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Audiobook Review: A Touch of Malice (Hades & Persephone #3)

Published May 25th 2021

Author: Scarlett St. Clair

Narrator: Meg Sylvan

Audiobook Length: 14 hours 6 minutes

Persephone and Hades are engaged. In retaliation, Demeter summons a snowstorm that cripples New Greece, and refuses to lift the blizzard unless her daughter calls off her engagement.

When the Olympians intervene, Persephone finds her future in the hands of ancient gods, and they are divided. Do they allow Persephone to marry Hades and go to war with Demeter or prohibit their union and take up arms against the God of the Dead?

Nothing is certain but the promise of war.

[A Touch of Darkness (#1) & A Touch of Ruin (#2) Reviews]

A Touch of Malice is the third novel in the Hades and Persephone series. After the cliffhanger ending of the third novel, the threat of a war between the gods is on the horizon. There were many events from the previous novels that were left open-ended where many mistakes were made and now the consequences need to be given. As a side note, if you read other reviews of this novel, a lot of the negative reviews tend to be for the multiple grammar and spelling errors in the text. As I listened to the entire series on audiobook, so far, I did not experience any of this as the narrator did a great job at making some corrections during the reading.

While Persephone is the main character, the first novel set up Hades as a secondary main character with a story of his own. The second novel kept this idea with a slight withdrawing of his character to keep some focus on Persephone. In this story, Hades seemed to show up for moments of togetherness with Persephone and did not seem to add anything else to the story. Considering Hades himself is a huge draw for me in this series with his wit and humor, it is disappointing that there was not a lot involving him as a character in this story. Persephone had a lot of potential for growth in the first two novels, but I questioned her character a lot when it came to Hades. She still portrayed the same jealousy for Hades being around anyone in his past or present exactly as she did in the first novel before it was clear that Hades only wants her.

The story follows two main elements with Persephone and Hades getting engaged, but they face many obstacles before they can get married and the impending war among the gods. After a buildup of a wedding between Hades and Persephone in the first two novels, this story is where the event will finally take place. While there continues to be a lot of drama and obstacles surrounding this event, it just seemed anti-climactic considering the amount of time dedicated to this part of the story.  The war with the gods was similar where there was a lot of buildup, but then it was rushed and did not live up to its potential, for me.

The thing that I have noticed about this series is that there is a ton of potential within the pages, but it seems to fall short. Normally, I would abandon a series like this, but there is the mythology aspect that keeps me intrigued on how everything will come together in the final fourth novel. The last ten or so percent of the novel did present a nice cliffhanger and it makes me curious to see what will happen next. The series continues to have the steaminess to the extreme, which I do not mind in novels, but there are times where it took over and any potential for plot or character development was lost. I continue to hold out hope that the author will bring it all together and deliver in the next novel. Overall, knowing what I know now, I most likely would not start the series again if I went back in time; however, I will most likely read the final story as I want to see this series through to the end.

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