Teen lovers get entangled in more myths, music and mysteries in this Stygian sequel.
Unwilling to deliver Daphne Raines to the Underrealm to be a Boon bride and breeder, Haden Lord instead joins forces with her to find the lost Key of Hades. While muddling through a millennia-old mystery, testing their magical powers and combating their raging teen hormones, Daphne and Haden must also watch out for Underlords and Skylords who seek the Key for their own genocidal purposes. Hoping to redeem himself (and prevent world annihilation), Haden recruits his second-class brother, Garrick, and disgraced friend, Dax, while Daphne enlists her ex-alcoholic, deal-with-the-devil rock-star father, Joe, and classmates Lexie and Tobin. Drama of the Greek, family and high school varieties abounds. Already reworking the Persephone myth, the teens act in an Orpheus-and-Eurydice rock opera and even veer into Eros-and-Psyche territory. Flawed father figures, political coups and dating drama provide additional fodder for Daphne’s and Haden’s continual angst. Despite sharing narrative duties, Haden, Daphne and Tobin remain shallow and stereotypical teen protagonists. Despain offers notes of romance, adventure, mystery and rich-and-famous fantasy, but the flat characters, myth mishmash and telegraphed plot twists result in a slog instead of a song.
A discordant soap-opera sequel filling time until the finale. (Fantasy. 12-18)