Review of A Touch of Darkness by Scarlett St. Clair

From bestselling author Scarlett St. Clair comes a dark and enthralling reimagining of the Hades and Persephone Greek myth.

“Let me worship you,” he said.

She remembered the words she had whispered to him in the back of the limo after La Rose. “You will worship me, and I won’t even have to order you.” His request felt sinful and devious, and she reveled in it.

She answered, “Yes.”

Persephone is the Goddess of Spring in title only. Since she was a little girl, flowers have only shriveled at her touch. After moving to New Athens, she hoped to lead an unassuming life disguised as a mortal journalist. All of that changes when she sits down in a forbidden nightclub to play a hand of cards with a hypnotic and mysterious stranger.

Hades, God of the Dead, has built a gambling empire in the mortal world and his favorite bets are rumored to be impossible. But nothing has ever intrigued him as much as the goddess offering him a bargain he can’t resist.

After her encounter with Hades, Persephone finds herself in a contract with the God of the Dead, and his terms are impossible: Persephone must create life in the Underworld or lose her freedom forever. The bet does more than expose Persephone’s failure as a goddess, however. As she struggles to sow the seeds of her freedom, love for the God of the Dead grows—a love that is both captivating and forbidden.

I’m not quite sure why everyone is enamored with this book. I found it somewhat lackluster in development. While one may argue that the characters grow during the novel, it is almost a secondary thought to how their instant connection and love match can continue. So many parts of this novel hinge on how naive and too trusting Persephone is and instead of organically allowing her to grow it seems as if she chooses to only accept Hades at his word/face value in matters of the flesh and not those of morals. While there are plenty of Greek Mythology based persona within the novel, in many cases it seemed as if the name was used without the connections for which they were so widely revered and known. Hades is the one God who appears to be better in reality than how they are portrayed. While there are plenty of steamy scenes, any sort of true love story is overshadowed by how physicality becomes the main connection between Hades and Persephone, especially when they mention not even knowing anything about what the other likes to do for hobbies, when they had been allegedly spending time together for around 5 months.

All in all, it’s a retelling, sure, but if you’re looking for something that hits more of the classic misunderstood but not just in need of an instant connection stories, I’d recommend Meg Cabot’s Abandon.

Star rating: ✯✯✯