Review: Endangered (Daughter of Hades #1) by Dani Hoots

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Chrys has been in the Underworld for thousands of years, hidden away by her father, Hades, from all of the other gods. He's afraid that if someone finds out about her, they will destroy her because of the dichotomous power that she holds, the power of life and death. So she has remained in the Palace of Hades all her life, making very few friends and always bored out of her mind.

 

Huntley would have never guessed that after he died he would wake up with a beautiful girl standing over him. And that she would be the Dark Lord of the Underworld's daughter. Yet, for some reason, she keeps him around as her tutor, as if he knows anything about the world. But Huntley knows that all she really wants is a friend; being trapped in the Underworld can get pretty lonely. That is, until Chrys decides she wants to run away to the human world after a big fight with her mother Persephone. Chrys claims her father is just over reacting and that nothing bad will come of it. There's no way that the gods will notice she's there for only a couple of days...right?

 

Chrys has been in the Underworld for thousands of years, hidden away by her father, Hades, from all of the other gods. He's afraid that if someone finds out about her, they will destroy her because of the dichotomous power that she holds, the power of life and death. So she has remained in the Palace of Hades all her life, making very few friends and always bored out of her mind. Huntley would have never guessed that after he died he would wake up with a beautiful girl standing over him. And that she would be the Dark Lord of the Underworld's daughter. Yet, for some reason, she keeps him around as her tutor, as if he knows anything about the world. But Huntley knows that all she really wants is a friend; being trapped in the Underworld can get pretty lonely. That is, until Chrys decides she wants to run away to the human world after a big fight with her mother Persephone. Chrys claims her father is just over reacting and that nothing bad will come of it. There's no way that the gods will notice she's there for only a couple of days...right?

 

***Disclaimer: I received a copy in exchange for a review.***

 

The First Five Words/Intro:  “Hello and welcome to the Underworld.  My name is Chrys, and I am the daughter of Hades.  May I take your coat?”  Sets the tone for the story but didn’t inspire much confidence.  For a goddess who’s never set foot out of the Underworld she’s got a definitively modern style to her.  If she’s been alive for so many thousands of years- and was personally mentored by Shakespeare himself- why does she only have contemporary references yet remain so clueless about things?

 

Style: The POV switches between Chrys and Huntley; an interesting tactic that allows you to see the story from different perspectives.  The overall tone is pretty consistent yet uneven.  Again, this is the centuries-old daughter of a god and a goddess in her own right, yet she’s only matured physically/emotionally to a high school level?  I’d like to think there’s a reason for this, especially as every other godly being encountered is clearly an adult- aside from her own friends, conveniently- but we’re not given one.

 

Characters: Chrys is interesting enough but seems stuck in a permanent state of wangst.  She can’t seem to make up her mind about much of anything other than being self-absorbed  Ex: “My father was one of the most important people in my life, if the not the most important…”  Really?  You’re not sure?  You know all of four people and you can’t tell where your own father ranks among them?  Smooth.  For a main character she doesn’t have much of an arc or growth through the story.

 

Huntley is an ok dude with some depth and develops more than Chrys does.  He’s never much examined his circumstances and always treaded carefully, aware of how fragile his status is, but begins piecing things together and wondering about his place as a mortal amongst gods.

 

AJ or Agenor, has a potentially interesting backstory as how a son of Poseidon ended up in the Underworld, but we never learn it.  This Agenor seems like he was based off the one from the Wrath of the Titans movie than actual mythology.  You know he’s up to something; but what it is and why isn’t what you’d expect.

 

Story & Conflict: When we finally get to it, it’s a little disappointing.  Without going into spoilers a lot of trouble could’ve been avoided if Hades had done what he should’ve all along and only offered to after everything hits the fan: train Chrys properly.  The whole story centers around keeping Chrys under wraps and unknown to the rest of the gods, yet Hades never bothers to develop her powers even though he knows what she’s capable of and she’s constantly frightened of what could happen should she lose control.  But no one ever teaches her.

 

Right when things were getting kinda interesting, the author pulls out the same old MarySue/Chosen One card: Chrys is the one from the prophecy with the power to destroy the gods, etc, blahblahblah.

 

I was ready to stop reading right there.

 

I don’t understand why *every* PNR/UF story- especially YA- want to go down this road.  What’s the point?  Where’s the struggle and conflict if the character is all-powerful right from the jump?  Why can’t they just discover (not all of) their abilities, work around their limitations and face challenges with/against their peers?  Ultimate beings are ultimately pretty damn dull and this doesn’t leave much room for improvement in the sequels: who can stand up to an all-powerful entity who’s fated to win?  Why would anyone even try?

 

Proficiency:  book needed proofreading.   Simple as that.

 

Dialogue:  Everyone speaks in a contemporary style, fitting enough for a modern day setting.  But again, you’d think Chrys- and everyone else who resides in the Underworld- would have more formal & archaic speech patterns as they never leave it and have limited exposure to the world.

 

Narrative/Pacing:  a pretty even keel for the most part.  The bulk of the story is filled with the dynamics of the relationship between Chrys & Huntley and how they relate to everyone else.  It’s not bad, just could’ve used more punch, or maybe a little something from Hades’ own POV.

 

Overall, there’s a story buried in here and has the potential to be a good one.  It just needs to be treated as what it claims to be: a goddess who shouldn’t exist coming into her own to face those who want to destroy her, instead of a whiny teenaged girl whose tantrums could destroy the world and the father who never trained her not to.  Because with the latter everyone else has a good point in wanting to stop her.

 

2.5/5- typical fare for the YA genre.

 

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