With the tale of Seeds, M.M. Kin explores the myth of Hades and Persephone, drawing upon elements of the original myth, while giving new life to an ages-old story… romance, drama, action, and spice, it’s all here!
Seeds: Volume One
Longing. Need. Desire. Hades, the Lord of the Underworld, has never felt any of these in his long life until a chance encounter with the Goddess of Spring. For as long as she can remember, Persephone has always been told what to do, her life dictated by people who believe they know what is best for her without taking the time to understand or listen to her. However, the opportunity to truly be herself awaits her in the most unlikely of places, sparking one of the most famous and enduring relationships that history has ever known…
A quick disclaimer:
This is NOT a YA book. Let me repeat that loud and clear since this blog belongs to a YA author. This is NOT a YA book. It is a very good book, but there are some very graphic scenes involving sexual content. If you’re a young adult reader, wait a few years before checking this one out.
We good? Okay. 🙂
My review: I was impressed by the level of research that went into this book. As a writer who has thoroughly researched Greek mythology, it was really cool to see how someone took the same information and made it theirs. But M.M Kin took her research to a whole different level by actually setting her story in Ancient Greece.
Her setting was very well done, very real. I had a solid sense of where we were, and somehow, despite the story being set way,way long ago, the characters were still accessible. That’s a tough balance. You can’t drop super modern characters into a setting like that ands expect it to work, but you can’t make your ancient characters too ancient without risking your modern audience. M.M Kin struck a wonderful balance between modern sensibilities, and characters that felt like they belonged in an ancient setting.
I was pleased to see Demeter’s story so fleshed out. The first third of the book focused on Demeter’s life and the birth of her daughter. The second third focused on Persephone’s life growing up, and the last third takes place in the Underworld. I felt the story balanced well, though once we hit the Underworld the book takes a pretty significant shift to erotica land. There was still story and very well developed characters, so it wasn’t like just sex scene after sex scene. M.M Kin took the time to develop the characters and the world thoroughly.
When I emailed M.M Kin she said “There’s several important differences between my book and the original myth. I wanted Persephone to be less of a victim, and Hades to be less of a villain. I notice in the original myth that Zeus and Demeter are never scolded for their part in the disaster, and that people always point at Hades and say ‘bad boy’ for his part in the myth even though he wasn’t the one who sent a famine upon Greece or gave Persephone away without her mother’s knowledge or permission, so I try to address this in Seeds. I do have to warn, Seeds has some steamy scenes, so it’s not for kids!”
Zeus and Demeter are definitely held accountable (or I foresee they will be in the sequels) for their parts in the Persephone myth, though I’m curious how that’s going to be handled in Demeter’s case. But I hope Hades isn’t let off the hook either. While her Hades is less of a villain than in the original myth, he’s still not a good guy. Which is why she said “less of a villain” not that he isn’t one. This is still the Persephone myth, while dialed down there is still an element of bad to Hades’ actions. He stalks Persephone and watches her with his helmet of invisibility. True, he doesn’t DO anything to her, or watch her change or anything, but his rationale for stalking is that Demeter wouldn’t have let him court Persephone. One wrong doesn’t answer another. Stalking is still a major violation. And while he doesn’t rape her and drag her down to the Underworld, he does still **spoiler alert**
drag her down to the Underworld, refuse to let her leave, and consistently disregards her requests for him to stop touching her all the while saying he won’t do anything to her that she doesn’t want him to do. If he stood by that, I would have better feelings for his character, but what he actually means is I won’t do anything I don’t think you don’t want to do. He doesn’t cross the line to sex, but he does pretty much everything else, even after being told repeatedly to stop.
Now we’re in Persephone’s head, so we get the fact that she doesn’t actually want him to stop, and eventually she tells him so, but it’s not like he backed off until she told him so. Maybe it wasn’t rape, but it was still sexual assault. The reason I wouldn’t recommend this book to young adults isn’t the content of the sex scenes, but the message they send that really when a girl says no, she means yes, and continuing to violate her will eventually lead to consent.
That being said, while I’m not a fan of Hades in this book, I’m a huge fan of Persephone. Despite being manipulated all her life by her mother, and now by Hades, there’s still a strength in this character that makes me think maybe Hades will be answering for his actions in the next book along with Demeter and Zeus.
And maybe the person they’ll be answering to, is her.