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Hades x Persephone #1

A Touch of Darkness

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Persephone is the Goddess of Spring by title only. The truth is, since she was a little girl, flowers have shriveled at her touch. After moving to New Athens, she hopes to lead an unassuming life disguised as a mortal journalist.

Hades, God of the Dead, has built a gambling empire in the mortal world and his favorite bets are rumored to be impossible.

After a chance encounter with Hades, Persephone finds herself in a contract with the God of the Dead and the terms are impossible: Persephone must create life in the Underworld or lose her freedom forever.

The bet does more than expose Persephone’s failure as a goddess, however. As she struggles to sow the seeds of her freedom, love for the God of the Dead grows—and it’s forbidden.

379 pages, Kindle Edition

First published May 23, 2019

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About the author

Scarlett St. Clair

15 books15.3k followers
International and USA Today Best Selling author Scarlett St. Clair is a citizen of the Muscogee Nation and the author of the HADES X PERSEPHONE SAGA, the HADES SAGA, KING OF BATTLE & BLOOD, and WHEN STARS COME OUT.

She has a Master's degree in Library Science and Information Studies and a Bachelors in English Writing. She is obsessed with Greek Mythology, murder mysteries, and the afterlife.

If you are obsessed with these things, then you'll like her books. You can find pictures of her adorable dog Adelaide on her Instagram at @authorscarlettstclair.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 19,452 reviews
Profile Image for t☆.
105 reviews
August 10, 2020
I’m very sad to say I’m pretty disappointed with this book.

I feel like the problem is that it lures you in with the premise of an unique and creative modern day retelling of Persephone and Hades (which sounds amazing btw if there actually is a good version of this please let me know) but it really just is a cliche billionaire romance with Greek god characters.

*the following is very spoiler heavy*

Everything that I deeply deeply disliked:

A Too-Stupid-To-Live heroine
- Persephone is mind-blowingly ignorant and clueless and I just couldn’t understand any of her actions or decisions she made. She had zero reason and just DID NOT THINK.
- It’s weird cause she’s sorta being portrayed as some strong willed independent woman but her actions say the complete opposite, everyone in the book basically just pushes her around and forces her into unfavourable situations and she just goes along with it. She holds the pretense of being upset at first but really she just doesn’t do anything about it.
- Nothing she did made any sense to me. Like in the beginning when she just kept going to the Hades’ club for seemingly no reason at all? Or when she was forced by the contract to produce life in the underworld and thought she could just bring some gardening tools and some dollar store seeds and that would just work?

- I kinda felt like I was watching a choose your own adventure interactive story with someone picking all the worst possible moves. Really really frustrated me.

A “Not Evil, Just Misunderstood” hero
- Yup. So Hades has this reputation of being a notoriously wicked god because he allegedly forces mortals into entering impossible contacts where they must give up their vices or lose their souls.
- But it is soon learned that Hades is not as evil and despicable as most people presume. Turns out he’s secretly the most concerned and compassionate person ever, which is vouched by seemingly EVERYONE in the underworld.
- Apparently he is so damn sensitive that it even pains him to hear vicious accusations about his reputation.
- Also it’s not that this characterization is bad it’s just that it reminds me too much of that Rhysand guy from a court of roses and thorns.
- Also there was actually a conversation between the two main characters with Hades insisting that he only proposed those impossible contacts to make mortals overcome their most evil vice (sex addiction, drinking addiction etc) and only had completely honourable intentions or whatever. And then Persephone says something along the lines of “then why don’t you just send them to therapy and pay for it?” And I just found this to be the dumbest conversation ever.

Undeveloped/nonsense mythical aspects
- There’s like minimal world building and the use of Greek mythology is pretty weak. The only thing that seems to separate the so-called divines from the humans are their horns. The gods were just too human like for me, they also had some “powers” which were barely shown at all but whatever.
- Also the part about Persephone not having powers literally made no sense at all. And the process to revive her powers was so goddamn stupid, all she had to do was like *believe* in herself or something (and apparently have sex with Hades ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ a very key step in order to restructuring your powers)

The fact that it contained every single overused trope and cliche I despise
- Instalove. (it was more like intsalust but whatever)
- Over controlling and possessive alpha male
- The beautiful evil ”mean girl” we're supposed to hate because her only role in the book is to steal the hero from the heroine
- An absent best friend who’s only there to encourage the heroine to party and sleep with the hotshot billionaire
- The “it was all for a bet” trope, this literally felt so random and unnecessary like why even include this? it added nothing to the plot.
- A dumb resolution that made me feel like there was no plot at all. What even was the problem?? The contract?? The bet? Why was she so upset with Hades and then suddenly forget all about it when she saw him again??

An absence of proofreading?
- Yeah another fair warning. There was A LOT of grammatical errors and awkward sentences. Maybe this was self published or something but yeah the lack of editing really irked me.

Overall: Easy to read but forgettable. I don't see myself reading the next one.
Profile Image for Arini.
696 reviews1,541 followers
April 20, 2021
Readers are bound to get hyped because of the Hades & Persephone reference, and I feel like this updated cover might lead to false expectations cause it’s too pretty and not enough risqué. Therefore, you should be informed that this book is a smutty urban fantasy loose retelling of the King and Queen of Hell. In other words, it’s the perfect escape for a mindless guilty pleasure read should you ever need one. I mean, who doesn’t?

Hades was delicious. It’s Persephone I had a problem with, or rather this version of Persephone. She was, um, annoying. For one, she was a reporter—a terrible one at that; two, she constantly doubted and misjudged poor Hades to be the worst of the worst despite being proven otherwise; three, I didn’t like the mother daughter relationship she had with Demeter. Hecate was my favorite character, and I loved the Underworld.

It’s easy to lose yourself within these pages because/in spite of the fairly simplistic writing and minimal world building. It’s entertaining, but I’m not fully invested in it yet. I’m not going to hold my breath, but hopefully these characters won’t embarrass the original gods and goddesses they’re based off of in the sequel. In the meantime, if you’re a romance fanatic who loves mythology and enjoys books written by authors, such as Jennifer L. Armentrout and Laura Thalassa, A Touch of Darkness will serve you well.

