Three thousand years ago, a god told a lie. Now, only a goddess can tell the truth. Persephone has everything a daughter of Zeus could want - except for freedom. She lives on the green earth with her mother, Demeter, growing up beneath the ever-watchful eyes of the gods and goddesses on Mount Olympus. But when Persephone meets the enigmatic Hades, she experiences something new: choice. Zeus calls Hades "lord" of the dead as a joke. In truth, Hades is the goddess of the underworld, and no friend of Zeus. She offers Persephone sanctuary in her land of the dead, so the young goddess may escape her Olympian destiny. But Persephone finds more than freedom in the underworld. She finds love, and herself.
The Dark Wife is a YA novel, a lesbian revisionist retelling of the Persephone and Hades myth. It won the 2012 Golden Crown Literary Award for Speculative Fiction.
©2011 Sarah Diemer (P)2016 Hatching Phoenix Productions
The Dark Wife is a book I've been meaning to read for years but just finally found the time in the form of hour-long commutes to work. The story of Persephone and Hades has always been a favorite of mine, especially when you delve deep into the various interpretations of the "original" translations. To make them lesbians and reveal Zeus to be the douchebro we all know him to be is just awesome. The story is well-written and while I would've liked a little more focus on the external plot, I absolutely loved the romance.
What isn't awesome is the audiobook. I honestly regret not reading the book myself because the narrator is the worst narrator I've ever heard. Let me give you a brief overview of the issues:
The narrator is inconsistent in pretty much everything. In the span of one paragraph she'll pronounce things differently, the most notable being Gaia (Guy-uh to Gay-uh) along with other general Greek pronunciation problems (Rhea, specifically). She gives each character a different manner of speech and I've found that narration immediately following dialogue keeps that character's voice rather than Persephone's (since the story is in first person). There are even times when the narrator drops Persephone's voice during narration, as if she's gotten tired of it.
Speaking of Persephone's voice, it is honestly the most grating sound I've ever heard. Persephone is a strong, capable heroine who is taking control of her own destiny. The way the narrator voices her, however, makes her seem meek and on the verge of tears constantly. Even if all she's doing is picking flowers. Everything seems like a sorrow, which is completely out of character. It honestly affects the way the character is interpreted, though most of the characters end up with voices that don't match their character -- Hermes' voice is slow, Pallas is childish, Hades is monotonous and masculine.
As I said, this is just a brief list but these are the most egregious issues that pull me out of the story.
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