Book reviews by
Shalini

Review: A Touch of Darkness Scarlett Saint Clair

“A Touch of Darkness” by Scarlett St. Clair is a unique and imaginative retelling of the classic tale of Hades and Persephone, but with a modern twist. Set in the intriguing backdrop of New Athens, the story weaves together elements of fantasy, romance, and Greek mythology to create a captivating narrative.

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A Touch of Darkness (Hades x Persephone Saga, 1)
  • St. Clair, Scarlett (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 400 Pages – 09/01/2021 (Publication Date) – Bloom Books (Publisher)

Intriguing Beginnings and Magical Encounters

The story opens with Persephone, a young goddess, attempting to study at her favorite cafe, The Coffee House. The presence of narcissus flowers, symbolic of Hades, the God of the Dead, hints at the undercurrents of mourning and intrigue that permeate New Athens. Persephone’s life is sheltered, having been hidden from other gods for the first eighteen years of her life by her mother, Demeter, the Goddess of Harvest. This sheltering has cultivated a blend of curiosity and naiveté in Persephone.

A Night at Nevernight and the Unveiling of Secrets

Persephone’s mundane life takes a turn when she visits Nevernight, a club owned by Hades. This visit sets the stage for the story’s central conflict and romance. At the club, she encounters various characters, including the mysterious and alluring Hades. Their first interaction is charged with an intense, almost visceral attraction, hinting at the complicated relationship to come.

Persephone visist club in a touch of darkness

The Mark of Hades and the Binding Contract

The narrative takes a darker turn when Persephone discovers a black mark on her wrist, a result of Hades’ touch. This mark signifies a contract between them, binding Persephone to create life in the Underworld. This contract becomes the driving force behind much of the story, as Persephone grapples with the implications of her new bond with Hades.

The Dual Life of Persephone

Persephone’s life becomes a balancing act between her internship at New Athens News, where she explores her passion for journalism and her obligations in the Underworld. This duality in her life reflects the inner conflict she faces – her desire for independence and self-discovery versus the expectations and restrictions imposed by her lineage and the contract with Hades.

The Power Struggle and Emotional Turmoil

Throughout the story, Persephone and Hades engage in a complex power struggle, marked by intense arguments and emotional turmoil. This struggle is not just between them but also within Persephone herself, as she tries to reconcile her growing feelings for Hades with her desire for autonomy.

The Unfolding of Persephone’s Power

A pivotal moment in the story is when Persephone’s powers come to fruition, revealing the extent of her divine nature. This awakening is symbolic of her journey towards self-realization and empowerment.

The Conflict with Adonis and the Resolution

The narrative also delves into Persephone’s conflict with Adonis, a character who represents the external challenges she faces in her journey. The resolution of this conflict, particularly her confrontation with Adonis and Minthe, showcases Persephone’s growth and assertiveness.

A Conclusion of Self-Discovery and Reconciliation

The story culminates with a realization and reconciliation of sorts between Persephone and Hades, set against the backdrop of Persephone’s newfound understanding of herself and her powers. Their final encounter signifies not just the resolution of their tumultuous relationship, but also Persephone’s acceptance of her identity and destiny.

Personal Thoughts on the Book

The book, while imaginative in its premise, sometimes struggles with pacing and depth in character development. The relationship between Hades and Persephone, central to the story, at times, lacks the emotional depth and complexity expected from such a storied mythological pairing. However, the modern setting and the blend of ancient myth with contemporary elements make for an intriguing read.

About Scarlett St. Clair

Scarlett St. Clair is known for her creative reimaginings of classic myths and legends. With a flair for blending fantasy and romance, St. Clair has carved a niche for herself in the genre. Her writing often explores themes of power, love, and self-discovery.

Three Popular Books by Scarlett St. Clair

“A Game of Fate” – A Hades-centric counterpart to “A Touch of Darkness,” offering a fresh perspective on the same story.

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A Game of Fate (Hades x Persephone Saga, 2)
  • St. Clair, Scarlett (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 416 Pages – 09/03/2021 (Publication Date) – Bloom Books (Publisher)

“A Game of Retribution” – The continuation of the Hades and Persephone saga, delving deeper into the complexities of their relationship.

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A Game of Retribution: Hades Saga, Book 2
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Scarlett St. Clair (Author) – Tyler Donne (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 05/31/2022 (Publication Date) – Tantor Audio (Publisher)

“King of Battle and Blood” – A standalone novel that explores a dark and captivating world of vampires and royalty.

King of Battle and Blood (Adrian X Isolde Book 1)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • St. Clair, Scarlett (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 392 Pages – 11/30/2021 (Publication Date) – Bloom Books (Publisher)

People Also Love

“Circe” by Madeline Miller – A beautifully written novel that breathes new life into the story of the Greek goddess Circe.

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Circe
  • Miller, Madeline (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 416 Pages – 04/14/2020 (Publication Date) – Back Bay Books (Publisher)

“The Song of Achilles” by Madeline Miller – A touching and poetic retelling of the story of Achilles and Patroclus.

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The Song of Achilles: A Novel
  • Miller, Madeline (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 416 Pages – 08/28/2012 (Publication Date) – Ecco (Publisher)

“Lore” by Alexandra Bracken – A novel that blends modern New York City with ancient Greek mythology, offering a thrilling and unique take on the old legends.

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Lore
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Alexandra Bracken (Author) – Fryda Wolff (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 01/06/2021 (Publication Date) – Disney Hyperion (Publisher)

In conclusion, “A Touch of Darkness” is a novel that offers an intriguing blend of myth and modernity, though it sometimes falls short in emotional depth. For lovers of Greek mythology reimagined in contemporary settings, it’s a journey worth embarking on.

Keep turning pages and dreaming big!

Shalini (1)
My name is Shalini and I love reading a lot. On this blog I review most of the books I have read. Hope you enjoy.
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