(Read as an Audiobook)
Profile Image for jessica.
2,503 reviews30.8k followers
July 8, 2020
uh oh. someone please admit me into rehab because i am A D D I C T E D.

i started this last night, just wanting to read a couple of chapters before bed. and the next thing i knew, it was 2.30am and my eyes were glued to each page. i swear this book is a drug, with each chapter feeling like taking hit. i just couldnt put it down.

this is far from perfect. the writing is nothing too special and the world building is a little lacking, but goodness me. this story is exactly what i needed. fellow mood readers will know the feeling, of finally finding a story that hits the right spot and what a relief that is.

ps. a small suggestion - put away any expectations before reading this. this is an extremely modern (perhaps unconventional) retelling, so i think readers going into this expecting a more traditional/faithful retelling are most likely going to be disappointed.

4.5 stars
Profile Image for Laura Thalassa.
Author 32 books16k followers
January 19, 2021
So for months I've seen this book alongside Rhapsodic, and idiot that I am, it took me all the way until now to be like, "Hey, maybe I should read this one!" 😂

Well, I read it. And I freaking LOVED IT!!! The world is so unique, and while it's a "retelling" it's more like all the ancient Olympians living amongst mortals in a modern day world with lots of classical Greek influence. The whole thing was just magical and Hades is freaking HOT as SIN. I mean, the god of the underworld can entrap my @ss ANY day. 😂

So, thank you to all you wonderful readers who led me to this book! So damn good!
Profile Image for Jessica .
2,039 reviews13k followers
February 28, 2021
This was a huge miss for me. From the start, the writing felt very unpolished and I wasn't a fan of the writing style. The way things were explained felt very choppy and I could not ignore how badly things were explained or characters were developed. As far as the characters go, Persephone was so infuriating. She would make very stupid decisions just for the plot's sake and I was annoyed with her pretty much the whole book. I really did like Hades, but he fell flat for me in his development. We saw him through Persephone's eyes and never got to actually make our own decisions about him based on the way he acted. I'm curious how the book from his perspective would be because I was much more interested in him that I was in Persephone in the story. Overall, this was just a huge miss for me. There was also a trope used for the third act break up that annoys me to no end, so that was pretty much the last straw.
Profile Image for Samantha.
407 reviews16.7k followers
February 28, 2021
TW: sexual harassment

This is a pretty popular Hades and Persephone retelling, so I decided to give it a try. It sadly falls into the trap of many of the retellings I’ve read that feature these characters - the characters end up feeling a little flat. The Persephone character had the spunk and fire that I like seeing, but she almost seemed to purposely misunderstand things to add to the miscommunication plot line. The Hades here wasn’t my favorite since he was more of a bad boy and that’s not how I personally like my Hades. And the side characters, even some of the other gods, were one note.

Another trap I see a lot in these retellings is the characters connecting way too quickly. These books tend to rely on the “fated” thing a lot instead of building an actual dynamic. And since this book has its fair share of smut, that led to a lot of sex scenes that felt forced into the plot because I didn’t buy that these characters would have their guard down that quickly, but it’s clear the author wanted a lot of sex scenes so they were put in anyway.

I did enjoy how the Underworld was depicted here, which is always a plus.

If you like direct retellings of the myth, you may like this more than I did but this felt like so many others that I’ve read before and I’m getting bored.
Profile Image for Aliyah 🤍.
153 reviews322 followers
August 19, 2021
I’m incapable of writing this review without a few minor spoilers. Not a lot, just enough to (hopefully) make you not want to read this book.
Also big thanks to Aliyah
for reading this with me. This book was terrible, but our collective rants made it worth it 😩

Subjective grade- 30%
Plot - 15%
Writing & dialogue- 60%
Worldbuilding - 40%
Character development - 20%
Character relationships - 5%

🌶🌶🌶 /5

Ahh, don't we love books that step outside the norms with their characters?

➻ The I don’t go to parties because they’re beneath me main character, so unique!

➻ Unnecessary female rivalry. I’ve never seen this trope before!

➻ The sassy best friend with more personality than the protagonist and love interest combined! Woahhh, mind-blowing! 😩

Ok, no, seriously. Let’s elaborate on the plainness of these characters. The personality distribution between Lexa and Persephone was absolutely jarring.
“she was a fashionista with a sleeve of tattoos. she was also a witch and a gamer”

Miss girl, what? Yep, just make up for having the most boring main character in NA history by stereotyping the shit out of her best friend, that'll do!

Relationships (or lack thereof)
I’m sorry but the relationship between Hades and Persephone is so one-note.
What, so they play one game of Rock Paper Scissors, 5 explicit sex scenes and now all of a sudden we’re supposed to ship the shit out of them?

“I’m not yours and I’m not your darling.”
“We’ve been through this, haven’t we? You are mine. I think you know that just as well as I do.”

Ah yes, Persephone being border-line objectified. Love that! Such a cute couple, Hades & his handbag Persephone 🥰

“Tell me you have never been naked with a man,” he said. “Tell me I am the only one.”
She cupped his face, searching his eyes, and answered, “You are.”

I bet 10 bucks that if Persephone said “hmm well my body count is 10…” Hades would’ve left right then & there. Which is weird because Hades can do whatever he wants with anyone right?? I call sexism!
Also, why is that smutty romance books, read predominantly by women, always have female main characters that gasp at the concept of sex? The math is definitely not mathing...

What was okay about this book (since saying ‘what was good’ is an overstatement).
➻ Persephone and her mother’s dynamic.
It was actually relatable and the only genuine thing I could find about this book. But since it isn’t a large part of this book, their relationship didn’t make up for all the nonsense going on.

➻ the smut....
Don’t look at me okay. I’m human!!

Overall, A Touch of Darkness was just not it. Not worth it & definitely not continuing with the series.

11 hours of my life wasted listening to this book <\3
1.5 stars 😕
I’ve read a lot of good books in the past year and let me tell you, this was definitely not one of them. 🚫
{Pre reading thoughts}
I’ve got no expectations for this book lol.
Head completely empty.
Profile Image for S.J. Hartsfield.
Author 2 books13 followers
September 1, 2020

I was excited to read "A Touch of Darkness" based on the synopsis I was given. A modern retelling of the Hades and Persephone myth? Great!

