Fairbrother’s debut fantasy novel delivers a modern take on the myth of Hades and Persephone.
This paranormal romance intriguingly borrows ideas from ancient Greek myths. Twenty-four-year-old Macy Hayden inherits a piece of land in South Carolina, and after taking one look at the bucolic place, she immediately decides to make it her new home, which she names Eleusis. Life at Eleusis proves to be far from idyllic, however. After she treats a man at the medical clinic where she works, he seems bent on causing her personal harm; a strange, dangerous sinkhole on the property also poses a threat. The good news is she has a protector in Jason, a mysterious man who lives in a camp near the property, and Macy falls for him. She learns that he’s the son of the Greek god of the sea, Poseidon, and Jason believes that Macy is the reincarnated spirit of Persephone, who has escaped from the underworld of Hades. It turns out that the lord of the underworld is bent on capturing her, so Macy and Jason sail across the Atlantic in an effort to escape. A council of Greek gods brokers a truce with Hades, but he nonetheless drags Macy back to his realm. She fights to escape while her allies aboveground do their best to rescue her. The novel’s intriguing premise gets the story off to a good start, but the pacing becomes uneven. Soon after Macy and Jason board the sailboat, they seem to be out of danger: Although Jason is gravely injured when they first set out, he quickly heals himself; Jason’s divine powers help them easily avoid a storm; and, out on the open sea, there’s no sign of Hades’ people. At this point, readers may tire of the lack of conflict; it’s not until much later, when Macy and Jason are relaxing in Greece, that the excitement picks up again. And although there are hints that a minor character, Macy’s old friend Jack, might become a romantic rival, he completely disappears from the novel’s second half.
A breezy, escapist fantasy novel that struggles to blend romance with page-turning action.