Gemma's Reviews > Hades

Hades by Alexandra Adornetto
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Oct 15, 11

Read in October, 2011

Yee gods, what a fine mess we have here.

I did not know that Hell could possibly be so lame. Here we have the place where the wicked are punished for there sins, where the face and light of God has never and will never be seen, where there is nothing but pain and suffering and agony and sin, burning, inescapable sin, and Alexandra Adornetto reduces it all to...

A shady nightclub.

Something's missing here. Like, I don't know, some element of terror, something that would drive people away, something that would scare generations of Puritans, something with the wrath of God perhaps, or the presence of Satan.

Ugh. Let's talk about Satan. Lucifer.

I'm not a huge Satan expert; most of what I know about him is based off of the generic 'he's super bad' stuff that pops up in the Bible from time to time and the stuff my youth group leaders have told me. I haven't read Revelations or any other books of the Bible explaining about his character in depth. I don't even know where it's located in the Bible.

That being said, I feel that I know more of Satan's character than Alexandra Adornetto does.

Satan is not some aging warlord with a particular taste for destrutcion. He's not like the general in Mulan with a dark side. He's the master of deception and evil personified. There is not one element of goodness about him. He's not mischievous or playful; he's sheer evil. He's prideful and haughty; he's not about to let anyone call him 'Big Daddy'.

You heard me. They call him 'Big Daddy'. I wish I was making that up.

Back to the point. Satan is bad. Solidly bad. This I know. If there is one being in existence who is all black and no white, it's Satan.

The tragic things is, I think this is what dear Alexandra was trying to portray when she wrote him. But how epically she failed.

There are some charaters who start out charming, but then reveal more and more of their truly demonic nature as the story plays out. These characters are cunning and complex, something to fear.

Or, you can have Alexandra Adornetto's Lucifer, aka 'Big Daddy'. He wants to be mysterious and charming but then truly evil, but he's really just a paper thin charicature of a monster. And a lame one, at that.

Lame, I think, is the word for the book. Everything that could have been cool or dramatic or intense just gave a melodramatic squeal and then flopped over.

Take Jake, the story's villain. Big Daddy's son. He's even worse than Satan, as far as pathetically portrayed characters go. He's bad to the bone, so our brilliant author portrays this by making him ride a motorcycle and smoke cigarettes. Wow, I'm terrified.

As if that wasn't enough to convince me of his foul character, he's also a womanizer. And he's all slick and charming in a way that's utterly fake.

Ugh. Another pathetic fail. Why is it so hard for authors to make these teeth-gnashingly evil and yet super sexy characters appealing? I mean, come on! This keeps coming up in books, but it really shouldn't be that hard.

Ever read Wicked Lovely? Ever read Ink Exchange? Ask me about Irial (yeah, he has a somewhat effeminate name). He's the frickin' King of Darkness and he's absolutely perfect (as a character, not in a He Has No Flaws and Walks on Water way). He's mean and cruel, but can be sweet and human and is, the entire time, completely swoon-worthy. He's amazing.

Why can't authors make more characters like him? Would that be so hard? Excuse me while I stomp off to bang my head against a wall...

Speaking of lacking characters... well, I suppose eventually I'll be going through all of them. Bethany, who seemed sweet and innocent and decent in the first one is now completely loathesome: whiny, all 'I am Perfect', attached to her boyfriend at the hip, and totally emotionless. I think we should toss her in the Lake of Fire.

Oops, wait. That would mean we would actually need to have one. Back to the wall.

Xavier was okay, mostly offscreen, although Alexandra felt this irritating need to catch us up with what was happening in the real world, so every fifty or so pages, Behany would go and look into the Lake of Dreams (wasn't that in the Mortal Instruments? A lot of things in this book seemed to have come from the Mortal Instruments books) and see everything that was happening up above. Ugh. It's so disjointed from the rest of the story, and the whole 'cutting to people in different dimensions' thing really only works in Inception.

Molly, her decent friend, is now a whiny you-know-what and as loathesome as Bethany. Hanna, Bethany's foreign maid, was a stereotype. Asia was totally lame, as were the rest of the demons in Hell who have yet to inspire an ounce of fear within me.

Ugh. They can all go to that Firey Lake for all I care.

I could also mention the writing. In my review of Halo, I said that Alexandra Adornetto was not the worst writer in the world, that there were authors out there with college degrees who are worse than she is. I stand behind that; it's completely true. That being said, her writing is fairly bad. Her word choice is awkward; every few setences, she'll throw in this giant SAT word. And while I have no problem with big words, they can only be used in a certain type of book, in a certain type of way. Here, it seemed awkward and out of place, like she was trying to prove to the world that she has a vocabulary.

So, yeah, bad characters and bad writing. But do you know what really made me angry? (If we were in a cartoon, I'd have little flames in my eyes) The storyline. My goodness; it was so pathetic.

It was like Bethany: Oh, I've been dragged to Hell, help me! Help me!

Jake: Come to bed.

Bethany: Are you asking me to have sex with you?

Jake: No. I wanna make love to you. (I am not even lying. He actually said that. Twice. Ew. Ew ew ew ew. I was totally ready to vomit)

Bethany: Yuckers. No way, dude.

Jake: whutevah.

Satan: sup, my homies, I be 'Big Daddy' and totally pathetic. Me and my here demons are all gonna go start the end of the world. Peace, dawgs, Big D's out!

Bethany: I miss Xavier...

Like, that's the whole storyline. Granted, there have been worse. There have been. I know. But as far as climaxes go... yikes. (view spoiler) Are you kidding me? Worst. Climax. Ever. Totally and completely lame, and the worse part is, they were all painfully serious. I cannot even believe it...

Ugh.

If there is one nice thing I can say about it, it's that the book design was quite nice. The font was calm and non-obnoxious, fairly large, but not too large, the cover art was nice, the color of the cardboard was a pretty shade of purple, the page numbers were nice and curly.

Lovely, really.

Too bad it was wasted on this mess.
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