Then I started the audiobook and it all went downhill from there. The only way to properly address my feelings about this book is to organize things in a list, so here we go:

1. Persephone as a heroine.

Persephone barely functions as a protagonist, let alone a heroine. Her motivations are all over the place: does she want adventure, a life outside her mother's grasp? Does she want passion and/or love (two things that are alternately conflated and differentiated, as the situation dictates)? Does she want to trust Hades and challenge her preconceived notions of him? Or does she want those notions confirmed, despite his words and actions?

She seems ready to believe the worst of Hades at all times, no matter what he does. She tells him he should send struggling mortals to rehab? He does so, and she accuses him of doing it to "make fun of" her. If she's so eager to get out from under her mother's thumb, and her mother hates and mistrusts Hades, you'd think Persephone would take any and every opportunity to see the best in him, specifically to spite her mother.

She also just plain doesn't listen when Hades speaks (when he bothers to explain himself at all, see below). He'll tell her, "I don't have full control over my contracts and have to consult with the Fates", and she'll continue to berate him for his "unfair" contracts that "ask the impossible".

Lastly, she spends a lot of time thinking Independent Woman thoughts, but all of those seem to fly out the window the second she gets in the presence of Hades and his magical dick.

2. Persephone as a goddess.

Persephone is, nominally, the goddess of spring. If she was, as the story implies, born 20-some actual years ago, how has spring happened before her birth? Since she can't make her powers manifest, how does spring happen at all? Who gave her the title of "goddess of spring", if A) none of the other gods knew about her (as is implied) and B) she shows no gift for anything springtime-related?

3. Hades as a hero.

So Hades has a reputation as a cold, heartless, ruthless tyrant who challenges mortals to games of cards in order to trick them into "impossible" contracts. (His terms include things like challenging alcoholics to give up drinking. You might recognize that as something that's certainly difficult, but not impossible.)

Anyway, Persephone buys into this reputation and often accuses him of this and worse, and Hades hardly ever stands up for himself. At worst he stays silent, and at best he'll say something along the lines of, "It's not like that," but doesn't follow up with an explanation. He allows Persephone to continue thinking ill of him, then gets irritated when she thinks ill of him. If he truly didn't care about anyone's opinion this would make sense, but he tells Persephone more than once that HER opinion matters. He just doesn't seem willing to do much to change it.

The only time he makes an effort to alter her perception of him is when he starts a rehab charity for mortals, at Persephone's suggestion, but—as mentioned—she only takes that as an offense.

4. Lack of logic.

I don't just mean that characters make illogical choices (although there's plenty of that, too). I mean that conversations/sequences of events don't seem to follow any sort of logical pattern. For instance:

"No, Lady Persephone. Trust me, when we fuck, you'll remember."

When? "Your arrogance is alarming."

His eyes flashed. "Is that a challenge?"

A challenge to what? If Persephone had followed the statement about arrogance with something like, "We will never have sex," his response might make sense. It would be disgusting, but it would make sense. But exchanges like this happen all the time. It's like the author wrote from sentence to sentence, picking what she wanted to say in any given moment, regardless of what had just been said/done or what was about to be said/done.

5. A tired dynamic.

Can we move past the dynamic of "virginal college-aged woman" and "brooding worldly billionaire", please? It was uncomfortable in Fifty Shades of Grey and it was uncomfortable here. Persephone is in her 20s, and we're supposed to believe that not only is she a virgin, she's never even masturbated. Is she okay?

It's also time to retire a dynamic where one party (usually the woman) says something that implies she isn't interested, and the other party (usually the man) "sees past" her protests to what she "really wants" and informs her of her own desires. It's gross and problematic. It gets a slight pass in this story, since Hades is literally a god and can literally see into people's souls, but it's still pretty skeevy.

Not to mention that, if Persephone is college-aged and Hades is millennia old, the age difference is far beyond anything even Twilight could throw at us.

6. Implementation of mythology.

It was really difficult to get a handle on the way in which mythological characters were employed in this story. Which gods had been around since antiquity, like Hades, and which were new, like Persephone? Was the Adonis we meet bound to be the same mortal that Aphrodite falls for in the myth, or was he a modern man with the same name? Was Sibyl the Oracle of Delphi, or was she a modern woman who just happened to also be an oracle? Was Orpheus the guy with the lyre we know, or just a bereft widower denied the opportunity to exchange his soul for his wife’s?

It seemed that the author cherry-picked images/names/themes from mythology without taking the time to construct a cohesive universe with them.

7. Lack of proofreading.

Look, I’m not here to rag on self-publication as an industry. I think it’s a great way for new authors to get their work out to an audience, especially an audience that might be smaller than a publisher wants to bet on. My problem isn’t that St. Clair “independently published” this book.

My issue is that she clearly didn’t employ ANY sort of editor in the process. I can’t speak on the textual version, but even the audiobook was rife with awkward word choice and sentence structure, not to mention moments like this:

"Oh no," Persephone said.

Hades raised a brow. "What?"

"I know that look."

He raised a curious brow. "What look?"

Freelance editors are readily available online. Employ them.

8. The terms of bets and contracts.

Early in the story, Hades offers to teach Persephone to play poker. They wager questions: whoever wins a hand gets to ask the other a question, which must be answered. However, once they’ve finished, Hades is able to mark Persephone, indicating that she is now under contract with him. The terms of that contract are decided after the fact. This makes zero sense. If questions and answers were the wagers, how can she then owe him a contract fulfilled? How can you possibly be beholden to a contract without its terms being defined first?

9. The audiobook narrator.

This is something that Scarlett St. Clair can't be blamed for, but bears mentioning: the narrator of this audiobook has three major flaws, as far as I'm concerned. A) Her male voices all sound the same: gravelly and molasses-slow. Hades sounds like Hugo Weaving as Agent Smith. B) She over-enunciates almost everything. C) She gets into the sex scenes. Like. REALLY gets into the sex scenes.

I’m sure there’s a lot more to talk about but this review is already 1300 words and I’m so tired.

Profile Image for Ali Goodwin.
122 reviews9,289 followers
October 9, 2022
wow wow okay so I LOVED this book. I read it almost entirely in one sitting because I could not. put. it. down. I loved learning about all the different gods and following hades and persephone's story. Going to be reading the second book asap. Such a unique read for me!
September 27, 2021
”Respect could build an empire. Trust could make it unbreakable. Love could make it last forever”.

