Death Deities – Meg Cabot’s Abandon – Immortal Monday

Death. One of the few things we can be certain of in our lifetime. Death is a natural part of the cycle and doesn’t have to be seen as a bad thing. It’s all a matter of perspective. We are energy and energy can’t be destroyed so it must go somewhere. – Immortal Monday.

I’ve been a bad little blogger and social friend this summer. Please bare with me until I get the kids back in school. I honestly do care. My time just hasn’t been available.

Since the beginning of time people have built belief systems and religions around life and death. The Greek god Hades is a prime example of one such philosophy. Ruler of the Underworld, he really isn’t as bad as some make him out to be. He simply had bad luck of the draw and got stuck with a not so desirable address. It’s his job to rule over the dead, maintain balance, and make sure the unruly souls stay put and don’t succeed in cheating death in any way.  Because cheating death really isn’t fair, is it?

Now the Underworld is the final destination, but suppose there were stops along the way. Processing centers maybe? Places where the souls were sorted and separated by their intended end design. And in the fashion of Hades, each of these locations was ruled by their own death deity. It’s a curious concept, don’t you agree?

It’s the underlining framework in Meg Cabot’s Abandon. A unique young adult tale about a young girl who steps over the veil into death and meets her personal death deity only to be revived back to the world of the living. She returns changed and with attachments.

You may be wondering what a death deity is. Many cultures have different names and titles for them, but in general they are the ones that either rule over the dead and/or collect them at their passing. They are not involved in determining how or when one will die.

If you are familiar with the myth of Hades and Persephone, Meg Cabot takes that myth and beautifully weaves it into a modern day tale. She masterfully includes events and locations that she is kind enough to talk about at the end of the book. And of course, no tale is complete without something evil. There definitely is evil. I don’t want to spoil it, but they also come from the underworld and are immortal!

If you aren’t familiar with the Hades and Persephone story, the cliff note version would go something like this: Hades fell in love with Persephone. Because he loved her so much, he kidnapped her and stole her away to the underworld, holding her there despite her unhappiness. Her mother was angry and wanted her back. Hades and Demeter, Persephone’s mother, struck a bargain. As a result, Persepohone’s time was split between the underworld and her time on earth with her mother.

So, who is our immortal in this tale for Immortal Monday? The equivalent of Hades – John Hayden. Our heroine, Pierce, describes him as, “[A] wild thing… badly in need of someone’s aid, even if he didn’t agree.” He’s definitely lacking in the warm and fuzzy category. *insert laugh here* But you still can’t help but fall for the guy somehow. Being a death deity is a lonely job. It might make one a little anti-social over the centuries. To fall in love and then have love ripped away – well…  No spoilers. Personally, I felt John didn’t get enough face time and I would have liked to get to know him better. But you’ll have to read the book and judge for yourself. Hopefully that will be rectified in Underworld, book two.

Pierce is our Persephone. According to reviews, some found her to be selfish and a snob. I didn’t read her that way. I did find her indecisive, and I didn’t care for the frequency at which she cried. But you have to remember she is a teen. Even though I didn’t cry much when I was a teen. Not till the hormone change with pregnancy. But that’s what makes her human and individual. She first met John at her grandfather’s funeral. She was seven. He was kind, yet she was unsure of him. Death, dying and visions of the underworld could put someone in a bad frame of mind. So they may not get off to the best start the next time they met. That’s what YA books are for, right? Working on the relationship? 😉

If you enjoy a touch of immortal, love the young adult reads, and get a thrill out of new and interesting twist on Greek mythology, I would recommend this book for a quick, intriguing read. Of course, be prepared to read three books as this is the first in a trilogy.

I was blessed to receive this book at the RWA Conference this last month and I flew through it in a matter of two days. It’s a fast fun read. Thank you Meg Cabot and RWA. I’m off to the book store for the next installment.

Have you read any good book recently that involved immortals? How about the young adult market, have you read any books that you would recommend?


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27 thoughts on “Death Deities – Meg Cabot’s Abandon – Immortal Monday”

  1. EmmaEmma

    Sounds great. I’m adding it to my never-ending TBR list on Goodreads now. I like the myth of Hades and Persephone and a modern retelling sounds awesome.

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      I can only imagine what your pile looks like with the amount of reviews you are always posting. Isn’t your book supposed to be out today? I didn’t see it on Amazon yet. I did check.

      • EmmaEmma

        Don’t think it’s going to be available until September everywhere.

        • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

          Okay. Does that mean it’s available in the UK? 🙂

  2. Coleen PatrickColeen Patrick

    I liked this book too! I love mythology and stories of the immortal, but sometimes I feel bogged down by the vast amount of information in some fiction. Meg Cabot’s story had just the right amount to keep me interested. 🙂 Another great post Debra, I’m impressed with it, especially in the summer!

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      I completely agree Coleen. I liked the fact that she delivered enough to follow and enjoy, but not so much that we were trudging through a ton of back story. Thanks for the compliment.

