Sunday, 25 May 2014

Review : Abandon (Abandon Trilogy #1) by Meg Cabot

Summary :

New from #1 New York Times bestselling author Meg Cabot, a dark, fantastical story about this world . . . and the underworld.

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.

Review :

So this is supposed to be a retelling of the Greek mythology story of Hades and Persephone. I honestly don't know much about their story aside from what I read in Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. But since I'm not well versed on this mythological story, I am unable to make accurate comparisons between the two. And I think being unfamiliar with this story actually helped this book for me because I found Abandon's plot refreshing and intriguing as I haven't read any books using this same plot.

The main protagonist of Abandon is Pierce Oliviera, a 17-year old girl who recently had a near death experience and in the process met John, who happened to be the ruler of the Underworld, while waiting for the boat that was to take her to heaven. Somehow John was able to trick Pierce to go with him to the Underworld but when Pierce realizes her mistake, she smartly escapes John and the Underworld, as well as escape death and returns back to life after being injected adrenaline straight to her heart. When Pierce wakes up from all of these, she's unsure whether John was for real or if she just dreamed it all until she realizes that the necklace John gave her while she was in the Underworld with him was still hanging around her necklace. 

The necklace. According to John, the necklace is supposed to protect Pierce from evil. Apparently, this necklace was rich in history and was once owned by Marie Antoinette but was considered t o have brought bad luck to the bearer or wearer of it. As for Pierce, it appeared to have brought trouble for her as well but John always manages to find her and save her from the danger that awaited her. 

Pierce. She's an only child and used to an affluent lifestyle but is unpretentious and very caring of other people's well-being. She almost died trying to save an injured bird and caught John's attention when she came to him worried that his horse almost trampled him. Pierce appears to find and attract trouble and we later find out why this is. Aside from being pretty and having ADD, Pierce doesn’t really stand out as a protagonist for me. She doesn’t seem to have the drive or knows what she wants to do with her life. I don’t know if this is because of her near death experience but I would think coming out of such a monumental experience would drive you to want to live your life and not just cruise along. Her character is much too two-dimensional.

John. John’s character is more intriguing and is more colorful. His story makes Abandon. There’s more to him that meets the eye. Pierce first meets John as a teenager when she was seven years old at the Isla Huesos Cemetery during her grandfather's funeral. John Hayden is now the ruler of the Underworld and is smitten with Pierce after meeting her for the second time, entranced by Pierce's pretty eyes and her big heart. John is described as this very tall, dark, and handsome teenager, dressed in black and leaves a trail of scarlet blossoms in his wake. There's something dark and scary about him but at the same time sexy and fascinating. Though he doesn't quite know how to express his feelings to Pierce, his constant presence when she's in danger is endearing to her and Pierce can't seem to stay away from him either even after she finds out that he's from the Underworld. And being with him could mean her staying in the Underworld for eternity. Yes, she’s afraid of him for obvious reasons but she still can’t deny him. 

Despite the back and forth of present and past experiences of Pierce to build the story, I found this book a quick read. This book pretty much serves as the building block to the Abandon trilogy. I thought it was very clever of Cabot to tie up the history of Key West to John’s story and make Key West as the entrance to the Underworld. I didn’t go as far to research the truth about the skeletons of the dead surfacing on the ground after hurricanes and the reason why the dead in Key West are placed in crypts but my interest was definitely peaked. And what of the Coffin Night? How true was this as well? Cabot has certainly infused some interesting tidbits and plots into the story. It’s enough to keep me reading and waiting for the sequel to know more about John’s life and how he became the ruler of the Underworld, how to defeat the Furies, and what becomes of their pairing.