Este es el retelling de Hades y Perséfone que no sabía que necesitaba en mi vida. De verdad, este libro tuvo todo lo que yo amo: mitología griega, kind of enemies to lovers, muchísima tensión y, sobre todo, spice.

Aquí nos encontramos con que Perséfone por fin ha logrado despegarse de Deméter, su madre, y está viviendo sola en la ciudad. Durante toda su vida, Deméter le ha dicho a su hija que no debe mezclarse con los dioses, a pesar de serlo ella misma, y que, sobre todo, debe alejarse de Hades. Y Perséfone le ha hecho caso porque, después de todo, es una diosa sin poderes, así que ¿para qué querría codearse con los demás si seguramente se burlaran de ella? Por todo eso, Perséfone ha vivido prácticamente como una mortal… hasta el día en el que ella y su amiga Lexa van a Nevernight, un famosísimo club nocturno propiedad del Dios de los Muertos. Gracias a su club, Hades ha forjado una fama de despiadado, pues le ofrece tratos a los mortales que generalmente no pueden ganar, así que terminan perdiendo su alma. Sin embargo, un encuentro fortuito entre Hades y Perséfone producirá un contrato que los enlazará durante un tiempo y que hará que la tensión entre ellos sea absolutamente insoportable.

Amé absolutamente todo desde la primera página de este libro: el giro moderno que le dieron a los dioses y a la mitología griega, sus personalidades, el hecho de que todos y cada uno de ellos tengan un par de cuernos distintivos, los sentimientos encontrados y, sobre todo, el que Hades y Perséfone, a pesar de todas sus diferencias, se dejaran llevar. Para mí, eso fue lo más espectacular de todo. La autora no nos torturó con interminables diálogos internos de dudas y de casi-momentos, sino que dejó que Hades y Perséfone exploraran esa tensión que crecía entre ellos a sus anchas. ¡Y vaya escenas!

De verdad, adoro las historias en las que dos personas que se supone que no deben estar juntos mandan absolutamente todo al demonio y sencillamente ceden ante esa lujuria o los sentimientos que están surgiendo entre ellos. Y eso fue exactamente lo que pasó entre Hades y Perséfone. Además, me fascinó la personalidad de Hades, pues, a medida que avanzaba el libro, todas esas concepciones que se tienen sobre el Dios de los Muertos fueron desmoronándose para dar paso a un dios compasivo e interesado en el bienestar de la única persona que logró sacarlo por completo de la oscuridad: Perséfone.

Ahora, debo confesar que lo que hizo que amara nivel dioses del Olimpo este libro fue que, precisamente, la dinámica entre Hades y Perséfone me recordaba MUCHÍSIMO a la de Rhys y Feyre en ACOMAF… y yo no le puedo pedir nada más a la vida. Bueno, sí, quiero más de todas sus interacciones sassy, románticas y horny en los libros que siguen que, by the way, tengo que leerlos súper pronto. Así que ya les seguiré contando.
June 14, 2021

”They say Hades is protective of his realm, and while that is true, it isn’t about power.
He cares for his people, protects them, and he takes it personally if anyone is harmed.
If you belong to him, he will tear the world apart to save you.”

Story 🌟🌟
-A Hades and Persephone retelling with a modern touch

While reading the book I was
- really bored
- and sad because I love Persephone and Hades story but this isn’t what i expected.
- realized that I definitely had too high expectations, sh*t

Character 🌟🌟
”You will worship me,” she said, and rolled her hips against him. His hands dig into her skin, and she moved on, her cheek brushing his as she whispered. “And I won’t even have to order you.”
weak characters
Favorite: None
I didn’t like Persephone. She was always being such a stupid brat. Always demanding or saying stupid things.
Ugh, how can you tolerate her?

World 🌟🌟🌟
cool world building, beautiful descriptions of the Underworld, but still weak
Diversity: 0

Relationships 🌟
”Hmm. I think you are the Goddess of Sexual frustration.”
Persephone barked laughter. “I think that’s Aphrodite.”
“Did I say sexual frustration? I meant Hades’ sexual frustration.”

-forbidden love
That felt so much like a Shades of Grey mixed with Persephone and Hades story.
There was even a “rescue” scene where she was drunk and he saved her from another man.
And even though it could’ve been such a great story with amazing tension, I didn’t feel any connection at all.

Writing style 🌟🌟🌟
Character driven
Too freakin slow pacing
It felt rather odd sometimes. Like you wanted it to be a fluent writing but strange parts made you tumble.
Profile Image for Zoe (Marauders version) .
299 reviews1,072 followers
April 26, 2022
I hate Persephone
I hate her one brain cell
I hate how selfish and stupid she is
I hate that Hades chose Persephone when he could have had someone so much better ✨me✨
I hate the lack of chemistry there was
I hate how I felt nothing

But most of all I hate how much I hated it

{previous review}

I hated the start
loved the end
its complicated

Alsoooo, the entire reason I read this book was for the smut and hades and neither of them delivered

dont get me wrong im only going to read this for the smut and hades :)

its a judgement free zone here because a whores gotta do whats a whores gotta do
Profile Image for Claude's Bookzone.
1,484 reviews188 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
January 18, 2021
DNF at 8%

"The force of what she'd done hit her. She'd allowed Hades, the God of the Underworld, to instruct her, to touch her, to play her and question her. And he had won. But that wasn't the worst part. No. The worst part was that there was a side of her, a side that she'd never known existed until tonight, that wanted to run back inside, find him, and demand a lesson in the anatomy of his body."

Profile Image for Bryce Rocks My Socks.
324 reviews479 followers
December 12, 2021
i have a lot of problems with this book:

problem #1: they're not real
problem #2: I'm not fictional

hades is so soft ahadsgfjadgsj here are some things to soften your beautiful black little hearts. you are not prepared.
- hades throwing around a ball for his dogs
- hades getting competitive playing rock paper scissors
- hades folding her clothes for her when she woke up
- him dressing her


u were not ready
Profile Image for ale ‧ ₊˚୨୧ ₊˚.
382 reviews1,693 followers
October 27, 2021
2.5 stars.

my review on tumblr.

