brews, the teenagers' lives collide. But Daphne won't be wooed easily and when it seems their prophesied link could happen, Haden realizes something he never intended--he's fallen in love. Now to save themselves, Haden and Daphne must rewrite their destinies. But as their destinies change, so do the fates of both their worlds.

What I Liked:

I read The Dark Divine (by this author) a few years ago, and enjoyed it! At the time, I was avoiding all vampire/werewolf books, but that one caught my attention. Sadly, I've yet to read the rest of the series, but I liked The Dark Divine. When I heard about this book almost a year ago, I was really excited! I love all things mythology, and Despain is definitely a talented writer. I'm happy to say that I enjoyed this book as well, but this time, I hope to read the entire series.

Haden is sent to the human world to bring Daphne back. Daphne moves from Ellis Fields to Olympus Hills on account of her father gaining custody rights. Haden screws up pretty badly, and has to move mountains to convince Daphne to come with him. But things aren't that easy, as the pair quickly find out. More is at stake than bringing a Boon back to the Underrealm. And both Haden and Daphne find that neither of them want to go... but at what price?

This book is quite long, but it's a roller-coaster of a novel! I admit, the ENTIRE book was a bit lengthy, and probably could have been condensed a bit (maybe in the four-hundred-page range?). But, I really like how Despain made this book long. Like, every scene had a purpose, most likely to show us more about Dahpne's life, or Haden's character, or the mythology and customs of the Underrealm.

This book is split into two first-person perspectives - Haden's and Daphne's. As usual, I think I preferred Haden's point-of-view, which is almost no surprise, because the book starts with his perspective. It's not that I didn't like Daphne - but I feel like I didn't connect with her AS MUCH as I connected with Haden. Maybe he got more pages/exposure to the audience than she did. Maybe I just didn't sympathize with her as much. Either way, I didn't NOT like her, but I didn't absolutely love her, either.

I really like Haden, though. It was so interesting to read all about his transition to the human world. I mean, the Underrealm is pretty medieval, in a sense. So, Haden had to learn about cell phones and driving and modern English slang. It was hilarious! And so cute. I definitely like Haden's personality - he is quietly a leader, subtly emotionally driven, but definitely empathetic and intelligent.

I liked the plot of the story. It seems pretty simple - bring the girl back to the Underrealm, but then everything just goes nuts. We've got Haden's father on a rampage, a missing key, a crazy manager/salesperson who supports the highest bidder, wicked shadow creatures, mysterious powers... this book is definitely made of a whirlwind of activity and adventure, twists and surprises. Some things were more predictable than others, but for the most part, this book was highly original and very enjoyable.

The romance is very subtle in this book. Yes, you can tell right away that Haden and Daphne should/will fall in love. However, it doesn't just happen. Sparks don't fly immediately (in fact, quite the opposite occurs). Haden definitely cares about Daphne a lot, and Daphne feels something for Haden. But it's not a life-changing, all-encompassing, powerful love (at least, not yet). I can't wait to read more about the development of the romance, in future books of the series.

I love the mythology and world-building of this book. Despain did a very good job of creating a distinct world, and laid the foundations with ease. I mentioned that she included a purpose to every scene - that's fantastic, because every scene gave us not only parts of the plot, but bits and pieces of the world, the characters, and so on.

I recently read another book based on mythology - and it was pretty bad. I was hesitant to read another mythology-based book so soon after reading that not-so-great one, but I think I made a good choice! I really enjoyed this book, and I'll definitely be continuing with this series.

What I Did Not Like:

I don't think there was much that I didn't like. It was long, but I read it pretty quickly. I didn't love some of the characters, but I didn't hate them either. Some parts of the plot were a bit predictable at times, but that didn't bother me much. Overall, I really liked this book. It's a four-star read though - that's the rating it *feels* like, to me.

Would I Recommend It:

Yup! Especially if you love mythology, like me (any kind of mythology). No love triangle, no boredom, no intolerable heroine (or hero). This book was pretty great! I'm glad I had the chance to read it. I'm just going to warn you - don't expect a powerful, dynamic romance (like the synopsis might imply). I don't want anyone to be disappointed. Despain has the entire series to develop the romance to what readers might want to see.

Rating:

4 stars. I can't wait to read the second book! It will be interesting to see where Despain takes this series.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f2d1720) out of 5 stars Just... perfect 31 Mar. 2014
By M Washburn - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bree Despain never disappoints! The story of an average girl her finds herself suddenly tangled up in fairy tale of Greek mythology, and the son of a Greek God suddenly thrown into the modern world. It's written from the perspective of both the teen boy and girl making it enjoyable for guys and gals. It's a nice "clean" book that I wouldn't have to worry about language or content when sharing with junior high or high school crew. Or those of adults who don't want our books full of that garbage either! :)
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