Deep in this hidden Kingdom beneath the earth, countless spirits await the end of time. Hades, the lord of this dire realm, Waits with them... until one day, the Lord of the Dead takes a wife. Or tries to, anyway.
George O'Connor is the author of several picture books, including the New York Times bestseller Kapow!, Kersplash, and Sally and the Some-thing. JOURNEY INTO MOHAWK COUNTRY was his first graphic novel, a long-held dream that weaves together his passion for history and ongoing research into Native American life. He's also the author/illustrator of a new picture book, If I Had a Raptor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
I love this series. This is titled Hades and he has little to do with this book really. It is more about Demeter and Persephone, or her original name Kore.
The book starts out talking about what happens when you die and Hades makes his appearance. Then we see him abducting Kore while no one is looking. At first she is pissed and then she realizes she could be important as the Queen of the underworld and her mother Demeter is grating her nerves. Demeter stops letting the earth bare fruit and searches for her daughter. Once found Persephone has to spend 6 months in Hades with Hades and 6 months in Olympus with her mom. She is happy with this.
The art is great and when Demeter realizes Zeus is behind this, her wraith jumps off the page. It is so well done. I hope he does all the stories of the gods over the years. These are fantastic. Hades is actually shown to be more than a monster. If you like mythology and graphic novels, you have to read this!
Summary: In O'Connor's fourth installment of the Olympians graphic novel series starts with the journey into the Underworld after death but reveals itself to be about the myth of Persephone's abduction and the consequences that follow such. This graphic novel is not only about Hades, but about Demeter and Persephone as well.
What I Think: Persephone's myth is one of my favorites. I love how clever the Greeks were to have such an elaborate tale to account for the seasons that we all experience. And saying that, this graphic novel is by far my favorite version of the story.
I am such a fan of George O'Connor's style of art and his storytelling capabilities as I've loved the two other Olympian graphic novels that I've read and I love this one as well. The way that O'Connor takes the myth, stays true to it, but adds his own interpretation of aspects is what makes his graphic novels unique. For example, the thought that went into why he made Persephone a little dark in this story is so thought provoking.
Also, as I've said in my reviews of Zeus and Athena, I love the G(r)eek notes, drawings, bibliography, recommended readings, discussion questions and author's notes at the end of all of his graphic novels- they make them accessible for not only children & teens, but teachers to use in their classroom.
*Thank you Netgalley and First Second for access to this title*
George O'Connor creates another stellar installment in his Olympians graphic novel series with Hades: Lord of the Dead. Opening with a description of what you might find as you enter the Underworld, the story shifts into a dramatic retelling of my favorite Greek myth--the Abduction of Persephone.
While his work is based on research from classic and contemporary texts, I like that O'Connor feels confident in re-interpreting the myths and adding clever references to other stories and popular culture (for example Hermes returns Persephone to Olympus with the announcement, "Special Delivery!" a nod to his appearance as the FTD symbol with Persephone-- the Goddess of Spring--as his floral package). One of my favorite parts was the panel recap in the back that explains the research and his thought processes for many panels.
This was an advanced copy that I got from Netgalley. I thought it was a well-done and well-researched graphic novel on the underworld, Hades, Persephone, and Demeter. The story shows what happens to a person when they die, according to Greek mythology, and then continues with the myth about Persephone (originally called Kore) and how she ended up as Queen of the Underworld after she was abducted by Hades. I liked that the author used multiple viewpoints of all three characters (especially Persephone) and not just that of the men in the story, as myths have a tendency to do. I liked that it would appeal to both boys and girls.
For me, it was the little things in this graphic novel that made it great. It was the way the author describes the punishments of certain Greeks in Tartaros, the fact that he includes Hercules mortal half of his soul is in the underworld while his immortal part is in Olympus, the way Kore and her mother Demeter argue like they would nowadays (which makes the myth more modern and easier for kids/teens to understand), how Hades created violets especially for Kore, and how Kore decided that being the Queen of the Underworld isn't such a bad gig and changes her name and reinvents herself. I had no idea that Zeus had sanctioned Hades to take Kore. I enjoyed the interaction between Hermes and Hekate, and didn't know that in some stories, they were married. I liked the profiles of the gods and goddesses, and the Greek notes at the end of the book, as well as the recommended reading lists.