"You wish to fuck me with this crown, I wish to fuck a god."


Welcome once more to my favorite and most hated section: BIG HYPE, BIG LIE. In this episode, we will discuss the book "A Touch of Darkness" and how disappointing it was. Please, take a seat and remember: my review contains spoilers, so watch ahead! You've been warned!


Said that, let's start.

Y'all probably know that I love Hades and Persephone retelling, so, I was excited for read this book. Also, the hype on bookstagram and booktok was really big, so I said "why not, Ale? You love this retelling with your life, so, let's give it a try." .... Huge mistake from me trust in the hype over a book, as if I have never been in this place before (if you want references here is my shelf big hype, big lie so you can have an idea of a few of my big disappointing and regrets in this life, lol.

You could say that I've learnt my lesson, but I guess we'll never know. I should know better to not to listen the hype for a book (From Blood and Ash, ACOTAR, ToG and more, lol); maybe the next time will be different.

*Narrator voice*: It wasn't. In fact, Ale never learnt the lesson.

So, Persephone is this not-like-the-other-girls girl, who's unique, different and speshul. She and her friend Lexa go to the Nevernight, a cassino owned by Hades and that is popular bc he makes bargains with mortals and according to the rumors, he takes away their souls and is a ruthless god.

Persephone finds herself playing cards with the God of the Underworld instead of actually looking for her best friend, and after that, she leaves her, lol. Hades touches Persephone and leaves a dark mark on her skin, so, she goes back to Nevernight and as she lost playing cards with him, they have a bargain: she has to create life in the Underworld in six months or she will live there forever.

There was no plot. The "plot twists" were stupid and you can easily know what's gonna happen. The fact that the author included here the "I made you fall in love with me because of a bet" was SO SO SO FUNNY, because that happens in the last 2 or 3 chapters I guess and it comes really out of the blue. Aphrodite just appears like 2 times and that's it.

Also, when hades took off the sheets over Persephone's naked body WITHOUT HER FUCKING CONSENT was awful. I wanted to kick and scream so fucking loud. It was disgusting. But of course, it's excused because "there's attraction between them". NO, NO, NO.


The characters were dull, stupid and acted like 17 y/o in your typical and average YA story. Persephone couldn't make a decision for herself and it seemed like she was waiting for others to solve all of her problems, like magic. She has no braincells and the way she was portrayed was weird and ??? It made no sense.

I mean, she's a virgin and it's like she thinks she's better than the others just because of that. AND ALSO IT SEEMS LIKE HADES VALUES MORE A VIRGIN!?!?!?!?!?


“Tell me you have never been naked with a man,” he said. “Tell me I am the only one.”
She cupped his face, searching his eyes, and answered, “You are.”

Don't get me wrong: I have nothing against girls being virgins and being inexperienced, but the way that's portrayed here made me cringe. THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH GIRLS NOT BEING VIRGIN AND HAVING A HEALTHY AND ACTIVE SEXUAL LIFE, PLEASE, FUCKING GET THAT.

Persephone has no personality, beside "being" a journalist (btw, the way she wrote all of her articles being subjective didn't appeal to me like that's the way a journalist would act, but since I don't know a lot about journalism, I won't talk about it), being horny and don't use her braincells at all.

The only thing to which I can relate with Persephone is her relation with her mother, Demeter. I for sure know how's the life with a strict mother trying to decide for you and that stuff. Don't get me wrong again: I love my mum with my entire life, I just wish she had given me more freedom to discover the world by my own long time ago, lol. So, yes, I know how that works.

The girl on girl hate was awful and childish. FUCKING UNNECESSARY. I get that Minthe was jealous of Persephone, but that Persephone wished (since the exact moment she met Hades) that she wasn't there, and basically made her see like "the other woman" made me sick. Please, let's stop this.

I guess the author had a good plot, but didn't know how to develop it, or the characters. In ao3 or even wattpad there are good Hades and Persephone retellings.

Hades was like "yeah, you have power and I will make it surge and shape it because you know, we're predestinated you're mine". Yeah, I'm tired of toxic males.

pLEASE DON'T MAKE ME TALK ABOUT THE FUCKING GRAMMAR. There were SEVERAL mistakes.... I mean, yeah, I don't speak English like a pro, but EVEN I know that this book lacked of edition.

The smut was fine??? It wasn't bad, but it was the only trait that Hades and Persephone had. They had a lot of sexual tension, but I didn't see the romance there so, this book goes to the "this shit has no romance" shelf.

I loved Hecate, Thanatos, Hermes and Ares (even if I just got one poorly description of him). I WANT MORE OF MY KING ARES, ISTG I'LL RIOT. The other characters had no personality (Hades' personality was whisky and Persephone's was being horny)

After what happened in La Rose with Adonis, Lexa and Jaison were dating too quickly, but not for the reasons y'all think, but because he appears out of nowhere. This book made no sense to me, it lacked of sense, plot, personality for the characters and many more things.

Unfortunately I won't continue this series. It was a waste of time and emotions.

If you followed me through my updates, you could see that this was a rollercoaster.

Not worth the hype tbh.
Profile Image for Georgia.
28 reviews832 followers
April 6, 2021
First, I just want to give a shout-out to Bookstagram and BookTok for really doing me dirty on this one. Y’all got me good. With that said... I did not enjoy this book. Now, don’t get me wrong, for the first half, I was having fun with the story. But past that point, I very quickly realized that this just wasn’t it.

I’m going to have to break down my critiques here because, honestly, my thoughts are just all over the place and I need to be organized about this. Profanity, spoilers, and general frustration to follow; you have been warned.

I can’t even pretend to not be thoroughly annoyed about the grammar and sentence structure in this book because it was beyond fucking frustrating.
Grammar first. I felt like I couldn’t go ten pages at a time without finding a spelling error, whether it was the spelling itself or tense in which something was written. It genuinely seems like this book wasn’t ever proof-read, and while I tried to work past it at first with minor frustration, I just found it too distracting to not be agitated by it after a certain point.
And now the syntax. The sentence structure was just sloppy, I don’t know a nicer way to say it. Everything read in a fragmented manner, and I constantly found myself re-reading passages because they were awkward or difficult to understand due to how they were written.

