Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Retelling vs Retelling*

There are a lot of mythology retellings going around, they're like the new vampire or something. One myth that I've notice is hugely popular in the retelling department is the story of Persephone.

In case you don't know her story Persephone was the daughter of the goddess of the harvest, Demeter. One day while picking flowers with her friends Hades, god of the Underworld, kidnaps her and takes her with him to be his bride. While in the Underworld Hades gets Persephone to eat some pomegranate seeds, which ensure that she would stay with him. After some negotiation it was decided that she would only have to live in the Underworld for 4 months of the year.

Whether Persephone purposely ate the pomegranate fully aware of the consequences or if Hades "tricked" her is a question for another day.
For today let's take a look at the modern day retellings of the myth of Persephone:


Behind book cover number 1 we have Abandon by Meg CabotAbandon (Abandon Trilogy, #1)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.



And behind book cover number 2, is Falling Under by Gwen HayesFalling Under (Falling Under, #1)Theia Alderson has always led a sheltered life in the small California town of Serendipity Falls. But when a devastatingly handsome boy appears in the halls of her school, Theia knows she's seen Haden before- not around town, but in her dreams.

As the Haden of both the night and the day beckons her closer one moment and pushes her away the next, the only thing Theia knows for sure is that the incredible pull she feels towards him is stronger than her fear.

And when she discovers what Haden truly is, Theia's not sure if she wants to resist him, even if the cost is her soul.


Playing the part of Persephone:
Pierce Oliviera from Abandon: Compared to other Meg Cabot characters Pierce might not be my favorite, she's still a caring selfless person willing to put herself out there to help others. That's actually a reason she's drawn to John because she feels like she can help him. The other: well he's hot, but more on that in a minute.
Pierce dies and goes to the Underworld, as the dead will do in mythologies, where she finds John, whom she had already met at a previous time. It's Pierce consideration for others that makes John offer (while tricking) her to stay with him.
At least I'd like to say so, since the alternative of him loving her from the first time they met, when she was 7, does not go well with the whole holding Pierce against her will thing.

Theia Alderson from Falling Under: I found Thiea to be somewhat dumb. Haden is telling her to stay away because he'll hurt her but she won't listen. Do girls not play hard to get anymore? But getting past that, her being attracted to Haden makes sense, since he's the first who has made her feel anything and is probably the first to show any affection towards her, what with her mother dying when she was young and her father being pretty standoffish.

The kidnapper we can't help but love: 
John Hayden from Abandon: John, John John, the lost soul, literally. Is it weird to say he just wants somebody to love? Because it's kind of true, he's been in the Underworld alone for so long, and nobody wants to be lonely.

Haden Black from Falling Under: I couldn't even stay focused when Haden was around. So bonus points for that. He's the son of a succubus, which I guess makes him one too. From what I know a succubus is a demon that seduces you while you sleep. He is told that he needs to take a bride, to you know keep the demon population going,  and chooses Thiea but ends up falling in love with her and decides that he can't do that to her. He loves her too much to marry and sleep with her... makes sense.

Home sweet Underworld:
John Hayden's Underworld isn't the Underworld that we all know, it's just a branch of the main one, you know like Starbucks they're everywhere. The descriptions are pretty dead on (no pun intended), it's cold, it's dark, there's a scary dog. In the running for Underworlds we all know and love this is it.

Now Haden's Underworld, known as Under, is way imaginative. If you're a Tim Burton fan you'll love it. It's a nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there.

Both worlds do have something in common, very appealing beds that Pierce and Thiea can't help but continually stare at. Why weren't YA books this good when I was one?

It's all Greek to me: 
When it comes to sticking with the original myth Abandon all the way, this should satisfy any mythology fan.

As for Falling Under someone either mentioned it was based on the Persephone myth or I thought to myself "hey this sounds a lot like that myth." Whichever way it was bought to my attention it wasn't the book itself that shared that tidbit with me. There is absolutely no connection to the original myth in this one, it's a story all on it's own. Which should satisfy everyone else.

Mythology fan or not read them both, they're imaginative creative and, at least to me, something new.




*"Thought" originally posted here: May 25, 2012

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