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30 January 2012

Review: Hades, Lord of the Dead by George O'Connor

Hades: Lord of the Dead by George O'Connor is the Persephone / Hades myth in graphic novel form.  Now, I like Greek mythology.  And I like graphic novels.  I thought this book would be right up my alley.  I thought it was good, but I wasn't overly "ahhhhhhhhhhhh" (insert heavenly singing here).

Here is the summary from NetGalley:

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.
 In Olympians, O’Connor draws from primary documents to reconstruct and retell classic Greek myths. But these stories aren’t sedate, scholarly works. They’re action-packed, fast-paced, high-drama adventures with monsters, romance, and not a few huge explosions. O’Connor’s vibrant, kinetic art brings ancient tales to undeniable life in a perfect fusion of super-hero aesthetics and ancient Greek mythology.

I really liked that this complex myth was told in an easier to understand graphic novel format.  You can glean a lot of meaning from the illustrations without having to read a lot of words.  However, its probably not for elementary school readers, to me, it felt more 7th grade and up. 

I liked the myth and felt that Mr. O'Connor's telling of it was really close to the myth I remember.  I don't know if it was an author's freedom, or the actual myth (I'll have to wiki it later), but in the beginning Persephone wasn't called Persephone, she changed her name during her time in the underworld.  That really threw me, and I think I'd have a lot of explaining to do just to help clarify for my students.

I really liked the illustrations.  Like I said, you can glean a LOT of meaning from facial expressions without having to have any words to read. 

All that good stuff being said, I just wasn't drawn into the book.  There wasn't really anything specific that I didn't like, I just didn't really enjoy it.  On the other hand, this might be the perfect book for you.

Hades: Lord of the Dead comes out tomorrow, January 31. 

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