For a book deriving much of its material from the lush atmosphere of Greek mythology, A Touch of Darkness had very weak world-building. Everything about the world was very contained and wanting, but this could also be something that’s expanded upon in the following book for all I know.

I really, really wanted to like Persephone. And I actually did like Persephone at first, but very quickly found her character to be wildly inconsistent and frustrating. One minute, Persephone is a naïve, sheltered young woman, and then the next, she’s a shrewd “badass” with no linear development from one end of the spectrum to the other. I’m not suggesting that a character can’t have both qualities, but it just felt like neither of these qualities were established in Persephone, and her behavior was likely to change on a whim if it benefitted the story.
Though slightly more interesting—probably due to the mystery surrounding him—I overall found Hades to be a weak male lead. I’ve heard the books from his POV are better which admittedly has me curious. I wish I could say more about his character but I don’t think Touch even gave me enough of him to even be able to do so.

The plot:
I really tried to organize my thoughts for this section of the review, but the events in this book are just so messy that I can’t even adequately explain my issues with the plot in a tidy manner. So, anyways, here goes.
Let’s just say it like it is: the plot of this book is a smutty romance between Hades and Persephone. That’s it.
Being that the contract between Hades and Persephone is what sets the story into motion—and I guess is, therefore, the plot?—I would have liked to have seen Persephone actually work through that conflict rather than just pop into the Underworld every once in a while to water her garden. Alas, we did not get that, and after breaking most of the tension of the story by having Hades and Persephone get together—way too early in the book, in my opinion—St. Clair just seemed to be throwing in any little conflict she could think of to keep the number of pages growing. That’s all to say, this book didn’t need to be nearly as long as it was and the author was honestly just dragging it out by adding “conflicts”. I say “conflicts” in parentheses because said conflicts didn’t even present genuine problems to the story. Two examples of this:
The “Fifty Shades Freed” style subplot where Adonis attempts to blackmail Persephone into getting him his job at New Athens News back. Firstly, at this point in the story, Adonis threatening to release pictures of Hades and Persephone shouldn’t even be threatening since rumors are already rampant that Hades and Persephone are together in some regard. In addition, Hades had announced that Persephone was the inspiration behind the Halycon Project chapters earlier. It’s out there, people know, or at least assume, that Hades and Persephone are together. However, Persephone remarks that the photos getting out and confirming the relationship would be damaging for two reasons: Demeter finding out and attaching a label to a relationship seemingly built from a contract in which Persephone feels she is a prisoner. The latter reason is more personal than anything, and is just irrelevant, so I’m not even going to dive into that for obvious reasons. The issue of Demeter finding out, however, I will dwell on because that just doesn’t make sense. Yes, the photos would confirm Hades and Persephone are together, but, honestly, does Demeter need confirmation to imprison her daughter? No, she doesn’t, because we’ve already been how irrationally controlling she is. Besides, Demeter was present at the gala at which Hades announced Persephone inspired him to start the Halycon Project, so she has to know they’re linked, which should be enough to set her off. What really irritated me about this subplot, though, was that Persephone decides to not just go to Hades right away. It’s stated a few pages or so afterwards that “she didn’t want the God of the Dead fighting her battles for her”, though “Hades would be the last resort, a card she would pull if she couldn’t find a solution.” Sigh. Look, I’m all for girl power, but this just makes Persephone look stupid. Also, this subplot is dropped until it’s suddenly the day or so before the deadline Adonis gives Persephone.
The second example of St. Clair adding unnecessary conflicts is the subplot of Aphrodite’s bet with Hades. I can tell this subplot was added to provide some heartbreaking drama to the story that would cause emotional/physical distance between Hades and Persephone, but the impact just wasn’t there. It’s possible this subplot has more importance in A Game of Fate, but here it felt useless. It actually just came across as a re-hash of the bet plot twist in “After” which, to me, had way more of an impact. I think maybe if St. Clair had saved this reveal for the very end of the book, rather than forty-ish pages from the end, it would’ve had it’s intended impact? I don’t know.

The sex:
Yes, I really am dedicating a whole section of this review to the sex in this book because… reasons.
I want to start this off by saying I’m not usually a critical reader of smut. In fact, I can’t really think of many instances where I’ve thought much of how sex is being written in a book past some placement issues in books like A Court of Wings and Ruin and A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire.
However, in A Touch of Darkness, pretty much every sex scene felt weirdly rushed in both the sense of not taking up a lot of page-time, but also in descriptions. I get not everyone’s cup of tea is having super descriptive and drawn-out sex in books, and I can’t say I’m a fan of that either, but it nonetheless seemed like an odd writing choice to make in a book hinged more so on the romance and smut than on actual plot. I just feel like since this is first and foremost a steamy romance read, then why not commit to going all out on the sex scenes?

The romance:
Perhaps the biggest let down for me with this book is that I really never reached a point where I actively cared about Hades and Persephone getting together.
I don’t really feel like I got to see them interact enough on a personal level for the attraction to be there, and there was even a point in the last fourth of the book where Persephone remarks on spending several weeks with Hades in which he plays with children and builds them a playground and that during this time she connects with him:

"He’d started seeking her out while she was in the Underworld, asking her to go for walks or play a game of her choosing. She’d begun making requests of him, too; he’d played with the children in the Underworld, added a new play area for them, and hosted a few dinners for the souls and his staff.
It was during these moments that her connection to him grew, and she found she felt far more passion for him than she ever had before."

Rather than having been told this, I would’ve like to have seen this development in Hades and Persephone’s relationship because it just seems like it could’ve really added some depth to their attraction for each other.

Miscellaneous thoughts:
Persephone’s internship at New Athens News was just so silly to me. St. Clair could have just made Persephone a blogger or freelance writer and it honestly would have made way more sense.

Hecate explaining to Persephone that she bought life to the Underworld and within Hades was just…odd. Even when Persephone first visited Asphodel, the residents of the Underworld seemed to have a nice little life there, complete with markets and celebrations, so saying the Underworld felt bleak without Persephone didn’t make much sense to me.