  3. August McLaughlinAugust McLaughlin

    I read a fun thriller called The Immortalists (by Kyle Mills) recently. Living forever, or even for a very long time, is a fascinating topic. It’s fun to see how different authors approach it.

    Isn’t it funny how two people can read the same book and have totally different takes on the characters?? Great post, lady!

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      You have me intrigued. The idea of living forever or a very long time is something I have often thought about as to how it would affect different personalities in relation to my stories and the Immortal Monday series. Some will revel in it and others will spiral into depression as they watch the world around them change. I might have to look up this book you mentioned. Thanks, August.

  4. Rachel Funk HellerRachel Funk Heller

    Hi Debra, the timing of your post is amazing. I actually have a novel titled, “A Starry Night in Persephone’s Garden,” that has been sitting and stewing since I wrote the first version of it back in 1999. It’s been creeping back into my consciousness lately, so I will have to work on it once I get the current WIP in order. Hades and Persephone are so totally misunderstood and they deserve some love. Great post, and yes, another book to add to my list.

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      I couldn’t agree more, they’re very misunderstood. I hope you get that story published some day. I would love to read it. I believe the retelling of ancient myths with modern twists are a lot of fun. Thanks for stopping by Rachel.

  5. Jennette Marie PowellJennette Marie Powell

    The book sounds really interesting! I might have to check it out, even though my virtual TBR pile’s in danger of burying me. Hope you had fun at the conference!

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      I had a lot of fun! Thanks, Jennette. It was a good read and I’m happy to finally find time in my schedule to read again. Yay!

  6. Tameri EthertonTameri Etherton

    Dang it! Now you’ve got me all excited to read this one. It was third on my TBR pile. I’m going to bump it up to first, right after I finish my book club book for this month. There was just too much goodness in your review. The Hades and Persephone tale is one of my favorites. Rachel definitely needs to get her novel published so we can read it. I love the title.

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      I know. We’ll be on Rachel to finish that book now that we all know about it. I bet you thought I was going to say “right?” LOL! I have been flipping between books a little bit. I’m trying to cover one indie author than a traditional pub. I hope I can keep up the pace. The past two days I’ve been slow.

  7. Marcy KennedyMarcy Kennedy

    It’s so interesting how different people can read the same character and yet relate to her so differently. I’m soon going to have an absolutely unmanageable TBR pile if people keep up the book reviews 🙂

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      It’s my philosophy that people read into the characters based on their own personal experiences. Having been up close and personal with death, I’m going to read Pierce differently than someone who hasn’t. That doesn’t make it better or worse, right or wrong, just different. I bet we all have overflowing TBR piles. Crazy good stuff.

  8. jansenschmidtjansenschmidt

    I got that book too at RWA in Anaheim, but I haven’t read it yet. Young adult is usually a category I shy away from, but I’m glad to know it’s a good read.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      I’m sorry I missed you at RWA. It would have been nice to finally meet you in person. You could have joined us (and Thor) in the lounge.

      • jansenschmidtjansenschmidt

        I saw the pictures. Thor sure gets around.

        I posted on FB about trying to get together but I guess you guys were using Twitter. I didn’t think to check Twitter. (Duh). I just assumed you guys were shunning me. (I’m saying that tongue in cheek. I know you would never do that.) Next time hopefully we can hook up.


        • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

          Sorry I missed the FB post. Never saw it. 🙁 Yes, we were on Twitter. Once we were at the hotel I admit to not checking too often. I got so wrapped up in the panels. Next time we will make a point of it. Send a direct message. That’s the best way.

  9. Louise BehielLouise Behiel

    i’m late to the party, Debra. sounds like a good book – I’ll take a look

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      No worries in regards to being late. I have been all kinds of late all summer long. Life happens. I’m not holding anyone to the clock. I’m glad you could stop by.

  10. Fabio BuenoFabio Bueno

    I like the premise of “Abandon,” Debra. I’ve read other books by Meg Cabot (“Airhead” and “Jinx”). She has a funny voice 🙂

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      This was my introduction to Meg Cabot. I enjoyed her voice. I think she speaks well to the young adult group. I like that. I read more.

  11. Angela Orlowski-PeartAngela Orlowski-Peart

    Abandon totally sounds like something down my alley. I am mythology-crazy, and that’s why I’m adding this book to my TRB list on Goodreads.

    BTW, I love your Immortal Monday posts (go figure – that mythology thing again!), and even if I don’t comment often, I always try to stop by and read. Keep them coming!

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      It’s funny, I thought of you while I was writing this. 🙂 I’m very curious about your upcoming book. Thanks for the compliment on Immortal Monday. I have slowed down through summer due to the kids and their schedule (they’ve given me no free time!). But I plan on keeping IM alive and well. I’ll be moving the blog and tweaking a few other things as I go along. But it’s all good. What’s going on with your new blog location? I’ve been waiting for your return. But then I know how it is, wanting that time to work on the writing (and travel amazing travel destinations).

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