Hades: Lord of the Dead by George O'Connor (US) - (Canada)
Olympians, Book 4
Finished: Feb. 12, 2012
First Published: Jan. 31, 2012
Publisher: First Second Books
Genre: children, graphic novel, mythology
First sentence: This is what happens to you when you die.
Publisher's Summary: "Hades: Lord of the Dead tells the story of the great God of the Underworld and one of the most famous of all Greek myths: Hades’ abduction of Persephone and her mother’s revenge. Be prepared to see a new side of Persephone in this dynamic adaptation of the story of the creation of the seasons."
Acquired: Received a review copy from First Second Books.
Reason for Reading: Next in the series.
What a long wait it has been for the fourth volume in this series! Another great entry in the series with fabulous artwork. O'Connor's depictions of Persephone are fantastic, picturing her in a unique Goth style which seems quite appropriate for the Queen of the Dead. While the book is titled Hades, it really tells the story of Persephone and to a lesser degree Demeter which is a twist on the usual telling of this tale which focuses on Demeter and how the seasons came to be in most retellings. O'Connor has taken licence and retold the story addressing Persephone's feelings, attitude and actions which are usually not referred to. This makes for a refreshing story for someone familiar with the tale and adds a fun twist to the myth. I'm not sure I totally agree with this take on the tale, as I've always related to Demeter in this myth (must be my maternal instincts) but since the intended audience is children I think it is a great new view to an old tale that kids will relate to.
Some of my favourite things about this series is the author's note, the portrait pages and the detailed "Notes" at the back. This is full of quite scholarly information about not just the particular myth but many aspects of Greek mythology and a treasure trove of interesting tidbits and even a veteran reader will learn a new fact or two! I can't find any references to what the next book will be, but I'm sure at one point I heard it was going to be on Poseidon. Whatever it is I just hate having to wait a year between volumes :(