I started delving into Lore Olympus midway through completing this book because I wanted more Hades and Persephone content in my life. Honestly, no regrets because I’m loving Lore, but I did want to make note that I noticed several story similarities between Lore Olympus and A Touch of Darkness, such as the roommate relationship between Persephone and Artemis/Lexa, the assistant position of Minthe, and Hermes and Persephone being relatively buddy-buddy to name a few. I only remark on these because, to my knowledge, these are dynamics and elements unique to Lore Olympus and are not derived from actual Greek mythology. I could be totally wrong on that, but it’s just an observation.

All in all, I honestly did have fun reading a good amount of this book, but in the end I just found the issues I had with the storytelling to be too great to even know if I’ll continue with the series.
Profile Image for Nellie.
129 reviews120 followers
April 4, 2021
This is basically an unedited, underdeveloped greek mythology smut. This book is if the worst parts of Fifty Shades and Lore Olympus had a baby. It was just terrible in every aspect and I will never understand how this even got published in the first place.

Insta-love? Check.
Cringey dialogue? Check.
Really dry plot? Check. (What plot?)
Bad writing? Check.
One-dimensional characters? Check.

PLSSS I didn’t even expect much from this book. All I wanted was to read some trashy romance story with decent writing, but this was soooo bad I’m about to cry. I guess I’m just not the target audience for this one 😔✋
Profile Image for Zoe.
406 reviews933 followers
August 20, 2022
DNF. This was a very unsatisfying retelling of the Hades and Persephone myth. Too much instalove and not enough chemistry between the two romantic leads.
Profile Image for Julezreads.
184 reviews710 followers
August 2, 2022
Edit: Ich setze das Buch im Vergleich zu anderen auf 2-2,5 Sterne runter😅

Puhhh, tja well … Es fällt immer schwer, ein Buch zu kritisieren, bei dem man weiß, dass viele Leute es lieben (werden)😅. Erwartet habe ich ein komplexes Fantasy-Buch, griechische Mythologie und ein Retelling mit einem originellen Plot, Wendungen und Suchtfaktor. All das hab ich persönlich nicht von diesem Buch erhalten, aber wir wissen ja - Leseerlebnisse können variieren. Mein größter Kritikpunkt sind die Charaktere: Ich empfand sie als nicht genug ausgearbeitet, als dass ich sie hätte greifen können. Auch die Charakterentwicklung konnte mich nicht überzeugen, da hat mir die Tiefe gefehlt. Aus diesem Grund konnte ich auch viele Handlungen und Entscheidungen nicht nachvollziehen, die Motive der Charaktere blieben zum Teil undurchsichtig oder waren gar unlogisch. (Beispiele: 1. 180 Grad Charakterwandlung eines Nebencharakters ohne Aufbau 2. ich habe Persephone nicht abgekauft, dass sie Journalistin ist 3. wie es zur Wette kam?!). Wenn jemand das Buch liebt, schwärmt die Person meistens von der Lovestory zwischen Hades und Persephone, doch auch die konnte mich vermutlich als Folge nicht so abholen wie erhofft. Meins war es insgesamt nicht, aber das Buch wird vielen gefallen🥰.
Profile Image for Hanna.
165 reviews65 followers
February 28, 2023
2.75ish Stars

Retelling? What retelling? Plot? What plot?

Yeah… What can I say? This was just mediocre. The idea around this was for a retelling, but the author just used the same names and locations. I couldn’t really get behind this version of Persephone, Goddess of Spring, or her character as the MC. She frustrated me too much, and while Hades is hot and all, he did not convince me he was God of the Dead. He gave more rich, don’t-touch-her, bad-boy, but good at heart vibes. Which is sexy, but not what Scarlett St. Clair was going for I believe. He does call her darling often which gives him some bonus points!

The build-up was not there either! I needed more tension and instead we just got them thrown together pretty quickly. Persephone was too much in her head with I want him, I don’t want, I want him. That was pretty tough to suffer through.

I only stuck around for the spice!

I think overall I expected more. I am a fan of Greek mythology, and I love the spin of modernizing it. This one however just didn’t sell it to me the way I would have liked. I will not be continuing this series.

Would I recommend this and to who:
Not really unless you just want some brief Greek mythological references and smut
Audiobook - Libby
How did I discover this:
Mutuals on GR in the past. It was available on Libby, so I gave it a chance!
Cover thoughts:
Very pretty!!
Single - Persephone

“Hades chuckled, leaning in so that when he spoke, his breath caressed her lips. "Oh, darling. You don't know what I'm capable of.”

“Let me worship you," he said.

“They say Hades is protective of his realm, and while that is true, it isn’t about power. He cares for his people, protects them, and he takes it personally if anyone is harmed. If you belong to him, he will tear the world apart to save you.”

Sexual Content, Sexual Assault, Harassment, Death, Swearing, Toxic Relationships, Confinement, Kidnapping, Injury, Violence, etc.
Profile Image for human.
640 reviews951 followers
July 13, 2021
ah, screw it. i'll do my homework in the morning. or in the middle of the night.


This book was absolutely trashy in the best way possible. There was literally no plot to speak of whatsoever, but I somehow found myself absolutely immersed and unable to tear myself away. (I sat and read for like 3 hours straight!!) There's nothing particularly special or nice about the writing, or the characters for that matter, but the way that St. Clair was able to write the slow burn was... *chef's kiss*

I found Persephone pretty annoying throughout the whole book, but it was really funny to read things from her view in a third-person perspective, considering how awkward she was when it came to... everything, pretty much. That being said, the ending really fell flat for me - it seemed unnecessarily rushed and a touch too... I don't know. Perfect? Far more easily resolved than I had expected.

Overall, there was something that really charmed me about this book and I simply wasn't able to put it down. The romance was cute in a way that reminded me of Elide and Lorcan from Throne of Glass.

Side note: I have no intention to read the second book because a) I don't need a second book, b) the synopsis is making me hate it, and c) I usually end up hating the second book in these kinds of series (this is a fact, proven by a whole shelf of these sorts of books).
Profile Image for danerys.
450 reviews199 followers
November 25, 2021
Review in one sentence:

ahahahaha they’re so horny bruh that’s literally the entire plot 💀💀🖐

Full review


I would just like to say, first and foremost, that this is not a good book. If you’re looking for a well-written, romantic, meaningful story, this is not the book for you. But.... if you want a smutty trash book? Yes. A thousand times, yes. This is pretty much the equivalent to reading a modern au fanfic. Which, let’s be honest, we’ve all been in the mood to read at one point or another.

