Tara Anderson's Reviews > Hades: Lord of the Dead

Hades by George O'Connor
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Dec 08, 11

Read from December 05 to 08, 2011

ARC received from NetGalley

We have the other graphic novels from this series (Zeus: King of the Gods, Athena: Grey-Eyed Goddess, and Hera: The Goddess and Her Glory) in our library's collection, and they circulate like crazy. I've never read one, so I was pleased to receive this copy for review to see what the fuss is all about.

If you are familiar with mythology, the story is just a retelling of the myth of Persephone. The reader is given an introduction to Hades and the underworld, and then the story of how Persephone is kidnapped and taken to live as Hades' queen in the underworld is told. O'Connor explains in the end material that this is how the story sort of "happened" when he started to tell it, as much of the ancient Greek texts never go into much detail about why Persephone would agree to stay in the underworld for six months out of the year.

I was actually very impressed by this little book. The story was interesting and added something new to a classic myth. There were bits of humor that made me laugh, and there were many moments that middle school students will easily relate to. What impressed me most was the material at the end: the author's note, bibliography, recommended reading, Greek notes, discussion questions, and character graphics/bios for Hades, Persephone, Demeter, and Tantalos. This is a graphic novel that takes the subject matter seriously and would be a great addition to any school library. It could be enjoyed by an individual student or as a class read.

FINAL GRADE: I see now why my students love this series. It's accessible and it fits in with the sixth grade curriculum. I won't buy this for myself (I'm not that in to mythology, or graphic novels), but we have already purchased a copy for our media center.

The ONLY beef I had with this read was in the e-galley. Reading a graphic novel as an e-book was an interesting experience, and I couldn't zoom in or make the text bigger. There was a lot of squinting involved. I'm glad our forthcoming copy (due to arrive in March) is a print copy!
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