Title: Neon Gods
Series: Dark Olympus #1
Author: Katee Robert
Tropes/Themes: Hades & Persephone Retelling, Fake Dating, Forbidden Romance
Edition/Pages: Paperback, 391 Pages
Thank you so much to Sourcebooks Casablanca and Edelweiss+ for sending me an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review.
Society darling Persephone Dimitriou wants nothing to do with her mother’s ambitions. She has plans to leave the ultra-modern city of Olympus and start her life far away from the backstabbing and politics. But that all goes down the drain when her mother ambushes her with an engagement to Zeus, the dangerous power behind their glittering city’s dark facade.
With no options left, Persephone flees Olympus and makes a devil’s bargain with a man she once believed was a myth…a man who awakens her heart and her body to a world she never knew existed.
This was easily one of my most anticipated releases of the entire year and it did not disappoint! This book was absolutely everything I wanted in a Hades & Persephone retelling. It’s sexy, morally grey, and full of fantastic chemistry. No one writes romance like Katee Robert and she absolutely blew me away with this new take on Olympus.
What stood out the most to me in this (beyond the amazing romance) was the unique and interesting twist on Olympus. This setting is dark and gritty to the point it feels nearly fantastical. But it is actually based entirely in reality. While it’s set in the same world as Wicked Villains and Sabine Valley, you don’t need to read either of those series to understand the world. In fact, the world is even more well developed in here than in either of those series. And I loved all the subtle nods to Greek mythology as well as the authors other works.
But of course the romance is the shining the star. No one writes romance quite like Katee Robert. She masterfully balances sexual tension with emotional connection making you fall head over heels for her characters. Both Hades Persephone were strong characters on their own, but their relationship was spectacular.
While this book is far lighter on the kink than the Wicked Villains series, the chemistry between the characters is just as powerful. With the higher page count and longer timeline, you really get to see the characters develop a deeper emotional connection. The chemistry and mutual pining left my palms sweating and I was desperate to figure out how they would beat the odds and make their relationship work.
And like in all (or at least the majority of) Katee Roberts books, all the characters are casually queer. There’s mention of pan/bisexual characters as well as an asexual character!
I think what surprised me the most though was how much I loved the side characters! With this being a Greek reimagining, there are a LOT of characters. But somehow each and every one felt fully developed, unique, and important.
Overall this is my new favorite Hades and Persephone retelling. Hands down. I cannot wait for the next 2 books in this series!