Reviews tagging Suicide

Neon Gods, by Katee Robert

2 reviews

toofondofbooks_'s review against another edition

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adventurous dark emotional fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

3.0

Cheers, I finally finished my first book of the year!

Neon Gods is a romance novel (erotica. it's erotica, I know I'm usually not a huge fan of erotica, but hear me out - the new year is about trying new things!). It's a modern retelling of the greek myth of Hades and Persephone, a myth that I've always been fascinated by, so when I heard some friends talking about the book on a livestream a few months ago, I added it to my TBR. I have mostly good and neutral feelings toward this, so let's talk about the positives first.

I appreciate that this book does not pretend to be something it isn't. It knows that you're here for "unspeakably hot" as the blurb on the cover puts it - romance, and it does deliver on all of those fronts. It doesn't pretend that it isn't melodramatic, it doesn't pretend that it isn't corny or cheesy - because if you're picking this up, I feel like that's what you're expecting. I feel like if that isn't what you're down for, that's when you'll be disappointed.

For me, personally, I am not generally a fan of erotica because the dynamics are often questionable, but I was impressed with the relationship between Hades & Persephone in the sense that there was total consent at all times and I never felt like I was reading a borderline r*pe scene the way I have felt reading other romances in the past. I also just thought that they had scenes together that were both sweet and laugh-out-loud funny, which I didn't expect going into it at all. Hades is a big ole simp and I'm here for it. Also, shout out to the world building and to the entire character of Hermes - she's my hero.

Some things that weren't so great...well, there was a lot of repetition throughout the narrative that I really thought could've been edited down. I can't exactly say what it's in regards to without spoilers though. Additionally, I thought Persephone could've used a little more personality. I feel like I was told in the narrative that she had a lot of personality, but when she opened her mouth, it didn't always come across that way. It also kind of irked me that he was constantly carrying her around like a child, but that is more of a personal gripe than a critique on the work itself. 

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sidhewitch's review

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medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.75

Audiobook Review. 

 TL;DR: An enjoyable read that is a lot lighter on the smut than BookTok would have you believe, but not something that will likely stick with you. A good popcorn book. 

As a Hades and Persephone retelling, I thought this was interesting. The way the book essentially makes mob bosses out of the Greek gods was a unique take, though it sort of falls apart if you think too deeply about it (they have old myths about the God Hades but not about the very famous things Hades did in those myths? etc). The disappointing part, for me, was honestly the smut. Don't go in expecting erotica, or even particularly good BDSM or much exhibitionism. It's really more a romance with some explicit scenes. Which is fine! Just not what I expected, so don't make my mistake. 

This wouldn't have been such a disappointment to me if the romance itself had been a little better fleshed out. I like both the characters, but the relationship between Hades and Persephone develops seemingly because she sees how nice he is to other people and what a good ruler he is, while he gets surprised by how sassy and headstrong she is. It's cute, but it's not that deep. 

All that said, there are some truly delicious bits (the dresser scene, holy crap) and I really did like not only Hades and Persephone, but several of the side characters were also really interesting. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in this series - especially after the excerpt from it at the end of this one - and learning more about them. 

As a final note, I did appreciate the author did her best to confront the issue of consent. She made it as explicit as possible that not only was Persephone a happily willing participant, but Hades was actually concerned about that. You can argue how capable Persephone really was of saying No given her circumstances, but this is far from dubcon. So if that's not your thing, or just not what you're looking for here, no worries.

Audiobook Narration: It was fine. Not my favorite, but definitely not of the sort that drives me to DNF. I continue to wish the narration space was such that, if you already have two narrators, each could record all the dialogue lines for their character no matter who the POV is. Moorcock's Hades was good and his Persephone was absolutely cringeworthy, and Hampton-Brown was excellent as Persephone and made some very strange choices for Hades. Their posh British accents also made the use of slang or profanity by the characters at times sound really strange (like the constant jarring "Yeah" instead of "Yes"). I know Hampton-Brown's narration got a little memeified on TikTok for the naughty bits, but honestly that's just more proof to me what delicate flowers BookTok consists of, or maybe what a jaded hussy I am, because I found nothing scandalous about it. 

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