Title: Abandon (Abandon Trilogy #1)
Author: Meg Cabot
Released: April 26, 2011
Genre: YA paranormal, fantasy, supernatural
Pages: 304 (U.S./Canada hardcover)
This story has so much potential to be dark, mysterious and exciting, but unfortunately, the narrative drags on so long that it falls flat.
"Though she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can't help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet she's never alone... because someone is always watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.
But now she's moved to a new town. Maybe at her new school, she can start fresh. Maybe she can stop feeling so afraid.
Only she can't. Because even here, he finds her. That's how desperately he wants her back. She knows he's no guardian angel, and his dark world isn't exactly heaven, yet she can't stay away... especially since he always appears when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most.
But if she lets herself fall any further, she may just find herself back in the one place she most fears: the Underworld."
This book definitely has an interesting premise, which is why I picked it up in the first place. Abandon is somewhat a modern retelling of the Greek myth of Persephone, in which Hades, the god of the Underworld, kidnaps the beautiful Persephone and takes her as his consort for eternity. In this novel, Persephone is Pierce, a high school senior who is being stalked by John, ruler of the Underworld, after escaping from his Underworld kingdom where he took her for his eternal companion.
The beginning of the narrative is interesting, fast-paced, and well-written. Meg Cabot does a good job of revealing just enough at a time to keep the reader’s curiosity burning. However, it wasn’t long before my curiosity died out and everything just became tedious.
The novel is long, but all of the in-the-present events take place over a span of only two days . This is because Pierce and John’s backstory is told in a series of long flashbacks. The somewhat random flashbacks to the often-referred-to “accident” and “incident” only make the story drag on and the backstory more confusing. Needless to say, it could have been done better.
The protagonist and narrator, Pierce, is tolerable, but certainly boring. She’s presented as a stunningly beautiful girl who cares for the well-being of animals (which does make sense, considering that Persephone is the daughter of Demeter, goddess of the harvest). Other than that, she doesn’t seem to have any endearing qualities, or even any real flaws. The entire time I was supposed to be sympathizing with her I was only thinking about what a cardboard cutout of a heroine she was.
The romance was the thing that bothered me most. John, the love interest, was possibly even more flat than our heroine.. Throughout the first 250 pages of the narrative, John is shown as an angry, hot-tempered, controlling man who follows the protagonist around and whose only personality consists of the “pain” Pierce sometimes sees flashing in his eyes. Later on, bam! The reader is supposed to swoon over him after he confesses his love to Pierce. Not only is the romance nonsensical and unbelieveable (these two characters have talked to each other for a total of how long? An hour?), but because Pierce’s entire opinion of John changes after she discovers his love for her, Pierce begins to appear more self-centered and annoying.
Meg Cabot’s writing style is for the most part well-crafted and makes the book a bit more bearable. Cabot has also built up a story that has quite a bit of potential to grow and become more complex. The exciting last 50 pages give a preview of what could come in future installments. Although the story and characters fall flat, the most curious of readers may want to pursue the series, but only if they have the patience.
-you're a fan of paranormal romance
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