Like Abandon, Underworld wasn't quite what I expected. It's still not the Persephone and Hades myth I was expecting, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Underworld definitely has more of the myth elements, and the new characters that are introduced are fantastic, but I'm still wishing there was a little more myth influence.
John has taken Pierce away from the physical world and placed her in the safer Underworld. Here, at least, he can work to protect her from the Furies. In this, Underworld is like the Hades and Persephone myth. Pierce understands why John has done this, but that doesn't mean she likes it. She's a little in over her head with her new life and has trouble adjusting to the idea of leaving her old life behind. When she sees that her cousin Alex might be in trouble, all she wants to do is help him, not understanding the possible consequences.
A few of my favorite parts of this novel were the cast of characters introduced in the Underworld. The shipmates John relies on to do his job are all interesting, funny characters and they provide a light note, especially little Henry. I wouldn't mind reading a book about the adventures this little group had gotten into. They were dynamic and really added something to the novel.
The relationship between John and Pierce still feels a little off to me. Maybe it's because there hasn't been much focus on it, but things feel rushed and stiff. I don't see this love they proclaim to have for each other. A deep caring, I see. Love I don't. It makes it difficult for me to understand the reasoning behind some of their choices. There's still a lot of miscommunication and misunderstanding between them and even though I enjoy the sweet moments, I can't believe it's love. It just doesn't feel that way. I'm holding out hope that Awaken has the relationship development I'm looking for.
I find myself confused by the major plot of Underworld as well. I'm not sure the part Alex and his misadventures will play in the overall storyline, but I do see pieces of a puzzle falling into place. That didn't stop me from being confused as to the Alex plot, though. It makes the novel feel as though it has split personality. Everything either has to do with the Underworld or with Alex, but not really both. I wish there was a better blend between the two.
Underworld was closer to the Persephone and Hades myth I keep hoping for, but there are still things holding it back. The relationship between John and Pierce doesn't feel authentic yet and there's a little bit of a problem with the flow of the novel, in my opinion. Those issues don't stop it from being an enjoyable novel to read, though. I'm looking forward to finishing the series with Awaken and seeing how John and Pierce work together to figure out their lives in the Underworld.