Now I can't wait to read the other graphic novels in the author's Olympian series! Recommended for ages 10+.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Readers are first introduced to the Underworld and the order of operations upon death. After a fierce argument between Kore and her mother, Demeter, she is kidnapped and taken to the Underworld to be Hades' bride. She is resistant at first, but eventually takes an active role in her fate and embraces her new position as the queen-to-be.
Meanwhile, Demeter roams the earth consumed with grief and searches for answers concerning her daughter's disappearance. Upon learning her daughter has been taken to the Underworld, she sends Hermes to retrieve her.
Hermes recognizes the sadness in Kore's (now Persephone's) eyes and pointedly asks if she consumed any food while in the Underworld, for if she had she would be fated to return there. She replies that she ate 6 pomegranate seeds which means she will spend 6 months of every year in the Underworld. Upon her return to the Underworld, she quickly seals her fate by eating 6 seeds. At story's close Persephone is busy making some necessary changes in the Underworld and fully embracing her place on the throne beside Hades.
Hands down a fantastic graphic novel! I loved how the story brought the reader in, almost like a choose your own adventure story, where the introduction to the Underworld reads like a 2nd person narrative. The pacing and action was spot on which makes this a top notch recommendation, especially to reluctant readers. There were plenty of resources following the story as well including: an author's note, fact files on the major characters featured in this volume, discussion questions, bibliography, and recommended reading. Recommended for grades 3-5, boys and girls alike.
This is the fourth book in the graphic series The Olympians by George O’Connor. This is an amazing retelling of the story of Hades and Persephone. I was just captivated by the beauty of the drawings and the passion of the characters. With tons of research into the myths, George O’Connor has created a story that weaves together all the bits and pieces. This telling of the Hades myth is not only touching but opens up a humanity in the Greek Gods that I believe was often missing in the more serious versions. Hades is portrayed as a man who has been given a job to do. He is shrouded in darkness but he is not evil. Persephone has more personality in George O’Connor’s story than she has been given before. Here is a young woman smothered by her overprotective mother. Though Hades took her against her will, he is willing to give her more freedom than she ever had before and a chance to become the woman she wants to be. Then there is Demeter, Persephone’s mother, who nearly destroys the world with her grief at the loss of her daughter. Through a connection with Hecate she is able to find her daughter. In the end, this is a powerful story that can be enjoyed by girl or boy. It’s dark but romantic and I can’t wait to pick up more.
This is the fourth title in the Olympian series, and it certainly does not disappoint. The creator sticks closely to the original story of Demeter, Hades, and Persephone, describing how Hades kidnaps Persephone---once called Kore on Earth--and shows her around his kingdom. While she is gone, Demeter allows the crops to fail as she searches for her daughter. But the twist that this updated story contains involves Persephone coming into her own while in the Underworld. Out from under the control of her mother, she flourishes, and although she is glad to be reunited with her mother, she is also relieved to return to Hades, enough so that she lies about having consumed any foods while in Hades the first time around. This is an empowered version of Persephone, a character who always seemed to be the unwilling pawn in a game being played by her mother and Hades in the past. This different perspective is refreshing, and allows Persephone to make her own mark on how things are done in her new kingdom. One of my favorite illustrations is the last one, which shows the two rulers on their thrones, Hades with just the slightest smile on his lips. Fans of mythology will relish this moody version of the classic story.
This graphic novel brings a fresh look to the myth of Hades and Persephone. Much of the dialogue is almost lyrical, in a way that I can easily imagine ancient Greek gods would speak. The artwork is also very nice, and Persephone's physical appearance design was different, she looks more like a Goth girl instead of a Goddess of Spring, but that was cool. Her relationship with Hades is also more equal, he treats her with respect. I would have liked for this graphic novel to be longer, but overall it still is a great book. In the back you have information and factoids about Hades, Persephone, and Demeter, as well as research notes and author's commentary. Really a nice package.
Možda me je Rachel Smythe razmazila, ali očekivala sam mnogo više. Priča je jednostavna, ona koju znamo, a George O'Connor nije toliko umešan pisac ili je prosto ovaj serijal očigledno namenjen mlađoj publici. Hermes je divan, ali sam kod svih ostalih likova nekako ostala praznih ruku. Falila mi je neka dubina i bolja karakterizacija i znam da to ne mogu da očekujem od stripa koji broji svega 66 stranica, ali ipak.
