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HADES by George O'Connor Kirkus Star

HADES

Lord Of The Dead

From the Olympians series, volume 4

By George O'Connor (Author) , George O'Connor (Illustrator)

Age Range: 8 - 14

Pub Date: Jan. 31st, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-59643-761-6
Publisher: Neal Porter/First Second

A tempestuous mother-daughter relationship makes up the centerpiece of O’Connor’s latest carefully researched and simultaneously fresh and funny Olympian portrait.

Snatched down to the Underworld in the wake of a screaming fight with her mother Demeter (“Butt out of my life!!” “You ungrateful brat”), raging adolescent Kore (meaning, generically “The Maiden”) initially gives her quiet, gloomy captor Hades a hard time too. After grabbing the opportunity to give herself a thorough makeover and changing her name to Persephone (“Bringer of Destruction”), though, she takes charge of her life—so surely that, when offered the opportunity to return to her remorseful mom, she lies about having eaten those pomegranate seeds so she can spend half of each year as Queen of the Dead. O'Connor expertly captures both the dramatic action and each character’s distinct personality—Demeter in particular, with her big hair and temper to match, is a real piece of work—in easy-to-follow graphic panels. Effortlessly folding in other familiar and not-so-familiar tales of figures associated with his title character, he opens with an eerie guided tour of Hades’ realm, closes with fact boxes about each of the major players and in between ingeniously preserves the old tale’s archetypal quality without ever losing sight of its human dimension.

An outstanding addition to a first-rate series. (notes, study questions, resource lists) (Graphic mythology. 8-14)