Review 239. Bree Despain – The shadow prince.

16150914Title: The shadow prince.
Author: Bree Despain.
Pages: 512.
Expected publication: March 11th 2014 by Egmont 
Sort: Part one of ‘Into the dark.’
Source: Edelweiss & Publisher.

Haden Lord, the disgraced prince of the Underrealm, has been sent to the mortal world to entice a girl into returning with him to the land of the dead. Posing as a student at Olympus Hills High—a haven for children of the rich and famous—Haden must single out the one girl rumored to be able to restore immortality to his race. Daphne Raines has dreams much bigger than her tiny southern Utah town, so when her rock star dad suddenly reappears, offering her full tuition to Olympus Hills High’s prestigious music program, she sees an opportunity to catch the break she needs to make it as a singer. But upon moving into her estranged father’s mansion in California, and attending her glamorous new school, Daphne soon realizes she isn’t the only student in Olympus who doesn’t quite belong. Haden and Daphne—destined for each other—know nothing of the true stakes their fated courtship entails. As war between the gods brews, the teenagers’ lives collide. But Daphne won’t be wooed easily and when it seems their prophesied link could happen, Haden realizes something he never intended—he’s fallen in love. Now to save themselves, Haden and Daphne must rewrite their destinies. But as their destinies change, so do the fates of both their worlds.
Rating:

I didn’t know much about this book when I downloaded it from Edelweiss. I saw the cover and I really liked it. When I read the blurb I just went for it and I’m happy I did! My first experience with this author – I’ve heard good things about her other series – was good.

This book is narrated from two POV’s and that works perfect. It gives us the opportunity to connect with both characters and it makes it easy to understand what’s going on. I think it was fundamental to see both of their stories and I’m happy it worked out.

The first POV is about Haden. He is the disgraced prince of the Underrealm and he is picked by the Oracle to go to the mortal world to find his Boon. He must find Daphne and save his world. This girl is the Cypher and the only one who can find the Key to stop the possible destruction of the Underrealm and Mortal world. It’s a huge responsibility for Haden and this is the way to prove to his father that he is worthy of his title as Prince, next to his twin brother.

Haden is an interesting character. I liked to see how he tries to adjust to his life in the Mortal ream. There are new rules he has to follow and some things that were forbidden are now easy to access, like music and emotions. I couldn’t wait to find out what exactly happened when his father discarded him. Haden had a nice development and he went from an arrogant, egoistic boy into someone who starts to care about other people. He starts to take more responsibility.

The second POV is of course about Daphne. She lives all her life in a tiny city with her mother, uncle and strays her mother brought into her house. Daphne is dreaming of something more and a talent show feels like her way out. Before she can apply, she is swept away by her father – who left them years ago - into a music program in Olympus Hills High. It’s hard for Daphne to adjust to her new life, especially when she is stalked by Haden. She has a gift for music, especially singing, and it was great to have a character with such passion and perseverance.

When their characters meet, it was fun to see the story coming together. The mythology was subtle and I liked that we get to know Haden through Daphne’s eyes. It made sure that we get to understand the real background story without an information dump. And seeing Daphne through Haden’s eyes ensures that we understand his actions. The feelings between them are cute, although a bit insta-loveish, and the ending was satisfying.

The reasons I gave this book 3 stars is that it can be a bit slow sometimes, the characters aren't the most memorable and there are cliches, but despite this all I found myself enjoying this story. Perhaps a few pages less would benefit the pace, because this book has a whopping amount of 512 pages. I'm definitely looking forward to more.

37 comments

  1. I don't know if this will be the read for me, but it did look promising! I'm a bit turned off by the length, but the characters and the worldbuilding sound so interesting! Great review Mel!

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    1. The length was definitely something I had to look past, because it's a daunting size.

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  2. I saw this book for the first time only few days ago (otherwise I'd request it long ago) so I'm sorry I missed it as it sounds really good. I love that it has mythology in it and the characters sounds really good. Only I'm not eager on slow reads but I will live. Great review, Mel :)

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  3. This one sounds overall enjoyable, although it's too bad it felt a bit slow.

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  4. Ooh, I loved this book. Though I agree it was slow at times...I liked the switching POVs, though. I'm excited for the next book! :) Great review!

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  5. I am halfway through it, and I'm really enjoying it so far. I love how Haden tries to adjust to Daphne's world, it is so cute!
    So glad you enjoyed it, I liked her Dark Divine series, as well.

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  6. Blurgh this book. I agree--the characters were pretty cliche and lame. And god, this was so freaking long and certainly did not need all those pages!

    Great review <33

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    1. A couple of 100 pages less would have been much better! :)

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  7. Oh boy the book is pretty long, I keep getting this and Death Sworn confused together haha! I really do like it when having 2 POVs really assists the storytelling rather than hinder it. I don't think I'll be checking this one out unfortunately since the length rather scares me haha but great review Mel :)

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    1. I can see why, cover wise they have the 'same feeling' for me.

