Audiobook Review: Neon Gods (Dark Olympus #1)

Published June 3rd 2021

Author: Katee Robert

Narrators: Zara Hampton-Brown & Alex Moorcock

Audiobook Length: 10 hours 40 minutes

He was supposed to be a myth.
But from the moment I crossed the River Styx and fell under his dark spell…
…he was, quite simply, mine.

Society darling Persephone Dimitriou plans to flee the ultra-modern city of Olympus and start over far from the backstabbing politics of the Thirteen Houses. But all that’s ripped away when her mother ambushes her with an engagement to Zeus, the dangerous power behind their glittering city’s dark facade.

With no options left, Persephone flees to the forbidden undercity and makes a devil’s bargain with a man she once believed a myth…a man who awakens her to a world she never knew existed.

Hades has spent his life in the shadows, and he has no intention of stepping into the light. But when he finds that Persephone can offer a little slice of the revenge he’s spent years craving, it’s all the excuse he needs to help her—for a price. Yet every breathless night spent tangled together has given Hades a taste for Persephone, and he’ll go to war with Olympus itself to keep her close…

A modern retelling of Hades and Persephone that’s as sinful as it is sweet. 

Neon Gods is the first novel in the new Dark Olympus series. I saw this going around blogs and other sites, but did not really get further into the reviews/descriptions aside from it being a Hades and Persephone retelling. Unlike the other recent Hades and Persephone series by Scarlett St. Clair, the Dark Olympus series features different Gods and Goddesses as the main characters in the novels. Since I went into this novel almost blind, I was intrigued by the take the author took on the known mythology.

Persephone Dimitriou is biding her time until her 25th birthday where she will be free to live the city of Olympus once her inheritance becomes available. “Gods” rule the city with the city divided into the upper and lower city with Poseidon ruling the third section of the sea. The upper city is ruled by the Thirteen featuring Zeus as the head person while Hades is in charge of the lower city with the River Styx as the divider. At a party with the Thirteen, Persephone finds that her mother, Demeter, has betrothed her to Zeus, who is on the lookout for his next Hera/wife, after the three previous disappeared/passed away under mysterious circumstances. In this world, the names (Zeus, Hera, Apollo, etc.) are titles and are passed from one person to the next. Persephone has no interest in marrying Zeus and decides to run away. While pursued by Zeus’s men, she runs to the closest “safety” location, which happens to belong to Hades.

Hades has generally kept to himself away from the other “Gods.” After events from the past, he is set on revenge on Zeus. When Persephone enters his domain, he enlists her help in this plan involving some “fake dating” deception. I greatly enjoyed that the author included his perspective and made this novel a duel point of view story. It was great to see the inner workings of both characters and read how their perspective of each other developed the longer they were together.

After completing the novel and trying to gather my own thoughts, I looked at a few from others that have described this as “A Touch of Darkness” meets “50 Shades of Grey” and I would fully agree. There is some exploration of the dom/sub dynamic similar to 50 Shades. There is also the added time limit with their agreement, which added a new layer of tension between the characters. The characters themselves were enjoyable as is it is the outgoing/reserved opposite relationship. I do with that there was a little more about Persephone to illustrate this “outgoing” and “sunshine” type personality as it would have given her more of a background before meeting Hades. On the other hand, Hades was more reserved on the outside, but a softie on the inside. He was less intense than I would have expected for a Hades character, but he was sweet.

Overall, this novel is a very fast and easy read that is great for those who love new takes on mythology. The world building was a tad confusing, as it seemed to be placed in the United States at some points, but then its own world the next. The powers/magic of the universe needs a little further exploration, as it did not seem clear. Although I have mixed feelings about this novel, I do love almost story about mythology and will try the next novel, Electric Idol, as I am curious on the author’s take for Eros and Psyche.

5 thoughts on “Audiobook Review: Neon Gods (Dark Olympus #1)

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