The plot: 3.5/5⭐️
This is a retelling of Hades and Persephone. There’s not much to say other than that. The plot of this book is very clear. It’s a modern take on a Greek myth, filled with plenty of clubs and journalism. I wouldn’t say that it is executed in the best way possible, but Hades & Persephone is a story that we all love (and if you’re like me) will never get tired of. I will say that the pacing was a little weird at some points, but overall the plot pulled through and I found it very enjoyable. Definitely one of the stronger parts of this book.

The characters: 2/5⭐️
I’m sad. Do you know why I’m sad? It’s because my characters are very important to me. They are arguably one of the most important parts of a book. If they don’t have depth, if they’re not interesting, I have a very hard time loving the book. Sadly.... this book did not pass when it came to the characters. Not even close. They are all cardboard cutouts. Every single one of them. (Except maybe Aphrodite, but she was only there for like 3 pages.) Even Hades, who is supposed to be the interesting, mysterious god of the underworld, was bland. He was like every other bad boy in romance novels and shit, but somehow even less interesting than that. He is the exact same from page 1 to page 275. Do you know what that means? It means no character development. None. And he wasn’t even the worst character. He was actually probably the best. The Worst Character Award goes to.... Persephone!! This bitch, y’all. I can’t with her. She’s whiny and delicate, the epitome of a damsel in distress. She has no depth to her character, and she’s always at war with herself. “Omgggg 😍, Hades is soooo hawt🤤. But wait! 😱No, he’s not! 😔I hAtE HiM! 😤 He’s eViL! 😡” Those are her exact thoughts for the majority of the book. If I could give her one character trait, it would be Annoying. And as for the side characters... Lexa is the standard best friend in books like these. She’s no different. No better, no worse. A big pile of meh. The other side characters are also big flat stereotypes as well. Adonis, the annoying male jackass. Hermes, the teasing, snarky friend of the Hero. And last but not least, Minthe, The Other Woman, who Persephone hates for being attractive. Yeah, let’s just say that the characters are not the best part of this book.

The romance: 3/5⭐️
This had potential. It did. The tension was great, the banter was solid, and t he smut was just outright fabulous. (Besides how it kept saying “impaled”, cuz that was weird af.) The thing it was missing? The love. There was lust, sure, but not love. The author admitted it was only lust for about 75% of the book, and then suddenly, Persephone was all “Omg😱, I LoVe HiM!😍!” They did have some sweet moments, but not enough to claim that they love each other. The only thing they pretty much ever did was have sex. There was no confiding in each other, no honesty, no trust, no moments of beautiful, pure love. For what it was, though, the lust and the tension and the smut was done great. So 3/5 stars because it was more good than bad.

The writing: 1.5/5⭐️
Did I say the characters were this book’s lowest point? Well, I must’ve forgotten about the writing. Y I K E S. The writing is a mess. It really reads like fanfic. And not the well-written kind of fanfic. The kind of fanfic where you cringe after every other sentence because the writing is so unbearably bad. I have read Wattpads and fanfic better written than this. That’s not a good sign. Like I said before, yikes. So where, you ask, is the extra 0.5 stars coming from? Oh yeah, it’s coming from some quotes that were thrown in there that I appreciated. That’s it, that’s all.

The ending: 3.5/5⭐️
And here I was expecting the ending to go on for way too long. NOPE! It was great. Close to perfect. No, i take that back. Not close to perfect. But still great. I love it when endings reference things that have happened earlier in the book or series, and that’s what happened here. Also, it was funny, so points for that. I don’t really have much else to say, so let’s end on the high note that is the ending of A Touch Of Darkness. Happy reading!
Profile Image for Labibliotecadidaphne.
75 reviews4,600 followers
July 9, 2022
Avevo aspettative davvero molto basse. Mi aspettavo un romanzo per adulti "povero".
Povero di trama, di personaggi, di evoluzione. Di tutto tranne che di smut.

Non mi ero completamente sbagliata. La trama è stata studiata sicuramente più di quanto mi aspettassi, ma alla fine mi lascia un gran "meh". La giornalista e il businessman odiato da tutti. Lei vuole scrivere di lui e lui vuole dimostrarle che non è come lo descrivono.

Bella l'intenzione della presa di potere di Persefone verso la fine, un bel messaggio di emancipazione e di girl-power, ma è avvenuto tutto troppo in fretta. Lei passa dall'essere incapace di toccare una pianta al trasformare esseri umani in flora. Ok che ripete più volte che si allena, ma avrei preferito vedere questo progresso gradualmente (un capitolo sull'allenamento per esempio?).

Cosa ho apprezzato?
La leggerezza.
É un libro che affronta tematiche importanti (come la iper possessività e la manipolazione genitoriale) e lo fa senza prendersi troppo sul serio, senza risultare pesante e senza indugiare troppo su quello. Sensibilizzare alla tematica non è l'obiettivo di questo libro, ma mentre leggevo mi sembrava di cogliere l'intenzione di voler dire "questo non è il tema, ma se stai vivendo queste cose, non va bene. Chiedi aiuto, scappa". L'ho apprezzato molto.

La scrittura.
Capitoli brevi e tanti dialoghi. Lo trovo un romanzo perfetto da leggere tra volumi più impegnativi. Ottimo per rilassarsi e godersi un testo leggero e piacevole.

Il retelling.
Personaggi e ruoli sono stati mantenuti, ma la trasposizione moderna e le dinamiche completamente di fantasia lo rendono un retelling perfetto.

Continuerò la saga.
Sta a metà: 2,5 stelle.
Profile Image for Hailee.
101 reviews58 followers
May 21, 2020
(for now this is a 3.5 rounded down) i just want to make it clear that i really enjoyed this!!! i read it very quickly and found myself laughing out loud alongside the characters at certain points. even though some aspects were very cliche, i felt that it worked with the story and was still extremely enjoyable. however, i wish there were more in depth descriptions of the appearances of the characters and more elaboration on some of the side characters. although i liked reading this quite a bit, i feel like i’m not fully attached or /in love/ with it. but i would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for hades/persephone stories!! i am really happy i picked this one up but i’m not going to give it the full 4 stars because this (personally) does not fully compare to other 4 star books i have read.
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