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  8. Huh, I just read a review saying the romance in this one was pretty slow, lol! Anyway, I'm really interested in this Haden fellow and his adjusting to the moral world. I can't wait to see how he and Daphne interact! Lovely review, Mel!

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    1. Haha, I guess we all look at certain aspects differently :D

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  9. I am starting to regret not getting this from Edelweiss. Most of the reviews I've read have been fairly positive and and I kind of want to see how I'd feel about this one. I am glad that this book worked out for you in spite of everything.

    Great review, Mel!! :)

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    1. I'd say, wait for the library to get a copy and try it out!

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  10. Exactly! Despite the flaws (the cliches as you pointed out) it was still undeniably entertaining. Great review Mel. :D

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  11. I think slow pacing with 500+ pages might kill me... (plus increasing the chance of DNF - better I kill it than it kills me, eh?) The story sounds interesting enough though, I'm just hesitant to commit reading it. I will probably look out for more reviews and then decide :) Thanks for sharing Mel!

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    1. That is a great idea Angel. And you could always borrow it from the library. No harm in DNF it then :D

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  12. I'm really on the fence regarding this one. Not just because of the humongous size (512 pages, seriously?!?! *faints*) but because I heard (mostly) negative reviews about it :/ Many say it was cliche and lame and that the hero was such a Gary Stu, haha. Aside from that, I don't think I've seen a real positive review for this book from any of my book friends... 3 is actually the highest I've seen and that's not exactly a good sign. Nonetheless, thanks for your thoughts, Mel!

    Faye @ The Social Potato

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    1. It was cliche, lame and yes, he was a Gary Stu, haha. But there was something incredibly entertaining about the overall story..

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  13. I'm glad that in this case the dual POV works. Daphne sort of reminds me of Aria from Under the Never Sky series what with her being uncomfortable with her new life and being a gifted singer. Heh. I'm sorry this was a tad slow for you, butI'm glad that you enjoyed it as a whole and I hope that things will get even better in the sequel:)

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  14. I've yet to read a book by Despain yet, but I'm glad to see that your first try with her didn't disappoint. I think I would probably find over 500 pages a little overwhelming too, but I'm glad the characters left you wanting more. Lovely review Melanie! :)

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  15. I know there needs to be some climax and plot build up, but I struggle when it is slow!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

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  16. Shame about the pacing, but the dual POV sounds like it was really well done in this book!

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  17. I've been seeing some really negative reviews for this book which is sad since I was really looking forward to this book. I'm glad to hear you seemed to somewhat enjoy it though =) I love dual POVs and the description just sounds interesting.I think I may still give this book a chance when I have the time!

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    1. I can understand why this book isn't meant for everyone, but I thought it was just an entertaining story :)!

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  18. This book was definitely a bit lengthy! There were a lot of bits that could've just been cut out, to be honest. But yeah, I agree, overall, it was fairly decent, despite the cliches and semi-instalove :)

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  19. I DNF'ed it at chapter 2. Apparently it wasn't keeping my interest even though I'm a huge fan of Greek mythology. The thickness of this book was also daunting O_O

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  20. I feel like Fantasy books oftentimes suffer from a slower pace due to all the detail that can be added. I either love it, or am indifferent to it (like it doesn't necessarily stop me from liking the book) Relationships are my favorite when we get both POVs, I think it is so much fun. But since you didn't LOVE this, I might wait to see how the sequels turn out before I read it myself!

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  21. Ok so a mythology book. I don't know if I'm really into that right now. I just read Promise of Shadows and for some reason I wasn't enthused. But last year I read Antigoddess and loved it so I just don't know. Plus you're saying it went slow at times and I've had two books recently do that to me and I was in agony!

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  22. I'm glad that you enjoyed this one overall - despite the clichés and slower pacing. I like reading dual or multiple pov's when they work well with the story and this seems to be the case here! The mythology sounds intriguing and I'm especially happy that it manages to avoid info dumps. I was lucky enough to get an e-arc of this one too, hoping to read it soon :) Lovely review Mel xx

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    1. I look forward to your thoughts Micheline!

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  23. Aw, yay :D Glad you enjoyed it. <3 But aw, sorry it was a bit slow. But I do admit that it sounds interesting. I'm glad you liked it. <3 thank you for sharing it sweetie :)

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  24. This seems like the perfect "fun" read. I don't think I'd like it as much if I requested it because I think I tend to be more critical? But despite the slowness and blah parts (like cliches), this sounds like a great book! Great review, Mel!

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    1. Yes, that's it! If you look critical it's not a good book, but it was just fun and enjoyable :)!

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  25. Yay, I'm glad to see that you enjoyed The Shadow Prince overall Mel! I desperately want to read this one because it's a Persephone retelling! :D
    I hope I won't mind the slow pacing you've mentioned because I really want this one to be good.
    Great review Mel! (:

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