There were two reasons why I picked up this book. First of all, I now know that I like some graphic novels. And this one got great reviews. Second, I had just finished reading The Goddess Test which had Hades (aka Henry) as a main character and I thought it would be fun to brush up on my Greek mythology.
This is the story of Hades and Persephone (and Demeter). It takes the spin that Hades loved Persephone and eventually Persephone loved Hades. And Persephone chose to eat six pomegranate seeds because she liked being with Hades. The book also has a lot of fun extras with nods to other myths in the various panels. In fact, I actually loved reading some of the "G[r]eek Notes" as much as reading the actual graphic novel.
I just might have to read all the other "Olympians" graphic novels by this author!
Although the title says Hades, the story is more about Demeter, as usually told. As O'Connor tells it, the story is all about Persephone. This is a version of the myth that aligns more with Meg Cabot's Underworld. Here we're shown a young woman with an overly watchful mother who has the first chance in her life to choose what she wants.
The girls and I both love this series for the way O'Connor tells the stories, as well as how he draws them. And I love the back matter, in which he explains the choices he makes, adds notes on specific panels, includes further resources, etc. Great stuff. Highly recommended as an easy and enjoyable way to learn about the Greek characters, good for any age and reading level. The strong narrative combined with all the informative stuff makes them equally appealing to fans of fiction and non fiction. And the family tree is really helpful, too.
What a wonderful graphic novel! It's obvious the author did his research, and I really like how Hades is drawn in here. The dialogue is also very appropriate for it's time, and I liked Persephone's transformation, she looked much better after she was kidnapped by Hades. You also learn more about the Underworld here, but the author also manages to give a fresh take to this story, so I am definitely interested in checking out his other works!
Loved! I've always had a soft spot for Hades, I think he is misunderstood :) and I like the version of Persephone LIKING being the queen of the dead in this book. Big fan of these graphic novel Greek mythology interpretations. Some great discussion questions in the back as well, perfect for teens.
I never knew that Persephone's original name was Kore. Did Demeter named her Kore as in like a corn's core? I wonder if she likes the Nickelodeon show Legend of Korra. She really has to see Season 5, it was filled with actions and fight scenes!!!
I always enjoy reading about the God, Hades. I think my love started by growing up with the Walt Disney's version from the movie, Hercules. I have read many different perspectives about the Underworld God. I got some new information to add to my Mythology collection. I found this graphic novel over to quickly and that is from my enjoyment of reading about God Hades. I appreciate all the hard work that goes into all graphic novels/comics. I go through them twice and my second time I look at the artwork to get the story through the images. People are so talented.
Zeus: King of Gods 🏺🏺🏺🏺 Athena: The Grey-Eyed Goddess 🏺🏺🏺🏺 Hera: The Goddess and Her Glory 🏺🏺🏺🏺 Hades: Lord of the Dead 🏺🏺🏺🏺 Poseidon: Earth Shaker Aphrodite: Goddess of Love Ares: Bringer of War Apollo: The Brilliant One
This has been my favorite in the series so far. I am learning so many things about Greek Mythology that I had no clue about. It is the backstory of famous things such as Medusa, the Furies, the Underworld, the seasons etc that are really being brought to light. I think I enjoyed this one a lot because it was one continuous story that seamlessly tied in other minor details instead of a number of myths that at times seem to be forced together. This instalment will definitely be a hit with many of my students.
I enjoyed the teen spin O'Connor put on this one with Persephone & Demeter's relationship. It still tells the classic story (kidnapping and all) but it gives Persephone something of a choice and a say in her future.
Ivan and I really enjoyed this retelling of the Hades and Persephone myth. I particularly appreciated that in this version Persephone is chafing under her overbearing mother, and she chooses to eat the pomegranate seeds, rather than being tricked into it. That small change gave the character so much more agency, allowing her to choose to spend her time between the underworld and Olympus. The author's justification, that all of the myths involve her in the Underworld, never in Olympus, felt well reasoned to me, not just a modern insertion.