March 31, 2014

The Shadow Prince Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway


Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain! Today I have my review of the book along with a signed copy giveaway!

The Shadow Prince (Into the Dark #1)
Author: Bree Despain
Genre: YA Fantasy/Mythology
Release Date: March 11, 2014
Publisher: Egmont USA

Haden Lord, the disgraced prince of the Underrealm, has been sent to the mortal world to entice a girl into returning with him to the land of the dead. Posing as a student at Olympus Hills High—a haven for children of the rich and famous—Haden must single out the one girl rumored to be able to restore immortality to his race.

Daphne Raines has dreams much bigger than her tiny southern Utah town, so when her rock star dad suddenly reappears, offering her full tuition to Olympus Hills High’s prestigious music program, she sees an opportunity to catch the break she needs to make it as a singer. But upon moving into her estranged father’s mansion in California, and attending her glamorous new school, Daphne soon realizes she isn’t the only student in Olympus who doesn’t quite belong.

Haden and Daphne—destined for each other—know nothing of the true stakes their fated courtship entails. As war between the gods brews, the teenagers’ lives collide. But Daphne won’t be wooed easily and when it seems their prophesied link could happen, Haden realizes something he never intended—he’s fallen in love. Now to save themselves, Haden and Daphne must rewrite their destinies. But as their destinies change, so do the fates of both their worlds.
The Shadow Prince is the first book in a spectacular new young adult fantasy series that follows our two main characters - Haden Lord and Daphne Raines. Of course, nothing and no one are what they seem in the book - Haden is an Underlord Prince sent to find Daphne and bring her back to the Underworld with him. Daphne is an incredibly talented musician and singer - due to her destiny as the Cypher, which she has no idea about. Daphne gets swept away by her incredibly neglectful rock star father to a new town that has an incredibly prestigious music program - everything that Daphne always dreamt of. Now that Haden has walked through the Gate into the Overrealm, his destiny - along with Daphne's - is about to be set into motion and neither of them can do anything to stop it. They both learn a ton along the way, including one of the most important lessons of all - their fate is in their own hands.

I absolutely loved this book! There was so much going on the entire time that it felt like a fast-paced action novel, only there was a ton of other elements mixed in to create a riveting story that I literally couldn't put down. As the genre description mentions, there's a lot of mythology going on throughout the book. I loved each bit of it and it only made me want to learn more. The author weaves in so many different myths that it felt like the gods were truly alive. It honestly sparked a huge interest in mythology for me - I definitely think I'll be reading into more of it after this. The characters were well written, each with their own strengths and flaws. Daphne is a wonderful leading lady for the story - she's smart, driven, talented, kind, and a very devoted and loving daughter and friend. She makes a great opposite to Haden's character, which is part of the reason I think they work so well together. Haden is your typical tough on the outside, but squishy on the inside guy. He's incredibly hot (of course) and he has the typical issues that most "bad boys" do - he's a bit of a jerk who thinks he's better than everyone. (Okay, so he actually was considered above most of the people in the Underworld, but still - no need to be a jerk about it.) Haden is half human, which everyone in the Underworld, including himself, has always seen as a weakness. As it turns out, it's this very side of him that might just save Daphne and the rest of the world. I liked digging into Haden's character - it was like ripping away layers until you finally saw the truth of who he really was - and then you just loved him all the more for it.

The plot was full of action, adventure, and romance (of course). I loved watching Haden and Daphne interact and to see their relationship grow and change throughout the story. As I mentioned, the book was stuffed full of mythology - from the characters to settings and myths - and I loved every bit of it. I found the way the author mixed all the various myths together to create this intricate story was amazing. It kept me eagerly reading so I could learn more and see what was going to happen next. There's some elements of suspense and mystery thrown in for good measure, which only adds to the appeal - in my opinion. Overall, I honestly can't say enough good things about this book to convey how much I loved it. It far outpassed most other books in the same genre and left me dying for more. (How much longer until the next book releases?!) I very highly recommend this to fans of YA fantasy fiction along with those who enjoy mythology along with a wide range of other genres, including those looking for an original and refreshing take on mythology. 

Bree rediscovered her childhood love for creating stories when she took a semester off college to write and direct plays for at-risk, inner-city teens from Philadelphia and New York. She currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband, two young sons, and her beloved TiVo. The Dark Divine is Bree's debut novel. (Taken from Goodreads)

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Giveaway: The awesome people at Egmont are allowing me to give away a SIGNED copy of The Shadow Prince to (1) lucky reader! (US Only)


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