By: Meg Cabot
Publication Date: April 2011
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: May 3, 2011
The first book in yet another extraordinary Meg Cabot Teen Fiction series.
In an age-old story, there was once a girl named Persephone out picking flowers when suddenly, the ground opened up and a man riding an ink-black chariot kidnapped the young girl and took her down to his kingdom in the Underworld. As anyone knows, that man was Hades, and that story is a famous myth about how the "seasons" came into being.
With our story, Pierce has a way worse tale than Persephone could ever think of. Told in modern day, Pierce is a young woman who remembers going to her grandfather's funeral when she was a child, and meeting a person in the cemetery who literally brought back to life a small dove that'd been laying on the ground. This stranger's name was John, and he was a kind man...who Pierce would one day wish she'd never have to see again.
Pierce's mother is a slightly eccentric woman and her father is the CEO of an oil company that's been in all the papers for their bad chemical spills. The family all lives in New England, where Pierce is `scheduled` to grow up, go to college, and become one of the `best and the brightest.' Everything is on track until one day, Pierce goes outside in the freezing cold and finds yet another bird who lost his life. Thinking back to the first time, Pierce suddenly finds herself falling into a freezing cold pool and drowning. Flat-lining for over an hour, Pierce is pronounced dead. Thankfully, the ice-cold water was her friend, and she was brought back to life.
Soon, Pierce and her Mom have left dear, old dad behind (because Mom blames Dad for not watching Pierce more closely). They head to Mom's birthplace off the coast of Florida called Isla Huesos (English translation: Island of Bones.) At her new school, Pierce soon finds out that she is completely different from the others around her, and has walked directly into a real live modern nightmare.
Meg Cabot has deftly woven a modern tale with an old myth, including everything in Pierce's story from the power of The Furies to a necklace once owned by Marie Antoinette. Add in a famous ferryman, an afterlife, and a man who can be both her savior and Dark Knight at the same time, and this story is unstoppable. The skill that Meg Cabot owns, producing YA series' fiction that is both mesmerizing and historical, is truly rare. And, with this new series, she may have just written the biggest 'hit' of her career thus far.
Quill Says: A provocative, thrilling story that readers of all ages will enjoy! Everyone will certainly put this one down and beg for Meg Cabot to hurry-up with the next one.